Parisian girlfriend / MON 3-3-14 / Complimentary road service in Sierra Leone's capital / America's Most Wanted host John / New Jersey governor whose first name starts his last name
Monday, March 3, 2014
Constructor: Andrea Carla Michaels and Michael Blake
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium (**For A Monday**)
THEME: "N" the middle — semi-wacky two-word phrases where the first word ends in "N" and the second word is identical, but minus the "N":
- DIVAN DIVA
- PATTERN PATTER
- FREETOWN FREETOW
- EASTERN EASTER
- LEARN LEAR
The X Factor is a television music competition franchise created by Simon Cowell. It originated in the United Kingdom, where it was devised as a replacement for Pop Idol. It is now held in various countries. The contestants are aspiring pop singers drawn from public competitive auditions. The programmes are produced by executive producer Simon Cowell and his company SYCOtv. The "X Factor" of the title refers to the undefinable "something" that makes for star quality. The prize is usually a recording contract, in addition to the publicity that appearance in the later stages of the show itself generates, not only for the winner but also for other highly ranked contestants. (wikipedia)
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CHRISTIE answer, a much-needed ESTROGEN injection—but the fill here is, once again, not good. EENYNATLERSE all 1-2-3 like that? There's not the polish that you used to see in Andrea's puzzle many years ago. She helped me polish one of the very first grids I made, and that attention to detail really, really helped. Not sure why she's not holding herself to those same high standards any more. Also not sure why all the Scrabble-f***ing. Anyone can see that the NE corner, for instance, is diminished by that "X." THEX? If that's the cost of your "X," it's too expensive.
Since it's an easy-puzzle day, I want to take a second to plug Liz Gorski's "Crossword Nation" puzzle—a weekly M/T-level puzzle by one of the greatest constructors in the country. High-quality work every time out. Subscription info here. Also, check out the puzzle I awarded Puzzle of the Week for last week—Matt Jones's "Letter Chop" (get it from the Jonesin' Crossword Google Group, here). Matt shows how entertaining a very simple theme can be.
[Me, failing to solve Adam Perl's tough puzzle accurately; Adam, laughing sadistically]