NYT Mini for Sunday, January 3, 2016

Constructor: Joel Fagliano

Relative Difficulty: Medium

Theme: Flowers, I guess?

Theme Answers:

  • LILAC [6A: Fragrant purple flower]
  • TULIP [2D: Flower associated with Holland]
  • IRIS [7A: "Bearded" flower]

Word of the Day: ROC

Roc is an American comedy-drama television series which ran on Fox from August 1991 to May 1994. The series stars Charles S. Dutton as Baltimore garbage collector Roc Emerson and Ella Joyce as his wife Eleanor.

Roc, began life as a traditional television sitcom, chronicling the ups and downs of Baltimore garbage collector Charles "Roc" Emerson (Charles S. Dutton), a tightwad who constantly brought home "perks" (i.e. items thrown away by residents on his route); his wife Eleanor (Ella Joyce), a registered nurse; his womanizing younger brother Joey (Rocky Carroll), a ne'er-do-well musician who had recently returned to the neighborhood; and his father Andrew (Carl Gordon), a retired Pullman porter. A much-played scene during the series' promotion featured Roc greeting his returning brother with a casual glance and a tired "Hey, Joey." When Eleanor suggests that he should have more to say, Roc agrees, and follows up with "Hey, Joey, where's my money?"(Wikipedia)


Not much to say about this one. The theme... needs some work. It would have been so, so easy to make the theme clues more cohesive and make this feel much tighter. I would make the phrasing consistent on each one, i.e. rather than having two end with "flower" and one start with it, make them all do one or the other. Then tighten up the phrasing a bit and we'd have ourselves a (weak) theme. As is, it's half-baked.

I have never heard of HUGO Boss [5A: Fashion's ____ Boss].

I have never heard of ROC-A-Fella Records [4D: Hip-hop's ___-A-Fella Records].

I will not remember either of those five minutes from now. Because fill-in-blank clues = me not caring.

What else is here? I'm down with STAR [1A: Symbol in the center of a Scrabble board], because who doesn't love trivia about board games? I do not know who. I couldn't get SHIRE without almost all of the crosses, despite having just seen all of the Hobbit movies [1D: Hobbits' home, with "the"]. I feel like the clue doesn't really need the article qualifier, but what do I know? Most of those books are fairly inscrutable to me.

Putting a LID on this post before it becomes too silly [6D: Pot top].

Signed, Jonathan Gibson, Charles S. Dutton of CrossWorld