What's So Great About a Crossword Puzzle?

I've been writing crossword puzzles for the past ten years.  I'm obsessed with this hobby.  For me, it's a ton of fun.

Crosswords are a great work-out for your brain.  I guess they keep the synapses firing.   The best puzzles involve wordplay, misdirection, a bit of trivia, even trickery.  

My latest puzzle appears in today's edition of The New York Times.  This is my 34th puzzle for the Old Gray Lady.  In the Times, puzzles start relatively easy on Monday and get more difficult to complete as the week progresses.  So today's puzzle isn't too hard and has a few "gimmes" as we say in the business.

This one is all about cocktails, and I've got four mixed drinks in the puzzle.   The cocktails are clued to an alternate definition.  A SIDECAR is a Harley attachment, a MIMOSA is a Tropical tree with hot pink flowers. A GIMLET is a hand tool for boring holes. MARTINI was Danny Devito's role in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."  Right beneath each cocktail is a word which includes the letters M-E in the middle.  The reveal goes in the middle of the puzzle, which in this case is, the DRINKS ARE ON ME.   Get it?

Here's a link to the Wordplay blog of The New York Times, which explains the puzzle a bit further.

Here is the answer key.

And I took this picture of today's grid.  

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