It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker. Please consider supporting our site by purchasing an account.

New York Times, Friday, September 11, 2015

Author: Peter A. Collins
Editor: Will Shortz
Peter A. Collins
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
985/2/20061/11/201711
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
51123341294
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.564283
Puzzle of the Week

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 68, Blocks: 27 Missing: {JKQ} Spans: 4, (2 double stacks) This is puzzle # 91 for Mr. Collins. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick NYT links: Across Lite PDF

Support XWord Info

Donation Amount

XWord Info is only possible when people like you choose to support it through donations.

Donate to get access to XWord Info for a year.

Benefits vary by donation level. Thank you!

Peter A. Collins notes: Grrr! I got scooped on THIS IS SPINAL TAP by Julian Lim! He used it on February 27th of this year on this very fine Friday ... more
Peter A. Collins notes:

Grrr! I got scooped on THIS IS SPINAL TAP by Julian Lim! He used it on February 27th of this year on this very fine Friday puzzle. I submitted my puzzle long before Julian's was published, of course, but so it goes in the cruciverbalist business.

In looking over the grid, I see that the triple-vertical-stack of proper nouns WALPOLE, GARDINER, and COLLINS might cause issues for some. By the way, I would tell you that I didn't put COLLINS in the grid for megalomaniacal reasons, but you wouldn't believe me anyway.

I have a question to throw out there in the court of public opinion. My clue for WATERMELON SEEDS was "Farmers might cover them in patches." I thought it was brilliant (but then again, I also thought New Coke was brilliant). The editor didn't share my enthusiasm for the clue. What say you, ladies and gentlemen of the jury?

Jeff Chen notes: THIS IS SPINAL TAP is one of the few movies on my Top Tier list, so I had a big smile with the 'Smell the Glove' clue. (The album ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

THIS IS SPINAL TAP is one of the few movies on my Top Tier list, so I had a big smile with the "Smell the Glove" clue. (The album cover ended up being solid black, due to NSFW reasons. Ahem.) BTW, "Smell the Glove" came between "Shark Sandwich" (described by a critic as "Sh*t Sandwich") and "Break Like the Wind."

A metal umlaut makes everything better

Did I mention how much I love that movie?

Neat layout, built upon two pairs of grid-spanning entries. Sometimes puzzles built around grid-spanners use ones that are pretty average; snazziness sacrificed in the name of getting the darn grid to work. Here, I think Pete does great, four for four. Bravo! And while I really like Pete's WATERMELON SEEDS clue, I love Will/Joel's "spitting distance" one. (Sorry, Pete!)

It's great that Pete doesn't just depend on his grid-spanners to provide snazz, leaving slots for eight more long entries — colorful stuff in CHE GUEVARA / CEDAR FALLS and STUNT PILOT. (STAY AT HOME doesn't sound as good to my ear since it's usually paired with MOM or DAD, making it feel like a partial.) Crossing pairs of long answers is a rough task, so it's no surprise to see some URE and ALEF (a variant of ALIF) and MSS / OCTO around those regions. These are mostly minor, although personally, any entry that requires the "variant" tag is to be avoided at all costs.

Check out the big swaths of white in the north and south — ambitious to leave grid sections so wide-open. These big sections make it hard to work in great entries though, and the assortment of potentially esoteric proper names in the bottom — WALPOLE, GARDINER, COLLINS, MARLO — isn't ideal. I like the north better, with a great clue for KFC's The COLONEL, and MEMOREX, which takes me back to fun TV ads from childhood.

Finally, some solvers will be confused by REL, so I'll explain that the "little" in [Little brother or sister?] cues you that an abbr. is in play — REL for relative. "For short" or "briefly" or "quick" all work similarly. A good crossword convention to know.

A lot of fun stuff today!

