NYT Mini for Monday, February 22, 2016

Constructor: Joel Fagliano

Relative Difficulty: Medium


Theme: None

Word of the Day: VIOLA

The viola (/viˈoʊlə/;[1] Italian pronunciation: [ˈvjɔːla]) is a bowed string instrument. It is slightly larger than a violin in size and has a lower and deeper sound than a violin. Since the 18th century it has been the middle voice of the violin family, between the violin (which is tuned a perfect fifth above it) and the cello (which is tuned an octave below it).[2]

Music that is written for the viola differs from that of most other instruments, in that it primarily uses the alto clef, which is otherwise rarely used. Viola music employs the treble clef when there are substantial sections of music written in a higher register.

The viola occasionally has a major role in orchestral music. In the earlier part of the 20th century, more composers began to write for the viola, encouraged by the emergence of specialized soloists such as Lionel Tertis. Englishmen Arthur Bliss, York Bowen, Benjamin Dale, and Ralph Vaughan Williams all wrote chamber and concert works for Tertis. William Walton, Bohuslav Martinů and Béla Bartók wrote well-known viola concertos. Paul Hindemith wrote a substantial amount of music for viola. In the latter part of the 20th century a substantial repertoire was produced for the viola. (Wikipedia)

Well this certainly could have been worse. I don't acknowledge the existence of whatever the NFC is, but otherwise these are all genuine words with meanings [1D: The Carolina Panthers play in it: Abbr.]. Even if some of them are obnoxious slang. Looking at you there, FLIX [5A: Movies, slangily]. The only way I'm going to consider that a legit answer is if you stick a NET in front of it. And I'm not just irritated that I thought you were PICS at first.

I had another brief misstep in placing APSE where NAVE was supposed to go [1A: Central part of a church]. Sometimes I swap those two almost totally different church parts in my head, and them's the breaks. Know what I kinda like? The nerve of crossing NAVE with ALLAH [2D: God to more than a billion]. Take that, both religions! Ha ha! Yeah, they're basically the same.

KEG seems over-clued to me [7D: Bar beer barrel]. Doesn't "beer barrel" pretty much describe KEG no matter whether it's in a bar or not? I mean, I'm not one to HANG on to semantics, here, but... I actually totally am [9A: Put up on the wall]. Yes, I hang them on all the walls.

Not much else here. CLOCK is reasonably well-clued [6A: It has two hands, but no arms]. And EXCON is decent [4D: One just out of prison]. I guess "Possible convert of 2-down, in a stereotype" would have been a little distasteful, so it's a good thing with have all this ALOE to soothe that pain [8A: ____ vera]. Big fan of the VIOLA [3D: Part of a string quartet]. So much better than the stupid, stupid violin.

Signed, Jonathan Gibson, Triple-Bass of LacrosseWorld