“RESIST!” by Doug Peterson
It’s a puzzle. You have to solve it.
Constructor: Doug Peterson
Theme: IT is added to the names of famous men
- 17A: PETITER DINKLAGE – Shorter brother of the Emmy-winning actor who plays Tyrion Lannister?
- 27A: EDIT SHEERAN – Guy who fixed a bunch of his brother’s spelling errors in the lyrics to “Thinking Out Loud”?
- 49A: VITAL KILMER – Actor who absolutely has to play Iceman’s brother in the “Top Gun” remake?
- 63A: STICK IT TO THE MAN – Fight back against authority… and a hint to this puzzle’s theme
Ben: I picked up on this one pretty fast, once I realized that 1D: Stars of some unbelievably cute YouTube videos, informally was PUPS, not PUGS, and stopped trying to figure out who GETITER DINKLAGE was.
Michael: Identical error here.
Lena: PETITER DINKLAGE … It’s clever at the offset but after I thought about it for a while, it felt mean. I went and read about Peter Dinklage on Wikipedia and found him quoted as having said “every person my size has a different life, a different history. Different ways of dealing with it. Just because I’m seemingly okay with it, I can’t preach how to be okay with it. I don’t think I still am okay with it. There are days when I’m not.” So for clues and fill, for me, boils down to empathy– what if Peter Dinklage did this puzzle on a day he wasn’t feeling “okay with it?” That would suck! Maybe I over-think things, blah blah blah, have no sense of humor (so not true tho), but this one made me stop and think what it would be like to see something like that about myself in a puzzle, and the emotional end result was– shitty 😦
Ben: “You have no sense of humor” would be an idiotic response to an objection like this — humor is subjective, and the jokes in these puzzles are going to play differently for everybody. I didn’t think this themer was trying to take a shot at Dinklage’s size, but I can definitely see your point.
Michael: The “offensive” angle didn’t occur to me. Didn’t see clue as insulting. He’s so famous / cool that I forgot his being little was supposed to be an “issue.”
Ben: Even after seeing that IT was added to each of the names, I didn’t see the revealer coming. So points for that — always nice to be surprised at the end of the puzzle.
Lena: Yeah, I was able to mostly move from top to bottom while solving, and I liked getting the marquee revealer and going back through the themers. VITAL KILMER was my fave.
Ben: Doug Peterson is a constructor who I like a lot, because not only does he always have clean fill, but he throws some long stuff in to boot — in this case, BRIGHTENS (4D: Makes a little better, as someone’s day) is my favourite. I feel like we’re going to have to stop commenting on how clean the BZF fill is soon, since that’s one thing about the puzzle that’s been very consistent.
Lena: This puzzle stands out to me as being one of the cleanest BZF themed puzzles recently. Like, what is there to object to? ETAS? Even ISPS are super-hip and current– gotta have that Internet! I guess the sassy ESS (40A: One sassy character?) clue doesn’t really save it for me. So, like, one objection.
Ben: I wish EASY A had been clued as the Emma Stone movie, which I really like, instead of 30D: Class that’s a piece of cake. And speaking of movies, I was surprised to see the spoiler in the clue for T-REX (12D: Creature that actually helps the heroes kill the Indominus in “Jurassic World”), but honestly, anyone who would care has already seen it.
Ben: In addition to the standard Harry Potter reference at SNOG (26D: Kiss and cuddle a la Ron and Hermione), we get “Say YES to the Dress” at 45A: Response to a dress that a certain TV show might encourage you to give. Loving the modern pop culture in these puzzles.
Lena: HP ref: 0 days!
Ben: Not sure about 37D: Where some hoes hang cluing TOOL SHEDS. It didn’t fool me, but it still feels gratuitous. Michael has talked on his other blog about the problem of the NYT cluing for an audience of older white men, and while I think BuzzFeed tends to be much more inclusive, every now and then there is a clue that feels like it’s been clued for an audience that doesn’t include women. I don’t have any problem with sex-related clues (see 41D: Masturbation, e.g. for SELF LOVE or 70A: Alternative to 41-Down, if you’re lucky for SEX), but I don’t like clues that feel exclusionary.
Michael: I don’t mind this play on “hoes” too much. As long as the puzzle has an overall inclusive vibe, wordplay like this doesn’t bug me. The TOOL SHEDS clue struck me as clever.
Ben: Do people actually say “PEACE out, Girl Scout” (66A)? Because that’s awesome. I’m going to try that on my students.
Lena: Haha, I’d never heard it before but, yeah, it’s already been added to my “I’m leaving!” declarations alongside “blow this ice cream shop.”
Ben: Final thought — 44D: Rapper who called out Miley at the 2015 VMAs keeps my hope alive for a hiphop puzzle at some point. What’s good?
Lena: ULTRAMAGNETIC MCS (16) nooooo– maybe just one Ultramagnetic MC?)