NYT Mini for Saturday, February 27, 2016

Constructor: Joel Fagliano

Relative Difficulty: Medium

Theme: None

Word of the Day: YOWZA

  1. An exclamation of surprise
    Yowza! You scared me!
    by Annie!! September 03, 2003

  2. A word signifying approval.
    Often said as an aside to a friend or a slightly audible remark to one's self: for example, when a beautiful woman enters a room. Yowza, look at her!
    by Ron Livingston July 23, 2006
  3. Euphemism for any vulgar expression of surprise or sudden pleasure. Usually used in a positive sense.
    Yowza, you looked amazing today
    by Max Adion April 25, 2005
  4. Corrupted form of "yes, sir," thought to have first appeared in minstrel shows of the Jim Crow era. Often repeated, as in, "Yowza, yowza, yowza!" May be considered mildly racist by some.
    Yowza, that bitch sure be fine!
    by Billy Frank September 24, 2008 (Urban Dictionary)

The things you learn when you do a crossword blog. Like, for instance, I had no idea that the above atrocity from whichever Star Wars special edition movie it is (how would I know? {It's Jedi}) actually had a name. I had always just assumed it was a nameless bowel movement on the part of George Lucas that ruins that particular scene. Who knew? Yeah, his full name is "Joh YOWZA", and he's that singing bastard with the giant uvula that is there for Like No Reason [8A: "Holy cow!"], which technically makes his name equivalent to "Joh Holy Cow" according to this puzzle. He is, obviously, an ASS [1A: Buffoon]. The fact that this celluloidal fucking abortion was prominently featured in promotional materials for the special editions is prima facie evidence that the George Lucas of this time period, while perhaps not technically a pod-person, can in no way be related to the visionary that Athena'ed into being utter Gesamtkunstwerk like THX 1138



I also discovered there's a company called "Yowza Fitness" but that wasn't as funny so I am not mentioning it here. I assume it's named after the Star Wars character. 

Another thing of which I had ideas = none of was that YOWZA might apparently have vulgar and/or racial undertones? That comes as a surprise if true, and since Urban Dictionary is 100% reliable we know that it must be. I'd wonder if perhaps we in polite society should stop using the term, but fortunately we already have a much better reason to avoid it, and that is of course its association with the aforementioned computer-generated insult to human creativity above.

This puzzle's not the best. I feel like all the Scrabbly letters in this thing are doing more good than harm. BOTOX [4A: Anti-wrinkle treatment] is fine, but X-MAN [6D: Marvel mutant superhero] is pretty tired, not to mentioned unimaginatively clued. I actually thought BOTOX was going to be CREAM, which cost me a few precious seconds (an eternity in Mini Time). Then I feel like there's some kind of tic-tac-toe thing going on with all these O's in the center; I don't know what's going on there, but X really got clobbered apparently.

 Actual still of Harrison Ford in the new Star Wars movie (pre- BOTOX  injection)

Actual still of Harrison Ford in the new Star Wars movie (pre-BOTOX injection)

But wait, there's actually TWO Star Wars characters in this grid! Han SOLO [2D: Helpless?] is probably cool enough to counteract all that negative energy from YOWZA all by himself, and as he's clearly positioned in such a manner as to be crossing the latter, I guess we can imagine who would shoot first in that particular face-off. And after all these years, Ford still looks good doing it—could it be BOTOX?

Although I don't know or care who ABBY [1D: Women's soccer star Wambach] is, I take comfort in knowing there's probably some guy out there somewhere who's thinking "Aw, who cares about this; it's women's sports trivia and that's dumb!" (somehow unaware that all sports trivia is dumb).

Signed, Jonathan Gibson, Botox Man of CrossWorld