What’s that smell? Oh, it’s “TOOT TOOT!“, which you should solve and then read about.
Constructor: Michael Sharp
Theme: Theme answers all break wind across multiple words.
- 18A: LUCKNOW, INDIA – Uttar Pradesh city of over 2 million people
- 25A: KNOW IN DEPTH – Master, as a subject
- 40A: EDWIN DROOD – Mystery man of Dickensian fiction
- 56A: GROW INDOORS – Use a greenhouse to farm pot, say
- 66A: BREAKING WIND – Cutting the cheese… as demonstrated literally by 18-, 25-, 40-, and 56-Across
Lena: Nah just kidding– it’s fun to make crickets at Michael. So, he said that this is “the most juvenile thing [he’s] ever done, puzzle-wise” but, like, it’s still so… polite. The word “fart” doesn’t appear even once! BREAKING WIND is almost certainly what the Queen herself calls butt burping.
Ben: Yeah, when he mentioned that, I was envisioning — I don’t know, rebus squares filled with curse words? This is dumb, but it’s dumb in a fun way. I liked all the answers (and knew EDWIN DROOD immediately, so that made it a pretty easy solve) and thought the execution was clean. Also, 15×16 grid — I think that might be a BZF first?
Ben: (butt burping???)
Lena: Ok, I can’t hold it in any longer… DAYS WITHOUT A HARRY POTTER REFERENCE – 0!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Do you think this was the plan all along?? Was Michael in on this??? Ahem <composes self> 26D: It “chooses the wizard,” according to Ollivander (WAND). Omg that felt good.
Ben: Also, today is 12-23-2015, and when you add all those digits up you get — the 16 days we suffered without a Harry Potter reference! Coincidence? I think not!
Lena: Some pretty staid cluing here (but I attribute this to the BuzzFeedle and the damage done– now I’m like “where are the paragraphs about dick fluuuuids?!?!)– and I have to be honest, not what I would call the liveliest of fill overall– but some glittery gems nonetheless. The most titillating is obviously STRAP-ON (12D: Means of adding a new member?). To me “new member” implies that there is already a member involved, so I imagine a guy wearing a strap on over his dick (a “stunt dick”) Or a lady and her man are mixing things up. The clue’s question mark is like “I’m down for whatever.”
Ben: That’s a great clue. I also enjoyed 61A: Say “Have I swiped right on you somewhere before?” to, say as a way of livening up HIT ON, and 3D: Rattled off, as every Drake lyric for RECITED.
Lena: I’m going to do a Crosswordese Death March: DTS, USC, NTH, ETA, ADM, SWM, SGTS, REI… Ugh, that was so not like me– every time I start keeping track of this shit I start to feel like a joyless asshole, so fuck it. I laughed at the clue for SGTS (63D: Snorkel and Pepper, militarily speaking: Abbr.)– I think maybe I’m supposed to think about Navy Seals and pepper spray, but they just sound like YORKIE (54D: One of those little dogs that celebrities carry around with them) names. Tiny dog army!
Ben: It’s cool to see INKS clued as 4D: Follows and interprets pencils, in comics — one of the strengths of BuzzFeed is that it has allowed constructors to really inject their own personalities and interests into these puzzles. (IMO of course — I’m sure some people prefer the consistency of a strong editorial voice at an outlet like the NYT.)
Lena: Best clue is 14D: Arrested development? for MUGSHOT. Hot damn!
Ben: I laughed the hardest at TWEE (64D: “___ as Fuck: The story of Indie Pop” (2005 Pitchfork article).
Lena: I also like DM ME (46A: “I request from you via the social media platform that we are both using, informally”)– the “informally” bit cracks me up there. Love the word ERUDITE and the clue here is clever (2D: Learned (when it has two syllables)).
Lena: Ben and Caleb and I should all go to Binghamton and wave this puzzle in this BARISTA ROASTER “Coe Young”’s face and be like “IS THIS TRUE WHAT HE SAYS ABOUT YOU?”
Ben: That was so great. I came across ROASTER first (62A: Coe Young of Laveggio espresso bar in Binghamton, New York, for one [editor’s note: this has not been fact-checked]) and wanted BARISTA, so discovering its mate in the SW corner was delightful.
Ben: Fun puzzle!