Recently, in a total Adrian Monk Moment, I found myself obsessing about words and patterns and crossword bloggers.
Yeah, that's right. Not Drew Brees or Matt Hasselbeck or pangrams or potato latkes or even Joanne's splendicious Nutella Thumbprint Swirl Corn Muffins, but: crossword bloggers.
And not just any bloggers, but the ones who do the heavy lifting; they write (or have written -- some have retired to the Caymans) about the NYT crossword every day. Every single day. Throw an unchecked square at them and they'll laugh at you -- they've seen it all. They're there on the job, every day, blogging the puzzle from corner to corner.
Who are these people? They're Amy Reynaldo, Rex Parker, Ryan and Brian, Jim Horne, Donald (NYT Crossword in Gothic -- I love his artwork), Patrick Merrell, Ross Beresford and (most recently) Deb Amlen.
These folks are amazing -- not only because of their discipline, their intelligence and dedication to the daily dissection of puzzles . . .
They're also amazing because (Monk, you're going to love this!) their names can be symmetrically hidden in a themeless 72-word puzzle. A themeless with a theme. My aortic valve is aflutter with excitement. And for this and this alone, we shall drink champagne tonight.
Now, truth be told -- I had to tweak the Theme Production Process a tiny bit. (Donald, something tells me that you prefer "Donald" over "Don" -- but for symmetric purposes I shall invoke the Corleone Symmetry Technique and call you DON.) Just this once, please. Thank you.
Patrick Merrell, I know, uses "Pat" from time to time. And years ago, Michael Sharp thoughtfully chose to blog as "Rex Parker" -- to help with the symmetry of the themed names.
Time was of the essence. This grid had to be made (no clues, just the grid) before someone with a name like Krzysztof Penderecki starts blogging about the NYT puzzle. Short blogger names -- so symmetric and orderly. So beautiful to behold and befitting of an Adrian Monk Moment.
Aren't they a handsome nonet?