Brad Wilber
Brad Wilber 

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37 puzzles by Brad Wilber — 25 solos and 12 collaborations

with constructor comments

See the answer words debuted by Brad Wilber.

*** Click any puzzle to see the full view. ***


★POW Sat 2/8/2014
BASFLIPONESLID
ACHJUKEBOXHERO
TRAOREGONTRAIL
HOMBREWIEISNT
SPEEDDOSYMHA
HOLEPHOTOOP
ELECOLDSAWHER
BISHOPSLEAZY
ASSDOGSITMIRA
REVOLTSBRAN
CBERKOSTEMPO
PARILAVHEREON
ORANGEPEKOETUE
SOVIETUNIONANA
TBONESTEAKSLDL
DOUG: This is the first time, in the NY Times puzzle, that the entry DOGSIT (39-Across) has been clued as "dog-sit" (take care of a pet) instead of "dogs it" (loafs on the job). We went that route because the entry crosses ITS at 42-Down. And Brad came up with some stellar clues for dog-sit, including the one that Will used in puzzle. Here's a nice one from the cutting room floor: [Keep an afghan around you, perhaps]. I have cats, so I don't have to worry about finding a sitter. Cats are easy. If I'm going to be gone for a couple of days, I just leave a twenty-dollar bill on the counter and they're good.

BRAD: Every time I do a puzzle with stacks of 11s, I say it will be my last for a good while. But ever since Doug and I did our puzzle of last August 3, we've had orphaned stacks that we couldn't quite mesh with the grid of the moment but that we felt had the kind of panache solvers like to see — maybe enough to launch a new puzzle. Each new grid has left us with a tempting discarded scrap. I've joked to Doug that we will have an endless loop of 11-heavy puzzles and we'll just try to space them out judiciously and use other grid types in-between. I thought this one turned out especially clean. I liked Doug's clues for 34A and 57A. And the nice SE he did led to some fun digging on my part — research-based clues that Will liked and used in the final edit.

Fri 1/3/2014
PETITFOURYAWPS
IRONHORSEENIAC
DONNAREEDSEPIA
GIGSEGRETWENT
ICUWVAEWEOFT
NAEYENMIXTURE
ACROSTPETER
MOTHSTENSE
GANNETTBEDS
NICOLAIERIBAH
ONOMMMAVARAY
CRUZPENNECAFE
CORESLIBRARIAN
HASTYANASTASIA
IDEALGOGETTERS

BARRY: TWITTERVERSE was the seed here. I also thought EXPEDIA would make a good Scrabbly entry, despite it being a brand name. We went through a few drafts before settling on the published grid. The first attempt used TIMEOUTS in the NE corner, which had to be changed because we eventually incorporated TIMELAG into the SW. So Brad replaced TIMEOUTS with WIPEOUTS and made some other changes to the NE. There were a couple of other words I wanted to use in the puzzle that would have been debuts for the NYT, but they had to be removed for other reasons. I thought LIBRARIAN would be fitting for the puzzle given Brad's profession. He clued the Downs and I did the Acrosses.

BRAD: Barry sent me a sizable section with his two nice seeds, plus a nice shout-out to my day job! I was merely glad to be able to make my own 12-letter seed work with a fairly nice stack of 9s. If memory serves me, I think we both did some tweaking to the corners with the shorter stacks. Using WYCH ELM reminds me of the second or third puzzle I ever did with Doug Peterson, where he used a variant spelling and we got by with it. I didn't know either spelling existing before that time! And I don't know if we're the first clue-writers to reference Hitchcock for 2-Down, but it may be a fresh angle for many solvers. I may have used that clue in one of my online self-edited puzzles.

