NYT Mini for Friday, November 20, 2015

Constructor: Joel Fagliano

Relative Difficulty: Medium

Theme: None

Word of the Day: Fuego

Fuego is an album by the American rock band Phish.[1]Released on June 24, 2014, it was their twelfth official studio album and their first in five years, since 2009's Joy. The album is a mix of rocksoulreggae and bluegrass.[2]

Fuego was recorded in late 2013 in Nashville, Tennesseeafter a series of writing sessions at the Barn in Vermont and was produced by Bob Ezrin (Pink FloydLou ReedPeter Gabriel). While Fuego's ten new tracks include songs that individual members brought to the table in usual Phish fashion, the bulk of the material was written by all four, working together at the Barn,[3] often writing in a stream-of-consciousness style.[4] (Wikipedia)

Stream-of-consciousness style, eh? That doesn't bode well. Yeah, Phish is easily the most bifurcated band I can think of – they're alternately genuinely interesting and infuriatingly boring. I feel like literally half their songs are well thought-out tour-de-forces of through-composed genius while the other half are half-assed cul-de-sacs of lame-wankery. They have some good albums though. It's just too bad their live shows suck.

This is fine. Nothing particularly offensive. I got hung up on CHEZ right out of the gate because of a typo; I accidentally typed CHEx for some reason (1A: Word in French restaurant names).  Maybe I was thinking of the awesome cereal I was about to eat. That would have made ZOOS into XOOS, which would have  been interestingly terrible (4D: Where the wild things are?).  I think I'd've gone with a nauseatingly forced plural like "Some losing tic-tac-toe rows". Thankfully, we get a nice cutesy clue for ZOOS instead, so thanks for that.

I'm a CUMIN fan. Probably above and beyond a level that is appropriate. And it's way more than just a (1D: Curry ingredient), at least in my opinion. I mean, it's no allspice, but...

 Don't worry, it's cumin!

Don't worry, it's cumin!

Never heard of HEIDI Klum (2D: "Project Runway" judge Klum), nor am I totally sure what that show is about. It's a fashion show, I'd guess? ... yeah, it's a fashion show. Fine, ok. If that's your television FARE, I'm happy for you (5D: New Yorker's MetroCard payment, e.g.).

I like ENID (8A: Oklahoma City), at least as a name. I ain't never been to Enid, OK, but I'm sure it's nice place. Is it nice? I kinda like that we get both FUEGO (5A: Spanish for "fire") and AMIGO (Compadre), and right on top of each other to boot.


Signed, Jonathan Gibson, compadre of CrossWorld