Archive for May, 2010

Puzzled

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Will Shortz is on the short(z) list of people I’d like to meet some day; or, at least he had been until I attempted to solve a recent Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle that he had edited.  Entitled “Monumental Achievement,” it was constructed by Elizabeth Gorski, whose clues usually make sense and whose puzzles I can sometimes solve even without Seth’s help.

I was having a tougher time than usual cracking the code on this one, though.  Then I came to 71 down, a five-letter word.  The clue was “light lunch,” and I saw that the first letter was an “s.”  “Nosh” was obviously out.  Maybe it was “snack”?   But the second letter was an “a” (for “amnios,” which are “prenatal procedures, informally,” according to the clue for 71 across).  As I figured out the rest of the intersecting words going across, I finally solved 71 down: “salad.”   What?!

I am generally in awe of Mr. Shortz’s cruciverbalist/puzzle-editing skills, as wonderfully rendered in “Wordplay.” I listen to him regularly on NPR’s Weekend Edition on Sunday mornings and admire his ability to craft some pretty crafty puzzles.  But he appears clueless as to the current State of Salads.  He has obviously never devoured Wildfire’s scrumptious chopped version, indulged in Soffrafina’s Italian Cobb, or created his own salad medley from the 45 feet of salad bar at Sweet Tomatoes.

“Light lunch”?  I don’t think so.  I must request that, in the future, such a clue be tossed.

Yours till the lettuce leaves,
NJL