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2 puzzles by Brad Wiegmann
with Jeff Chen comments

TotalDebutLatestCollabs
22/28/20215/9/20210
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
2000000
RebusCirclePangram
000
Brad Wiegmann
Sun 5/9/2021MOTHER'S DAY CONCERT
DOCSCABACHESTERMS
OPALORICHILLASIANS
REMIGETAKICKOUTOFYOU
IREMITERSTAPLERS
CARRYTHATWEIGHTHERES
HAIOATAXLEERA
COCOTCELLREGATTA
HURTSSOGOODPUSHIT
USEPUPAETOMSSKEET
MEWEVERTFINALEASY
IWANNABESEDATED
USPSTEPIDEELEDZAP
REALMORSOADOREODE
SCREAMIMCOMINGOUT
ATATROTDENCHMALE
GNUALTAANAANT
AMEBABABYONEMORETIME
CANARIESABUTSMOT
THEKIDSAREALRIGHTAVA
SERENEMARRYTAROLIP
ROSESITSMESTOPSEE

The giant Sunday canvas provides opportunities to tell stories. Who doesn't enjoy an engaging tale? I GET A KICK OUT OF YOU is a fun way to describe that awe-struck feeling I got when first feeling the baby kick inside Jill's belly. CARRY THAT WEIGHT was appropriate for the two hours (2:30-4:30 am) we spent walking up and down the halls of Swedish Medical Center when she decided that sure, why not see if it does further induce labor (it didn't)?

HURTS SO GOOD … I bet Jill would beg to disagree. More like, kill Brad.

Curious plot twist, the twins in BABY ONE MORE TIME. Felt a bit soap-opera-ish since there was no prior indication or foreshadowing. Kind of lost me at that point, but I like a feel-good ending with THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT.

Glad that Brad featured Diana Ross's catchy I'M COMING OUT. I almost forgot that Salt ‘N Pepa and Usher were thematic too, since their songs (PUSH IT and SCREAM) are so short. This was much better than a recent music puzzle, but I'd have loved even more selections that better catered to the diverse audience that the NYT crossword serves.

During my solve, I bogged down in the tons of 3-5 letter entries, making things feel choppy. Perhaps it was the grid design, with so many regions nearly separated from each other … almost womb-like! Okay, let's go with that.

More connectivity would have made for better solving flow, as would a better dispersion of the long bonuses. As much as I enjoyed OPERA HOUSE and CAMERA CREW right off the bat, having a few sparkly long entries in the middle would have helped the grid's feng shui a ton.

Excellent job on the cluing, several clever bits of wordplay helping keep my attention. [Wanna-bees?] for PUPAE (early stage of bees) is delightful, as is an OPERA HOUSE for "trill seekers". Ha! I didn't get how COGITO leads to a sum, but some research jogged my memory of "cogito, ergo sum."

Fewer than average gluey bits, which is great! If Brad only had escaped with one less of ETAPE ESTOP ENERO …

Although the story felt forced toward the end, still, an enjoyable concept for Mother's Day.

Sun 2/28/2021CROSSWORD BUFF
TREBEKVALISESDEBONE
OHIOANIMALONEEPIPEN
LENTTOBARELYMANAGING
LASTSEESVAILWEE
OBSESSIVESLEET
BLAMEONMANYMOONSAGO
LADLESTHATTOONOTYET
ANDESROEGDRAGSLEI
DAISRAWRECRUITSWOKS
EINSTEINHADATFIRS
PENNOPINEETON
REINBERETSMIRNOFF
EASTCOMICSTRIPSILER
RICLEWISAINTINDIE
INABITLIVEMASENGINE
EXPOSURETIMECLOSETS
ECASHSOREPOINT
APEESTALUSTREAL
FULLYRECOVEREDICEAXE
ITALIAARISINGSEASON
TONINGRESTDAYTOKENS

Man, oh man, Brad's "interview" had me rolling in the aisles! I enjoyed his debut puzzle almost as much. CROSSWORD BUFF, what a fun bit of wordplay.

For all of Will Shortz's intent to promote intellectual topics and fine arts in the NYT crossword, he has a soft spot for certain juvenile humor. Only a few days ago, he ran one on POTTY MOUTH, and today's bares his tendency further.

(Nod to Brad.)

I enjoyed so many of the themers, all of them working well. I particularly enjoyed ending the puzzle on FULLY RECOVERED, a cheeky (sorry) way to bring up the rear. (Help, I can't stop!)

My big question: isn't SORE POINT a bit risqué, even for this puzzle? I know people get sunburnt at nudist clubs, but this is quite a graphic image.

(Ignore me. Please!)

Fun clue for LADLES, too. They "hit the sauce," indeed. All it takes is a handful of these to elevate the fun factor.

Impressive debut, Brad doing a better job of execution than many experienced constructors. Restraining himself to only a handful of EEN EINS ESTA minor glue while making the most of his long bonus slots — ESCAPE PLAN EINSTEIN SMIRNOFF — takes a lot of iteration, time, and care. Well done.