Author: Timothy Polin
Time Allotment: 25 minutes
Time Left: 5 minutes (+125)
Errors: 10 (-125)
Correct Words: 59/68 (+590)
Final Score: 590
NOT A GOOD DAY in crossword land for me. I have to say I really enjoyed this puzzle - I thought the theme was fun, the fill was tight, and ICENINE just made me so ridiculously happy. That said, 10 errors on a Thursday makes me sad.
I started in the NW corner but abandonned pretty early on for the 'find any answer you're 100% on' approach. Luckily ICENINE was a gimme for a Vonnegut nut like myself, followed by TROT, INERT, JESS, ANTI, and AXMAN. Eventually I got STONE and JACKSON, which led me to say 'hmmmm, maybe WALL is a theme here?' and WOLFOF/STREET confirmed it. With 15 minutes remaining I only had the second to last letter of LECARRE (clearly I had a typo in DEEP) remaining, and I knew that would be luck as both the across and down were Greek to me. And then, there was the NE corner.
I'm not sure why I had SO much trouble in the NE corner, but man was it rough. Maybe it was because I really wanted YUM? And I thought 8A was more likely to end in a Y than any other non-S letter? I was also torn between ENGREASE and DEGREASE but thought hides may be treated with oil before they're dried (apparently that was wrong), and again my lack of history was showing in 13A down. Alas - here's to tomorrow.