“WHATTUP MAH DUDE” by Ben Pall
Definitely try solving the puzzle before you read more– it’s just more fun that way
“Whattup Mah Dude”
Constructor: Ben Pall
Theme: Famous historical figures who have been reimagined as frat bros.
- 16A: BRONAS SALK – Dude who cured the shit out of polio when he wasn’t destroying nerds on the Pong table
- 23A: EDGAR ALLAN BRO – Dude who wrote some crazy shit about a raven probably after roasting a fat j with the boys
- 40A: TEDDY BROOSEVELT – Dude who played mad wingman to the entire United States during the Progressive Era
- 51A: VINCENT VAN BRO – Dude who cut off his own ear to impress a chick at Arles’ Kappa Crush, crazy night
- 64A: BROALD DAHL – Dude who wrote about Miss Trunchbull forcing a pledge to eat a whole chocolate cake in front of the entire school
Ben: My thoughts are going to be pretty brief on this one, because I’m busy watching the Canadian election results. I really should go to bed but I can’t turn it off until Stephen Harper gives his concession speech. Personally, I hope he just shows up at the podium, starts swearing, throws the double bird and vanishes in a puff of black smoke. Go out with more dignity than you had in the campaign, y’know?
Ben: I really enjoyed this puzzle. It’s an obvious joke, but all of the entries at least made me smile. My favourite was VINCENT VAN BRO.
Lena: Adding BRO to words and names is a lot of fun for me (“Brosecco” and “Brosé” are probably my favorites) so I loved this. And it’s nice to see brospeak *mostly* restricted to a theme. Caleb commented over on Amy’s site that he’s been “trying to address the inherent broey vibe in male puzzledom with a sense of irony/sarcasm, but that seems to come across sometimes as genuine broeyness.” I think just using brospeak and brocentric topics in clues is too subtle a way to address the issue– it just ends up being the voice of the puzzle. But Caleb is clearly taking feedback seriously, and I’m really happy to have already noticed a change of tone in this week’s Buzzles.
Michael: I forget: are there any “homies” in this puzzle? I have a feeling there aren’t … thank god.
Michael: I think I was not as big a fan of this puzzle as y’all were. I like that they are all dudes, so bro-ing them makes sense, but … I don’t know, this didn’t amuse me as much as it might’ve. I did, however, love the clues on TEMPORARY (37D: Like my barista job and my new tattoo, as far as my parents are concerned;)), VROOM (55D: What I like to say when I ride my imaginary motorcycle), and EDAM (67A: Cheese that’s made in reverse?).
Lena: That EDAM clue was hands-down my favorite clue in the whole puzzle. I ooooooh-ed like it was fireworks.
Ben: I always forget that it’s Jonas Salk, not Jonah Salk, so for a while I had MAH instead of MAS (4D: “Dos ___ margaritas, por favor!”) and was trying to figure out if I was missing something. Also, I don’t know the reference in the clue for BROALD DAHL (64A: Dude who wrote about Miss Trunchbull forcing a pledge to eat a whole chocolate cake in front of the entire school). Hm, Matilda apparently. I actually read that when I was a kid, but obviously it didn’t register.
Lena: I read all of BROALD’s books when I was younger (and his sick adult stuff later on), and it was nice to see some young adult fiction in here that isn’t Harry Potter. That is definitely a very specific reference, though!
Ben: A little bonus theme content in 3D: Like the nerds who challenged 16-Across to Pong, eventually (OWNED) and 65D: Pennsylvania ___ (home to 40-Across’s chiller pad, once) (AVE). I don’t think I get the joke on the former, though — why “eventually”?
Ben: Favourite clues: Also liked TEMPORARY,TEA (48A: Starbucks order for weird hippies), STOVE (68A: Ramen- and popcorn-making machine, as far as I’m concerned). Definitely enjoy the personal clues more than the BuzzFeed house voice.
Lena: I can’t really top my love for the EDAM clue, hard as I try. Definitely didn’t like 12A: Sound from a cat or even a sexy cat (MEOW). Didn’t make sense, but it did make me think of all those loathsome “sexy” Halloween costumes…
Ben: Least favourite clue: TAP (8D: Hit dat ass). Noooooope.
Michael: Yeah, huge boooo there. First, just no. Second, technically, the clue should be [Hit, as dat ass]. So I object on “ew” grounds (esp. in an already broey puzzle) and on technical puzzle nerd grounds. Doubly objected! I also don’t like the “playing dumb” tone on the MATH clue (4A: The subject with the stuff you have to add and stuff). You’re kids, you’re not fucking stupid. Stop.