NYT Mini for Sunday, April 10, 2016

Constructor: Joel Fagliano

Relative Difficulty: Easy-Medium

Theme: None

Word of the Day: NOISY

Noise is a variety of sound. It means any unwanted sound. Sounds, particularly loud ones, that disturb people or make it difficult to hear wanted sounds, are noise. For example, conversations of other people may be called noise by people not involved in any of them; any unwanted sound such as neighbours playing loud music, portable mechanical saws, road traffic sounds, or a distant aircraft in quiet countryside, is called noise.

Acoustic noise can be anything from quiet but annoying to loud and harmful. At one extreme users of public transport sometimes complain about the faint and tinny sounds emanating from the headphones or earbuds of somebody listening to a portable audio player; at the other the sound of very loud music, a jet engine at close quarters, etc. can cause irreversible hearing damage. At intermediate levels there are a range of deleterious health effects from noise. This "intolerable corruption of human space" can be called noise pollution.[1] A claim made by Luigi Russolo in his article, The Joys of Noise is that noise has become so prominent that pure sound no longer exists.[2]

Roland Barthes also observes that noise can be perceived either physiologically or psychologically. We perceive noise physiologically when we "hear" it. On the other hand, when we "listen" to a noise we are doing this psychologically.[1] When we perceive a physiological noise we subconsciously feel the vibrations of the noise (sound) waves with our particles in our physical body whereas psychological noise refers to noise that is perceived when our conscious awareness shifts its attention to that noise rather than letting it filter through our subconscious where it goes unnoticed. (Wikipedia)

Wow, I actually don't have any major complaints with this one. Like, none. I don't really know what to do here. I'm so used to having something highly objectionable that I can rail and ARGUE against, but that isn't the case here [1D: Squabble]. Am I AGING out of relevance [6A: Getting older]? Or just feeling a little prematurely RUSTY [7A: Out of practice]?

I remember back when this blog was in its heyday. It used to chic and EDGY [4D: Pushing the envelope]. Back then it possessed all the KEYS to the pop cultural zeitgeist [8A: String of islands off Florida]. Now it's just tired and played out. Like a runner whom the race outran, or an ANTE lost before the game began [1A: Enter a poker pot]. This isn't the blog you're looking for, though the DROID is over there [5A: BB-8 in "Star Wars," for one]. That clue seems a little overcomposed, doesn't it? Droids are pretty much exclusive to the Star Wars universe, so we don't really need that information. "BB-8, for one" would do just fine.

Actually, come to think of it, I just figured out that this puzzle sucks. It all just feels so NOISY and lacks any sense of cohesion or unity [2D: What "obstreperous" and "clamorous" both mean]. Yes, it's basically the Worst Ever. No matter what sort of lenses or TINTS [3D: Shades of color] you try to view this thing through, it all just seems to be trapped in the DARK [5D: Turkey meat choice], like, you know, in a platonic sense. No, not 'turkey meat' in a platonic sense. You know, the cave thing. 

Signed, Jonathan Gibson, obstreperous meat of CrossWorld