Sat 11/30/2013
SGTSCHULTZCRAB
URANIUMORELILO
DATINGPOOLUGLY
SPITEIKIDSHOW
YENSORSACTTWO
PAEANHEMAN
BIOGASTAMARIND
UNMATEDSILENCE
STEVESAXREDDER
HELENMRMET
WREATHAIDSETI
HATHAPTSPICOT
ALPONAILSALONS
CIAOSANANTONIO
KANTARGYLESOCK

BRAD: Byron has always been a clip-and-save constructor for me, so I jumped at the chance when he sent me a corner and proposed we try the "hook" of mirroring B____ W____ entries. The scary part: I had never done any significant stacks that were four deep, let alone ones with restrictions. After a day or two I sent Byron a few possibilities without any BW, saying perhaps it was the best I could do. He was gracious about it, but luckily I persevered a little longer and a BW section came together. I'd have to say, though, that my favorite part of the puzzle was the last to go in — Byron's zippy NW. A 10-letter entry with only one vowel – how often has THAT happened?

BYRON: Brad was more than up to my little challenge -- not that I had any doubts. I do like four deep stacks when possible just because three-letter entries are nearly always tired. (NAS was first clued as the rapper in 1999!)

One other note about the cluing. I suggested to Brad that we clue each other's corners. It was a nice way to completely share in the creation of the puzzle.

Fri 11/1/2013
BLUECRABLOWFAT
OILSHALEBROOCH
NONTITLEJILTEE
DNATORTREFORM
CLAWCRANE
PATRONSAINTASA
EBOOKNECRCAS
TARNISHSHTETLS
ACMEMAORAITT
LIEVELVETELVIS
FALLENHEM
ELDOCTOROWVFW
COUGARBRASSERA
ORSINOIMRUINED
NIENTEDETENTES
This grid design owes a debt to a 2008 Barry Silk puzzle run in another venue. I rearranged the black squares in the center to form two mini-staircases of the longest entries in the puzzle. I liked that they were all different lengths (9, 10, and 11 letters). I've used this pattern a few times in both a 68-word version and a 70-word version, but I think this was my first instance working with it.

Plugging in possibilities from my list of seed entries, hoping to stack them, TORT REFORM and CLAW CRANE slid in. VELVET ELVIS and FALLEN HEM also worked on the bottom. For some reason, E.L. DOCTOROW was not in my word list at the time, and I kept that in, only later discovering it's not a new entry in the least. Something else might have popped more. There are underwhelming spots in the shorter fill, but the 8s are not bad and both Will and I especially liked "I'M RUINED" at 58A. JILTEE from the unabridged Webster's kind of saved my bacon in the SE, but I used the first clue that came to mind and I see Will left it in.

Fri 9/6/2013
POVERTYROWGARR
URANIUMOREEPEE
CARROTCAKELPGA
ENYAUARDIALUP
GASPENTEL
ESTERSTEADICAM
WARSAWPACTNITE
ONEBOLSTERDIA
KTELRETIREMENT
SAGEGREENBERGS
CUTSINFAN
BLASTSONODISK
CAROOTHERWOMAN
URDUMSMAGAZINE
PASTEASTORANGE
BRAD: Doug and I usually achieve something close to a 50/50 split on the fill in our themeless puzzles. The kind of balance we're looking for is helped along by grid patterns that are fairly modest in their demands — whatever progress I make somewhere should leave Doug lots of flexibility. What I like about grids that Doug picks (like this one) is that they are manageable but they usually present some extra degree of difficulty, like a pair of 10s feeding into the center or reaching into the corners, when we could have bailed out with cheater squares instead. Doug plunked down a nifty new 1A here and worked to 32A. We took turns on the other corners until we were done. We've got movie trivia, history, gastronomy, and baseball here — all elements we both like. I humbly submit a fresh clue for 16A. Doug has concocted some crafty ones for a couple of the 9-letter entries.

DOUG: 1A is an example of my favorite type of themeless seed entry. It may not be familiar to most solvers, but the entry is quite figure-out-able. And most importantly, it's an interesting phrase to learn. You can use it to impress your easily impressed friends at your next cocktail party. I try not to use unfamiliar names as seeds, because they're quickly forgotten once the puzzle is solved. And let me add that I always learn something new (a cool word, some fun trivia, etc.) when constructing a puzzle with Brad.

