Monday, September 26, 2016

Monday, September 26, 2016, Timothy Polin


The crossword week has started off strong with this fine Monday grid from Mr. Polin. It played slightly harder than normal for me, which is a plus, and the theme (STUFFIT) is dense, and runs both horizontally and vertically, which, in my opinion at least, is another plus. Down with uniquely horizontal themes! (pun intended)

1A: Diminishes in intensity (ABATES) gets an A. It's an interesting six-letter word, and on a Monday, that's all it takes, apparently, to get an A. Either that, or the picture of PEPPERPOTTS has put me in such a good mood that I'd have given an A to "erne." The first answer I put in confidently was ARAB (7A: Resident of Oman or Yemen).

Even with the dense theme - I count 71 squares, some of it interlocking - the fill does not contain any real clunkers (with the possible exceptions of SNAX and AGITA), and Mr. Polin has managed to get in some rather interesting entries. BUSHWA (10D: Complete rubbish) will be, I'm guessing, the most controversial, but I applaud the gutsy entry. It's another word that I will try to incorporate into my speech more often. Soon everything I say will come from the NYTX. Yes, I might be a DORK...

I enjoyed BADEGGS (47D: Perpetual troublemakers), DOWEL (12D: Carpentry pin), ROGUE (24D: Charming scoundrel), and speaking of French, I also enjoyed PRIX and ETOILE, though non-Francophiles might cry Mon Dieu!

Overall, I very much enjoyed this one. How about you?

- Horace


  1. 4:23
    Tough for a Monday. I'm not as high on the puzzle as you are, only because I don't entirely buy the theme. It's a stuffed pepper, a stuffed animal, a stuffed olive, all okay, but then there are a stocking stuffer, a turkey with stuffing, and a pillow with stuffing. It's a catastrophe! ("And in here, there's a little guy...").

    ALP was my first confident answer.

  2. My favorite answer was EXSTAR but there are some other good ones like DEBASED and DOWEL. Oh, and STORK. Why? Just because it is a bird which isn't an owlet or an egret. Want some variety in my avian answers. I mean, even DUCK seems rare (too few vowels, I suppose).

  3. 5:56
    I have to agree with Horace that this is a nice start to the week. I'd have clued HOMER with something other than a sports allusion, but even that's not bad. ROLODEX is excellent, and adjacent to EMAIL, even. Didn't the movie PILLOWTALK show up recently in a NYT crossword? TURKEYTROT is something in which I've participated in the past, but lately Sue works on Thanksgiving, so I just have a rye-infused Doctor Who party instead, which, on the whole, is more fun.