NYT Mini for Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Constructor: Joel Fagliano

Relative Difficulty: Easy-Medium

Theme: None

Word of the Day: NYET

In each opening round of the trick-taking card game Nyet!, players take turns crossing out possible choices for starting player, trump, super trump, the number of cards you discard, and the value of tricks taken on a grid, leaving only one option in each category. Once the starting player is determined, that player chooses a partner, then the teams play out the round based on the conditions they collectively chose. (Wikipedia)


Ehh....I guess this is ok. I'm not a big fan of any of its individual elements, the way they are put together, or the resulting complete package, so I guess it's not off to a strong start. But it's not offensively bad. If nothing else it's indirectly responsible for introducing us all to what looks and sounds like a halfway decent board game.

Wait, a minute, that box art reminds me of something...

15763-tetris-nes-front-cover.jpg

Ah, yes that's it. Well, minus the bear, anyway.

Anyway, there is NO WAY I'm going to have much in the way of niceties to say about this thing [7A: "You gotta be kidding me!"]. Especially now that Tetris has been brought into the mix. That game is basically the definition of great art—even if does have a totally weird NAME—so by comparison this monument to banality starts to smell pretty rank [5D: It's found on the back of a jersey].

Honestly, it's fine. I guess. I would much rather be eating a sandwich than solving it, but that would be true even of a good puzzle, especially were au JUS to be involved [1A: Au ___ (how roast beef might be served)]. That's a tough act to compete with.

Let's see, what else?

  • GNOME [8A: Pointy-haired garden statue] - Pleasing initial letter combination. Some monsterism.
  • UPENN [4A: Phillip Ivy League sch.] - Enough with the freaking schools already. There's something extra perfidious about this one I can't quite put my finger UPON. Maybe that it's two abbreviations in one?
  • UPON [2D: Atop] - Nah, I already dropped this word in the last bullet. I ain't saying anything else about it.
  • JUNG [1D: Founder of analytic psychology] - Ah, to be Jung again.
  • SEW ON [ 3D: Attach, as a button] - How low can the goddamn bar go???
  • NYET [6D: Russian refusal] - Da!
  • NET [9A: Ping-pong table divider] - Nyet.

Catch phrase sign-off!