Hard to believe, but it's been 75 short years since the New York Times first ran a crossword puzzle. It doesn't look a day over 60, if you ask me. There is a nice recognition section on the front page of the NYT website, along with some 11 standout crosswords from over the years to try one's hand at, if you haven't already gotten the bug.
Clearly that's not going to be the case with the majority of our readers, I assume. So what do we get? A "series" of puzzles starting with today's, constructed by a standard constructor collaborating with a celebrity who enjoys solving the NYT grid. We all know Mr. Jesse Eisenberg from his recent appearance in an NYT puzzle, which does confer a certain sort of celebrity, but...
Oh. I guess he's famous from his roles as a "Hollywood actor", if you catch my drift.
And the theme he and Mr. Blindauer have come up with is rawther silly. They've built a snowman using food items that share words with body parts. I'm not exactly sure how you could make CHERRYPITS work, but I'm enjoying the image of a HEADOFLETTUCE sitting atop an otherwise standard snowman.
I thought the NW was very promising, with 1D: Decidedly non-PC types? (MACS) and 2D: Comeback in a cave (ECHO). 1A: Doc on a battlefield (MEDIC) gets a C+. I was all set to give the creators props as well for the representation of women, but it turns out that only four of nine proper names in the grid are female (SARA Bareilles, TONI Morrison, Valerie JARRETT, and Paula ZAHN).
There's very little in the way of sparkle in the end, though, in the fill. I was not fooled by 41D: Cowboys, but not Indians (NFLTEAM). I enjoyed RATEDG and 9D: Single, say (BASEHIT) took a while to figure out.
Overall, a reasonable Wednesday.