Onetime MTV reality stunt show / WED 10-28-15 / 1950s mideast hotspot / Big name in 1980s jeans / Ouzo flavoring / Confident counterclaim / Political group unlikely to be swayed
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Constructor: Jay Kaskel and Daniel Kantor
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (*for a Wednesday*) (not sure why, but my time was sky-high)
- CANNED CORN (17A: 34-Across case involving ... wrongful termination?)
- SPLIT PEAS (25A: ... divorce proceedings?)
- DIRTY RICE (45A: ... political corruption?)
- BAKED BEANS (53A: ... marijuana possession?)
Jackass is an American reality series, originally shown on MTV from 2000 to 2002, featuring people performing various dangerous, crude, self-injuring stunts and pranks. The show served as a launchpad for the television and acting careers of Bam Margera, Steve-O, and Johnny Knoxville, who previously had only minor acting roles. // Since 2001, three Jackass films have been produced and released by MTV corporate sibling Paramount Pictures, continuing the franchise after its run on television. The show sparked several spin-offs including Viva La Bam, Wildboyz, Homewrecker, Dr. Steve-O, Nitro Circus and Blastazoid. (wikipedia)
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FOOD COURT is amusing, but there has to be a way to make this tighter / more amusing. Getting canned or split is not a crime, but being dirty or getting baked is (though ... do people go to court for simple possession still? Also, simple "possession" does not get you BAKED ... or so I understand). Lots of things are CANNED—CANNED CORN doesn't feel special or tight. Feels like it was just a "canned" answer that fit. Also, DIRTY RICE is a whole dish, where the others are just single food items. Fill-wise, it's rough in many places, though you do get some occasionally interesting things in those giant, weirdly sequestered corners in the NW and SE.
I took a screenshot part way through when I got weirdly stuck. Looking back, it seems impossible that I couldn't instantly get SPLIT PEAS from this ...
- 32D: Unidentified hostile aircraft (BOGEYS) — had trouble with the plural part, but not with the answer in general. This is because I just watched "Top Gun" (on Saturday night). BOGEYS everywhere. Also oiled man-bods. Venetian blinds. And fans. Ceiling fans. Metal-cage desk fans. Just ... blowing. Lots of blowing.
- 47A: North Dakota city (MINOT)— fourth-largest city in the state! Which puts it under 50K. Not sure how I semi-remembered this. But I semi-did. Not great fill. I mean, beats ENERO and OUSE, but not by a ton.
- 9D: Stop for water (DAM) — clues like this one (a good one) are why this puzzle played a little hard for me. This is a tough, hard-to-read clue. It's got that whole "what does 'stop' mean?" thing going on. I was trying to decided if it was a verb or noun, but I was imagining a totally different form of noun (like an oasis). Tricky.
P.S. I made today's Buzzfeed crossword (a themeless). You can get it here. I would love it if you solved it. Thanks.
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