BuzzFeed Crossword – Thursday 29 October 2015


Solve it up, people!

Buzzfeed solution 10 29

“There’s Something Very Important We Forgot to Tell You”

Constructor: Brendan Emmett Quigley

Theme: Online streaming services cross four times in the puzzle.

  • 36A: CROSS THE STREAMS – Cause “total protonic reversal,” according to “Ghostbusters”… or what happens literally four times in this puzzle
  • 15A: APPLE MUSIC – Service Drake used to release the “Hotline Bling” video
  • 4D: HULU – Service where you can watch “SNL” sketches the day after
  • 23A: PANDORA – Service powered by the Music Genome Project
  • 9D: HBO GO – Service that enables you to watch an entire season of “Game of Thrones” on your iPad from the bathtub, hypothetically
  • 46A: NETFLIX – Service that, well, kind of invented binge-watching
  • 48D: TIDAL – Service that I think Jay Z wants us to forget he ever tried to make happen
  • 58A: SOUNDCLOUD – Service with releases from independent musicians and Kanye West
  • 55D: VUDU – Service with peer-to-peer video owned by Walmart and also not based in New Orleans

Lena: Just me today, folks!

BEQ fans rejoice– two themed puzzles from him today: one here, one there. Brendan’s puzzles were the first indies I’d ever done and they got me hooked right quick. Then I did Erik Agard’s, then Peter’s, then Evan’s… now I’m solving puzzles from 6-8 constructors, for free, every week. Indies rock! If you came for the BuzzFeed, stay for the indies.

This is very much a BEQ. It feels like a puzzle straight off his own site; I don’t get a lot of the BuzzFeed voice coming through in this one.

Lots and lots of great clues here. To name just a few: (26A: Amazon’s prime country) for PERU, (21A: One of over like 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 in a single grain of salt) for ION, and (34D: If punk and pop had a baby that wouldn’t stop crying) for, of course, EMO. I also like an AROMA being described as “nasal bliss.” 

I like the multidimensional nature of the theme– I wonder if the irresistible 15-letter “Ghostbusters” reference led to the media stream intersections and boom. I’ll make sure to let Jay Z know that I’d never heard of TIDAL (48D: Service I think Jay Z wants us to forget he ever tried to make happen) and the ham-handed New Orleans hint was needed for me to get VUDU (55D: Service with peer-to-peer video owned by Walmart and also not based in New Orleans).

The only clue I took issue with 56D: Only (?) friend of Mr. Noodle, who lives (?) behind his shade (ELMO). Yeah, “(?)” is right. I did some much-needed research and learned that this Mr. Noodle character first appeared in the “Elmo’s World” portion (i.e., The Worst) of modern Sesame Street in 2000. I don’t have kids and was born in ‘83 *and* hate ELMO so that’s three strikes.

There’s a ROB Kardashian? Huh!

Dinky fill-wise, nothing really made me squirm. Honestly, EST, STL, HES, ITS, ONO— I just swat them away like [pesky fliers]. These little guys are part of the game. I’m not one to sweat the small stuff, and there’s very little of it here anyway.

Overall I thought this was a fun puzzle, and perfectly appropriate for a BuzzFeed Thursday. Let’s all talk about it some more in the comments section, guys! I’m lonely!


  1. nwnk said:

    This was fun but I flew through it in like six minutes, the last two buzzpuzzes took me closer to ten each. Maybe I’m old-fashioned for expecting the difficulty to ramp up Monday to Saturday. Or maybe I’m just that good.

    How far in advance of publication do these get supplied to Buzzfeed? Would have been cool to make 14A’s clue a current event, Ms. Wambach just announced her retirement on Tuesday.

    I needed the crosses to help me figure out wtf a sherm cigarette was, but I think I’m happier in a world where I didn’t know it already.


  2. austinburns said:

    little bonus goodness, every crossing is made up of one music streaming service and one video streaming service!


  3. the crucial verbalist said:

    I see nobody has mentioned the bonus theme answer hidden in a clue. Always a pleasure to solve a Biz Quig puzzle. I’m kind of glad he didn’t try to Buzz it up and stayed true to his voice.


  4. Bob Dively said:

    Momentarily tripped up by my traditional bugbear of AVOW vs AVER but otherwise zoomed right through, mostly on the strength of knowing all the streaming services (even TIDAL). #nerd My only other spot of difficulty was ANTIOCH instead of AMHERST (13D: College where David Foster Wallace was a Lord Jeff).

    Really liked the sort of bonus themer PERU (26A: The Amazon’s prime country) since Amazon Prime is also a streaming service. Hooray for ABBY Wambach, one of the world’s greatest athletes. The clue for Drake’s Hotline Bling has me giggling at the memory of all the hilarious meme remixes of the last couple of weeks – Drake with a light saber being the apex for me.

    Was also very amused by PABST (39D: Beer brand at the little show at an obscure venue in Brooklyn you’ve probably never heard of, probably) because PBR was crap beer back in the day and then suddenly it was hipster cool.


  5. Ben Johnston said:

    Thanks, Lena, for taking this one solo!

    I enjoyed this one too. Agreed that BEQ’s voice comes through very clearly, but I had less trouble with it than I usually do with his puzzles. You could also do the same basic theme with rivers, but streaming services is more fun and modern.

    TIDAL and VUDU were both new to me.


  6. rabonour said:

    Soundcloud feels like a little bit of an outlier here – I think of it more like a YouTube than a Netflix, if that makes any sense. That’s a tiny nit to pick, though. This was a delightful little puzzle. Great theme construction, mostly very solid fill/cluing. Wouldn’t expect less from BEQ, I suppose.


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