NYT Mini for Saturday, April 16, 2016

Constructor: Joel Fagliano

Relative Difficulty: Medium

Theme: None

Word of the Day: TESLA

Nikola Tesla (Serbian Cyrillic: Никола Тесла; 10 July 1856 – 7 January 1943) was a Serbian American[3][4][5][6] inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, physicist, and futurist best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system.[7]

Tesla gained experience in telephony and electrical engineering before emigrating to the United States in 1884 to work for Thomas Edison in New York City. He soon struck out on his own with financial backers, setting up laboratories and companies to develop a range of electrical devices. His patented AC induction motor and transformer were licensed by George Westinghouse, who also hired Tesla for a short time as a consultant. His work in the formative years of electric power development was involved in a corporate alternating current/direct current "War of Currents" as well as various patent battles. (Wikipedia)

Writing about the puzzle! Here we go! 

Well, EGG was definitely a word in the English language that appeared in this puzzle [1A: Yolk holder]. Was Yolk Holder former AG Eric's older brother? I am pretty sure that is in fact the case. But my internal IMAGE of the Holder family tree is pretty hazy, so maybe I'm totally wrong here [7A: Picture]. Anyway, boring word, even more boring than IMAGE. Not plussed by this opening.

Things get a little more promising with GNASH, which is just a superb word, very GNarly [3D: Grind together, as one's teeth]. I'm bullishly GNostic as regards the GNarliness of GNASH. I'm just GNice that way. Also promising is TESLA, in more ways than one [8A: Company that plans to produce self-driving cars]. For one, nice (GNice) word and pleasingly contemporary reference. For two, there's the meta argument that, if there's reason to be at all hopeful about a path forward for the future of the species, it categorically must involve the things that TESLA (and, on the other prong, SpaceX) are going for. If you don't get that, eat shit you asshole. Also, you're wrong. I'm sorry that you're wrong!

I liked it at the time, but looking back I think HER was a little underwhelming [9A: "I'm With ___" (Clinton campaign slogan)]. An enjoyable film that didn't really go anywhere or have much to say. Which is probably true of the majority of Spike Jonze's work. Which is fine! Sometimes that's what you want. And sometimes, you specifically want two Nicholas Cages to OGLE [5D: Stare at rudely]. Jonze is basically your man for that.

Bizarrely just had conversations about both go and chess today, so GAME [2D: Go or chess] was a bit surprising. Well, not surprising, exactly. Noted, perhaps. Yes, it was a bit noted. Hey, you know who would probably be really good at go? Batman, that is who. Probably plays all the time over at Wayne MANOR [4A: Wayne ______ (Batman's Residence)]. Not sure why I think that, but it is true. I guess he just EMITs a sense of being good at board games or something [1D: Give off].

Signed, Jonathan Gibson, gnifty gnoble of CrossWorld