“HELD IN HIGH REGARD” by Sam Trabucco
Held in High Regard
Constructor: Sam Trabucco
Theme: Theme answers have drugs hidden in them.
- 15A: BALLS DEEP – * Absolutely, no-turning-back committed
- 22A: LET ME THINK – * “Hmmmmmm…”
- 32A: TOP O’ THE MORNIN’ – * “G’day, first Irish person I’ve met!”
- 47A: HIGH AS HELL – * 2014 B.o.B. song and an incredibly apt theme entry for this puzzle
- 55A: DRUG MULES – Ones smuggling “influential” secrets inside them… like the answers to the starred clues?
Lena: This feels like a blast from the BuzzFeed past in terms of discomfiting fill. DRUG MULES aren’t doing it for the fun of it, and it’s not funny at all that sometimes they have to carry drugs in their person, possibly to keep their families from being murdered. These are folks enslaved by drug cartels and they can and do die.
Max: That cheater-square stair step seems unnecessary. It’s nowhere near the theme, so that’s a little rough too.
Lena: The clue for CSPOT is trying so hard that I *almost* feel bad for it but it’s just an absolute trainwreck (1A: Word used by a person who’s confused between a channel that broadcasts the proceedings of the U.S. Federal government with the most erogenous area of the vagina). Can you really call CSPOT a “word?” I’m going with no. Also, I hadn’t really come across the term CSPOT in reference to the clitoris and I looked it up and it is aaaaand I hate it.
Max: Well, my problem is C-SPOT is that the clue suggests C-SPOT isn’t a thing. Like, at all. And IF that’s true, that would be really bad, because I personally don’t think the crossword lexicon should extend to “not things, but sound like they should be things.” BUT, it is a thing. So the clue is just WRONG. People who say C-SPOT aren’t confusing two terms, they are saying an (apparently) legit term. And that’s 1A….
Lena: Also on my list of “just no” clues is 9A: Little ladies? (GFS). Ugh.
Max: I thought it was fine. The “little” is used for “Abbr.” so I was happy.
Lena: Getting clinical with the theme, two incarnations of cannabis? Including both HASH and POT is weak. Plenty of other drugs plus their street names to work with. Also using a theme entry to shout out the theme independently from the revealer 47A: 2014 B.o.B song and an incredibly apt theme entry for this puzzle (HIGH AS HELL) is excessive.
Max: I had never heard of HASH, so to me, this could’ve been ASH. I was thinking “Do people do ASH? Sounds fine to me.” Still, a double revealer, ouch. This puzzle was rough.
Lena: I did like 2D: App where you can take a picture and it definitely WON’T last longer (SNAPCHAT).
Max: I liked RATHER BE (the song and the answer), but…. too many sacrifices. The result is just that well executed. 3.2/5 for me. maXWORD out!