BuzzFeed Crossword – Monday 11 January 2016

OH BABY” by Katelin Anderbery

Like a phoenix the buzzles rise again. Solve here and read on

Buzzfeed 1 11

Oh Baby

Constructor: Katelin Anderbery

Theme: Celebrity baby names.

  • 18A: BLUE CARTER – *Beyonce and Jay Z (Ivy is her middle name, right?)
  • 23A: APPLE MARTIN – *Chris and Gwyneth
  • 37A: SAINT WEST – *Kim and Kanye
  • 53A: REIGN DISICK – *Scott and Kourtney
  • 59A: SURI CRUISE – *Tom and Katie

Ben: I think this is one where I’m just not in the puzzle’s demographic. I don’t like straight list themes that much, and from my perspective this is hopelessly thin. Celebrities name their kids weird things. And…?

Michael: Oof. Monday? I can’t tell you how little I care about / pay attention to celebrity “news.” Maybe this is supposed to hit the BZF demographic, but it’s too hard for those who aren’t already good solvers, honestly. I don’t know who this is for. Seriously REIGN DISICK is completely gibberish to me. First I’m seeing it. I also failed, in that I had DNA / NODI, until I tracked the error down. 😦

Lena: Yeah, not in my wheelhouse. Like, imagine the pitcher turning away from me and throwing the ball.

Michael: There’s not even a gimmick here. Just … names that are … UNUSUAL. 😦 😦

Ben: The only one of these I knew was SURI CRUISE. Also, poor form running NORI (38D: Nickname for 37-Across’s big sister) through the middle two themers — between that and Ndamukong SUH and a tough clue for POI (43A: Purple Polynesian fare made from corm (no, that’s not a typo)), I had to cheat to fill in the middle. I probably could have worked it out if I beat my head against it long enough, but it didn’t seem worth it.

Michael: Puzzle is really Trying Too Hard (TTH™) to be hip, which apparently means knowing ephemeral pop culture. I have no problem with a dash of this stuff in my grid, but it’s everywhere. Everywhere. Ugh. I knew SUH, but don’t consider it good (see also NUG, EFFS).

Lena: I DNF thanks to NORA and SUH. I also got boned by 25D: Reacting to by turning red (RUSTING) but was mainly disappointed in myself on that one; I had RASHING. POI is my favorite crossword mush.

Michael: It’s NORI. See, even now, with the grid in front of you, your brain refuses to accept it’s a valid answer (as clued). RUSTING was so hard. I had -USTING and had no idea. These are supposed to be graded easy (M) medium (W) hard/ themeless (F). But no.

Ben: Never heard of NUG (52A: Small weed unit). Fill is otherwise fine, although the long stuff didn’t do it for me today. RETROSPECT (31D: Look back at it?) is cute, but the suffix on HOPELESSLY seems arbitrary. BRIEFLY, UTTERED, FEEDING, UNUSUAL — all fine words, none of them that sizzly.

Lena: A NUG is a small chunk/bud of weed, an easy-to-part-with amount that you may gift a friend. A DANK NUG (7) is a particularly resinous and pungent chunk of weed. My birthday is in March.

Michael: Ooh, drugs! How young! (side-eye) This puzzle makes me feel bad for youth. Behold your puzzles, kids! Feels like a narc made this puzzle. “Hey there, fellow young people. Do you like celebrity babies and sex slang and doing the drugs? I know, right? It’s … amazeballs?”

Ben: I did like the cluing. 1A: Game that accurately predicted that I would become an inventor, marry Frankie Muniz, and live in a mansion in Antarctica with our seven kids (MASH) is lovely, and 35D: Correct answer to any favor I ask of anyone (YES) and 40D: Put on, as some gay apparel (DON) also made me laugh.

Lena: I let loose a big old science nerd “HAH!” on the train when I saw 49A: Molecules that always come with GUAC (RNA). Somebody give this clue a Nobel. Guacamole is great, and I worked in a lab that studied how aberrantly-spliced (fucked up) RNA gets metabolized (pwnd) in cells; Happy Lena Clue Time (HLCT).

Michael: I admit it’s good. But crossing it with NORI (infinite ughs) made it impossible for me.

Ben: I didn’t really like this, but not every puzzle has to be made for me. If you’re into celebrities, this was probably a treat.

3 comments
  1. Brayden said:

    Other than the non-theme, I actually enjoyed this puzzle for the most part. I crashed and burned in the middle just like everyone else (had to look up SUH and that got me through) – The middle definitely gets a big TSK. Otherwise I thought it was pretty easy, and I liked the Clue-Tone(r) alright as well.

    I guess the fill wasn’t the bestest overall, but truthfully, unless it’s really, really, REALLY egregious or clued poorly, I don’t notice that sort of thing too often. Those little word NUGs are just part of the FEE of getting through a puzzle most of the time. I get wanting to minimize it, but this just didn’t register as “bad” to me. Maybe I’m too forgiving… Or maybe I’m just pleased with myself for knowing right-off-the-bat that it was RNA and not DNA.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think any one who spends a fair amount of time at Buzzfeed (their target audience, yes?) wouldn’t have too hard of a time with this. The theme answers would be gimmes for them and would give them a leg up on the rest of the puzzle. The only name I didn’t know was REIGN.

    Like

  3. I believe NUG is short for nugget. Was kind of enjoying some of the cluing but then sussed the celebrity baby name theme and checked out. I care not and know not. Spend enough brain power storing all the names of people that I see day to day.

    Like

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