Will Nediger’s Saturday, 2/1/14 NYT crossword puzzle (ed. Will Shortz)

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February 1, 2014 by manvspuzzle


Theme: None

What’s Good: The 3-, 9-, and 11-Letter Answers.  Look at them.  Just look at them.

2 1 14

Great Saturday for me.  This thing took me like an hour, which means I had many long periods of pain and degradation followed by brief periods of redemption, repeated over and over.  That’s the kind of puzzle masochism I’m looking for every weekend.

How do the complainers feel about the relatively large amount of first+last names today?  We have BARBARA BUSH, EMIL NOLDE, ERIK SATIE, ERICA CANE, and some lady named OLIVE GARDEN (that’s a joke, folks).  Personally, from a constructing standpoint, I rank proper human names like this:

  • First Names = Desperate, Borderline Bad Fill, Avoid At All Costs (which is hard and maybe impossible), Limit Use At The Very Least
  • Last Names = Sometimes Interesting, Still Kinda Desperate, Avoid If Possible
  • First+Last Names = Almost Always Great, Apply Liberally To Puzzle If You Feel Like It


So, what I’m saying is that I liked all of these.  I probably would have like them better if I actually *knew* more than 25% of them, but that’s my problem.  Maybe I’ll remember them now for next time.  Probably not. :(

The 3-letter stuff here, while not wonderful, is still pretty good for a themeless that also has great long stuff.  ALA, AVI, BEE, GAS, GEN, HEN, JAX, LOT, MEW, MOE, OIL, RRR, STE, YOU.  Wow, 14 of them!  They’re fine.  But better than fine, cause of what I just said. 

Oh, and this is a pangram, I see?  Didn’t notice or care about that while solving.  I still don’t, but pangrams aren’t really my thing.  I would imagine that people who *like* pangrams will find this one elegant, since the short fill doesn’t suffer much from it (although the 4-letter stuff is kinda wince-inducing), and long stuff’s pretty good.  

So I think there was something for everyone here today.  Except for people who don’t like seeing things they don’t already know.  But those people are dumb.

Thanks, Will!  You too, Will!


Contest Update: it’s over.  Moving on to business as usual.  Look for a special post sometime in the next 0-5 days with the results, some musings, etc.  Thanks to all who participated!





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