NYT Mini for Friday, January 8, 2016

Constructor: Joel Fagliano

Relative Difficulty: Medium

Theme: None

Word of the Day: SALT

Common salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl), a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of salts; salt in its natural form as a crystalline mineral is known as rock salt or halite. Salt is present in vast quantities in seawater, where it is the main mineral constituent; the open ocean has about 35 grams (1.2 oz) of solids per litre, a salinity of 3.5%. Salt is essential for animal life, and saltiness is one of the basic human tastes. The tissues of animals contain larger quantities of salt than do plant tissues; therefore the typical diets of nomads who subsist on their flocks and herds require little or no added salt, whereas cereal-based diets require supplementation. Salt is one of the oldest and most ubiquitous of food seasonings, and salting is an important method of food preservation. (Wikipedia)

I've never been so torn. On the one hand, SALT is pretty much the best thing ever [1A: Road deicer]. And then, on the other hand, there's the word 'deicer'. I think the less said about that the better, don't you?

I don't read or watch much TRUE CRIME, but I did enjoy Serial [5A/6A: Genre of the podcast "Serial" or Capote's "In Cold Blood"]. I never read In Cold Blood, but I did enjoy Capote, so it's basically like I've read it, right? I do think it's a little clumsy that the podcast gets a medium modifier while the the novel gets an author one. I actually think neither of them really needs a modifier at all.

They're both sufficiently famous that taken together it's likely everyone knows at least one of them, especially since they nicely occupy such different cultural spheres. So get rid of the modifiers.

I think HASP is kind of weird [7A: Hinged door fastener]. I don't like that we have both the word HASP and the word CLASP and that they seem to mean such similar things. I submit that we should get rid of one of them.

I never understood why the pig built his house out of STRAW[1D: Building material in "The Three Little Pigs]. Seems like a silly basis for a structure of any kind.

Signed, Jonathan Gibson, redeicerist of CrossWorld