“ARE YOU A HIPPIE? SOLVE THIS CROSSWORD TO FIND OUT” by Alex Boisvert
Solve it here
Are You a Hippie? Solve This Crossword to Find Out
Constructor: Alex Boisvert
Theme: Theme answers begin with clean energy sources.
- 17A: WIND QUINTET – Group of five players that blow hard on stage until they all finish their piece
- 30A: TIDAL ISLAND – Piece of land sometimes connected to the mainland, depending on the time of day
- 49A: SOLAR PLEXUS – Bad place to get punched, if you enjoy breathing
- 65A: HYDROPONICS – Method of growing plants that… look, it’s for weed, all right? You use this method to grow weed
- 7D: RENEWABLE ENERGY – Smarter long-term alternative to fossil fuels… that could come from the starts to 17-, 30-, 49-, or 65-Across
Ben: Another straightforward theme. I do really like the clue on HYDROPONICS and having RENEWABLE ENERGY running all the way down the grid (through all four themers!) is elegant.
Michael: Yeah, revealer through the themers … that’s a bit of structural awesomeness that many aren’t likely to appreciate.
Lena: I liked it! I learned about TIDAL energy! As the tide goes out you can use turbines, like a dam, to harness its energy. Rad. Why can’t we, like, actually freaking make good use* all these really smart alternatives on a larger sca– haha, I guess I’m a “hippie,” huh…
Ben: The fill is a little strained in spots — DNA LAB is (as we’ve noted before) a little iffy, and so is PR MAN (53A: Dude who knows how to create a buzz). NAURU is the world’s third-smallest country? I needed every cross. That and NACRE (43A: Shiny inner shell coating that makes pearls) are major outliers here in terms of difficulty (at least for me).
Michael: NACRE is a gimme. Struggled to remember NAURU, and definitely struggled to parse PR MAN. I had —AN and thought “… apian?” Then had -RMAN and thought “… Suze?”
Lena: Oh god DNA LAB— my fave. Yeah, NAURU was a guess for me, but I do recall seeing it in at least one other puzzle. NACRE, otoh, is a favorite word of mine and I don’t know why.
Ben: I had some trouble with Pete SEEGER and HARRAH’S — I’ve heard of both, but they didn’t exactly snap to mind. They’re fine entries, though.
Lena: <deep breath> (68A: Potential martini ingredient, but I’ll take mine with vodka, thanks) for GIN. When I was a bartender, I would bristle with annoyance when a guest would ask for a martini, I would make it AS IT IS DEFINED, and they’d take a sip and be all “this isn’t vodka. I wanted a vodka martini.” Since I couldn’t necessarily knock back the rejected the drink in front of them and make their vodka “martini,” I would have to dump it, and that was sad. Obviously I learned quickly to ask if they wanted vodka, and Alex/Caleb are polite in that they say “potential” and request the spirit. People, just get over the fact that you mixed Gordon’s Gin in vending machine Minute Maid OJ in college and puked horrible pukes, and give Gin another chance. Try Plymouth– it’s not like getting assaulted by a pine tree, trust me.
Ben: Days Without a Harry Potter Reference – 6. In other pop culture trivia, both today’s NYT and this puzzle have ELF as an answer (41A: Will Ferrell movie with the line “Not now, arctic puffin!”). Must be Christmas.
Lena: Apparently ELF is a good movie? Is this true?
Ben: I enjoyed seeing ARCADE FIRE in the grid (32D: “Suburbs” rock band that on occasion features a glockenspiel, xylophone, and hurdy-gurdy), but what do I know from music? I’m listening to Nickelback’s greatest hits album (volume 1!) while I type this. Because sometimes I hate myself.
Lena: Ben. Benbenben. Don’t admit to such things. Quite honestly, there is very little about this puzzle that I take issue with. Favorite clue would have to be (59A: Unit spotted at a gym (in both ways)) for REP because it took me forever to GROK what the way other than one lift of a weight was.
Ben: Favourite clues are 14A: Mine was boldly titled “A New Definition of the Steenrod Operations in Algebraic Geometry” for THESIS and 57D: Geometrical line that I’m pretty sure cannot actually be evil for AXIS. Hey, I sense a trend!
Michael: Yes, good THESIS clue. Mine was boldly titled “Fraternity and Danger: Imagining Male Community in Late Medieval England,” which I remember only because it’s sitting here next to me on a shelf in my office.
Lena: So, you thought about a bunch of stinky guys eating entire mutton chops with their hands? A+