NYT Mini for Friday, April 15, 2016

Constructor: Joel Fagliano

Relative Difficulty: Medium

Theme: None

Word of the Day: IPA

The International Phonetic Alphabet (unofficially—though commonly—abbreviated IPA)[note 1] is an alphabetic system of phonetic notation based primarily on the Latin alphabet. It was devised by the International Phonetic Association as a standardized representation of the sounds of oral language.[1] The IPA is used by lexicographers, foreign language students and teachers, linguists, speech-language pathologists, singers, actors, constructed language creators, and translators.[2][3]

The IPA is designed to represent only those qualities of speech that are part of oral language: phones, phonemes, intonation, and the separation of words and syllables.[1] To represent additional qualities of speech, such as tooth gnashing, lisping, and sounds made with a cleft palate, an extended set of symbols called the Extensions to the International Phonetic Alphabet may be used.[2] (Wikipedia)

Yikes, this is dreadful. Sorry to be so BLUNT, but I calls 'em like I see 'em [8A: To the point ... or lacking a point]. Uh oh, I hope that doesn't mean this post is lacking a point.


I like the clue for POOL [2D: Game involving banking]. Everything else... sucks beyond measure. This was a good misdirect. Brain wanted to squeeze MONOPOLY into there somehow, as was likely intended. Then I tried to think of other board games with a focus on banking in the financial sense. I don't think there are any, though.

I don't have any idea what the clue for HENS is getting at [5D: Roosters ... or the opposite of roosters], or at least I hope I don't. It couldn't *possibly* be suggesting that hens are 'roosters' because they spend their time 'roosting'. That would be basically unforgivable, so let's hope not.

IPA would certainly make this puzzle more bearable [1A: Hoppy beer type], but it's probably for the best that I don't currently have any on my person. I can't be drinking that shit, because I'm nowhere near ARTY enough [6D: Bohemian]. Frankly, I'd really rather have a MOCHA anyway [4A: Chocolate/coffee mix]. I would be a DOTER in regards to one of those right now [7A: Grandparent, frequently]. Frequently.

Well that's about it. Another day, another substandard shithouse puzzle. I guess there's nothing left to do other than to answer the burning question that you really came here to have answered: Yes, PSY [9A: "Gangnam Style" pop star] does have an IMDB page [1D: Website for movie lovers], and yes, it is surprisingly long.

Signed, Jonathan Gibson, First Lord of the Admiralty of CrossWorld (K. C.B.)