Constructor: Joel Fagliano
Relative Difficulty: Medium
While this puzzle clearly isn't the DEFINITION of good, it's still pretty all right. I really like IN INK [2D: Confident way to solve print crosswords], which I take as a personal shoutout to me since I totally do that all the time, which is to say "sometimes when it's an easier than average Monday puzzle and I'm feeling particularly reckless". Listen, that's just how I roll and I won't apologize for living on the edge.
It *is* actually a tad bit frustrating reading a a clue that specifically references solving on paper in a puzzle that specifically exists only in a digital format. But the problem there is not the clue; it's that they don't publish the Minis in the actual paper—which it's completely obvious that they should do. There's just no reason for it. They could print, like ten of them in the freakin margins, on each page. If it's worth doing, it should be in the paper edition—which, let's face it, wouldn't really need to exist today if it weren't for the crosswords. End tirade.
I don't like ANEW [5A: All over again] being in the same puzzle as SINEW [6A: Bone-muscle connector]. I'm sure the words aren't etymologically related, but the repeated letter string still sticks out in an irritating way. In a full-sized puzzle, fine, but here it's a big deal. Almost 20% of the grid. It's true, I did the math.
I haven't really noticed Trevor NOAH since he took over TDS (or, I guess, before), so I have no idea if his stewardship has been a huge fiasco, a huge success, or, I guess, some third huge thing ["The Daily Show" host after Stewart]. I couldn't even remember his name at first. I suppose it's interesting if for no other reason than it's the only time you're ever going to get NOAH in a grid and have it be a last name. Is that interesting? I don't know. I'm certainly not gonna SWEAT over it [4D: Worry about, in slang].
- GENOA [3D: Italian birthplace of Christopher Columbus] — Great salami too
- GAS [1D: Pedal next to the brake] — Result of eating great salami, too
- KATY [9A: Perry who played the Super Bowl halftime show] — I thought it was just a bunch of sharks or something. Was she there too?
- WHY [7D: "How come?"] — Great album
Signed, Jonathan Gibson, Left Anemone of CrossWorld