Cheap smoke in slang / SUN 6-14-15 / Creator of Stupefyin Jones / Rank above bey / Sally sweet bun / Dick popularized zone blitz / Slaughterhouse scraps / Tenor in flying dutchman
Sunday, June 14, 2015
Constructor: Randolph Ross
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: "The In Crowd" — two-word phrases, second word begins w/ prefix "IN-"; clued as if "IN" were, in fact, a separate word. Wackiness, theoretically, at least, ensues.
- FIGHT IN JUSTICE (23A: Dispute between Loretta Lynch and her co-workers?)
- GENERAL IN FORMATION (37A: Army V.I.P. at a military parade?)
- BRAIN IN JURY (48A: Smartest one to consider a case?)
- COURT IN JUNCTION (64A: Municipal building located where major roads intersect?) (makes no sense—it would be *at* a junction, not *in* one…)
- SISTER IN LAW (83A: Nun for the defense?)
- PRIVATE IN VESTMENTS (90A: G.I. dressed like a priest?)
- CRIMINAL IN TENT (110A: Felon at a campground?)
• • •
PUT made zero sense to me, but I'll take PUT on the chin and say "my bad." PIG IT, however, I will not accept. That is possibly the dumbest thing I've seen in a grid, and I've seen … some stuff. In an attempt, I guess, to have a lower word count on these Sunday puzzles, we end up with big white spaces that are clearly too much for some constructors to handle well. But even the little sections … I mean, why is anyone suffering a MOL/ORDO crossing in such a tiny section of a grid in the year 2015? That's a MOLORDOrous crossing. But I can tell you right now the cross that's going to groin-kick more people than any other: EL ROPO / LUNN (68D: Cheap smoke, in slang / 76A: Sally ___ (sweet bun)). This is a bad cross; this is a cross that will thwart more solvers than any other single cross in this puzzle; this is a fact; this problem is utterly foreseeable, and (likely) utterly fixable with a little elbow grease. I know EL ROPO *only* from solving crosswords for a long time (the cigar-type clue is a pretty hackneyed / low form of clue) and I Don't Know What A Sally LUNN Sweet Bun Is At All. Was that big … sometime before 1969? I have no problem with old-skewing clues, but when that's all there is, and when the theme is moribund and the grid just Isn't Clean … well, it makes me want to play HOB with something. Now where did I put my hob?
Seriously, the hell? Play HOB with? HOB. [Frodo, familiarly?]. Also, AT NOON? IN A CAN? Random adverbial phrases... Ugh. It hurts.
To the puzzle's credit, it saved the best for last, themer-wise. If only they all could've been felons at campgrounds...
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