“EPIC MOVIE CURSES” by Patrick Blindauer
Psyche! Solve here
Epic Movie Curses
Constructor: Patrick Blindauer
Theme: Fill-in-the-blank profane movie curses
- 17A: DICKHEAD ASSHOLE – “You pompous, stuck-up, snot-nosed, English, giant, twerp, scumbag, fuck-face, ___!”: “A Fish Called Wanda”
- 31A: PENIS BREATH – “It was nothing like that, ___!”: “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial”
- 42A: TWISTED FUCK – “Eat it ’til you choke, you sick, ___!”: “Misery”
- 59A: WARTHOG FROM HELL – “Gimme that baby, you ___!”: “Raising Arizona”
Ben: Talk about a theme that you aren’t going to find in a newspaper crossword…! I enjoyed this, even though I’ve only actually seen one of the movies (“ET”).
Max: Same, I’ve only seen ET, and I remember that “curse” from it. I wonder if all of those curses were equally memorable in their respective movies. If they are, it makes the theme that much better, IMO.
Lena: That “Fish Called Wanda” scene (17A) is so damned funny– and I just love that “English” is one of the insults included in the tirade.
Ben: Very straightforward theme, as befits a Monday. Not much in the way of long fill, and the grid is a little segmented, but the theme answers aren’t especially hard to work out, so it played easy for me.
Max: Yeah, I prefer wordplay in my themes, but this was nice and Buzzfeed-y, so I’m content.Lena: The title seemed off to me– while some theme entries contain curse words, taken as a whole they are just insults imo. And maybe I’m just a vulgarian but WARTHOG FROM HELL is pretty tame. Same with PENIS BREATH.
Ben: I have never heard of an USIE (64A: Selfie with more than one person in it), although it Googles fine. I’ll also accept REDIP (7D: Put the chip back in, thus committing a party faux pas) as legitimate, but TREED (36D: Out on a limb, say (or a type of movie where only limbs pop out at you)) and CHOC stand out as gluey. In fairness, they do pass through two themers, and I only notice them because the rest of the grid is squeaky clean.
Max: It’s apparently real, but USIE still gets my SEOTD. I mean, you’re not BOTH posting it to Instagram, so it’s not really “us.” It’s more of “me-and-one-other-personie, but I guess that doesn’t roll off the tongue, huh? I liked TREED though: I thought the joke (“tree-D”) was well done. And POLES (53D: Props for strippers, firefighters, and especially stripper firefighters) is hilarious.
Lena: I hate that USIE is “Real.” Like, I’m going to pretend it’s not. I hear it as “use-y” and… sorry, but a picture of more than one person taken at arm’s length is just that: a picture. Idk, I have to draw the line somewhere.
Ben: Liked the clues on CERA (1A: Michael who played Scott Pilgrim who versused the world — I once showed that in class right before Christmas holidays and got a parent complaint because there’s a gay couple) and ETHANE (10D: Certain hydrocarbon preferred by “Boyhood” actor Hawkee?). Oh, and SMITH (19D: Will, Jada, Willow, or Jaden. Or Elliott.) — a lot of good clues for proper names today. I guess ETHANE doesn’t really count, but still.
Lena: CHER (13D: “Believe” pop star whose name sounds like a Facebook option) is fun, and I also liked the SMITH clue quite a bit.
Max: I don’t get the SMITH clue, and I was annoyed by the period at the end of it, but whatevs.
Ben: I can feel Michael cringing at 55D: Some sperm producers (MALE) from here. Also, 35D: Aensurance company named aefter ae mountaen in Aetaly for AETNA is a little too cutesy for me.
Lena: Not a fan of GEDS (67A: H.S. test for people who have dropped out)– it’s not just dropouts who pursue their GEDS, so this comes across as a wee bit elitist. And I’m *definitely* not a fan of (51D: Answer, when pointing to this answer, to the question “Which letters answer this clue?”) for THESE. Woof, that is fraught.
Max: Yeah. There are good clues, there are bad clues, and then there are clues so tortured that it warrants international tribunals for breaking every provision of the Geneva Convention. AAAAAAND it crosses USIE. *Sigh*….
Ben: Good puzzle. And oh yes, I can’t forget 20A: “Hello, half-Asian character played by Emma Stone!” — I swear to god, Caleb, if you don’t stop referencing ALOHA, I will travel to America, find you, and tie you up in front of that god-awful movie on repeat.
Lena: Even with all those edgy swear words the theme didn’t do much for me, but I really did appreciate seeing that “Fish Called Wanda” quote!
Max: I had fun, though it wasn’t my favorite theme. 4/5 for me. maXWORD out!