|Gee, I guess it's my week to kvetch about the NYT
||[Sep. 7th, 2006|01:58 pm]
Crosswords Without Pity
First, I was disappointed in the theme. I saw the number clues, did the seven-segment-and-flip trick in my head, and expected an extra level of indirection. 1A => 5338 => BEES => HIVE? No, go back one step. (Hmmm... I wonder if an entire cryptogram crossword would be interesting to solve.)
Second, I once again take issue with a clue (22D). (And I'm not normally in the nit-picker's league. The NPL, yes, but not the npl. :-) An IPO isn't a stock option. Unless this isn't supposed to stand for "Initial Public Offering."
Third, I was surprised to see DOA (50A), especially clued as "E.R. status", which I would think violates the "no death nor disease" guideline.
Fourth, the fill seemed weak to me. REDIG jumped out, and there are a lot of forced abbreviations.
Fifth, there were three pairs of cheater squares. I realize that the central theme entry was thirteen letters long, but surely it could have been reworded (ENTERTHENUMBERS / INTOACALCULATOR / TURNTOSEEANSWER) to avoid the cheaters.
Now maybe I'm being too harsh. I haven't sold a puzzle yet, so who am I to criticize? On the other hand, as a solver, I felt let down by this puzzle. It seemed like a cute gimmick that didn't go far enough and wasn't sufficiently tightly executed. (Now I feel like Nina Garcia.)