Monday, January 29, 2018

Monday, January 29, 2018, Lynn Lempel


What an excellent Monday! I've been trying to be more positive in my approach to reviewing, especially in light of others in the NYT Xword blogosphere, and also in response to my sunnier co-reviewers. But today it wasn't really a stretch.

The theme is fun, outside of the negative connotations of the revealer at 62A: Diminish the work force ... or a literal hint to the answers to the four starred clues (DOWNSIZE). I like that the answers progress along the standard list of sizes of S-M-L-... uh, J? Well, I guess XL wouldn't have worked, and once you open that can of worms, in modern day America, you'd have to include XXL and XXXL, I imagine.

I also enjoyed that the sizes themselves move downward from top to bottom in their respective answers: thus SMALLWORLD has "small" at the top, while MUMBOJUMBO has its size at the bottom, with the other two in between.

Meanwhile, you find REDDIWIP and LASSI in the fill, two things that don't really do much to fill you up, in my experience. There's a NAUTICAL ADMIRAL, and Hedy LAMARR ("That's Hedley!").

MINGLER is not a great answer, and ESSES always feels a little desperate. But otherwise I have little to complain about. I appreciated having MODELUN and WEBMD on a Monday. A little tougher than usual!

- Colum


  1. Agreed, this was fun, and a great Monday theme.

    On the subject of desperation, the puzzle has not just ESSES but ELLS which are both pluralized letters. In a way I almost admire just jumping in with both feet into that particular.... kind of answer.

    I had EXaltS before EXTOLS and needed all the crosses for LAMARR (Hedy, that's one of those old movie stars, I wouldn't know without looking it up). Oh, and my most amusing correction, REDiwhIP before REDDIWIP (not a product I encounter especially often and as you can see, capable of multiple cutesy spellings).

    What did I like? Well, I guess I was in an OED mood because that brought a smile to my face, and MONO was a nice bit of historical trivia (I suppose for some it would be closer to "what's an LP?" but on the whole, not too obscure). MODELUN is again, I guess, dated, but brought a smile as well. Maybe it is okay if it is something about a bygone era which we can think of positively, rather than just something which was there? Google tells me model UN is still going strong, though (certainly outside the US), so I probably shouldn't write it off as just a period thing.

    Time: 7:47 (fast to normal for me).

  2. 8:40
    Slow for a Monday for me, but part of the reason could be because it was on paper. I've never heard of MODELUN, but the crosses were fine. PRINTMEDIUM is almost never uttered, but it was nice to see VAMOOSE in there. OK theme.

  3. 4:31
    I love a vertical theme, and as has been said already, this was fantastic. I, too, had REDiwhIP for a bit. I'm never ready for those corporate spellings.

    I'm shocked that you've never heard of the MODELUN.