NYT Mini for Friday, November 27, 2015

Constructor: Joel Fagliano

Relative Difficulty: Medium

Theme: None

Word of the Day: MEET

Meet the Press[5][6] is a weekly American television news/interview program that is broadcast on NBC. It is the longest-running program in television history, though its current format bears little resemblance to the one it debuted with on November 6, 1947.[7] Like similar shows that have followed it, Meet the Press specializes in interviews with national leaders on issues of politicseconomicsforeign policy and other public affairs, along with panel discussions that provide opinions and analysis. It is filmed in NBC's Washington, DC studios.

Today's puzzle is not really that interesting, so here are my own [objectively superior] clues for all of the answers:

1A: ___ sum (food you should be eating right now)
2A: Go side that goes second
6A: Fifty Years ___ (1933 Churchill essay)
7A: Number of furlongs to a mile
8A: Verb disavowed by Yoda

1D: Like a stereotypical man cave
2D: Septennial affliction in a Marilyn Monroe film
3D: Pols do it to the press on Sunday
4D: Arouse woman alien, taking hydrogen
5D: Paris Hilton is famous for being one

Ok, that was way harder than I had thought it would be. I apologize to all the constructors about whose puzzles I have ever said anything disparaging. Although, in fairness, your puzzles sucked.

Yeah... some of those clues are not very good, but I think a couple of them are nice and pithy. It's actually really tricky to come up with interesting stuff for some of the words in this grid; they seem like there's only one way to go with it. I guess I did ok. I suppose one could complain that Paris Hilton is an heirESS instead of an heir, but who cares? I don't see why we need different words for that concept based on what somebody's bits look like.

I did totally cheat on 4D by making a cryptic-style clue. Archaic verb that only ever has one specific usage = difficult to come up with something different as a clue. So there you go; consider this a small taste of what cryptics are like. Hey, maybe it will pique your appetite! 

Also, do feel free to discuss this clue in the comments. Maybe the first person to explain it will get some sort of prize? Who knows? It could happen! The universe is a very unpredictable place!

Signed, Jonathan Gibson, whetstone (oh I guess that's two specific usages. huh.) of CrossWorld