“DOUBLE DOUBLE” by Max Sherer
STP (Solve The Puzzle)
Constructor: Max Sherer
Theme: Alliterative two-word phrases.
- 17A: DROPS DEAD – *Suddenly loses consciousness forever
- 26A: OLIVE OIL – *Delicious dip for pre-dinner bread
- 32A: USED UP – *Depleted, like Sandra Bullock’s oxygen at the end of “Gravity”
- 44A: BIG BOI – *The shorter Outkast member, ironically
- 47A: LIFE LINE – *Outside help on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”
- 61A: EAGLE EYED – *Like the American sniper in “American Sniper”
Ben: As much as I appreciate the Tim Hortons shout-out, this theme doesn’t do it for me. It’s very simple, and theme phrases just aren’t that colourful. Nothing really wrong with them, just nothing special either.
Lena: The first letter of each word also spells out “double” heading down the grid but, yeah… the luster is lacking. I’ve said it before, but the BZF demographic seems allergic to figuring things out– maybe it has something to do with TLDR (1D: Acronym for our generation’s horribly short attention span), idk.
Ben: I’m not crazy about 6-letter theme answers. Even with the asterisks marking them, I didn’t even notice USED UP was part of the theme until I went back to list the answers.
Lena: Yup, I completely missed USED UP; partially because I was remembering how little I enjoyed “Gravity.” It’s like 1.5 hours of panicky spacesuit breathing. And unrealistic astronaut underwear.
Ben: The four 8-letter Downs are nice — MADE LOVE (8D: Bumped uglies, more romantically) is probably the strongest entry in the puzzle, in fact. IMPOUNDS is a little dry but I did enjoy the clue 4D: Takes away your car after you double-parked it in a “No Parking” zone next to a fire hydrant.
Lena: I really liked 35D: Steel___ (product sheared from a robo-sheep) for WOOL. I love imagining those sheep! I think that’s my favorite. I didn’t understand why it’s surprising where RENO is located (20A: Casino city west of L.A., surprisingly) but OLSO (29D: City on a fjord [not] shockingly) is no biggie.
Ben: Grid is all right. SRA DETOO SWE DEE RES ETS — enough to notice, but not bad. A little crosswordese in KOLA (unless those nuts are just super-common in the US and I’m out of the loop).
Lena: I’ve never seen a KOLA nut in person– they’re just where cola products come from. If I ever see one I will take a Crosswordese Selfie with it.
Ben: The clue on IRIS is apt (36D: Goo Goo Dolls song that you probably know from the way John Rzeznik snarls “But you don’t even know who I am”) — I didn’t even know that was the title of the song, but the chorus is indelibly etched on my brain.
Lena: Haha, oh man I hate that song. I hate it so much that I’m pretty sure that’s not actually a lyric in the song… Know thine enemy?
Ben: God, I’m gritting my teeth just looking at the clue for THEIR. I can’t even bring myself to type it out!
Lena: <pats shoulder> there their they’re…
Ben: Days Without a Harry Potter Reference – 11. Michael’s going to get back from vacation and wonder what the hell happened.
Lena: Looks to me like they’re focusing on keeping the OGLE and E COLI streak going.
Ben: I hope I’m not coming across too negative on this one, but I just don’t have any strong opinions about it. I didn’t hate it, I didn’t love it… it was fine.
Lena: I think you’re on point– it was nice to be able to solve it easily while sick and miserable, heading to work on a 7:45am train; it’s basically the puzzle I needed this morning. No codeine in the cough syrup but soothing nonetheless.