Sat 8/3/2013
SOTHABERDASHER
WHOONCLOUDNINE
EPARICKYNELSON
ELFMANHANSMRT
TEARSBALEKAMA
SARIWORFANSEL
OSEWAXTABLET
PETMICEMAEWEST
HITORMISSRPI
GOETHBALKMSRP
AREAORLYTIVOS
SSWGAILWONOUT
LIEDETECTORITE
ONLINEFORUMCUR
GOLDENSPIKEEPS
BRAD: The old adage of "good longer stacks start with the stacking of useful shorter stems" was especially true here, as I realized ONLINE went nicely atop GOLDEN, and what remained was to pick compatible tails. Doug liked LIE DETECTOR in the stack and added MALL COP; he's also responsible for those two great clues.

We tried a few design configurations in the middle and realized we'd have to have some long vertical entries too or the word count would tip over into 72 or 74. BOXER BRIEFS won out over other –EFS we tried. I had just been doing some work in the trenches at the end of the alphabet on my word list, so new addition WAX TABLET helped matters a lot, facilitating ___ FAMILY.

And we had to decide whether or not to have the vertical 15s, rather than going with SEWELL or NEWELL or LOWELL or whatever. TO A FARE-THEE-WELL had actually been on my list of possible seed entries. But did we ever take some ribbing for it (fewer people seemed to recognize it than I expected) — and since the puzzle appeared the Saturday before Lollapuzzoola, some of the ribbing was in person! Still, I think this was a grid most solvers were quite happy with.

