Constructor: Joel Fagliano
Relative Difficulty: Easy-Medium
Theme: Let's see how many X's and O's I can fit in a 5x5 grid oh I guess not really all that many
Word of the Day: OXEYE
Oxeye may refer to:
Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarf. I was not amused by this. I am really not ok with the design decision that undergirds this puzzle. To quote senator George Voinovich's 2005 rebuke to President George W. Bush in response to the latter's nomination of John Bolton as ambassador to the U.N., "I am not comfortable with your choice." It's just so utterly half-assed that I don't really feel it even needs to be explained. If you're so keen on this whole Tic-Tac-Toe thing, that is to say your X's and your O's, then why the fuck have you allowed your grid to be littered with all those damn dirty E's? E's do not belong here. Totally balls-out ruinous to the whole mise en scene of your shitty dumb puzzle. Baffling.
With that out of the way, I guess I can admit that I like some of these hot, X-y words. XENON is one of my favorite noble gases [3D: Only chemical element that starts with X]. XEROX perpetually manages to seem less mundane that it really is [1D: Big name in copying]. It just looks cool on the page, I guess. OXEYE is super freaky weird, but nice [2D: Yellow-and-white daisy]. It's odd, but there really isn't a space in there. They just crammed those two nouns together and called it a flower. The fuck? And it's not like flower LOOKS like an ox's eye or anything (or any eye for that matter). It's just basically a random freakish botany thing. Who knew? Kinda cool.
But it's not ALL sunshine and weird freaky ungulate-daisies in X-land. I hate XOXO [1A: Email sign-off to a loved one] even more than I hate EXEC [5A: Corner office figure, slangily], but that shouldn't come as a surprise. OXEN... presents a gigantic problem for a puzzle that really wasn't in need of another gigantic problem [8A: Plow-pulling pair]. I get that 'ox' is just a tw0-letter string and all, but you just can't duplicate a word like that. We already have 'ox' in the same sense of the large stupid dumb animal in the grid, you can't throw in the plural of the same animal. I know the first one is in a floral context or whatever, but the flower's name is still ostensibly derived from the animal. It just doesn't fly (The puzzle. Also the OXEN). Boo.
Never heard of this BRENT guy but I like his style [6A: Sportscaster Musburger].
Signed, Jonathan Gibson, freaky-ungulate of CrossWorld