NYT Mini for Saturday, December 26, 2015

Constructor: Joel Fagliano

Relative Difficulty: Easy-Medium

Theme: None

Word of the Day: VEGA

The Chevrolet Vega is a subcompact automobile that was produced by Chevrolet from 1970 to 1977. Available in two-door hatchback, notchback, wagon, and panel delivery body styles, all models were powered by an inline four-cylinder engine with a lightweight, aluminum alloy cylinder block. Variants included the Cosworth Vega, a short-lived limited-production performance model, introduced in March 1975.

The Vega received praise and awards at its introduction, including 1971 Motor Trend Car of the Year.[1] Subsequently the car became widely known for a range of problems related to its engineering,[2] reliability,[3] safety,[4][5] propensity to rust, and engine durability. Despite a series of recalls and design upgrades, the Vega's problems tarnished both its own as well as General Motors' reputation. Production ended with the 1977 model year. (Wikipedia)

I will take it. Everything except for YDS [8A: Football field units: Abbr.]. That I can do without. This was an average effort that doesn't offer anything too stimulating, but it's pretty clean overall. It was a rather quick solve, apart from a few SNAGS here and there [1D: Unexpected problems].



I thought the clue for SOW [1A: Piglet's mother] was referring to the *character* Piglet, and couldn't remember the name of Piglet's mother, which was quite natural since he doesn't have one as far as I can tell (That is, the character's mother is not depicted canonically; I'm not suggesting that he is of immaculate origin or something. Though I haven't read all the books; he could be). Anyway, decent misdirect!

Although I like OKRA (and I must stress that I refer to both the word and the thing itself when I say this), I don't like seeing it twice in one week as we have now [2D: Creole cooking vegetable]. Spread the okra love's all's I'm saying. I think we're OWED a little better than that [5D: Was outstanding with money?].

WONKA is a welcome addition to any puzzle [4A: Roald Dahl's chocolatier]. The clue is a bit simplistic, though I do have an affinity towards the word 'chocolatier' for no readily apparent reason. The clue for VEGAS is kinda lamely worded [7A: "What happens here, stays here" sloganeer]. Either the quote marks are used incorrectly or there needs to be a set of brackets inserted around the "here"s. Even then you'd be missing the preposition from the actual phrase, so it still doesn't work. It ought to simply be something like "place where things are said to stay after happening there". Or forget the city and clue it as the infamous GM vehicle from the 70s. Everybody knows about that, right?

Signed, Jonathan Gibson, Ford Pinto of CrossWorld