BuzzFeed Crossword – Wednesday 23 December 2015

What’s that smell? Oh, it’s TOOT TOOT!, which you should solve and then read about.

Wed 12 23

Toot Toot!

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: <crickets>

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!

13 comments
  1. zzedzed said:

    LUCKNOW INDIA‽ I blame Uttar Pradesh for my time.

    I find STRAP ON John GALT a pretty succinct description of my opinion of of all things Randian.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Bob Dively said:

      Holy crap! There’s a Unicode character for the interrobang‽ I had no idea.

      Like

      • Z said:

        Stuff you learn doing crosswords. I think it was a Saturday NYT that made me look interrobang up. I always get the character from the Wiki page.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interrobang

        Like

  2. Bob Dively said:

    Loved this, in part because I heard about the theme in advance and had some time to wonder what the puzzle would be like, and then it was so much more well-mannered than what my inner 12-year-old was anticipating.

    I will be laughing all day about the cluing to STRAP-ON (12D: Means of adding a new member), particularly given that it’s crossed with SWM (12A: Personal ad abbr. for a dude who is down to party). That is some serious partying, dude. I think that the term Lena is reaching for is “pegging”. Don’t google that.

    Pretty easy solve for me because I wrote in all the themers with minimal crosses, although I did spend a moment looking for cut cheeses in them before filling in the revealer and realizing I should be looking for broken wind. Loved the clues for XGAMES (75A: Competition with prominent air time?), MUGSHOT (14D: Arrested development?), and ERUDITE (2D: Learned (when it has two syllables)). Amused by the cross of DOG and LEG. Fun modern answers DM ME and TODD from “Bojack Horseman”.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Joe Pancake said:

    Eh … this one was, OK. Not a lot of dross (nothing wrong with fill like USC, ETA, and NTH, in my opinion, these are all real things people use/say all the time) and some lively non-theme fill (e.g., STRAPON, BARISTA, and XGAMES), but, at its heart, this is a theme that has been done many times over and the themers are all below average (two green-paint-esque phrases and two not-so-well-known proper nouns). I appreciate the silliness of a good fart joke, but other than that — meh.

    By the way, I got news the BZF puzzle is changing, probably not as many traditional 15 x 15 puzzles, probably more small variety puzzles.

    Liked by 2 people

    • therealrexparker said:

      We all got that news.

      Like

      • Giovanni P. said:

        Aw dang, but I liked having a good constant source of newspaper-grade crosswords…

        I at least hope the themelesses are sticking around. When can we expect this sort of change to occur? New year? And are the new policies listed somewhere else?

        Like

  4. adamnicolle said:

    Days with a Taylor Swift reference: 0

    Liked by 1 person

    • adamnicolle said:

      *WITHOUT

      Like

  5. rabonour said:

    8D: “Contents of a pre-meal basket, I hope.” Answer: BUN. Caleb, PLEASE proofread your puzzles more closely. These simple number agreement issues are way too common.

    I’m also not sure about “Master, as a subject” for KNOW IN DEPTH. Once you master a subject you know it in depth, “master” implies knowledge acquisition and “know” implies already having knowledge.

    Like

    • Max Sherer said:

      I finally got what the “Master/subject” cleverness with the clue. Wow. I’m slow. Also, I agree it doesn’t work if you think about it really hard, but, it’s Buzzfeed. Enjoying the clever clues to me is more important.

      Like

    • therealrexparker said:

      I feel like the “contents” of a basket can be a singular thing. It’s not my clue, so I have no real attachment to it. But if I read the “contents” of a letter, I’m reading what’s in the letter. We’re not counting words. What are the basket’s contents? One bun. Not an egregious mistake, to my ear. Awkward, maybe.

      Like

      • rabonour said:

        We’ll have to agree to disagree – it sounds really off to me. But you managed to get STRAP-ON into a puzzle in a totally unobjectionable manner, so it comes out a win.

        Like

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