NYT Mini for Sunday, December 13, 2015

Constructor: Joel Fagliano

Relative Difficulty: Medium

Theme: None


The Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis Listeni/seɪnt ˌkɪts ænd ˈniːvɪs/, also known as the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis,[6] is a two-island country in the West Indies. Located in the Leeward Islands chain of the Lesser Antilles, it is the smallest sovereign state in the Americas, in both area and population. The country is a Commonwealth realm, with the British Monarch (currently, Elizabeth II) as its head of state. (Wikipedia)

The above picture has been on my desktop for the last month. I downloaded it while writing one of the very first installments of this blog, but by the time I finished writing it, I couldn't remember what relevance this picture had to the post or why I had downloaded it. I assume I had planned to put it in the post somewhere, but who knows? I've kept it around JUST IN CASE for the past month in the hopes that I might find a use for it. Every day when I'm working on this blog, I forget what it is, open it, then remember "oh yeah, it's that weird picture with the tiny hamburger patty on the giant bun; why do I keep this on my desktop?" I can't really answer that question. Nor can I claim to have found an apropos use for it today. But here it is anyway. Maybe it's relevant? If you want, interpret it as a sort of nonplussed reaction to today's puzzle. And who know whether I mean the correct definition of 'nonplussed' or not??

Honestly undecided if I should pick on the clue for SKY or not [9A: Where a telescope is aimed]. On the one hand, before Galileo nobody ever pointed a telescope at the SKY; they were solely for terrestrial use.  On the other, that's basically the only thing we point them at now, so it's a defensible clue from from that standpoint. I think I personally would have altered the phrasing a bit.

BT Dubs, Jupiter is up to 67 moons as of now.

I like BALD quite a bit [1D: Like The Rock and Michael Jordan]. That clue immediately had me searching for some quality relating to athleticism. Even once it was mostly filled in I remained stuck; for several seconds I had B_LD and considered BoLD as an answer. Because those two guys are totally bold, I guess?? Finally I figured out that [4A: "Hasta la vista!"] had to be ADIOS (I originally had 'SEE YA', the error that pretty much singlehandedly turned this from a rout into a war of attrition).


  • BOK [1A: ___ choy (Chinese vegetable): Great vegetable. I love it so much I call it 'baby'.
  • OH OK [5D: "Gotcha"]: I couldn't decide if this was going to be "OH, OK" or "AH, OK" as both seemed reasonable. The former is definitely better.
  • ODIE [2D: Dog that's messed with by Garfield]: This is an arcane piece of trivia. Not a lot of people know that President James Garfield's main political rival was a guy named ODIE. Kind of cruel of Garfield to refer to him as a dog.
  • SEXY [6D: Hot]: I don't know why, but I'm kind of bored by SEXY. As an answer, that is. You humans out there should continue your sexy ways. However as a crossword answer 'sexy' always comes across as milquetoast masquerading as 'edgy'. Like it's waving at you from the grid, saying 'Hey, look at me! Can you believe I squeaked past the breakfast test? Aren't I naughty?? Shh!! Don't tell anybody!"

Signed, Jonathan Gibson, milquetoast of CrossWorld