4 Broadway
"Midrash" by Martin Ashwood-Smith

I finished this puzzle sometime late last summer (2013). Overall, I was very pleased, with the sole exception of 34-Down: FRASE. All of the other "quad-crossers" seemed to be just fine, so why was the FRASE area proving to be so difficult? I thought of extending it to FRASER, but that created its own set of problems that alas didn't improve matters.

There were two clue options for FRASE. Since it was Italian for PHRASE, it seemed reasonable to use some kind of idiomatic Italian phrase (which I eventually did). The second fall back option, Merl Reagle suggested, since he'd seen it used (and spelled) that way quite frequently in both "Cheers" and "Frasier" scripts, as a short form for "Frasier."

It's at times like these that constructors do one of two things: a) they throw the puzzle out and start again (always a tough option when you've got a nice set of quad-stacks that almost work), or b) persuade themselves hat FRASE isn't so bad, cross their fingers and send it off to Will.

As you may already have gathered, Will rejected the puzzle, mainly on the basis of FRASE. I think there's a possibility he may have accepted it if this had been the first quadstack ever to grace his desk. But over the last few years standards have gone up and up. and a quadstack can't expect any special treatment now.

One more note:  Did you notice that the puzzle is a pangram?  This general issue is discussed at some length, not only in the link to the left, but also in the "midrash" to another puzzle.

If you want to tell others about this particular page, refer them to http://tinyurl.com/broadwaymidrash


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