I know Maleska got his doctorate as an educator, but the “Dr.” courtesy title works, because he was doing his damnedest to Kevorkian the beloved puzzle.
Will's conducted his editorship the polar-opposite way Maleska did it. In doing so, I doubt Will's anybody's Public Enemy # 1. (Now, if we were to say today's puzzle world is “Public Enemy,” I'm hoping y'all will think of me as Flavor Flav).
Now that yet another Maleska-as-piñata session is done, I'm giving credit where credit is due. The split quote, for ill or for worse, is one of the most enduring and occasionally endearing genres in crosswords. Yes, at times they're a little dull (we went over this as most quotes/quips/aphorisms/koans/recipes/etc. go “pfft” not “bang” when they're done). And I know a lot of solvers aren't generally thrilled with them as the long entries (for the most part) go unchecked throughout the solving process, and if there's any “aha” moment, it's at the “punch line” instead of repeatedly throughout the grid. All are valid points, but, I still think the quote puzzle has it's place today, if used sparingly and effectively.
I have written a handful of sports-related novelty crossword books. Roughly one-third of these books are quotes from the athletes or others affiliated with the teams. My thinking was, it's going to be tough (and boring) to just have puzzles about either already well-known games, retired numbers, and everybody who won an MVP or Rookie of the Year. The quotes helped break up the pacing of the book.
Also, from a puzzlemaker's exercise point of view, split quotes are sometimes one of the hardest ones to make. After you get lucky enough to find a quote that can be split up symmetrically, you are forced to put the theme entries in the grid in order. With a normal puzzle, if I have two 15-letter entries and I'm having a tough time getting the fill to work, I can swap their positions in the grid and see if that improves my luck. No dice with a quote puzzle unless we want the meaning to get all cubist.
Lastly, you're have to use the entire quote, sometimes requiring the puzzle to be filled to the brim with locked in entries (the more entries, the more strained the fill gets). I once crammed this quote, including the speaker's full name (Phil Rizzuto), in a 15x: “I'll take any way to get into the Hall of Fame. If they want a bat boy, I'll go in as a bat boy.” It was hairy to say the least.
So yes, sometimes solving quote puzzles aren't much fun. And yes, they often come across as exercises for the constructor. At least the stepquote died off.
Anyway, enough rambling now. I promise I won't resort to too many quips as themes. So this one's a quote puzzle with the one-liner coming from Zach Galifianakis. Hope you like it.
Also, Amy Reynaldo is holding a clerihew-writing contest after she saw that entry in the fill of my Monday puzzle. Join in the fun here.