Author: Jonathan M. Kaye
Time Allotment: 15 minutes
Time Left: 0 minutes (+0)
Errors: 6 (-0)
Correct Words: 72 (+720, 72 out of 78)
Final Score: 720
I am having very bad deja vu, I am 100% I already wrote this review but can no longer find it. Maybe I edited over it? Posted over it? ALAS!
Overall I really enjoyed this puzzle (it always feels good when you finish juuuust under the time allotment, it's like, 'I was able to solve it AND spend a solid amount of time doing an activity I love'. That said, this puzzle was pretty easy to get a foot hold in. For me it happened in the bottom right, with XENA, TIL, and SALSA. I moved out and up from there, with my only real hiccup being in that SERF/SLUG, LUSH/LASH section (more on that in a bit).
As for the theme, it was great. It felt natural and not contrived, and props to Jonathan for an entire column of X and H and it not feeling forced. SIXER, SHEA, ADHD felt especially good (no idea why, I don't even really know what that means), and the other 'X' around the puzzle were a nice touch (IMAX, MARX, XENA).
No for my issues with the puzzle, why the heck are there so many labor related agencies in this puzzle? If OSHA wasn't enough, the (to me) obscure NLRB and AFLCIO really screwed me over. They felt very fill-y and I'm still bitter because I had zero clue as to what they were (and I do maintain a SLUG is also tied to the ground!) Overall though, I suppose a necessary evil for having such a layered theme. Bravo.