BuzzFeed Crossword – Tuesday 8 December 2015


Solve it here

Tue 12 8

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.

Michael: #teamgin

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+

  1. brayden said:

    I am always happy when my favorite actress Rene Wable appears in a puzzle!
    Also the clue for 42D just tickled my fancy for whatever reason.
    This was overall one of my favorite BFs. It was a very enjoyable solve even though I was doing in on the website (ugh!), and multitasking during an especially busy workday.



    • Lena Webb said:

      Rene Wable has such beautiful energy… she really lights up the screen.


    • Lena Webb said:

      Or a fucking twist! OR FUCKING BOTH! I mean, I know I’m right, but it’s also not a True Bartender’s place to judge a guest’s preferences– well, only if the guest is a total dick about it– but I think the drink order was fairly clued. Plus, Alex admitted on Twitter that all he’s really looking for is cold vodka in a glass, and I drink gin in warm milk sometimes so hey, it’s a wonderful life.

      Thanks for the in-blog shout out! It was a total coincidence, but certainly not unusual that booze ‘n clues should overlap when I’m involved 🙂


      • therealrexparker said:

        BOOZE ‘N’ CLUES is the title of the cocktails & crosswords podcast. No, better: BOOZE CLUES.

        Liked by 2 people

      • a props a clue in the above linked puzzle, Mr Chandler (SPOILER):

        ‘We sat in the corner bar at Victor’s and drank gimlets. “They don’t know how to make them here,” he said. “What they call a gimlet is just some lime or lemon juice and gin with a dash of sugar and bitters. A real gimlet is half gin and half Rose’s Lime Juice and nothing else. It beats martinis hollow.”’

        Don’t know that I agree with that last sentence.


      • Lena Webb said:

        Rose’s lime “juice” is a vile, vile concoction; I whole-heartedly disagree with the last sentence as it relates to the penultimate. But a Gimlet with fresh lime is a real treat. Once, while Still Awake on Ambien (SAA– like being AWOL but better *and* worse), I made a gimlet with muddled parsley and it was the best functionally-blacked-out-drug-addled decision I’ve ever made– but you don’t have to take my word for it!


      • zzedzed said:

        And certainly not half lime juice. 4 parts gin to one part juice.


  2. Lena Webb said:

    Haha! My friend Adam also came up with Booze Clues on Sunday– but he said we can have it!


  3. please feel free to delete that. 1. for “a props” 2. for spoiler. I don’t see a way for me to delete it. Or just leave it!


    • Lena Webb said:

      lol I thought “a props” was a hip new abbreve like “obvs”– it stays!


  4. Bob Dively said:

    The clue for HYDROPONICS made me laugh out loud. The last few years in Michigan there’s been an outbreak of stores selling hydroponics equipment. You know, for growing tomatoes in winter.

    NAURU is a totally bizarre and fascinating place. It was covered in phosphates from bird guano and was almost completely strip-mined in the 1980s. Because of the phosphate mining the country briefly had one of the highest per capita incomes in the world. I remember seeing a TV news story on it back in the day. All the young men had Japanese superbikes that they rode on the road encircling the island – all 12 miles of it. The phosphates are mostly gone, and now the place is back to being pretty poor again. The unemployment rate is something like 90%.

    Enjoyed the ARCADE FIRE sighting. Terrific indie band. Liked GROK – didn’t know the kids were saying that these days.


  5. Bob Dively said:

    Oh, and the vodka “martini” is an abomination thrust upon an unsuspecting public by unscrupulous distillers of potato juice.


  6. zzedzed said:

    The Suburbs is a fantastic album. Reflektor is their “disco” album. As much of an abomination as it would have been if it had been recorded in 1978.


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