“I WON’T STAND FOR THAT” by Matt Gaffney
It’s puzzle solving jelly time (can you tell I’m running out clever ways to tell you all to just solve the puzzles first?)
“I Won’t Stand for That”
Constructor: Matt Gaffney
Theme: Common three-letter acronyms that now stand for something new.
- 17A: LABOR OF LOVE – “LOL – that’s so funny you want to pay me for this job. Because for me it’s a ___!”
- 23A: WANTS TO FORGET – “WTF – is he drinking that much because he ___?”
- 36A: THREE MILE ISLAND – “TMI – that’s all I need to know about that nuclear disaster on ___!”
- 45A: BARQ’S ROOT BEER – “BRB – gotta go get my favorite soft drink ___!”
- 56A: ONE MORE GAME – “OMG – I’m definitely going to beat you this time, ___!”
Ben: This is cute. I don’t know where THREE MILE ISLAND is, so that fell a little flat for me. But the rest of the answers are interesting, so it works for me as an early-week puzzle. Certainly more fun than uncovering the first line of a Beatles song I’ve never heard.
Lena: Haha, oh man, I predicted Rex’s Beatles tribute puzzle write-up with about 90% accuracy; themes like that just aren’t fair either way– if you know it it’s too easy and if you don’t it’s too hard and unsatisfying. ANYWAY…
Ben: I solved an earlier version of this puzzle, without the full theme clues — just the acronyms. It’s much improved by including phrases that hint at the themers. Shame about the missing capital letter on 17A, though (I’ve fixed it in the list above).
Lena: I am SO glad the theme clues were fleshed out! I just got a chance to sit down with this since solving the original on Sunday and was going to be sad to have to say things like “but WANTS TO FORGET and ONE MORE GAME aren’t really standalone phrases! Adasdfgdkjhfasldkfj” I mean, I still feel that way, but the clues at least makes it real within this puzzle’s world; DRINKS TO FORGET is real to me. So real.
Ben: Timely clue on 28A: ___ Mohamed (the “clock kid” who met with Obama) for AHMED. Not so much on 54A: Berry in a ton of different costumes in “Cloud Atlas” for HALLE, but I liked that movie so whatever.
Lena: I’ll admit that seeing all the #IStandWithAHMED Tweets kept the name quite fresh in my brain, so yay Twitter. I was pleased to see (2D: Catherine of “A Mighty Wind” and “Best in Show”) because Ms. OHARA is just about the funniest…
Ben: I have literally never seen an episode of LA LAW, so 1D gave me more trouble than it should have. And I don’t know Catherine O’HARA or Simon LEBON, so that corner was a little tough. The rest went pretty smoothly, though.
Lena: I didn’t hit any real doability snags, but I did get hung up on the awkward phrasing for the BAG UP clue (47D: Prepare to be carried home, as groceries). “Prepare to carry home” works better.
Ben: Really like the Bechdel test shoutout on the clue for ALISON — I feel like there’s a crossword theme in that concept somewhere.
Lena: I didn’t know much else about the Bechdel test other than what it tests for, so those were nice trivia bits for me. I wonder if anyone got annoyed by ISOPOD (8D: Little crustacean that looks like sea lice) (hmmm, *a* sea *louse?*)– does that pass the Lena test (out-of-place-seeming sciencey clue that I have no trouble with that probably definitely pisses everyone else off)?
Ben: Days Without a Harry Potter Reference – 1
Lena: <”Sixty Minutes” stopwatch ticks>
Ben: Favourite clues – 37D: Architect Saarinen whose Nordic name is extremely useful in crosswords (for EERO, as if you need to be told) and 51D: Workers in a capitalist system, metaphorically for COGS. And I kind of admire the audacity of cluing INTO as 38D: Preposition of “Into the Wild” — grammar!
Lena: I enjoyed (57D: The shortest month?) for MAY and (25D: Present opener) for OMNI. Yes, grammar– still some issues with that scattered in these puzzles, but I feel like overall I’ve seen improvements in both tone and spelling/grammar checking. Buzz on, you crazy Buzzles.