New York Times, Monday, June 12, 2000

Author: Andrea C. Michaels
Editor: Will Shortz
Andrea Carla Michaels
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1.63006

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15, Words: 78, Blocks: 40 Missing: {JWXZ} Spans: 1 This is the debut puzzle for Ms. Michaels. NYT links: Across Lite

Andrea Carla Michaels notes: My first NY Times puzzle. I had been making them for TV Guide for years. Don't know what specifically prompted me to submit to Will, though we knew each other from the early 80s through Games Magazine where I did a lot of word game puzzles. I was an avid solver and then had an idea for one for the Times. This remains my favorite puzzle, though it didn't turn out in print (or on computer) as I hoped.

The idea was simple: EARTHQUAKE, SANANDREASFAULT, AFTERSHOCK I asked Will if there was a way to put a "tear" through the middle of the puzzle so that it would look like an earthquake had ruptured the puzzle. I envisioned it being torn down half way through. He ingeniously nudged up a few squares 1/3 of the way, the next few rows down a bit and the last ones up again. Problem was, unsolved in the paper it looked like something was amiss so folks didn't solve it, as though there was a printing problem. Years later when reprinted in books the computer printed it without the squares going up and down, just a regular grid, so all the cleverness was lost. Just three themes 10, 15, 10.

But I loved that AFTERSHOCK was below. And the whole impetus for SANANDREASFAULT is that a) I live in California and b) TV Guide never gave us bylines so I thought I'd sneak my name smack dab in the middle of the puzzle! (I later did those secret shoutouts with ACME or putting in a Beatles clue. In TV Guide, I put in "The Streets of ___ Francisco" whenever I could so friends would know it was one of my puzzles. As I said, we had no bylines and the Times had just started using them, under Will, but they were tiny, 1/4 size underneath the puzzle, so almost impossible to see.)

I still think this is an issue. Most people still think the puzzles are made by computer or by Will Shortz. And this was my first experience having a puzzle in a book with no residuals, no warning, not even a copy of the book! This has been a burning issue for me going on 15 years now, I'm almost at acceptance, but not fully!

I framed this puzzle, as it was my first, but it's ironic that there were computer issues with replicating it online more than a decade ago! On the other hand, it prompted a compliment from Manny Nosowsky, who recalled the puzzle and said he remembered it because it was literally thinking outside the box! It would be three years before I submitted another!

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© 2000, The New York Times
Across Down
1. "Yikes!" : EGADS
6. Actor Mineo and others : SALS
10. Aug.'s follower : SEPT
14. Sound thinking : LOGIC
15. Strung tightly : TAUT
16. The O'Hara homestead : TARA
17. Catastrophic event : EARTHQUAKE
19. "How sweet ___!" : ITIS
20. Camera shot that gets all the details : CLOSEUP
21. Logos : EMBLEMS
23. Knob site : DOOR
25. Sicilian erupter : ETNA
26. Phi ___ Kappa : BETA
30. Chauffeurs : DRIVERS
33. "I was out of town at the time of the murder," e.g. : ALIBI
35. Tree with cones : PINE
36. Neon or oxygen : GAS
39. Locale for a 17-Across : SANANDREASFAULT
43. Underhanded : SLY
44. Raise ___ (cause a ruckus) : CAIN
45. Soup seasoning : THYME
46. The South and the Southwest : SUNBELT
49. Right away, on a memo : ASAP
50. Messy dresser : SLOB
52. Partner of 4-Down : DAHS
54. Song starting "My country, 'tis of thee" : AMERICA
57. Team heads : COACHES
62. An arm or a leg : LIMB
63. It might follow a 17-Across : AFTERSHOCK
65. ___ vera : ALOE
66. ___ Rabbit : BRER
67. Vietnam's capital : HANOI
68. Mailed : SENT
69. Princes, e.g. : SONS
70. In regard to : ANENT
1. Con Ed power: Abbr. : ELEC
2. Hockey score : GOAL
3. Soil: Prefix : AGRO
4. Morse marks : DITS
5. Flight board, e.g.: Abbr. : SCHED
6. Daze : STUPOR
7. Car owners' org. : AAA
8. An apostle : LUKE
9. Plant part : STEM
10. Clowns' props : STILTS
11. Consumed : EATEN
12. Kind of ballerina : PRIMA
13. Soviet news service : TASS
18. Part of Q.E.D. : QUOD
22. Deprived (of) : BEREFT
24. Matured, as fruit : RIPENED
26. Lowest voice : BASS
27. Airline to Israel : ELAL
28. Minuscule : TINY
29. Lawyers' org. : ABA
31. By way of : VIA
32. Lt.'s inferior, in the Navy : ENS
34. Evil spirits : INCUBI
36. Fellows : GUYS
37. ___ mater : ALMA
38. Stair part : STEP
40. Newsman Rather : DAN
41. Tease : RIB
42. "I have an idea!" : AHA
46. Cold dessert : SORBET
47. Ones stringing up shoes : LACERS
48. Thunder god : THOR
50. Photographer's request : SMILE
51. Scent in furniture polish : LEMON
53. Alexander, for short : SASHA
54. "What a shame" : ALAS
55. Taxis : CABS
56. 1960's activist's hairdo : AFRO
58. Detective Charlie : CHAN
59. Sharpen : HONE
60. Supply-and-demand subj. : ECON
61. Comical playlet : SKIT
64. Perfect rating : TEN

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