Hoopster observing Ramadan / Ankle-exposing pants / Baked with breadcrumbs cheese / Narrow arm of sea / Dangerous backyard projectile / Pluto flyby org
Sunday, September 25, 2016
Constructor: Jim Holland and Jeff Chen
Relative difficulty: Easy
- FASTING FORWARD (29A: Hoopster observing Ramadan?)
- LUCKY STREAKING (46A: Gangster Luciano performing a risqué prank?)
- BUM STEERING (68A: Hobo at the wheel?)
- STOCKING MARKET (88A: Where to buy certain Christmas decorations?)
- LIGHT SWITCHING (105A: Mild form of corporal punishment?)
- SQUARE ROOTING (15D: Cheering done in a plaza?)
- GOLDING DIGGER (57D: Big fan of the "Lord of the Flies" author?)
nounnoun: cygnet; plural noun: cygnets
- a young swan. (google)
FASTING FORWARD and the amusingly kinky LIGHT SWITCHING), but the rest is tepid cornball. SQUARE ROOTING is just [Cheering done in a plaza?]? That is boring af. At least make the SQUARE a nerd or something. Something! With ultra-basic, throwback-basic themes like this, you gotta bring the wacky. Tepid wacky is unbearable wacky. [Hobo at the wheel?] for BUM STEERING? Try [Driving with your ass?]. See? 100% better. Possibly 200%. Even the title is half-hearted and bland. "Adding ... On." Which is really just add-ing. You add "ing." Title may as well be "Adding." But it's "Adding On." Because that's a phrase. Of sorts. Why not something ridiculous, like, I don't know. "Tacking Liberties"? 'Cause you're taking liberties with the original answers as well as tacking "ing" onto words in those answers. Or make your theme answers wackier. CHARLIE BROWNING! HYDE PARKING! LOWING ON THE TOTEM POLE! Come on! Some. Thing. Something!
I emphasize passion and commitment because even (especially?) when I have not enjoyed a puzzle, I have tried, day in, day out, for 10 *&$^&ing years, to bring not just cogent analysis, but genuine, heartfelt, occasionally absurdly emotional engagement with the damned crossword (fittingly, Sia's "Cheap Thrills" is blaring as I type this). I'm currently watching my sportswriter friend Adesina Koiki live-tweet the BYU/WVU football game like his life depended on it—like it was the most important, most amazing thing happening on planet earth right now. He's ALLCAPS into it. And I know that I'm not ALLCAPS into the puzzle every day. But lord knows I try to bring something of my passion for puzzles, something of my personal, idiosyncratic insight, something of my gosh-darn soul to every write-up, in however small a way. I am so grateful for your readership and for the crossword community and for the many genuinely brilliant, warm, and funny people I've met and become friends with as a result of this blog. I know sometimes it seems like the puzzle is trying to suck my soul out of me through my, uh, let's say, eye sockets. But I still care about crosswords. I care about good crosswords. And more than that, I enjoy the company of people who share this care with me. Thank you a gazillion or a bajillion, your choice. 10 years!
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
P.S. a little history for you. Here's the very first comment I ever got on my blog:
Moral: Don't be a grandpamike. Or do. Maybe you'll inspire someone to adopt the same "*$&% you" spirit grandpamike inspired in me.
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