NYT Mini for Thursday, April 28, 2016

Constructor: Joel Fagliano

Relative Difficulty: Not Actually a Real Puzzle

Theme: Are You Intimately Familiar with this FIVE DAY-OLD Beyonce Album? Great, Me Too!

Word of the Day: ALBEE

Edward Franklin Albee III (/ˈɔːlbiː/ awl-bee; born March 12, 1928) is an American playwright known for works such as The Zoo Story (1958), The Sandbox (1959), and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962). His works are often considered as well-crafted, realistic examinations of the modern condition. His early works reflect a mastery and Americanization of the Theatre of the Absurd that found its peak in works by European playwrights such as Samuel Beckett, Eugène Ionesco, and Jean Genet. Younger American playwrights, such as Paula Vogel, credit Albee's daring mix of theatricality and biting dialogue with helping to reinvent the post-war American theatre in the early 1960s. Albee continues to experiment in works such as The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? (2002). (Wikipedia)


 
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I'm feelin' a real bee pun-heavy post comin' on!

No but seriously, this thing fucking sucks. In what conceivable universe is the new Beyonce (I refuse to apply the dialectic) album, which has been out for less than FIVE DAYS at the time of this writing, noteworthy enough not just to be namechecked (which it ISN'T), but to have a bizarre detail about it used indirectly to clue an answer like this??? Utterly amazed that this made it into an actual puzzle.

I promise you that I am the only person I know who even knows the name of the new Beyonce album, and I don't know anything about it beyond that. I realize that JAY-Z is a known-commodity and perhaps ultimately inferable from the givens "rapper" and "crossword answer", but I still don't think this clue is doing anything in this puzzle other than trolling [5D: Rapper called out for infidelity on Beyoncé's "Lemonade"].

Ambling or GAMBOLING??? YOU DECIDE

Ambling or GAMBOLING??? YOU DECIDE

Part of the problem is I can't remember which letters in Scrabble are worth ten points. I could have sworn J was one of them, but no, it turns out it's only Q and ZEE [8A: 10-pointers in Scrabble]. The other crosses were strangely opaque to me as well: Couldn't see JOLIE [5A: Angelina who starred in "Maleficent"] because I have no idea what that movie is and didn't even recognize "Angelina" as a first name. Got AMBLE confused with GAMBOL so could not spell it correctly without thinking about it way longer than should have been necessary [6A: Mosey along]. Finally got bailed out, appropriately, by YIELD [7A: Triangular road sign].

Did not realize HAMS had anything to do with Easter, so that was no help [1A: Traditional Easter meat dishes]. It's so hard to keep straight what all different meats go with which holidays. Also, 'dish' to me implies something a little less basic than HAMS. Could not remember Edward ALBEE in the slightest [2D: "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" playwright]; all I could think of was IBSEN which is obviously wrong. There's just too many playwrights, I think.

But ugh. Fuck this puzzle and the Lemonade stand it's not smart enough to work at.

Signed, Jonathan Gibson, Guy Fawkes Day rarebit of CrossWorld