NYT Mini for Saturday, January 16, 2016

Constructor: Joel Fagliano

Relative Difficulty: Medium

Theme: None

Word of the Day: KNEEL

Socially, kneeling, similarly to bowing, is associated with reverence, submission and obeisance, particularly if one kneels before a person who is standing or sitting: the kneeling position renders a person defenseless and unable to flee. For this reason, in some religions, in particular by Christians and Muslims, kneeling is used as a position for prayer, as a position of submission to God. In north Indian Hindu temples, many Hindus kneel before the icon after saying a short personal prayer, and usually touch the ground with their forehead. (This is a contrast to south Indian temples, where most people prostrate completely before the icon).






So, having said all that, Is there anything I should add? Well, I guess in all sincerity I should say that WHAT THE FUCK is up with A BOAT??? [3D: "I'm on ____" The Lonely Island song with the lyric "I got my swim trunks, and my flippie-floppies"). Let's not even discuss how utterly, incontrovertibly shitty that clue is (I am literally the only person I know who has ever heard of The Lonely Island, and I include several bona fide SNL fans in that statement); let's focus instead on the actual answer. WHY THE FUCK DO YOU THINK THAT IS OKAY??? You KNOW it isn't.  A BOAT???? Do I even need to explain the ways in which that sucks???

Otherwise, pretty ok puzzle! I like KNEEL [5D: Be in the front row in a team photo, say]. Notice how that clue isn't just a definition of the word KNEEL but is instead a series of words that makes you actually think? Yeah, I noticed that too. I also noticed CINCO [4D: ____ de Mayo], which wasn't good, particularly. What the ass is it with fucking fill-in-the-blank clues, anyway? Is there any instance in your life in which you would rather have had a fill-in-the-blank clue instead of, let's face it, a REAL clue? I submit that there is not.

LATEX is always good for a sophomoric chuckle or two [2D: Condom material], though that clue kind of takes the wind out of it a bit. Kind of hard to chuckle at unintended sexual references when they're intended. I tried CABIN first for COACH [6A: Airplane section where passengers sit], but Joel's answer is considerably better. SCAPE felt a little weird to me [1D: Suffix with land or moon]; I tend to be a little unsettled by suffixes that go on for more than three letters. Seems a little showy, if you ask me. But it is accurate enough I suppose.

Hey, it's A BOAT's retarded cousin, A TONE!!! [7A: Do penance] Just kidding, that's a legitimate word.

Signed, Jonathan Gibson, ANUSTART of CrossWorld