January 24, 2014 by manvspuzzle
Awesome Long (8+) Answers: CHALK LINE, HOW ARE YA, MILE HIGH CLUB, WHOS THAT, SANDBAGS, RAT POISON, PLEASE GO, PROUD MARY, ESCAPE ROAD, PEER PRESSURE
What’s Good: Freshness. Not only is there some really good long stuff in this puzzle (that feels young and sparkly), but a lot of it has never been seen in the NYT crossword before. The first 8 answers I listed above are brand-new. There’s other new stuff, too.
Ah, my wavelength. Feels so nice.
This puzzle was so on my wavelength I should be listed as a co-constructor (note: not really). My *first* entry was MILE HIGH CLUB just cause I felt it in my bones. PEER PRESSURE, PROUD MARY, HOME EC, L SEVEN — all came to me with no (or minimal) crossing on the first pass. Everything else fell into place like a handful of neodymium magnets casually tossed at a refrigerator (note: I like absurd similes).
What’s not to like about this puzzle? Really nothing. I cannot say that the short stuff here is magnificent, but it’s not bad either. HEPS, IRES, and AWS/AWES — none of that is great. But it’s all fine, and holds together a very fresh, fun, modern, young-feeling puzzle. There is nothing to complain about here. Maybe you’ll be disappointed if you like your Friday puzzles to be extra-hard. But I have a feeling that if you’re over the age of 50 or 60 this might just do that for you. And if you’re not an extreme puzzlemaster like me, it might do it for you, too (note: I am not really an extreme puzzlemaster).
One thing: what the hell is WAHINE (15A — “Miss out on a board”). Oh, crap, it’s a slang term for “young female surfer.” No schlizz. I should remember that. Good clue if you know what a WAHINE is — if not, deal with it.
Loved the puzzle. Great job, Ian. Profesh.