Fri 6/28/2013
SNAILSHELLAPED
HARRYCARAYXOXO
ESCALATORSELIA
ASHIERYESLETS
TAILSQANDAALI
HUESSTYXXAXIS
SPINLORENA
BOXSTEPWINFREY
USETAXZANY
MORANTENTREBA
PLOCLUEDBETEL
SEXSHOPSASHAY
OMITWEBBANNERS
FINDPLAINJANES
FOGSHORSEOPERA
Sat 5/4/2013
THISISTRUEASST
RACONTEURSTKOS
INARTISTICTALK
CENTERSRIATAS
ESTERHOOSIER
RIPVANWINKLE
ANIMAUVESTEAL
LAMBCLASHSYMS
ATPARCREEDSPA
NURSERATCHED
ROSSINISELMA
CAVITYRAISEUP
OLINANNEBRONTE
ELSEDEADLETTER
NYETHOWDYDOODY
Fri 3/1/2013
CATSCRADLEIGOR
HEATVISIONCANE
IRRESOLUTEENTS
POPEJARSFIGHT
LUANNRINSER
HELENTABORTWA
ANORAKLIREAHI
RASSLESLEBARON
EMSLENDMORALE
MELINLETAMPED
PLEBESCARTS
AWARDFARORIFT
NADADIRTYHARRY
TREFPALACECOUP
SERFSTONEHENGE
Sat 1/12/2013
SIGHTINGJARFUL
ASLOOSEASAGOOSE
CHAINLINKFENCES
HAMSENDEARARS
ELITEEERACNE
MLSCOURTPECAN
FORMSDOTIME
IACOCCAHENNAED
CLARASHONDA
ALTARLATTECSA
NOSYCUBREACT
TCUPANICSTBAR
WAITINGTOEXHALE
ITTAKESALLKINDS
NESTEDTELECAST
Sat 9/15/2012
UPINARMSMASSES
DOMINICAOCTOPI
DRAGONETONENIL
ETCHDWYANEWADE
RIOTSARSSTUN
APIANITTIIRT
CNNCRIMINAL
STPETERANOMALY
CHATROOMENA
HEYANNASICBM
ELISINPUTEEL
DONTJINXITFETA
URGEONCRUDITES
LAURENAEROFLOT
EXPELSTANGIERS
Sat 7/14/2012
CRAFTFAIRBRACE
OHSUSANNALIPPY
SITZKRIEGISERE
INEZGORPPERCH
NORKONRADSTLO
ESSENSOPUPUAL
DIRRECOURSE
HADAFITRAWNESS
AIRMEDALTED
TRAREPADLOOMS
MEWSRETELLBET
ADULTDEVOHERE
KAPOWERICCARLE
ELOPECOCKAHOOP
RENEEKNEEPANTS
Fri 2/10/2012
SHAMEDCHIMERA
WECARESHADOWED
ALEGARCAROTENE
POLITICALDNA
STACGINKGOAMS
BLUNTSTSLOT
STBEDEYULPLOY
TOTALUPPOTHOLE
OWENREFAKITAS
LEASTPLANON
ELMRESOLEXTRA
JACQUARDLOOM
PARAMOURCOINOP
FAIRPLAYALKANE
CROSSEDREELED
Sat 11/26/2011
CHAIRBEDSPHERE
LANCEITOTRAVIS
ANISEEDSRESINS
MGMSRSBESIEGE
BLARESBREED
ROLESNEATNIK
OOFYKITCATCLUB
TSACIPHERSANA
HERBALPERTABBR
MEMOIRSBLEAT
AIMEESEARLE
ALUNSERCAFJAN
TURBOTLALALAND
ONSALEOPALESCE
MEAGERBADLOSER
Sat 3/26/2011
CHEVREFAXPAPER
HESIODIDEEFIXE
INCAPSFIRETRAP
ARAYENTETRACT
NYPDLIEUTANTI
TIERSVEXESHAL
IVEEATENPHRASE
WNBAGERE
KABUKIQUEENMAB
ERAARBUSKERRY
ETCHDIETSESCE
PIKERSTOOLLAW
SCHMALTZPOMADE
ALOEVERAHOGTIE
TEENIDOLSTREAK
Sat 12/18/2010
ECHOSOUNDERPBJ
SHARONSTONEORU
MANBITESDOGLIN
EKGLIMBLIBIDO
ASSUMEMANATEE
IREMEGAHITS
MADGERAHALCOQ
ELANNATTYSABU
APTTIBIAGELEE
THETEXANDOC
CAMELOTBETTOR
AMYTANYEAHLEM
SAMVENUSDEMILO
ELOIRAROLLOVER
SEMVANITYPLATE
Sat 11/6/2010
BIGMACSADSONGS
OGLALAOUTTHERE
DOAJIGFTSUMTER
