“APPLE TURNOVER” by Ben Tausig
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Constructor: Ben Tausig
Theme: IOS is added to common phrases.
- 17A: HOLY WARIOS – Icons that caused a schism under Pope Bowser X?
- 24A: PIZZA RATIOS – Three mushrooms for every one slice, et al.?
- 38A/42A: ADIOS BLOCK – With 42-Across, what one might say, Schwarzenegger-style, before drinking a bottle of Ex-Lax?
- 52A: COOLIO’S DOWN – “The guy who sang ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ wants to join us”?
- 63A: IOS UPDATES – Periodic installations for iPhone users, and what this puzzle’s theme answers receive
Ben: Good theme. Took me quite a while to see, because I didn’t get to the revealer until I had most of the grid filled in, so it played harder than a 2.5/5 for me.
Lena: Yeah I absolutely blew right past the theme. The pattern was obscured for me by having IOS at the end of the first two themers, having a themer broken up in ADIOS / BLOCK, and the last IOS hidden in the middle. If I’d looked for the revealer and started down there I bet this would have been way easier– but I always forget to look for the damned revealer!
Ben: How to tell I am not religious — it wasn’t until a third reading that Pope Bowser X registered as a fake name to me. When the penny finally dropped, I confidently slotted in HOLY MARIOS, so that didn’t speed things up any.
Lena: Haha! I was like “wait Bowser is a pope? I thought he was, like, an evil king.” Yeah I’m not quite sure how I ended up with WARIOS the first time– I must have had WIPE in place for the W.
Ben: The usual fresh and varied entries and clues — liked EMOJI, CRONE clued as 67A: Pejorative that Mary Daly attempted to co-opt in her “Gyn/Ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism”, ROSE RED (9D: Snow White’s (more colorful) sister — only knew this from the “Fables” comic) and the delightfully snarky clue on FROOT LOOPS (27D: Cereal that contains none of its first word’s homonym).
Lena: I love love love STAIR (39D: Part of a flight before the landing?)– that one musta felt good to come up with. I think (35D: This is what it sounds like when doves cry) for COO is silly and cute, and the dismissive (36D: Marketing prefix often accompanied by a picture of a leaf or something) for ECO cracked me up.
Ben: I have never heard of AVISO (12D: Dispatch boat), and DIVA was clued hard enough (16A: Campy hero) that I was very unsure about that V. Also, there is a lot of good stuff here, but King Sunny ADE and WIM Wenders crossing RAWR (29A: Animalistic sound of attraction) seemed like crosswordese to me. Is this just a knowledge gap on my part?
Lena: I knew WIM primarily from crosswords, even though I have seen “Buena Vista Social Club” a couple times. Also no clue with AVISO and the V was the last square I filled. Not a ton of other objectionable stuff, solid clues… Not bad, not bad at all
Ben: I feel like we’re about due for a really tough theme on an AVCX puzzle this year — a lot of straightforward themes recently. But this is the usual good stuff.