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

New York Times, Saturday, September 14, 2013

Author: Jeff Chen
Editor: Will Shortz
Jeff Chen
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
627/5/201011/19/201637
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
195491564
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.633122

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 70, Blocks: 33 Missing: {QX} This is puzzle # 18 for Mr. Chen. 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!

Will Shortz notes: In retrospect, I'm not sure why I accepted this puzzle. Jeff can't construct worth a damn... oh, hi Jeff! Just kidding, of course. ... more
Will Shortz notes: In retrospect, I'm not sure why I accepted this puzzle. Jeff can't construct worth a damn... oh, hi Jeff! Just kidding, of course. You've turned into a first-rate constructor in a very short time. My favorite entries here are 1A, 17A, 37A, 59A, 62A, 64A, 11D, 25D, and 35D. That's a lot of nice stuff! My least favorite are 26A, 2D, 10D (which isn't made anymore), and 60D. Overall, though, the pluses far outweigh the minuses.
Jeff Chen notes: Everyone's a comedian. Crossword construction covers five major areas: early-week, mid-week, out-of-the-box Thursdays, themeless, ... more
Jeff Chen notes: Everyone's a comedian.

Crossword construction covers five major areas: early-week, mid-week, out-of-the-box Thursdays, themeless, and Sunday-size. Many constructors can get proficient at a few areas, some can become an expert at one, but very few can become top-notch in all five. It's my goal to achieve all-around greatness, and I realize I have work to do in the themeless arena.

Starting with the good stuff, I liked how much of this puzzle turned out. PIZZA JOINT brings back memories of the time when I wasn't quite as lactose intolerant (my poor wife), and I find that saying I SCREWED UP comes in handy in disarming people during difficult situations. The wide-open middle sections took me a long time to work through, and I was happy that they came off with just an ETE and HTS as blemishes.

Areas for improvement: I dislike the same entries Will calls out. IN HIS is particularly egregious, being both a five-letter partial as well as an odd one. It feels worse than something like AN ACE ("An ace up one's sleeve" or "An ace in the hole") but I couldn't figure out a way around it. IN HOT was a better possibility, but I couldn't avoid duping HOT (in HOT TO TROT). Hours upon hours of trying hundreds of possibilities and I finally had to wave the white flag. I'd love to hear from other constructors to see if there was something different I could have done.

And my cluing is still a work in progress. I've come a long way from when Will used to change 75% of my clues, but I want to be mentioned in the same breath as Mike Shenk (editor of the WSJ puzzle), who Will gives as an example of someone whose cluing he barely has to touch. I continue to work at building my clue-writing ability by studying great puzzles like yesterday's masterful PB. And a lot of practice.

All in all, I'm making progress but realize I have work to do. Butt in chair, Jeff, butt in chair.

1
P
2
I
3
Z
4
Z
5
A
6
J
7
O
8
I
9
N
10
T
11
W
12
I
13
F
14
E
15
A
N
T
I
M
A
T
T
E
R
16
A
L
A
S
17
W
H
I
T
E
N
O
I
S
E
18
L
L
C
S
19
N
I
L
20
S
E
E
S
T
O
21
K
A
T
O
22
S
E
23
T
24
S
N
L
25
G
O
T
26
H
27
T
28
S
29
T
I
30
E
O
N
E
31
O
32
N
33
I
34
N
35
H
E
R
I
36
T
37
N
E
W
W
A
V
E
38
B
I
O
D
A
T
A
39
G
R
E
A
S
E
S
40
A
T
T
A
C
K
S
41
S
I
S
T
E
R
S
42
R
E
T
R
E
A
T
43
S
44
E
T
E
45
O
K
S
46
E
P
47
S
48
R
49
A
50
W
51
L
52
O
T
S
53
S
T
E
P
54
O
55
N
56
S
A
57
Y
58
Y
U
R
I
59
R
E
N
O
N
E
60
V
A
D
A
61
I
Z
O
D
62
I
S
C
R
E
W
E
D
U
P
63
N
O
T
E
64
S
T
E
E
L
T
R
A
P
S
© 2013, The New York TimesNo. 23,321
Across Down
1. Where a lot of dough gets thrown around : PIZZAJOINT
11. See 51-Across : WIFE
15. Fuel for a warp drive engine on "Star Trek" : ANTIMATTER
16. Resignation exclamation : ALAS
17. Sleep aid, for some : WHITENOISE
18. BMW of North America and others: Abbr. : LLCS
19. Zip around a field? : NIL
20. Makes happen : SEESTO
21. Assistant played by Bruce Lee : KATO
22. Wanting for nothing : SET
24. "Celebrity Jeopardy!" show, briefly : SNL
25. Took revenge on : GOT
26. Broadview ___, O. : HTS
29. Become stiff : TIEONEON
33. Get by force of will? : INHERIT
37. Punk's cousin : NEWWAVE
38. Info about a person's education and work history : BIODATA
39. Smooths : GREASES
40. Follows a military order : ATTACKS
41. Their habits give them away : SISTERS
42. Follows a military order : RETREATS
44. Time of long journées : ETE
45. Lets go through : OKS
46. Brief albums, in brief : EPS
48. Needing hand cream, maybe : RAW
51. With 11-Across, biblical woman who met a bad end : LOTS
53. Board : STEPON
56. "That gives me an idea ..." : SAY
58. First spaceman's first name : YURI
59. Setting for "The Misfits" : RENONEVADA
61. Polo competitor : IZOD
62. "My bad" : ISCREWEDUP
63. Musical production : NOTE
64. Symbols of sharpness : STEELTRAPS
1. One with promotional potential : PAWN
2. "___ Steps" (Christian best seller) : INHIS
3. "10" is inscribed on it : ZTILE
4. Temple imperfection : ZIT
5. Subject of the 2012 book "Circle of Treason" : AMES
6. Porter created by Burroughs : JANE
7. Winnebago relatives : OTOES
8. "Incorrect!" : ITISNT
9. Babes in the woods? : NESTLINGS
10. Smartphone preceded by the Pre : TREO
11. Do the impossible, metaphorically : WALKONWATER
12. Anxious : ILLATEASE
13. It's never wrong : FACT
14. Standard breakup creation : ESSO
23. Temptation for Luke Skywalker : THEDARKSIDE
25. Follow the sun? : GOWEST
27. Sniffs out : TRACES
28. First capital of the Last Frontier : SITKA
30. Like some fogs : EERIE
31. Ham's handoff : OVER
32. Name associated with a mobster or a monster : NESS
33. Skyscraper component : IBAR
34. Brief period of darkness? : NITE
35. Eager : HOTTOTROT
36. Event with unmarked choices : TASTETEST
43. Trial lawyer who wrote "O.J.: The Last Word" : SPENCE
47. Basidium-borne body : SPORE
49. Adjective on taco truck menus : ASADA
50. Crumple : WADUP
51. "Can't Believe Your ___" (1988 Neil Young song) : LYIN
52. Drink said to have originated on Lesbos : OUZO
53. Titles for distinguished Indians : SRIS
54. Main character in "The Paper Chase," e.g. : ONEL
55. Cousin of a congo eel : NEWT
57. Blabbers : YAPS
60. See, in Santiago : VER

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle, 2 debuted here and reused later.

Found bugs or have suggestions?

Previous puzzle | Next puzzle