YTDTENTONITTI
COSTSETHSCLEF
AROARLOATHELS
SIMIANPROAM
TOELOOPPOLEMIC
SUMACDOSIDO
ORSLAPAZSALEM
NATLNAPESSLAB
SCRAMBIDETPLO
TEACAKESTOTOIV
AMNESIACBRONZE
REDSCAREYONDER
Sat 9/11/2010
THEBADSEEDRIGG
VELOCIPEDEACRO
SUEZCRISISNEED
ERNUKETICKLES
TEAKSLOMASANA
REMSLEEPNBC
FRODODNAODER
RAINPFLUGBILE
ACNEUBIEJECT
MEGUPINARMS
STARRAECSEAMY
HOBOBAGTHYWOO
OWENREBOUNDGUY
MELDUNSUNGHERO
ELLOMTSTHELENS
Fri 8/20/2010
FABERGEEGGASHE
INADILEMMAPTAS
LOWSPIRITSROTS
ENLONITSPIREA
ESTEPTOLEMY
SPORTSFLOPSHOT
ELUDESLAVEONE
MUTEPEACEMUGS
IRSBARGEBESET
MAHJONGGSEDERS
ALIENEECEES
TINSELHUACMAO
UZISSCORCHMARK
RENIAGLIOEOLIO
EDGEWIDOWSPEAK
Fri 4/23/2010
TBONESYOURANG
CHAPEAUOPHELIA
LECTERNGERMANY
IRASSTUDYMED
CORABHORSCOPA
HUDFEINTNADIR
EXITLINEGALEN
ACNESOBE
MRBIGHUGOBOSS
TAEBOSAPORBTU
IFFYDURESSLAS
PIULOSERZITI
JOSBOYSBEZIQUE
ASARULEAVENUEQ
ROLODEXDANCES
Fri 1/1/2010
WITHERSPFIZER
ONEOCATPERRINE
OFNOUSEORATORS
LOADTEFLONNAT
ERNOALRITZIGO
NICOLMITMSEC
STYADAGIOOMSK
ROUGHCAST
BALEINTAKERAF
ENIDOWLAIOLI
EGOFILIALMMIX
FUNEMIGREPUMA
ALIBABAEPAULET
LAZARUSNEPTUNE
ORELSEARRESTS
Sat 12/5/2009
ROBOCALLTUSSLE
EXYANKEEOPTION
SHERBETSROADIE
TINCLIPINLET
UDONATADADEN
PEWITBUSHVGORE
LIBELLAWOER
MODENASBARRO
UKEGROUPHUG
SECRETIVESAGAS
EYRELIRAROLL
DEANSNYSEGLI
POPDUODETERRED
AKIMBOEARLYAGE
RETESTXRAYEYES
Fri 10/2/2009
CAUSEDASTIRSID
AUTOREVERSEANI
PENNSTATIONMOS
PLEATENEMENT
TBILLSWYLER
JMBARRIEELSE
UALAMASSPRIES
MRISCANPRISONS
PINOTELIANTSE
TADAUNSTATED
HEAVETREPAN
ELLERBEEOOLA
GELRANDOMORDER
UNEEMPIREWAIST
NAYDAMNYANKEES
Sat 6/20/2009
DIETPLATEABIT
ROGEREBERTTORI
ANGLOMANIAALOE
YERWASISNORING
ASOKTEETRIVIA
GCLEFDRYADISM
EOLITHSALIVATE
TREEZUNI
MACHISMOSANEST
AMALITUPLYRIC
MOPPETTOSLOEB
MERRYANDREWTSO
OBIENEUTRALITY
TACOTHEATRICAL
HEEPILLATEASE
Sat 5/9/2009
CUSHYJOBSPEDUP
ANNOTATEFELINE
MAINDRAGOOLALA
ESTEGRISPIPIT
COUNTFLEET
LEARNTRUEREV
MISHASHINACRE
SACAGAWEADOLLAR
GRABLOBEMEARA
TSPSLUEGORDY
PETTINGZOO
MORRODUELEXGI
IKOIKOIRONWEED
SEABEDNONSENSE
ORDERSEGGCRATE
Sat 4/25/2009
DRAINSOFFTUBAS
RONHOWARDARUBA
ODDSMAKERKANIN
PERENIDMELDED
IBEGKEENONTBA
TYSONBIZOPAL
WASHBOARDABS
SCIPIOBRAINY
THELASTMETRO
HOLDLEAEULER
ERIEELERSSATE
PEBBLYWITSNHL
ISAACHENRYVIII
TUTSIASSONANCE
SPEEDSTEPCLASS
Sat 1/17/2009
SNACKBARSPASTA
FILENAMESELTON
UNLEASHESYEARN
MEGRIELOOCYTE
APOPCRISPPOT
TINASSNIPEHUNT
ONESPOTBOLOTIE
SIRSET
CREAKEDSECTORS
DIRTYLOOKTIBET
