Devon cathedral city / TUE 1-31-17 / Hilarity in Internet-speak / Seinfeld stock character / Sean who played Mikey in Goonies / Pope who excommunicated Martin Luther / Item that might be wanted fervently by prisoner
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Constructor: Neil Padrick Wilson
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (somewhat north of my normal Tuesday time)
- CARGO SHIP (18A: *Vessel with a large hold)
- QUALITY TIME (23A: *What a family spends together at the dinner table) (big assumption)
- FORKED LIGHTNING (whatever that is) (38A: *Branches in a storm?)
- TEXT MESSAGE (55A: *Its arrival may be signaled by a ding) (you're thinking microwave oven)
Channing Thomas Frye (born May 17, 1983) is an American professional basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The 6'11" power forward–center played college basketball for the University of Arizona. He was drafted eighth overall by the New York Knicks in the 2005 NBA draft, and was the first college senior to be selected in that draft. He has previously played for the Knicks, Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns, and Orlando Magic. (wikipedia)
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FORKED LIGHTNING is. None. That "K" was the last letter, and there were a few seconds in there where I thought "O my god I'm going to get Naticked on a Tuesday" (I may even have said this out loud, hang on ... wife says yes, I did). Also, SIR BARTON!?!? But whatevs, let's say those are Greeeeat answers and get to the two big problems. First, the theme. IN A BOTTLE!? Revealers can't just be random phrases. That phrase can't stand alone. I did something like this once with an ALL IN revealer, but ALL IN is a stand-alone phrase, and in my puzzle it preceded a lot of other phrases, not just the first / last word. IN A BOTTLE is a very weak revealer, and the whole theme feels like an interesting concept that got destroyed on execution. But the (much) bigger problem was the fill. I wasn't out of the NW before I was saying "Oh, no, this is gonna be bad." When you can't get out of a corner on a *Tuesday* without ABU and Dan bleeping ISSEL, yikes. And I knew ISSEL. I remember him from my childhood. But no. No. And it got worse from there. Eventually, the number of non-word / abbr.-words got downright comical. INCOG *and* COHAB!? What is happening? AGAZE? O, man, no.
- Channing FRYE — unless you are a pretty serious basketball fan, you don't know who that is
- LOLZ — I thought "lulz" was the preferred ... plural?
- LE OX — it goes in Le YOKE
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