Secret Ingredients

New York Times, June 28

The NYT puzzle today was a veritable spice rack: dill, ginger, jasmine, oregano, pepper, fennel, rosemary and thyme. Although I guess some of those might qualify as herbs.

Nonetheless, these “secret ingredients” were hidden in the circled letters of each theme answer: PRINCETON SEMINARY (101 Across, “New Jersey ecumenical institution”) and JAMES A. MICHENER (17 down, “‘The World Is My Home,” memoirist, 1991″). I wonder how much extra constructor Barry C. Silk got for including MANAGING EDITOR (52 down, “Deadline maker”).

I liked how Silk got TIMOTHY Q MOUSE (124 Across, “Tiny friend of Dumbo”) to cross with SQ MI (119 Down, “640 acres: Abbr.”); getting a Q without a U going both ways is quite a feat, I’d imagine.

A question for William Safire would be whether EMAILS (57 Across, “Computer letters”) is the correct plural of e-mail, since “mails” is not a word. But I liked OVERAWE at 22 Across; the clue, “Cow,” had me in a bovine state of mind until the very last letters were filled in.

Questions or comments? Twitter me @crosswordkathy.

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