Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Wednesday, November 10, 2021, Max Chen Lauring and Benjamin Chen Lauring

Apologies for yesterday's abbreviated post, but needs must, as they say.

I want to start with the elephant in the room here. What, I hear you ask, is a ZADDY? I too, cherished readers, wondered at this word. An "attractive, fashionable man, in modern parlance," per the clue. And yet this is not exactly the right sense of the word. As you may have intuited, there is a "Daddy" slant to the word. It apparently implies an older male, sexually attractive. Kind of shocking for a NYT puzzle!

Meanwhile, the theme of the puzzle arises from different interpretations of 56A: Small amount (ONEPERCENT). It's a nice range, from LOWFATMILK to THEULTRARICH. The middle answer is a fine 15-letter answer, UNFAVORABLEODDS. Our constructors have found a good set, which feels pretty tight.

The construction of the grid gives us two answers as long as two of the theme answers, at 14A and 60A (SHOPKEEPER and DISPENSARY, which feel tangentially related). I know there are some who turn their noses up at non-theme answers clashing for attention with the actual theme answers, but I say, the more the better!


Because there are 5 theme answers, the grid is also constructed so there are no long down answers. Nonetheless, there are some tasty answers like FRAPPE (a term that we who grew up in New England understand to mean what most other Americans would call a milkshake - that is, it has ice cream in it). I also smiled at 42D: Ones who treat people poorly? (QUACKS). 

I wonder when we'll be able to retire answers like RAZR. On the other hand, who am I to complain? I loved ENRY 'Iggins, as well as Come on, EILEEN. And those are more dated by far.

- Colum

1 comment:

  1. I too had not heard of a ZADDY but the NY Times puzzle has been into soangy words about relationships or identities or the like lately. Which I'm generally a fan of even if I don't really know how widely known this particular one is.