BuzzFeed Crossword – Monday 26 October 2015

LET THE GAME BEGIN!” by Neville Fogarty

Grab a pencil, gas up the old iPad– solve the puzzle

Buzzfeed solution 10 26

“Let the Game Begin!”

Constructor: Neville Fogarty

Theme: Theme answers begin with MONOPOLY squares

  • 16A: GO FUND ME – Website where you can raise money for… yourself
  • 23A: CHANCE THE RAPPER – Chicago-based hip-hop artist who wrote “Sunday Candy” for his grandmother
  • 38A: INCOME TAX REFUND – Reason to celebrate… until you realize that you’ve been giving the government an interest-free loan
  • 50A: BOARDWALK EMPIRE – HBO show in which Stephen Graham played Al Capone
  • 62A: MONOPOLY – Classic board game whose spaces include the starts of 16-, 23- 38-, and 50-Across

Ben: Straightforward puzzle to start the week. I liked Monopoly when I was a kid, but haven’t played in forever. I was originally surprised there were only four theme answers here, considering how many Monopoly squares there are to choose from, but if you’re strictly using the full names of the squares, there actually aren’t that many — most have AVENUE after them.

Michael: Very straightforward, but not tiresome. Those themers are Right up to date.

Lena: Monopoly memories– I’ll take it. I played a ton of Monopoly as a kid; my mom always had to be the little Scottie dog and she would make it “pee” on all my properties as she walked it around the board. She also always had to buy Marven Gardens– not sure why.

Ben: Bonus theme answer at 66A: Purchases, as a railroad or a “Get Out of Jail Free” card, by the way.

Michael: Wouldn’t call that a bonus themer … or maybe I would … just a little meta-theme shout-out. And why not?

Ben: Some fun long stuff in the fill, like SCAMANDER (31D: Newt who ostensibly wrote “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”). Did you see that J.K. Rowling has written a new in-continuity Harry Potter play? It’s going up in London next year and takes place after the end of the series.

Michael: “Days Without a Harry Potter Reference: 0”

Michael: Since I don’t live inside these HP novels, I totally forgot this character. Needed every cross. He’s familiar, in retrospect. But only vaguely.

Lena: Almost everything I know about HP comes from Wizard People, Dear Reader. I didn’t know SCAMANDER but the newt reference in the clue made –MANDER seem like a good bet.

Ben: And hey, I just noticed that there’s a second Harry Potter reference here, in PEEVE (10D: Really freaking get to, as an annoying ghost haunting your boarding school might).

Ben: Hard swings in animal cuteness, between KITTEN (15A: Best possible present of all time in an unwrapped box) and CORAL (58A: Creatures that can’t move but have sex by constantly and simultaneously ejaculating on a full moon once a year. It’s called “broadcast spawning” and there are videos and they are glorious). I haven’t been brave enough to actually seek out one of those videos.

Michael: “Days Without an Ejaculation Reference: 0”

Lena: Blue Planet – Seas of Life: S1E6 “Coral Seas” and chill?

Ben: This mostly played easy for me, but the NW was surprisingly difficult to solve, between MCM (1A: Early-week hashtag devoted to sharing pics of guys), which I’d never heard of, the two theme answers (which I needed to come back to after uncovering the revealer), and the clue for MAFIA (3D: Soprano’s setting?), which completely fooled me. I was like “STAGE?”

Michael: Exactly. My main comment on this one was that NW corner. Between MCM (?) and –ITIS (!?!?) (19A: The ___ (alternative name for a food coma)) and that weird clue on CLOTH (2D: It’s often worn (in both senses of the word:p)), I was left guessing. I got MAFIA, but don’t like it clued as a “setting.”

Ben: Very clean, which isn’t much of a surprise given the constructor. I don’t actually mind AEIOU, but I do appreciate the clever clue — 32A: Lttrs tkn frm ths cl. I had to work it out in my head to confirm that all five vowels are indeed missing.

Michael: Yeah, that clue was nice. I don’t mind “bad” fill so much when it’s redeemed by fun clues.

Lena: We’ve got EDAM and ITT again, both with pretty vanilla clues compared to last time (41A: Dairy product usually sold in a red wheel of wax) and (8D: “Addams Family” cousin who’s just really long hair with a bowler hat that talks in high squeaks)

Ben: My favourite clue was 7D: Totally straight haha! Why, did my someone say something? for LINEAR, even though it took me forever to parse.

