Monday, July 25, 2016
Constructor: Kevin Christian
Relative difficulty: Easy like Monday Morning
THEME: HEY JOE — each theme entry begins with a familiar Joe
Word of the Day: CAMELCASE (28A: Style of "iPhone" or "eBay," typographically) —
camelCase (also camel caps or medial capitals) is the practice of writing compound words or phrases such that each word or abbreviation begins with a capital letter (and omits hyphens). Camel case may start with a capital letter (called PascalCase or UpperCamelCase) or, especially in programming languages, with a lowercase letter. Common examples include: "PowerPoint" or "MySpace" and "iPhone" or "eCommerce" or in online usernames such as "JohnSmith" -- Wikipedia
• • •
- (20A: 1899-1901 uprising in China) BOXER REBELLION
- (28A: Style of "iPhone" or "eBay," typographically) CAMELCASE
- (45A: "Great!") COOL BEANS
- (50A: Vacillate) BLOW HOT AND COLD
- (1D/63D: With 61-Down, Jimi Hendrix's first single ... or a hint to the starts of 20-, 28-, 45- and 50-Across) HEY/JOE
The chosen Joes are good: none is a specific, real person, so that's interesting. No actual Joes. Tightens it up in a quirky way. The grid has some nice stuff (BAD LUCK, DUE NORTH, ASEXUAL, STEELERS) but also some unnecessary dreck, like ETUI, APER, and CANER, all of which could've been easily cleaned up. CAMELCASE is undoubtedly a cool entry; because those capital letters resemble a camel's hump(s), get it? And sneaking those two J's into the lower-right was some fancy footwork as well.
There are 42 black squares in the grid, which is a lot. Normally 38 is considered the upper limit, with 40 only permitted in special circumstances, and anything over that should be rare and with good reason. This grid isn't really challenging enough (52 theme letters) to necessitate that; the two "cheater squares" on either end of the central entry D-PLUS should've at least been worked out, getting us down to 40.
Clues are dryasdust: EMILY is (Poet Dickinson), AIDAN is (Actor Quinn), ALLAN is (Writer Edgar ___ Poe), STEELERS is (Pittsburgh N.F.L. team), and so on. Perhaps I'm being harsh; let's find the three best clues. (Ride to an awards show) for LIMO, (One of 22 for Jon Stewart) is EMMY, and (Handled tunes at a dance, say) is DJED. Not sabotaging here, I really think those are the three best clues.
I'm grading the puzzles this week, and my first two grids have each had D-PLUS as an entry. Somebody trying to tell me something? This one had an OK but misplaced revealer, an unexciting theme per se but with a good set of theme entries, a reasonable grid, and clues that were rather stale. Sounds like a C+ effort in my book.
Not exactly off to a roaring start this week, but we'll see if the NYT squad can get us out of C-ville tomorrow.
Signed, Matt Gaffney, Regent of CrossWorld for 6 more days
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