BuzzFeed Crossword – Monday 21 December 2015

Just Ben today, folks, for “USE THE FORKS LUKE“. Solve the puzzle you must.

Mon 12 21

Use the Forks Luke

Constructors: Carolyn Farmer & Mary Lou Guizzo

Theme: Food-themed Star Wars puns.

  • 1A/67A: FLAN SOLO – With 67-Across, dessert on the menu at 17-Across that made the Custard Run in less than 12 pastries?
  • 17A: ADMIRAL SNACK BAR – Eatery where Luke might hear someone shout “It’s a frappe!”
  • 28A: DARTH VADERADE – Beverage on the menu at 17-Across that’s turned to the dark red, dark blue, or dark orange side?
  • 44A: OBI WAN CANNOLI – Dessert on the menu at 17-Across that is not filled with the creamy ricotta you’re looking for?
  • 57A: JANGO FETTUCCINE – Main course on the menu at 17-Across that was hired to assassinate Senator Padme Alfredo

Ben: Fun theme! I saw “The Force Awakens” this weekend (along with half the western hemisphere, it appears) and it’s very good. I was actually surprised how funny it was — unlike the prequels, it doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Anyway, all of these work pretty well and I appreciate the added layer of complexity provided by the food gimmick. The clue for JANGO FETTUCCINE is missing a question mark on the end, but otherwise no complaints.

Dense theme, which probably explains a few spots where the fill is less than ideal. HE HAD, APT TO, AMT, FLA, ROTH’S (18D: How author Philip’s kids answered the phone growing up?), HSN — it’s not awful, but there’s more weak spots here than you usually see in a BuzzFeed puzzle. It’s the tradeoff for the dense theme (as I noted) and a pretty open flow to the whole thing — I always had a few options if I got stuck.

I didn’t know MANNHEIM Steamroller, NOID or Harry CARAY, and I had to guess on the cross of Uzo ADUBA and BOSE Headphones. Might just be a case of me not being up on American pop culture, though.

Love the sass on 14A: Academy Award winner Jared who’s playing another Joker soon, because lord knows there haven’t been enough of those (LETO). Also enjoyed 31A: Person whose job it is to accept certain crosswords and change some of the clues, among other things, for example, also hi (EDITOR). Maybe I just really like long clues.

I had trouble parsing ADELE as 35D: “25” maker of everyone cry — I get that “maker” is being used in two senses, but it read weirdly to me.

Unintentional NYT shout-out at the centre of the grid with GIZMO (38A: Whatchamacallit). My streak continues, by the way — ten more days for my first perfect month! And speaking of countdowns (count-ups?), Days Without a Harry Potter Reference – 15.

I enjoyed this puzzle. But if you’re more into Star Trek than Star Wars, why not check out blogger Erin Milligan-Milburn’s similarly-themed “Trek, Please” puzzle from earlier this year?

 

3 comments
  1. Bob Dively said:

    Liked the silly Star Wars puns (although I am among the half of Western civilization who hasn’t seen the new one yet). Cheers for the clue for ROTHS (18D: How author Philip’s kids answered the phone growing up) because normally that would be clued something like “Author Philip and others”.

    Like

  2. zzedzed said:

    Uh, wow. Absolutely great puzzle. Accessible, timely, funny, with clean fill.

    Like

  3. rabonour said:

    I’m having trouble grasping how the Adele clue is supposed to parse – we sure that isn’t just a weird typo?

    The Star Wars puns are great. I don’t really think of frappés as being something you’d get at a SNACK BAR and that threw me off there, but I do appreciate the double pun. I had trouble in the NE putting HAR(i) and having basically no clue on 16A. I’d agree that the fill is hit-or-miss, but the puns made this one a lot of fun for me.

    Like

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