BuzzFeed Crossword – Friday 29 January 2016


Solve the puzzle

Fri 1 29

Across/Down Coordination

Constructor: Adam Prince

Theme: Eight rebus squares are X on Across answers, and Y on vertical answers.

  • 20A: TWO-DIMENSIONAL – Having only axes of width and height
  • 54A: CARTESIAN PLANE – Mathematical system suggested by eight squares in this puzzle as well as its central symbol
  • 17A: TAXI RIDES – Metered journeys
  • 3D: MAYORS – Rahm Emanuel and Bill de Blasio
  • 19A: DIXIE – Word before cups or Chicks
  • 10D: TRY AGAIN – Response to an incorrect guess
  • 27A: XER – Gen ___
  • 27D: YALIE – Skull and Bonesman, for one
  • 32A: IN EXILE Banished
  • 33D: YOO – ___-hoo
  • 38A: FLEXING – Gun show activity?
  • 31D: MAY – Could possibly
  • 45A: LEX – First name in bald supervillainy
  • 29D: TESTY – On edge
  • 57A: PIXIE – Mythical creature with accompanying dust
  • 36D: BETRAYER – Traitor
  • 58A: PARADOXES – Catch-22 and others
  • 46D: CRAYON – Drawer often sold in a set of 8 or 64

Max: I am a math guy, so I loved this puzzle. A LOT. So I’m going to be slightly biased. JUUUUUST slightly. Anyway, I was able to drop TWO-DIMENSIONAL (20A: Having only axes of width and height) and the CARTESIAN part of CARTESIAN PLANE(54A: Mathematical system suggested by eight squares in this puzzle as well as its central symbol), so my time was a minute faster (8:25).

Ben: I liked the theme here — clever concept. Didn’t take long to figure out what was going on, but it’s clever. Not a big fan of most of the theme answers, though, and short rebus answers tend to (a) not be much fun, and (b) compromise the surrounding fill. I might have dropped the four in the centre. I like that the arrangement of black squares suggests a CARTESIAN PLANE, though.

Max: Yeah–this is one of the few times where I think the execution is even better than the idea. The idea is a simple X/Y rebus, but between the theme assists, the amount of rebus squares, and the grid art in the center makes this one of my favorite BZF themed puzzles.

Ben: Considering this is a BuzzFeed puzzle, some surprisingly musty fill. 24A: “Jumpin’ Jack Flash, it’s ___…” (A GAS), CATO with a reference to a Roman statesman in the clue (and also “The Hunger Games”, in fairness), AGORA, I TINA, SHEA Stadium… it’s generally clean enough, but less interesting material than I usually find in these puzzles.

Max: Yeah, the fill was OK. I had bAR for EAR (44A: Hangout site for your bud?), and I maintain both of those words work. I really want to make a Schrodinger puzzle (a puzzle with multiple solutions), and this is definitely one of the clues that I would use. TAXI RIDES (17A: Metered journeys) seems forced and not that in-the-language. I think it’s CAB RIDES. And don’t forget about OTRAS (16A: Others south of the border). I liked LAILA ALI (11D: Daughter of Muhammad) though, simply because of how few different letters there are in her name. Seems like a good idea for a separate puzzle (someone get on that)

Ben: I do like the Glengarry Glen Ross shout-out in 51A: David who wrote the famous “Coffee is for closers” monologue. Interestingly, that monologue was written by MAMET specifically for the film version when it came in short.

Max: Never seen the movie. I don’t really watch a lot of movies, but MAMET is certainly in crosswords enough for me to plunk that down.

Ben: Best clues in my book are 35D: Serpico and Scarface (AL PACINO), and, uh… that’s probably it. Again — not a lot stood out to me. This one is all about the rebus — once you’ve got it, the puzzle pretty much drops.

Max: That’s fair, but the rebus execution was awesome. Adam didn’t shy away from the longer answers for his rebus either, which is always good. Overall, I give it a 4.4/5. Had lots of fun. maXWORD out!

  1. Bob Dively said:

    I got the rebus bit almost immediately and zoomed through pretty quickly with a couple of hangups in the SW because instead of BETRAYER (36D: Traitor) my brane caused me to write in BENEDICT. The Serpico/Scarface clues were amusing as a sort of bonus theme. Not so sure about SIDE-ARM (5D: Not high-pitched?) – shouldn’t that be SIDE-ARMED?


  2. Joe Pancake said:

    I’m a fellow math guy, so I also really enjoyed this one, but perhaps a bit less so than Max. Something bothers me just a tad about TWODIMENSIONAL — it feels just a tiny bit off, perhaps because two-dimensional-ness is only a *property* of the Cartesian plane not the plane itself. But I suppose it really is the defining property, and it’s a very nice find by the constructor since it has the same number of letters as CARTESIANPLANE, so, okay, it works. Great puzzle.


    • Max Sherer said:

      I saw TWODIMENSIONAL as referring to the rebus squares, so it worked for me.


  3. rabonour said:

    Fun, pretty mature puzzle. It’s a shame that the rebus doesn’t display correctly in BuzzFeed’s app OR the .puz. Wish they could have sorted that out before running the puzzle. Still, it was a fun solve otherwise.


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