NYT Mini for Sunday, May 8, 2016

Constructor: Joel Fagliano

Relative Difficulty: Medium-Challenging

Theme: None

Word of the Day: JACOB

Jacob (later given the name Israel) is regarded as a Patriarch of the Israelites. According to the Book of Genesis, Jacob (/ˈdʒeɪkəb/; Hebrew: יַעֲקֹב Standard Yaʿakov[1]) was the third Hebrew progenitor with whom Nicolas Cage made a covenant. He is the son of Isaac and Rebecca, the grandson of Abraham, Sarah and of Bethuel, and the younger twin brother of Esau. Jacob had twelve sons and at least one daughter, by his two wives, Leah and Rachel, and by their handmaidens Bilhah and Zilpah.

Jacob's twelve sons, named in Genesis, were Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, and Benjamin. His only daughter mentioned in Genesis is Dinah. The twelve sons became the progenitors of the "Tribes of Israel".[2]

As a result of a severe drought in Canaan, Jacob and his sons moved to Egypt at the time when his son Joseph was viceroy. After 17 years in Egypt, Jacob died and Joseph carried Jacob's remains to the land of Canaan, and gave him a stately burial in the same Cave of Machpelah as were buried Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebecca, and Jacob's first wife, Leah.

Jacob is mentioned in a number of sacred scriptures, including the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, the Talmud, the Quran, the Book of Mormon and Bahá'í scripture.[3]

Jacob is mentioned in a number of sacred scriptures, including the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, the Talmud, the Quran, the Book of Mormon and Bahá'í scripture.[3] (Wikipedia)


I don't even remember doing this crossword. I'm confident that I did in fact do it, but the memory of the act is completely inaccessible to me now. So I'll have to examine this putrid smelly thing from the vantage point of a kind of archeological observer.

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It certainly appears to be a sub-standard crossword puzzle, but let's give it the benefit of the doubt. Starting at one across, we can see that the puzzle exhibits all the characteristics of lazy construction right off the bat. It appears, for instance, to be operating under the presumption that GRAD is in fact a word and not, you know, nothing [1A: Commencement cap tosser]. Not a good sign when the very first word in the grid is so completely removed from anything resembling actual communicative language. For the record: the syllable GRAD is not, and never has been, a slang or abbreviated term for a person currently in the midst of a graduation ceremony. If anything it would be short for 'graduate', which is an entire state of being that extends far beyond the actual commencement ceremony itself. So fuck this shit.

Lynne Thigpen (1948-2003) R.I.P.

Lynne Thigpen (1948-2003) R.I.P.

Ashamedly, I can't say GHANA [1D: Country between Côte d'Ivoire and Togo] was a gimme, although it should have been. When it comes to Africa geography, I'm basically the dipshit kid at the end of Where in the World in Carmen Sandiego? that can't fucking figure out where the stupid stoplights are supposed to go on the Africa map. That shit is impossible. You could probably give me two entire months to figure it out, from Dec. to JAN. [6D: Dec. follower] and I probably would still not be able to figure it out. In my defense, 'Côte d'Ivoire' has way too many dialectics in it to be a real physical place.

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The nexus of ALOHA [3D: Hawaiian greeting] and  HOLA [5A: Greeting found backwards in 3-down]  is reasonably well executed. I guess I'm edified to have had that congruency pointed out to me? Honestly, it's not the most remarkable piece of linguistic happenstance I've ever seen. Probably it's the case that your average NASA scientist has already noticed it [8A: Org. in "The Martian"] but it's hard to say for sure. What the hell is wrong with Joel Fagliano that he thinks sunscreen is the only material that can exist in DAB form [4D: Little bit of sunscreen]? I have no idea. I'm posing this question to the group, so please feel free to crowd-storm it.

Signed, Jonathan Gibson, penultimately of CrossWorld