BEQ Crossword #983: Themeless Monday #429 (09/04/2017)

BEQ-20170904-Themeless Monday #429
Constructed By: Brendan Emmett Quigley
Edited By: Brendan Emmett Quigley
Source: Obtain and Play This Puzzle Here
Theme: None
Glenn’s Time: 58 minutes (paper).
Glenn’s Errors: 0

(Quality) Rating: 4.0 stars/5 stars.
Review:
I’ve been trying to learn how to do themeless grids better (about 9 months to a year out from being able to do them at all), and definitely trying to find challenge to get better in general. So these have definitely been on my list. Quigley provides a number of more contemporary and less formal references than the norm in these puzzles. While crosswords have proved that I am probably sheltered compared to most in what I have to guess, most of the references here are usually interesting in what I didn’t know, if not always entirely fresh and exciting.

Part of what I enjoy about good themeless grids is how the clues can be hard, but turn into something obvious. This one is no exception. I’ll pick up a small number of specifics in the next section, but for most part this was a stellar grid with little esoteric information that the average person would only know from web search, or couldn’t be figured out. Overall, this was a well constructed grid with very little that was questionable (things noted in the section below). Outside of that, there was a little bit of overload on the use of proper names.

Unfamiliar/Interesting Stuff To Me:

15-A. [Devil Dogs, by another name] – US MARINES. As it turns out, this was a description from the German front lines in World War I that got popular and stuck.

16-A. [“Agrarian Justice” singer] – PAINE. This one is a bit questionably written. “Agrarian Justice” is a pamphlet published by Thomas Paine in 1797.

24-A. [Dirty stuff on the intertubes] – PRON. This way of saying it is leet speak for pr0n. It was popularly spelt this way (or as in the answer) to circumvent content filters or avoid the association of regular sites with pornography sites when it comes to search engines.

27-A. [Main character in “The Indian In the Cupboard”] – OMRI. This is a children’s book that was published in 1980. It involves the adventures of a boy named Omri who gets a magic cupboard as a gift and puts several of his toys into it, which then turn real. The Indian namesake is from a toy Indian that turns out to be a 3 inch high Iriquois man.

43-A. [Lame out] – LIE. “Lame out” is slang indicating ducking out of an event without a good excuse or reason. This can often be done with a lie or “Lame reason”.

24-D. [Trattoria starters] – PRIMI. A trattoria is an Italian eating establishment. “Primi” is the plural of “primo”, which is generally meant to be “first class”.

54-D. [Mason’s trough] – HOD. This would be a three-sided box typically carried by brick masons.

Until next time! By all means give me feedback if there is anything you’d like to see that I can do here.

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