crossword construction about 4 hrs (Matt)
Ironic that a physics professor would forget to blog the puzzle the week that PHYSICS is the meta answer, but there you have it. Joon has a good excuse, though: a 7th-place finish at last weekend’s American Crossword Puzzle Tournament would mentally fatigue anyone.
531 solvers noticed that the five theme entries each contained a Nobel Prize category: SEXUAL CHEMISTRY, MEDICINE MAN, HOME ECONOMICS, PEACE TREATY and IRISH LITERATURE. Instructions asked for a word beginning with P, and the missing category is PHYSICS, making that our contest answer.
One tricky thing to sidestep: 31 solvers submitted PRIZE, as in Nobel Prize. Close, but 27-a was [Inventor slighted in the missing category] for Nikola TESLA, an extra nudge towards PHYSICS. The title “Categorically Denied” also suggests that we’re looking for a missing category.
OK theme idea, good phrases, decent but not killer grid (ever met an EELER?), and I do feel a little bad about the PRIZE red herring. 3.75 stars.