Alright, New York Times, You Win THIS Round, But I’ll Be Back!

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.”

Simple, seemingly.

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.

****Spoiler Alert****

“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!

It was.

Napa Valley.

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?

Categories: Viticultural Salmagundi

Tags: , , , , ,

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