“FLOWER POWER” by Jacob Stulberg
Go on then, give it a solve
Constructor: Jacob Stulberg
Theme: The last words in the theme entries can all by made into comic book characters by GOING GREEN, or prefacing the last word in the theme entries with “green.”
—61A: GOING GREEN – Lifestyle change for the eco-friendly… or how the ends of 17-, 28-, and 44A can gain special powers?
–17A: SKY LANTERN – Paper floater at Chinese festivals
—28A: CHARLOTTE HORNET – Member of a team owned by Michael Jordan (that also sounds like a character from “Bee Movie”)
—44A: FOLLOW YOUR ARROW – 2013 Kacey Musgraves hit with the lyric “roll up a joint, or don’t”
Lena: I quite like this puzzle! I’m not into super heroes (although I plan to start watching “Jessica Jones”), but I didn’t have any trouble with theme because GREEN HORNET and GREEN LANTERN are pretty well-known characters. The revealer seems a bit haphazard to me though, how the ends of words “can gain special powers?” Just by adding the word GREEN? Obviously I know what they were going for, so no real objection.
Max: Well, that puzzle was quick for me (6:05). It’s a nice consistent theme, and at the perfect difficult for a BZF Monday. It wasn’t too flashy, and I liked the imagery of a Lantern suddenly turning green, and then it’s a superhero. I didn’t even see RISD(10D: Art sch. Where the Talking Heads met), and it seems out of place in the otherwise clean grid.
Lena: As a huge Talking Heads fan, I liked seeing their name in a puzzle. That Brian ENO gets all the attention…
Max: Oh, and INOT(16A: How some exciting football games are won) and INHD(Like every episode in the American version of “The Office”) are symmetrical. I wonder if that was intentional. ONLINE(45D: Using the interwebs) and ONLOAN(11D: Checked out temporarily, like a library book) are sooooo close to symmetry.
Lena: Neat– didn’t notice that. Something that Peter Broda has instilled in me is a love of stretches of consonants in fill. I noticed some goodies in the themers SKYLANTERN and GOINGGREEN. Also QDOBA (22A: Chipotle competitor) is fun, same deal with LAYSBARE (3D: Makes obvious). Also also INHD and TVMA which was a fun crossreference.
Lena: Nice additional super hero (is he considered a superhero? are all these guys actually villains?) shout-out with 53A: Wolverine’s (or Wolverine’s) weapons (CLAWS). Favorite fill and clue is totally FUCK IT (44D: “Eh, why not. YOLO.”); I say that a lot.
Max: I liked the clue for BOERS (23A: Early Dutch-speaking settlers of South Africa who Bo like all the time). Nice clue-saves-fill moment for me. And of course I love the freshness of answers like QDOBA and FUCK IT. I don’t like Mexican food though, so I’ve never eaten at a QDOBA. Or a Chipotle. I know, I’ve just lost serious teen cred with that statement.
Lena: It’s hard to not love that BOERS clue. And on the clever clue front I like 31D: Stop working? (RETIRE)– that held me up a little and took me an embarrassingly long time to get BAR SCENE (38D: Aspect of nightlife) because of it.
Max: The idea of Gilbert Gottfried voicing the Shakespeare villain IAGO (43A: “Aladdin” parrot voiced by Gilbert Gottfried (who also would’ve been great as the Shakespeare role…)) is hilarious. I memorized an Iago monologue for a camp, and my delivery was the exact opposite of Gilbert’s
Lena: Overall this felt like a… mature puzzle… not boring, not too easy, clever clues and fun fill.
Max: Clean, but not overly exciting. 3.9/5 stars. maXWORD out!