RPISATINPELE
ATTLEEIPODRIG
CORALJOANALLEN
KREMEASSERTIVE
SNAPEWESTERNER
Sat 12/20/2008
OMAREPPSAFRAME
GOMORRAHFRIGID
DRUMSOLORONALD
EASEAGNESGREY
NYEHAZIEST
GEEZTHEFRUG
OVENPROOFDEANE
MITAOPALSLIDA
SCHWAASIAMINOR
KINSMENXBOX
ANTIQUEMRT
MOGADISHUSOIR
ORALESOENOLOGY
JARFULPURPOSES
ONBASESEATBELT
Fri 11/14/2008
CREAMSODAWAIST
DORSALFINIDLER
COOPBOARDSELMA
ASTISTATEHOW
STICKOINKLULL
ESCHERETOAMIN
SARTREPRONE
FLICKASEURAT
LANAIBODICE
AMFMDENIROCAB
TAOSURLSSAUNA
ISRSHEETMSGR
REMITTAILGATER
ORATETVCONSOLE
NYLONAEHOUSMAN
Sat 10/18/2008
CERAMICSPENSER
OPENANDSHUTCASE
GOTORACKANDRUIN
EXUDESIRKSSAT
NINESTREYNASA
CEESBATSALGOL
YDSSILTSIRENS
BEACHCOMB
SCRAMSEARSCFS
NAOMIDIRESORT
IRMARUSTATSEA
GPASAPSISOMER
GONZOJOURNALISM
LOCALANESTHESIA
ELEGISTTRISTAN
Fri 6/27/2008
TIKITORCHCATER
IRENECARAARULE
DONTSHOUTFIRMS
ENOLRUDITENET
HELENASTRA
SCALESHONOSU
COMERNEARSMGR
RUINJENNYHULA
ERSPAWEDBOSUN
ETHIRSSACHET
NOBLECRAIG
TRUERROTEACED
EDGARAMERICANA
SEGNOWEARSTHIN
TRYSTLOMALINDA
Sat 4/26/2008
SPCAIAMACAMERA
CHOWMRSMINIVER
HODSCURATESEGG
ENELAMPFRAU
MENIALSENTITLE
ALARUMAXIAL
TIMEDWAXPOETIC
INEHEROSASL
CESTSIBONPHILO
RAVENCURLEW
STPETERNILSSON
TOREMADEKFC
ONARAMPAGEPIMA
MADAGASCARADAR
PLOTTWISTSSSNS
Sat 3/8/2008
SPLASHGUARDSRS
TOUJOURSGAIEEC
UNPATRIOTICASU
AGOSTEPLEGSIT
RENREMBRANDT
TEEDUPNEAGAUL
ANASSRSKEE
LIMNINGHOSTESS
ILETCIANEE
ELLEAVISERBIA
ATTACKERSENG
BRONZEBAERAGE
EEREDGARBERGEN
DAMCAESARSALAD
STEHYMENOPTERA
Sat 11/17/2007
CAMPHOROILMITA
UNITARIANSAPIN
RATATATTATROEG
ACTSNACKMIDGE
TIERGRANDCANAL
ENNEEDKOCHAMP
FLYETLANEI
OLDIELOOSE
NYUDEBTTER
ENTGOURDEDECO
OXYGENBARSODOR
REFERBLATSILE
TYREPLAZAHOTEL
WEEKFELICITOUS
ODESCRAZYHORSE
Sat 11/3/2007
FLASHLIGHTABCS
AUCTIONEERBAHT
VIRALVIDEOSTAR
ASELEGSTSETSE
LALOSTANLEE
PASTRYSKINTEST
ENTRYTWEEDMCC
PDASTRIERDEER
ESTARENTPENNE
LOISLANELASTED
ETCHANTWORK
MOLARSGOATCPO
OBISEURODISNEY
KENTPRIZETABLE
ODEATINYDANCER
Sat 9/15/2007
CLEWHEATDAMAGE
LASHERRORRATES
ESPYFRONTAXLES
OERETONBANA
PRETZELCARAWAY
ABSURDCHLOE
TESTADEADWRONG
RAOPODIAROI
AMSTERDAMCHASM
ONAIRBOATEL
RECLAMELAPROBE
IDOLSEISRAT
CURBAPPEALMINE
OCEANBORNEBODY
HEARTSEASEESSE
Sat 2/19/2005
MARESTAILANKH
AMENCORNERLUAU
TINTORETTOEMTS
LATWINETASTERS
OBITCDRDEARIE
CLEARTIARAANI
KERMITMEALPLAN
ESASSCAR
SPARKLESENIGMA
ELLIKNOWESNES
SALVESREDMONT
SUGARBABIESCAR
IDOLIPAGLIACCI
LINEGETHITCHED
ETESSETSASIDE