AV Club Crossword – 9 March 2016

This past week’s AV Club puzzle is WEAR AND TEAR. Do you dare to see how you fare, or do you not care?

Look, it’s been a long day.

AV 3 9

“Wear and Tear”

Constructor: Byron Walden

Difficulty: 3/5

Theme: Brand names of jeans manufacturers are split across two-word phrases.

  • 18A: SINGLE ENTRY – Type of bookkeeping
  • 23A: DOUBLE VISION – Seven-times platinum 1978 Foreigner album
  • 35A: ARGUES SEMANTICS – Quibbles over meaning
  • 46A: GOING APESHIT – Totally losing it
  • 54A: RIPPED JEANS – 1980s fashion trend … and a clue to this puzzle’s four longest answers

Ben: There’s only one thing I don’t like about this puzzle. One is the super-closed off NE and SW sections — I know it allows for a stack of theme answers and long fill, but I always get stuck and frustrated when there’s only one or two ways into a section, and this was no exception.

Okay, one and a half. GNAWN (62A: Worked over by beavers) is a real word but a weak entry, and NON being clued as 14A: Prefix that’s a quasi-homonym of 62-Across, for those mystified by the verb ending is too cute for me. Although I did appreciate the confirmation, since I couldn’t believe GNAWN was right when I filled it in.

Theme is good but nothing special. I do like that SINGLE ENTRY and DOUBLE VISION hint at a non-existent theme to keep the solver off-guard. I only noticed it when I was typing up the themers, actually, since I jumped all over the place during my solve.

Liked LI’L WAYNE at 22A: Rapper with the line “real G’s move in silence like lasagna”, and liked the lyric even more. I’ve never heard of MICAWBER (40A: Doggedly optimistic “David Copperfield” character), but in fairness I’ve never read much Dickens.

Made my solve needlessly hard by confidently filling in DONE DEAL instead of IT’S A DEAL for 50A: What Trump said to the devil, apparently — why would I do that?! My favourite clue all year, by the way. For some reason I also wanted MOATLIKE instead of MISTLIKE at 4D: Moist and fine, which… I don’t even know. Was I tired while solving?

I enjoyed 9A: Assless ___ for CHAPS and for some reason 34D: Melodramatic confession (IT WAS I) also really amused me. And CRIB SHEETS is a good entry, even though I wish its symmetrical partner ENTOURAGES didn’t have the S on the end.

I thought this was harder than 3/5, but a good puzzle nonetheless.

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