Joel Fagliano’s Friday, 4/25/14 NYT crossword puzzle (ed. Will Shortz)


April 25, 2014 by manvspuzzle


Theme: None

Theme Answers: None

Something Good: The Scrabbliness.  Not my favorite thing in puzzles, but some people *love* it.  And today I feel pretty good about it.  Not only do all of those Xes help hold together some stellar fill (not counting XKE), but nothing (to me) feels forced.  This is not a pangram.  I think the constructor just had a little X fun.  Very nice.

4 25 14

Blah, blah, blah, I like Friday puzzles with modern answers, blah, blah, blah…

So likeable it’s almost boring to write about.  Anything that really bugged me (GENL, XKE, PKGS) was easily overlooked cause of all the crispy long stuff (CHILLAX, INFOMANIA, SEX SCENE, JELLO SHOT, etc.).

I can remember the day of my first JELLO SHOT.  May 10, 1998, on the campus of Canisius College, Buffalo, NY.  Pregaming for a Ween concert with future geologist @HelloGallo in his sister’s dorm room.  A month before high school graduation.  Probably the coolest thing I could have been doing at the time.

But anyway, I could go on and on about how I liked this puzzle.  Right where I wanted it to be difficulty-wise, great answers, nothing too blecch in the short stuff.

Oh, and the clues were awesome.  IPHONES (57A — Blackberry routers), MR ED (19A — Show horse), and TRIO (41D — Cream, for example) were a few of my faves.

Good stuff, nothing for me to really complain about.




3 thoughts on “Joel Fagliano’s Friday, 4/25/14 NYT crossword puzzle (ed. Will Shortz)

  1. tom pepper says:

    Still a fledgling themeless solver here, but I got more satisfaction and enjoyment from my 30-minute struggle with this than any puzzle I can remember–themeless or otherwise.

    Ugly or not, XKE was my toehold, so I’m grateful for that entry. Might not have gotten started without it.

    Had moment after moment of “I’M STUCK” and then “Oh! maybe this is ___” and that would be right (except frENEMY). Don’t think it’s a wheelhouse thing. Just superb cluing and a lot of great and gettable answers. Never got stuck for too long–a nice steady, happy plod.

    Thanks, Joel and Will!

  2. Sean, The rest of the Minnesota subgroup of your readership is now checking in. I’m curious what you and Tom think about the overlap between JELLO_SHOT in the fill and “Hot shot” being used to clue SEX_SCENE. Maybe I just lead a sheltered life, or it’s my demographic, but both CHILL_AX and JELLO_SHOT were unknowns to me. If this puzzle had a flaw, it was crossing XKE with PKGS, even though the first was somewhere in the far reaches of my memory from other constructing acts of desperation, and the latter eminently gettable. Finally, after all the to-do about Wednesday’s puzzle with the Mercury Seven — whose heroic exploits I got to observe in real time, and then revisit with both the book and movie “The Right Stuff” — today we see cosmonaut Yuri GAGARIN, the first man in space.

    • tom pepper says:

      I have zero problem with JELLOSHOT(answer)/Hot shot (clue). That’s one of those unwritten rules that needs to be changed by the Unwritten Rules Committee. And CHILLAX is a single word, btw. CHILL_AX sounds like everything CHILLAX isn’t.

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