Catch-up time, part 2. If you don’t subscribe to the AVCX, you should probably change that before reading about TURNING THE MUSIC BACK ON.
“Turning the Music Back On”
Constructor: Brendan Emmett Quigley
Theme: Wacky phrases involving musical acts, whose names are mirrored in the phrases.
- 17A: COMPUTER NERD DRE – Beats Audio figure who also builds Ubuntu machines?
- 25A: EXERT T. REX – Make use of the sheer power of “Electric Warrior”?
- 30A: UNLOVED DEVO – 1970s Ohio proto-punks, left sitting on the shelf, never played? 😦
- 40A: SPOONS SNOOP – Cuddles with Calvin Broadus?
- 49A: RED AS SADE – Equally communistic compared to the singer of “Smooth Operator”?
- 58A: FORCE OF EVIL LIVE – “Lightning Crashes” band, laying waste to earth, with raw contempt for humanity, sparing none?
Ben: Cute theme. I worked out SPOONS SNOOP fast, but didn’t quite understand the way the artists were turning back on themselves until I had a few more. Only knew three of the six (DRE, SNOOP and DEVO), but music’s never been a strong suit for me.
Michael: A very BEQ puzzle. Some would say LIVE is, in fact, a FORCE OF EVIL. Not me. Just some.
Lena: Agreed– his puzzles are almost always a smooth ride for me. I like the music he references, the tidiness of the fill, and fair-but-tricky clues. And I will always be thankful for those Monday themelesses. I’m not so much into the music of LIVE, but they do trigger nostalgia for a time when MTV music videos were happening. 38D: Self-aggrandizingly named Green Day drummer, TRE COOL, also had that effect.
Ben: Very nice fill, especially considering there are six theme answers packed in, including two grid-spanners. BEQ does well to run NEVILLE Longbottom and Laurence OLIVIER right through two themers in the SE — great pairing. LAMP OIL, IMPASTO, A TRIFLE and ANDORRA aren’t quite as interesting to me, but it still came out nicely — I didn’t even realize this was such a dense grid until I went back to look over the theme.
Lena: Hey, a Harry Potter reference! It’s a nice time to be thinking about Harry and my personal favorite of all his professors, Dr. Snape (I assume he has a Ph.D. in the Dark Arts).
Ben: Jesus, there are a whopping 23 answers that cross two themers. That’s genuinely impressive. Wonderful flow.
Ben: My favourite clues are 13D: Reading test with random letters for EYE EXAM and 64A: Golden State Warriors game outcome, often (they’re very good, if you’re not an NBA fan) for ROUT. Also enjoyed PREREQ (68A: Trig, vis-a-vis calc), just for the novelty of a terminal Q.
Michael: I’d say this is on the tame / safe side where BEQ fill is concerned. I do like the elite-level Scrabblefucking on that corner “Q” though.
Ben: Typical AV Club puzzle — tight theme, smooth fill, fun cluing.