Monday, April 15, 2013

Monday, April 15, 2013, Gayle Dean


Not a bad Monday puzzle. I'm not terribly familiar with Yiddish loanwords, so the theme answers did not come immediately. Still, they are not completely foreign to me, so it wasn't a major stumbling block.

The fill was, I thought, very clean throughout. The only thing that seemed a little unnatural was EULOGIA (44D: Laudatory tributes upon someone's passing), and even that wasn't bad, because Eulogy is already kind of an odd word. LADE (19A: Put on Cargo) is pretty crosswordsy, but I'll let that pass, too. I've never heard of SENNA (67A: Medicinal plant), but instead of feeling like the constructor just jammed something in, I feel that I've learned a little something.

66A: Class struggle? (TEST) was a nice clue, and I'm sure that our frequent commenter Huygens will enjoy seeing CARL (32A: Astronomer Sagan) right in the middle of the grid. I also enjoyed the clue/answer pair 33D: End of a bridal path (ALTAR), and 54D: Nut with a cap (ACORN) is kind of cute.

If you were to ask me, I'd say it played more like a mid-week puzzle than a Monday (I'm looking at you, CODICIL!), but as far as I'm concerned, there's nothing wrong with that. Especially after last Monday!

- Horace


  1. 7:47
    This was no problem, and unlike last Monday it at least took me a bit longer than the Telegram's (6:50). I did, indeed, like seeing the reference to the late, great Dr. Carl Sagan. I know many of the Yiddish theme words since I listen to Mr. Stern daily and he is Jewish. I'd never heard of SENNA either. In general, I find that these NYT puzzles take care to offer interesting clues for stock puzzle answers.

  2. Thanks Horace and Frances for the nice commentary! Gayle Dean

  3. No, Gayle, thank you for the puzzle! And for our first comment from a puzzle constructor! We look forward to seeing more of your work in the future.

  4. 7:22. I must be slipping; I just barely beat Christopher! However, I do think that the times are generally faster with the digital version. There's no incentive to wait since changing answers is so easy. Since I fill them in pen and don't like to do writeovers, I try to corroborate every answer three or four deep. I did enjoy this puzzle. It was slightly harder for me than an average Monday--which is always good. Gayle, if you see this comment--and I can't believe you would--what percentage of the clues are yours (compared to ones that Shortz changed? I've heard he alters about 50%, which I've always thought sounded very high. My favorite clue is the one for Idaho. It's easy, but when I think of states with panhandles, Idaho doesn't usually come to mind. Rex criticized this puzzle for having an "older" feel. To me, that's an attribute.