As I’ve confessed here before, despite no longer LIVING in New York, I am still a reader of The New York Times.
(Full confessional here:
And so, of course, I am a Crossword Puzzler as well.
And so, there I was, late last night, finally settling in to have a go at the Sunday edition.
And there I was, rolling along fairly well.
And then it happened.
The clue seemed reasonably straightforward: “Wine Taster’s Destination.”
But this is the The Gray Lady. Something clever had to be afoot.
So I’m thinking, “Nirvana?”
No go. Too abstract, and not the correct letter count. I need 10 letters. So I’m thinking more literally. “Tasting Room.” Nope. That word goes to 11. Or perhaps “Wine Bar.” No luck. Too literal, wrong letter counts.
So I try to meet in the middle, at the crossroads of concept and concrete; I need a 10-letter word for “palate.” “Gustation?” Rats, 9 letters. “Refinement!” That’s 10! Nope. No go.
If you see where this is all headed, you’re swifter than I.
I gave up, and started working on verticals to see if I could spring a clue free.
“Eine” and “Yul” gave me an E and a Y at the end, and then the truth began to dawn.
Say it ain’t so Gray Lady!
Wine Taster’s Destination: Napa Valley
To you New York Times, and to you specifically Mr. Will Shortz, I vow this: You WILL one day run a crossword that features The Santa Cruz Mountains in a wine clue.
Unless you already have. In which case, I stand corrected.
But if you haven’t!
Now, what’s the bloody name of the bloke who runs London these days?