NYT Mini for Friday, January 29, 2016

Constructor: Joel Fagliano

Relative Difficulty: Medium

Theme: None

Word of the Day: LOOFA

Yeah....not so much, with the not sucking, this puzzle. I don't even want to think about how much HORNY shouldn't be in here [6A: Like rhinos and many teenage boys]. Breakfast test aside, I just think it's a gross word. Then again I have no problem with 'randy', which is basically the same word, so maybe it's me. But the real problem here is LOOFA, which is not a word [1D: Shower sponge], as Google can attest. I honestly don't know how someone, as a constructor, can be satisfied with that answer as a part of their puzzle. It makes no sense, and I shouldn't have to explain that it makes no sense. You *have* to be SLY enough to avoid tainting your grid with this kind of feculence [4D: Cunning].

Look, a hazy UFO! (Also known as a UFO)

Look, a hazy UFO! (Also known as a UFO)

Too much other filth permeates this thing: Look at all the HAZY UFOS [8A: Hard to recall; 7A: Sci-fi saucers]! And over there, it's a PANSY [3D: Variety of violet] cooking some ARROZ [2D: ____ con pollo]! I will have the ORAL kind, please [5A: ____-B: dental brand]. And the cluing is just such rote, paint-by-numbers tedium. I don't think anyone's imagination is going to be set aflame by referencing UFOS as "Sci-fi saucers". It isn't bad, it's just so tired. I don't ask for greatness in every puzzle, but ye gods, man, why does the bar have to be set so low??

To anyone who enjoyed this, I say a resounding "HUH?[6D: "Whadja say?"]

Signed, Jonathan Gibson, Duke Phillips House of Chicken And Waffles of CrossWorld