The story behind Merl Reagle's Wednesday puzzle
A lot of people noticed that the fill in Merl's puzzle yesterday was, well, not as smooth as they might expect. A Roman numeral at 1-Down? E-TAIL and A NET? OST and ACADS? Some baseball player we don't all know?
A man in Philadelphia had gotten in touch with Merl, since Merl's Sunday puzzle runs in the Philadelphia Inquirer. The man's wife CLARA (1-Across) is a big fan of crosswords and she has been battling a tough cancer. The man hoped that a newspaper might run a puzzle with a theme devoted to Clara. That, Merl explained, was not possible