New York Times, Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Author: Andrea C. Michaels
Editor: Will Shortz
Andrea Carla Michaels
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506/12/20008/17/201524
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43582100
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1.63007

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15, Words: 76, Blocks: 38 Missing: {HQXZ} This is puzzle # 4 for Ms. Michaels. NYT links: Across Lite

Andrea Carla Michaels notes: I had read somewhere that BRITNEYSPEARS was an anagram for PRESBYTERIANS. I couldn't believe that! Plus PRESBYTERIANS anagrammed into BESTINPRAYERS. All 13s, so this was a natural.

The only problem was, Will didn't think BRITNEYSPEARS would last if the puzzle were reprinted six years hence. I didn't care about that issue because I wanted something fresh. Plus it's a daily newspaper, why should I be concerned about shelf-life? And although I'd like my puzzles to stand the test of time, it only benefits the publishers, as they don't pay royalties, nor even supply the authors with a book, so my feeling is why should I knock myself out worrying who will/won't be known in 10 years time? It was not published for a long time ... and I would argue with Will that BRITNEY would be around for a long time, that all girls knew her, and young folks, etc. It was the beginning of my trying to champion puzzles with a more feminine-bent to the themes. Even though the older male editors and sports enthusiasts that abound might not be a BRITNEY fan, there were plenty of women (and gay men) who were.

In the meantime, I thought it hadn't been accepted as I heard nothing for years. So I created a similar one, with four themes, for Peter Gordon and the Sun. BRITNEYSPEARS/PRESBYTERIANS and PEPSICOLA/EPISCOPALS. She was the spokesperson for Pepsi so I thought that was also a stunning coincidence. Totally different puzzle, as I said, four themes, not three and I hadn't heard from the Times in a couple of years. Suddenly the Times puzzle was printed and someone on line (which was a new phenomena in 2005) accused me of plagiarizing the theme! He didn't realize that it was the same person who had written both puzzles. I was mortified ... wasn't the first, nor the last time, someone on line had been scathing without knowledge, but I was embarrassed. I think over a year went by before I published again.

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© 2005, The New York Times
Across Down
1. French cherubs : ANGES
6. Fish often split for cooking : SCROD
11. Field hospital sight : COT
14. "Beavis and Butt-head" cartoon spinoff : DARIA
15. Honky-tonk sight : PIANO
16. Washington's ___ Stadium : RFK
17. Bullfight setting : ARENA
18. Riverbank burrower : OTTER
19. 36-Across craft : UFO
20. About 4 million Americans, religiously : PRESBYTERIANS
23. Elephant's weight, maybe : TON
24. Other, in Madrid : OTRA
25. Gutter site : EAVE
28. How the sirens sang, in myth : SWEETLY
31. Lobster's cousin : CRAWDAD
34. Mauna ___ : LOA
35. Politician's goal : SEAT
36. 19-Across passengers : ETS
37. Pop artist whose name is an anagram of 20-Across : BRITNEYSPEARS
41. Low-tech missile : PEA
42. Affixes : ADDS
43. Amniotic ___ : SAC
44. Fast-paced sport : JAIALAI
46. Certain drive-thru requirement : ATMCARD
50. Chinese dynasty a thousand years ago : SUNG
51. Greek cheese : FETA
53. Month of l'année : MAI
54. Like the most devout churchgoers … and another anagram of 20-Across : BESTINPRAYERS
59. Headhunter's big recruit, for short : CEO
61. Not express : LOCAL
62. Allots : DOLES
63. Hairy hand : PAW
64. Tropical palm : ARECA
65. Spring up : ARISE
66. Mozart's home: Abbr. : AUS
67. Short-fused : TESTY
68. Deli choices : MEATS
1. Doesn't stay the same : ADAPTS
2. Taper : NARROW
3. "Brighton Rock" novelist : GREENE
4. Zwei halved : EINS
5. Swedish export : SAAB
6. Poor, as coverage : SPOTTY
7. One making references : CITER
8. Routines bad to be on : RATRACES
9. "Dedicated to the ___ Love" : ONEI
10. "Dumb ___" (old comic) : DORA
11. Follower of Richard the Lion-Hearted : CRUSADER
12. Popular insect repellent : OFF
13. Bout stopper, for short : TKO
21. ___ Griffith, 1999 W.N.B.A. M.V.P. : YOLANDA
22. "What's ___?" : NEW
26. Dye holders : VATS
27. Masthead contents, briefly : EDS
29. Inventor Whitney : ELI
30. Demolish : TOTAL
32. 50 Cent, e.g. : RAPSTAR
33. Starters : ATEAM
35. Method: Abbr. : SYS
37. Bringer of wine and flowers : BEAU
38. Post-storm effects : RAINBOWS
39. Skyscrapers, e.g. : EDIFICES
40. N.C. State is in it : ACC
41. Bedwear, for short : PJS
45. Subject of a guessing game : AGE
46. Having fun : ATPLAY
47. Carson McCullers's Miss ___ Evans : AMELIA
48. Hardest to find : RAREST
49. Slams : DISSES
52. Put into law : ENACT
55. Bed board : SLAT
56. Burned up the highway : TORE
57. Biblical evictee : ADAM
58. Days long past : YORE
59. Tax pro, for short : CPA
60. Water, in the Oise : EAU

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