1
S
2
L
3
E
4
P
5
T
6
I
7
C
8
A
9
N
10
C
11
C
12
C
13
P
14
A
S
T
R
O
15
C
O
D
A
16
R
H
E
A
17
W
A
T
E
R
18
M
E
L
O
N
19
S
E
E
D
S
20
S
T
E
P
P
E
D
O
N
T
H
E
G
A
S
21
S
I
M
O
N
I
Z
E
22
U
R
E
23
M
24
S
25
S
26
D
O
V
E
S
27
A
28
L
E
F
29
O
T
T
30
O
31
R
E
L
32
C
R
A
V
A
33
T
34
S
A
U
C
35
I
E
R
36
G
O
S
T
A
L
E
37
S
Y
N
T
A
X
38
W
A
L
39
E
R
L
E
40
A
T
O
M
41
M
A
R
L
42
O
43
A
S
S
44
S
T
P
45
B
46
U
I
L
D
I
N
47
G
48
T
H
I
49
S
I
S
S
P
I
N
A
L
50
T
51
A
52
P
53
P
O
L
I
C
E
C
O
N
S
T
A
B
L
E
54
A
M
O
R
55
R
U
L
E
56
I
R
A
T
E
57
T
E
T
E
58
S
E
E
R
59
P
E
R
O
N
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 24,048
Across Down
1. Recharged, so to speak : SLEPT
6. Volunteer's words : ICAN
10. Inits. on old rubles : CCCP
14. Pro athlete whose mascot is an orange-capped alien : ASTRO
15. End piece : CODA
16. Moon of Saturn : RHEA
17. Objects within spitting distance? : WATERMELONSEEDS
20. Gunned it : STEPPEDONTHEGAS
21. Polish with wax : SIMONIZE
22. Script follower : URE
23. Potential mag. articles, maybe : MSS
26. Fliers for a magic show : DOVES
27. Hebrew letter: Var. : ALEF
29. Hall-of-Fame football center Jim : OTTO
31. Little brother or sister? : REL
32. Dandy accessory : CRAVAT
34. Relatively risqué : SAUCIER
36. Lose freshness : GOSTALE
37. Twisted here this is : SYNTAX
38. Retail store opening? : WAL
39. First name in detective fiction : ERLE
40. Bond part : ATOM
41. Thomas of TV : MARLO
43. Nativity scene figure : ASS
44. Oomph! degreaser brand : STP
45. Groundbreaking development? : BUILDING
48. Film featuring the fictional album "Smell the Glove" : THISISSPINALTAP
53. Bobby with a low rank : POLICECONSTABLE
54. Opposite of odio : AMOR
55. Be the bomb : RULE
56. Apt to go through the roof : IRATE
57. ___ de Moine (Swiss cheese) : TETE
58. Prescient one : SEER
59. Founder of Argentina's Justicialist Party : PERON
1. Props for some magic shows : SAWS
2. It includes a 35-min. writing sample : LSAT
3. Relative of -ine : ETTE
4. Readies : PREPS
5. Lethargic : TORPID
6. Like some treacherous roads : ICEDOVER
7. Famed fast-food figure, with "the" : COLONEL
8. Hunk : ADONIS
9. Play-by-play announcer Jim : NANTZ
10. Plains native : CREE
11. Who said "If you tremble with indignation at every injustice, then you are a comrade of mine" : CHEGUEVARA
12. Locale of the University of Northern Iowa : CEDARFALLS
13. Like cassette tapes : PASSE
18. Onetime big name in cassette tapes : MEMOREX
19. Landscaping aid : SHEARS
23. Shade similar to artichoke green : MOSS
24. Like some moms and dads : STAYATHOME
25. High roller? : STUNTPILOT
28. All-too-common flight status : LATE
30. Sex plus two, to Caesar : OCTO
32. Original publisher of nearly all Agatha Christie novels : COLLINS
33. Souvenir shop stock : TEES
35. Like much of Keats's poetry : IAMBIC
36. Montana town at the north entrance to Yellowstone : GARDINER
38. Great Britain's first prime minister : WALPOLE
41. Slip : MISCUE
42. How narcs might act : ONATIP
44. One prompting people to go green, for short? : STPAT
46. ___ fee : USERS
47. Skier's problem : GLARE
49. Stud, often : SIRE
50. Elevator used by skiers : TBAR
51. Part of the range that's widely accessible? : ALTO
52. Round pounder : PEEN

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?

|