NYT Mini for Thursday, January 21, 2016

Constructor: Joel Fagliano

Relative Difficulty: Easy-Medium

Theme: None

Word of the Day: GET UP

GetUp! is a left-leaning Australian activist group.[1] It was launched in August 2005, the same week that the centre-right Coalition, which already controlled the House of Representatives, took control of theAustralian Senate. It relies on donations from individuals, organisations, unions and community groups for funding.[2] (Wikipedia)

I guess this crossword puzzle wasn't as bad as the holocaust. Also the NES game "A Week of Garfield." It's better than that. Ooh, and sweet pickles. But it's hard to muster up much excitement for this sorry assortment of dried up pronouns, preschool-level nouns/adjectives, and brand names. So I know you will pardon me for the following diatribe.

The must think we're a bunch of SAPS if they expect us to actually like any of this stuff [6D: Gullible ones]. But it's just non-stop mediocrity at play here. It begins right at one-across: How am I supposed to get excited about a puzzle that starts off with utterly short-bus dreck that is DRY [1A: Not sweet, to a wine drinker]? There's just no ambition there. Particularly not when you cross it with (gasp!) RICE [2D: Risotto or jambalaya ingredient]?? Oh, be still my heart!

THANK YOU Bernard!

THANK YOU Bernard!

Then we have the fantastically conventional YOUTH [3D: It's "wasted on the young," per George Bernard Shaw], which is loathsome for at least two reasons. What's that? You'd like me to list them? Well, for starters, It's just too skull-crushingly obvious. And what's more, I don't think you can (i.e. 'should') put 'young' in a clue for 'youth', even if it's (supposedly) cute/clever in this context. Same three-letter string, obviously based on the same root = should be verboten.

But wait, we also get the in-your-face triviality of HE'S, a scrap of leftover lexicography only a mother could love [9A: "For __ a jolly good fellow"]. I know, I couldn't believe it, but there it is. It's TRUE [5D: Opposite of false]. These are the depths to which the Times has sunk. At this point I'm almost happy to see ACURA get a little free advertising, just so we're spared some even worse entry [7A: Japanese automaker].

Man, this thing was a DRAG [1D: What RuPaul dresses in].

Signed, Jonathan Gibson, TRUE SAP of CrossWorld

P.S. How in the fuck do you not cross-reference DRAG and GET UP?? That one little thing could have made this so much more appealing.