In relaxed rhythm musically / TUE 2-7-17 / Lets get loud singer affectionately / Asian river whose name is one letter away from Ivy League college / Warning initials above Internet link / Annual Austin festival for short
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Constructor: Finn Vigeland
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (time in the high 3s; I think that's somewhat above average)
- 18A: Queen's place (CHESSBOARD)
- 23A: Queens' place (NEW YORK CITY)
- 36A: Queens' place (RUPAUL'S DRAG RACE)
- 47A: Queen's place (ROCK AND ROLL / HALL OF FAME)
nounnoun: rubato; plural noun: rubati; plural noun: rubatos; noun: tempo rubato; plural noun: tempo rubatos
- 1.the temporary disregarding of strict tempo to allow an expressive quickening or slackening, usually without altering the overall pace.
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RUBATO, it turns out, and when I don't know a longish answer on a Tuesday, turns out there's a price to pay, time-wise. Even a small delay on M or T can be quite significant time-wise. So I fumbled a bit up there, but then I really fumbled down below, with the two-part themer—clue was known, so added nothing, and with a 2-part themer that's 2 x nothing, and then I couldn't land a couple of crucial Downs: had SIC- but no idea about SICK OF (38D: So done with), had H- but no idea about HOT ONE (44D: Scorcher). So there was a lot of hacking before the themer(s) finally filled in. This puzzle is much bouncier and more current than most NYT puzzles—pop culture gets a bit heavy at times ("RUDY"!?! Had to reach back for that one), and that is a ridiculous / ostentatious / gratuitous use of modern initialisms in the SE corner (NSFW x/w SXSW) (that's "not suitable for work" and "South by Southwest," in case you're unfamiliar). OK, OK, you listen to contemporary music and use the internet, we get it, Finn, you're young(ish). Dial it back, kid.
Since I don't watch "RUPAUL'S DRAG RACE," I thought that answer was a little anomalous, as I would say "drag queen," not just "Queen." I would refer to a chess piece as just a queen, the band as just Queen, the urban area as just Queens, but a drag queen I would call a "drag queen." Of course colloquially "queen" can stand alone as meaning "drag queen," but in everyday usage, the "queen" is usually preceded by "drag." Not sure if all contestants on the show are called simply "queens" or maybe just the winner ... anyway, this queen seemed to want a qualifier ("drag"), and none of the others did. There maybe be an in-show reason for the clue that make its apparent anomalousness a non-issue.
- 7D: Shake one's booty (TWERK) — if ever a clue needed "... in a way," this one did. I was looking for something much more generic (like DANCE).
- 6D: Hold together (COHERE) — I had ADHERE, as in "Place your AD HERE! ACT NOW! Low AD FEES!"
- 28A: "Let's Get Loud" singer, affectionately (J-LO) — she is famous. That song, though??? What the heck is that? On a Tuesday, maybe something a little more ... iconic? See also the awful clue for BRUNO MARS (35D: 2014 Super Bowl performer). Who remembers 3-years-ago Super Bowl performers!? I'm gonna forget Lady Gaga performed at the 2017 Super Bowl by next week, and *that* performance was actually memorable. Why not clue BRUNO MARS by something related to him!? His music is fun!
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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