Subject of notable 2016 referendum / THU 2-9-17 / Caesarean rebuke / Surfer's tether / Trounce informally
Thursday, February 9, 2017
Constructor: Ross Trudeau
Relative difficulty: Easy
- 2D: 56-Down, across the 15-Down (HIRES) / v.v. (RENTS)
- 4D: 41-Down, across the 15-Down (QUEUEING) / v.v. (LINING UP)
- 35D: 10-Down, across the 15-Down (KNACKERED) / v.v. (EXHAUSTED)
- 52D: 8-Down, across the 15-Down (CHIPS) / v.v. (FRIES)
1. unwilling to read, although able to do so.
nounnoun: aliterate; plural noun: aliterates
1. an aliterate person.
• • •
ATLANTIC OCEAN came into view, I could tell what was going on. In fact, before I knew it was a theme answer, it was clear to me just by the phrasing of its clue that 2D: HIRES was part of a US/UK pair. At that point, I thought HIRES was the root beer (seriously), so I'm lucky I didn't decide to jump to the other side of the grid and write in, I don't know, AANDW (though we have that here....). Once I hit QUEUEING, I *did* jump the pond and write in LINING UP, and then the pace picked up very, very quickly. When your central themer is so easy as to be an afterthought, the puzzle doesn't stand much chance. KNACKERED is one of my favorite Briticisms, though I'm not sure I'd say it—I just like hearing it. My wife's a Kiwi, so sometimes we forget in this household what's British and what isn't. I don't know if she says any of the British stuff any more, if she ever did. She's lived here so long even she gets confused about what's "original" and what's picked-up.
So, cute theme, but the fill on this thing, holy moly it's a mess. Soooo much tired, overfamiliar crosswordesey gunk. Innocuous stuff like ELOPE STYE ULNA ABASE ABET and then crosswordesey names like RITT RUDI and foreignisms like SOU UNO QUA ICI LAC AÑO and then generally ugh-ish PSAT ETTU ETRAIN RAH OMANI VIOLS ICARE ESE especially INOT ULA NANU ATUG and the cherry on top, AFLERS (!?). Hard enough to get me to buy NLERS and ALERS, no need to shove *bygone* sports -ERS down my throat.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
P.S. Finn is right about the themers (geographically speaking) ...