C.W. Stewart’s Monday, 2/10/14 NYT crossword puzzle (ed. Will Shortz)

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February 10, 2014 by manvspuzzle

stewarts

Theme: REC CENTER.  4 2-word theme answers have the letters R-E-C spanning both words in the middle of the entry.  Then there’s the revealer.

Theme Answers:

  • 17A — Item accompanying a pencil in miniature golf : SCORECARD
  • 24A — Money available for nonessentials : SPARE CASH
  • 38A — Food, warmth or a cozy bed : CREATURE COMFORT
  • 50A — Stuffed figure in a cornfield : SCARECROW
  • 62A — Gym locale … or feature of 17-, 24-, 38- and 50-Across : REC CENTER

***

What’s Good: I like all of it, but I guess I’ll just choose the theme.  It’s perfect Monday stuff, well-executed and sparkly.  Very nice.

***

2 10 14

This is a good puzzle, kids.  Oh, you don’t like YABBA or LEND A or SOU?  Do ORTS and UNCAP make your widdle bottom wip stick out?  Is STROP and DICT gonna make baby cry?

Suck it up, wusses.  If you 1) don’t know that stuff, or 2) can’t figure it out when it’s been masterfully edited to make it *easy* for you, or 3) don’t like to see any words in your puzzle that you don’t normally use in your regular non-puzzle life because you’re so full of yourself that you think that if it’s not a word that you use then it’s not good for anyone at any time, then you my friend are a dirty stinking buttmonkey.  Enjoy all your Steely Dan albums and trips to Trader Joe’s.

Whoa, sorry.  I didn’t mean to get so real there.  But seriously, I liked this puzzle.  Yeah, I see the non-Lempel fill, but who cares?  It’s all crossed fairly, which means that even noobs have a chance to learn seriously awesome phrases like “not worth a SOU” (29D) or words like STROP (yeah…I’m not exactly a newcomer, but I didn’t know that either).

And the theme is solid.  Good, even.  I was going so fast that I didn’t really get it for the majority of my solve, so the revealer gave me a nice little “aha” moment.  Sparkly themers.  CREATURE COMFORT fell into place on the first pass with no crossings, mostly cause I’m a super genius.  And the whole REC CENTER idea just makes sense.  I kinda wish I’d thought of it.

Yo C.W. Stewart: you did it, girl.  You wowed me.  Give me a call sometime.

p.s. SOUS CHEF is a frickin great little piece of fill.

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