Vaccine letters / FRI 10-16-15 / One of officemates on Office / John of old sitcoms / Frontiersman Boone informally
Friday, October 16, 2015
Constructor: Joe Krozel
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: unchecked squares along the borders = every letter of the alphabet
Word of the Day: NIPA (45A: Long-leaved palm) —
Nypa fruticans, commonly known as the nipa palm, is a species of palm native to the coastlines and estuarine habitats of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the only palm considered adapted to the mangrove biome. This species is the only member of the genus Nypa and the subfamily Nypoideae, forming monotypic taxa.
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SIX (23A: Big roll?) (not sure why the "?"—the clue is literally true for a six-sided die) and to get the very last edge piece, the "K" in what turned out to be PEAK (46D: Where people are drawn to scale?) (that one definitely needed the "?"). Tough clue, good clue. Too bad the "P" crossed NIPA (!?!), probably the worst thing in the grid. That "P" was my last letter. I had to run the alphabet to get it.
The longer answers are occasionally a bit odd or ungainly. It's PROCEDURES MANUAL way way way more often than PROCEDURE MANUAL (unless your office has just the one procedure, I guess). The indefinite article in the verb phrase ROLLOVER AN IRA is awkward. That answer describes a thing people do, but it is not very tight, as stand-alone phrases go. QUEENS OF ENGLAND, as a plural, also a bit outside the bullseye. But there's nothing jarring there. Just some iffiness.
Today I learned the word VISCID (11D: Sticky). I knew "viscous." VISCID, I just had to infer. I made a few mistakes along the way. OPEN ELECTIONS for OPEN PRIMARIES. . . actually, that may be it. This was pretty easy overall.
"We asked some favorite Times crossword contributors, "What would you like to do in a daily Times crossword that has never been done before?" This week's puzzles, Monday to Saturday, are the result."But here are yesterday's constructor's notes about his own puzzle. Kevin Der wrote: "I submitted this puzzle about a year and half ago, and fortunately it ended up fitting into this special week." So ... ignore the (astonishing) part about how that puzzle sat around for a year and a half (!?) ... and just focus on the fact that yesterday's puzzle was not not not not the result of anyone's "asking" Kevin anything. He made it of his own accord because he is awesome. The scenario laid out in the note from the NYT is simply a fiction. I won't say "lie." But you can if you want.
What happens Monday. Do we revert to tedium interspersed with occasionally good/great puzzles? Let's see.
Have a nice Friday. TGIF! MAS TACOS!
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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