NYT Mini for Saturday, January 9, 2016

Constructor: Joel Fagliano

Relative Difficulty: Sports, Sports, Sports, Fuck You

Theme: None

Word of the Day: LINDA

Linda is a female given name, originally German, but widespread in the English-speaking world since the end of the nineteenth century.[1] The German nameLinde was originally an abbreviated form of older names such as Dietlinde andSieglinde.[2] In the form Linda it was used by the writer Jean Paul for a leading character in his four-volume novel Titan, published 1800–1803, and it became popular in German-speaking countries thereafter.[2] (Wikipedia)

No no no no no no, no. What the hell??? Are you honestly trying to tell me that WILD CARD is a sports thing when it is so obviously a card game thing AND NOTHING ELSE [1A/9A: N.F.L. playoff round that starts today]?? I honestly don't know what this could even refer to; how in the holy shit does the phrase "wild card" equate to a "playoff round"? Playoffs are where they play the sports game, right? Why would there be any kind of cards involved, wild or otherwise? It makes no sense.

Which is fine, but since I suck at Africa, I didn't know the [4D: Capital of Senegal], which pretty much made DAKAR more or less a total mystery. I finally gave up on figuring out the two letters where this crossed with WILD CARD, since they were obviously impossible.

Everything else here was an utter slog. Are we honestly supposed to get excited for stuff like ASIA [5A: Europe's neighbor]? Or how about WAY [1D: Wrong ___ (street sign)]? Is that just the shittiest thing you've ever seen or what? I guess A DAY needed some company [8A: Per Diem]. What a criminally awful partial that is.


I'm disappointed that ISAAC doesn't get a better clue here [2D: Newton with laws] It's just so unambitious I don't know how to respond. Likewise its companion LINDA [3D: Grammy winner Ronstadt]. These are just pathetic. Nothing to do here besides fall asleep and dream about how awesome WILD CARD could have been if it were clued as a real thing.

Isaac & Linda deserved better than this.