Michael: I don’t get it. Is there some sexuality reference that we’re supposed to infer? Tone of the clue lost me.

Lena: Yeah, I still don’t get it. This clue comes across like nervous babbling to me. Nonsense :p

Ben: Good early-week puzzle. I’m sure the theme’s been done before, but this is a nice rendition of it.

Michael: I resent the heavy clue reliance on crappy CBS sitcoms, Neville. You are not forgiven. (Seriously, that RAJ / J-POP cross might be treacherous for some) (48A: ___ Koothrappali (“The Big Bang Theory” astrophysicist) / 49D: Puffy AmiYumi’s genre).

11 comments
  1. rabonour said:

    This was surprisingly tricky for me in a few places. RAJ / J-POP was tough, even though it was obvious in hindsight. MAFIA was obvious, but at the same time I didn’t want to put it in because I don’t really like the cluing. There’s a lot of fill that I think is pretty mediocre (GNU ADD OAT OAR ALGA etc), but not really anything that stood out to me as *bad* on its own. On the flipside, though, not a lot stood out to me as being exceptional. I did like 44A: Beer or weed, take your pick, and it’s always nice to see more hip-hop so I appreciated CHANCE THE RAPPER. Overall, felt middle-of-the-road, but on the right side of fine. I won’t remember anything from it tomorrow.

    Like

  2. Something weird happened to a couple of clues in my PUZ version. My clue for LINEAR just read [Totally straight- haha, why?], and my clue for the crossing LYRIC was cut off [“Did a ton of drugs / And did better than all my alma mater]. It was easy enough to get both answers with a few crossings, but something went technically awry there, I think.

    Oh well. Theme answers were nice. Loved the clue for STRIP CLUB.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Paolo said:

    Loved it. The themers were exceptional, the short entries (hello, 1A and 49D) sparkled, and any reference to 4D makes for a great puzzle. Great Monday, IMO

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Brayden said:

    I don’t know, I found this puzzle completely forgettable. I don’t think there was anything I really liked. There was a bunch of stuff I didn’t like (the “straight haha” clue – hunh? Also, why is the kitten in a box?! Let him out! Cloth, Mafia, etc.) and a bunch of regular stuff that made no impression at all. Clean perhaps, but boring.

    Is Monopoly cool again? Is it Retro? Monopoly is over a hundred years old, does having words cross-referencing with a website make it a Glittery Theme? Shouldn’t the game by like World of Warcraft or something?

    So does the “:p” emoticon denote the traditional “?” It would seem like it does, but it doesn’t seem to be used consistently or to very good effect. Thinking about, I like the idea of emoticons to denote the tone of a clue (as opposed to “e.g.”, “slangily”, “?” etc.) but their use so far feels really scattershot and not really additive or helpful in any way.

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    • Bob Dively said:

      😛 is a tongue-sticking out and indicates a teasing tone or cheekiness. At least that’s what it is for an old like me who predates the graphical Internet.

      Like

      • Bob Dively said:

        Ugh. That smiley emoji above is substitution by WordPress for my attempt at plain text “:p”. Let’s see if it works this time.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Bob Dively said:

    Floundered a bit in the NW because I’ve never heard of MCM and MAFIA didn’t come easily. I somehow filled in CHANCE THE RAPPER having not heard his verbalizations. I guess I read about him somewhere.

    WTH is ITIS? (19A The ___ (alternative name for a food coma)” I don’t even know how to parse that – IT IS, I TIS…?

    Like

      • Bob Dively said:

        Thanks. Remains a head-scratcher for me because I want to parse it as a shortening of something like “gastritis”, but I can’t figure out what might be getting shortened.

        Like

  6. +1000 pts. to Lena for referencing Wizard People, the greatest parody in existence.

    The ITIS I’ve heard, and like here because it skews less to white people. CHANCETHERAPPER I like because he’s actually a talented dude (and fresh!). LINEAR clue forgot to get off at the exit where it made sense. Dig the STRIP CLUB cluing and puzzles within puzzles like that of AEIOU. Wanted “Promoted tweets…” to be “RTS” and “Scopes” to be “RIMS” for some reason. Nice though. The voice isn’t overwrought with BFness.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Neville said:

    “I resent the heavy clue reliance on crappy CBS sitcoms, Neville. You are not forgiven.”

    So the “Big Brother” clue is okay then? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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