Constructor: Joel Fagliano
Relative Difficulty: Medium
Word of the Day: SLIME
1. thin, glutinous mud.
2. any ropy or viscous liquid matter, especially of a foul kind.
3. a viscous secretion of animal or vegetable origin.
4. Also called slimeball [slahym-bawl] (Show IPA). Slang. a repulsive or despicable person.
verb (used with object), slimed, sliming.
5. to cover or smear with or as if with slime.
6. to remove slime from, as fish for canning. (Dictionary.com)
This was kind of all over the place. I mis-read the clue for STAIR [6A: Part of a flight] as "part of a fight, so I thought it was ROUND. Then I couldn't decide whether [1A: They're discussed in the Second Amendment] was ARMS or the rather more prosaic GUNS.
The former is obviously the better answer since that's the actual word from the amendment, but you never know. By the way, guns are stupid and you are dumb if you like them or think they should be a thing that exists. Point is I was paralyzed between the two possibilities and couldn't fill it in until I got a couple of the crosses.
I like how DIET's clue [9A: New Year's resolution for losers?] is not afraid to make you think it's insulting overweight people for a split second before you get the joke. I mean ha ha! What a bunch of losers! I think I knew somewhere in the back of my mind that Clueless was based on EMMA [8A: Jane Austen novel that "Clueless" is based on]. I like that we're seeing a renaissance of thought and discussion about Clueless these days, because it really is a fine piece of cinema with a lot to recommend, not the least of which is its soundtrack. I've not read EMMA, but I might go rewatch Clueless at some point.
I am all about SLIME [4D: Oozy stuff]. It's almost as great as grime, and so much better than sludge. I think sludge is relatively overrated by modern cultural standards, but what can you do. It's all a rich slurry.
MIAMI gives us our Obligatory Sports Question No One Who Likes Crosswords Will Like of the day [3D: Home of baseball's Marlins]. I suppose it's a relatively painless one at least. Though it does feel a little arbitrary; I mean, don't teams change cities and names all the time anyway? Who's to say the team won't be called the Butte, Montana Marlins a decade from now, totally invalidating this clue for anyone who happens to be obsessively solving ancient digitally archived NYT puzzles and thereby rendering their existence even more meaningless than it is already? #sports
Signed, Jonathan Gibson, Mr. Darcy of CrossWorld