NYT Mini for Monday, December 14, 2015

Constructor: Joel Fagliano

Relative Difficulty: Medium

Theme: None

Word of the Day: SETH

Seth (Hebrew: שֵׁת, Standard Šet, Tiberian Šēṯ; Arabic: شِيث‎ (Sheeth); placed; appointed"), in Judaism, Christianity, Mandaeism, and Islam, was the third son of Adam and Eve and brother of Cain and Abel, who were the only other of their children mentioned by name in the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible). According to Genesis 4:25, Seth was born after Abel's murder, and Eve believed God had appointed him as a replacement for Abel. (Wikipedia)

Fine, fine work. This will do nicely. Really, a lovely, lovely, totally serviceable puzzle. My complements to the constructor. Yeah, that's the angle.

Lots of decent to good stuff at play here in the cluing. I was tricked right out of the gate with BALM [1A: Soothing ointment], which I took to be ALOE. Then I took a guess and threw in EVADE where I should have put AVOID [5A: DODGE]. I get the sense that those were both intentional on the constructor's part. Then we get TWO cheese answers in the form of GOUDA [7A: Dutch cheese with a yellow rind] and SWISS [8A: Cheese named for its country of origin]. That's a nice twofer. One more and I might call it a theme.

I can't be the only one that STILL confuses GOUDA and EDAM, both of which are Dutch cheeses that tend to be over-represented in crosswords. So let's have a refresher!

 Source: diffen.com

Source: diffen.com

Got it? Great! Now stop serving fucking Syrah with your gouda-themed amuse-bouche, motherfuckers!

What else? I guess I might take issue with the clue for BAGS [1D: Subject of airport inspections]. I feel like the BAGS themselves aren't really the subject of the inspections; the subject is the scary stuff they're looking for IN the bags, right? Or maybe that's the object. I guess the bags do get subjected TO the inspection, so maybe 'subject' is the right term.

Ahh, LOUIE [3D: Huey and Dewey's brother, in cartoons]. Perpetually in the shadow of his more beloved brothers. Forever doomed to languish in his relative obscurity. Cut him a break, folks; it's not his fault he's less capable, intelligent, and noble than his brethren. He was born that way. Let's try to give him the respect and consideration he deserves as a valued citizen of Duckburg. Wait, which one is he again? The green one? Ah, yeah.

SETH Rogen is pretty good. If you were to compile a list of my all-time favorite Seths, he'd probably be on it [9A: Rogen of "The Night Before"]. This despite the fact that he's basically always playing himself. Sometimes a DASH of realism is exactly what's necessary for the film, you know? [6D: Recipe sprinkling]

Signed, Jonathan Gibson, amuse-bouche of CrossWorld