Daisy Mae's love in funnies / WED 12-3-14 / Mongolian for red / Jason who was 2000 A.L. M.V.P. / Nonpolygamous grouping / Swing Shift actress Christine / Suisse sweetheart
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Constructor: Patrick Blindauer
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: PANDA (38A: World Wildlife Fund logo … or a three-word hint to the answers to the four starred clues) — two-word phrases: first word P-, second word A- …
- PARTY ANIMAL
- "PATCH ADAMS"
- PARK AVENUE
- PENNY ARCADE
Jason Gilbert Giambi (//; born January 8, 1971) is an American professional baseballfirst baseman and designated hitter who is a free agent. In his Major League Baseball (MLB) career, which began in 1995, he has played for the Oakland Athletics, New York Yankees, Colorado Rockies and Cleveland Indians.Giambi was the American League MVP in 2000 while with the Athletics, and is a five-time All-Star who has led the American League in walks four times, in on-base percentage three times, and in doubles and in slugging percentage once each, and won the Silver Slugger award twice.
• • •
There's an added level of constructing difficulty here, as the themers cross. This is the reason that *these* themers (and not others) were chosen—they fit symmetrically in the grid. On the one hand, this gives the grid an interesting shape, with giant NW and SE corners (leaving only tiny NE and SW corners, and a rather choppy middle diagonal section connecting them). Sometimes it's nice not to have the themers be in the more predictable Across places. "PENNY ARCADE" is a popular, long-running webcomic, but I'm guessing that's well outside the knowledge base of your average NYT crossword solver. I'd've appreciated the comics clue, but only about a dozen other people would've felt the same, so oldey timey clue it is! I resent having to remember that "PATCH ADAMS" exists (not the way I want to remember Robin Williams), but having it in the grid did add to the list of potential answers for my "hidden African countries" puzzle (along with ANIMAL INSTINCTS (15!), that brings total such answers to two—I'm on my way!)
NYT still having issues with turnaround time. This puzzle was made in 2009 …
Patrick Blindauer has his own puzzle site where you can get a new free puzzle on the first of every month (which means there's a new one I haven't done yet … whoa … I'm doing it right now. The trick with the main theme answers is pretty amazing … go get it (under "Play")). He's also got a new Space Puzzlefest coming out later this month: a dozen puzzles that are part of a larger metapuzzle. Check it out.