I think Larry Paul's Monday NYT was actually one of the easiest NYT crosswords in months—if not for a mistake the timed applet triggered me to find and fix, I'd have finished 20 seconds sooner.
The mistake involved not knowing that two letters differed in the spelling variant FALDERAL, which was apparently the original usage, predating folderol. (I suspect people will be up in arms over a two-fisted spelling variant in a Monday puzzle, but they'll have to suck it up and enjoy the etymological lesson.) I hadn't even looked at the crossing (hi, Ellen!) for the first A. The "...to a housekeeper" theme was light, perfect for a Monday, and the fill included many better-than-Monday words (OUTSMART, SOY SAUCE, BICEPS, EXTERIOR).
Gary Steinmehl's Sun puzzle, "Failure Is an Option," gave me a hankering for Milk Duds...
July 16, 2006
Posted by Orange at 7:13 PM