Friday, 3/13/09

NYT 3:23 ... LAT 2:37 ... CS 1:47 ... CHE 2:20 ... WSJ 4:57 ... BEQ 2:48 ... MGWC 4:25

joon pahk, my friend, it was a pleasure blitzing through your NYT themeless debut! Did you learn AZOV and SHOR from crosswords? I wasn't going to solve until morning, but I hit the NYT puzzle page to read yesterday's Wordplay comments and saw Jim's headline: "the shiftless lad". So I couldn't wait! (Except long enough to warm up wtih the other puzzles first.)

morning addendum: more on Joon's puzzle. Over the last year, nobody's provided more feedback to constructors than Joon (save Rex, Orange, Nancy Solomon, and editors), so I feel like I should elaborate.

First entry EXERTED, suspected EXQUISITE but didn't type it until I confirmed with AQUINAS. Solved NW to SE (above the diagonal) to SW, and finished in the NE. Only guess I had to "erase" was something for HANK, probably LOCK. Didn't think the VESPUCCI/ASIAN x-ref really worked because the clue was too tortured. Would have loved a musical clue for PICKUPS, which probably would have been educational. PPPS is my least favorite entry, easily clued but rarely used in real life, I'd think. I concur with Joon that the short fill isn't optimal, but the longer fill is certainly fresh enough to make up for it. (Hmm, is SCAREDY a seven-letter partial? In a way? Even though it's a good entry?) Yeah, not bad for a first stab at a themeless.

Meanwhile, Dan Naddor provides yet another solid Friday LAT crossword. I know I'm not the only one wondering why he's never been published in the NYT. Dan, if you google yourself, email me!


Joon said...

AZOV no; SHOR yes. i did know PETER SHOR before crosswords. i'm pretty sure he's not famous enough to get his full name in the grid, though.

Doug P said...

Excellent puzzle, joon! A very smooth solve throughout, with lots of clues that made me smile. The SEA OF AZOV/EXQUISITE/NEUTRINOS stack was especially nice. Perfect Friday puzzle.

Joon said...

amy blogged 2 months ago:

You know what I've been wondering? Why I see Dan Naddor's byline so often above the LA Times crossword, but never in the NYT. He's definitely got the constructing chops to appear in the Gray Lady's pages, so I have to think he just doesn't submit his puzzles to anyone but Rich Norris.
Thanks for the kind words, Amy. Rich Norris is both a gifted and patient editor, which in my book earns big loyalty points.
Dan Naddor | 01.09.09 - 10:44 am

my original PICKUPS clue was {Tacoma et al.}; i hadn't thought to clue it using music. that would, as you say, have been educational; instead i went for sneaky.

SCAREDY isn't a partial phrase by virtue of being only one word. in that sense, it's as much of a partial as, say, BATOR or HURLY. neither one of those is a great entry, and in fact, i wasn't all that happy with SCAREDY either. (SCAREDYCAT, on the other hand, would be a very lively entry.) but as you might guess from the cheater square over there, that corner of the grid Would Not Cooperate, so i was happy to make it out of there alive.

Dan said...

Thanks Joon, I totally forgot that from seventeen Naddor puzzles ago... :)