Hey everyone! Reporting for the first time for NGOTB is me, Chris King of the indie site Chris Words, where Mr. Agard posts about here on this site. I’m excited to start blogging about Sam’s Grid Kid puzzles, so let’s go ahead and start!
The first of two freestyle puzzles is #69, where Sam has given us two contemporary 15-letter seeds. 16-Across is the now-famous NETFLIX AND CHILL, and 57-Across is NORTHROP GRUMMAN. I had a gut feeling about both of them, since I’ve seen the first come up a couple of times in indie crosswording, and I knew after the clue [Defense contractor with the slogan “The Value of Performance”], the second had to be Northrop Grumman after last summer he posted about working there, and I believe Amy Reynaldo mentioning that it was in fact a (15). Remembering what people post on Facebook pays off!
Lots of 7-letter entries, and plenty of great entries all around. In a roundup of my highlights:
-The parallel of JOB SPAM and PORN BOT. Another classic Sam move with a parallel in the 1-Across and Last-Across spot.
-[Art ___] had to be NOUVEAU. Lots of fun vowels.
–RFID TAG is, I’m sure, a thing. *checks Internet* Wow, we’re putting those in our pets? And the government is putting those in us?!? What a time to be alive.
-[Response to “Who, me?”] = YEAH YOU. Great in-the-language clue.
-People may ding the entry ANO for not having a tilde, but the entry A$AP MOB will not be dinged here for not having the dollar sign fully integrated into the puzzle.
-[Item used for protection during a food fight] is a solid clue for TRAY.
Fine puzzle, with lots of fine things.
The 15-letter seed entry for our second freestyle of the post is clued [Hashtag that may follow the Instagram caption “Putting on makeup with ur bestie <3”]. This is I’m sure a very valid entry, but as someone who doesn’t Instagram, I was looking forward to seeing which probably three words would be used to make this hashtag. #JUSTGIRLYTHINGS is guessable, but I needed enough of the crossings to get it. That one was caught in my filter (get it?).
-[Put in a lot of effort a la Kanye West or Terrell Suggs] = BALL SO HARD is a fantastic entry. The reference for the later can be seen here.
–L BOMB is a great contemporary clue occupying the 1-Across spot.
-[Yours truly at Northrop Grumman, e.g.] = INTERN. See? I knew it!
-Took me a while to figure out CLOSED TOE [Bearing hidden digits?]. I got TOE, but needed that first word. It was only after the puzzle was done I figured out what it obviously refers to.
-Other great entries: HDMI CORD, LINSANITY, MANO A MANO, MARY J, BEER BONG, and IMDB.
Two great freestyles. I’ll be back next week with his next installment. If there’s something I missed, always feel free to comment about it.
Until then, thanks everyone! Oh, and I’ll be at Lollapuzzoola, so if you haven’t registered for that, you ought to.