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Jules P. Markey
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
95/10/20126/23/20150
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0031500
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1.59211

with constructor comments

See the answer words debuted by Jules P. Markey.


9 puzzles by Jules P. Markey

Tue 6/23/2015
ROADTOADTOLD
AUTOUTNECAPER
BROMANTICCOMEDY
ESPIDOSAMENS
ORRAPER
HOPEANDCROSBY
CUREDEATINAON
AMOSMINUSHYDE
TINCIGNAMOOED
DOROTHYLAMOUR
APTSLCD
LANCEERICYMA
SONGANDDANCEMEN
ICIEREDIEMCAT
BOLDBALDBALI

I actually watched "Road to Bali", for the first time this weekend on YouTube. For its time, it was a pretty hip movie, what with inside-Hollywood and political humor, a few cameos, and breaking the fourth wall to wisecrack to the audience. My favorite line was when our heroes were captured by a tribe of cannibals. As they were being marched to their certain demise, a little boy runs out of the crowd of people and starts tapping and poking at them, the boy's mother hurriedly pulls him away and says: "Now junior, I told you not to play with your food" — that was a laugh-out-loud moment.

This was the second puzzle of mine to be accepted for publication, so you can see that Will does really try to space out word ladder puzzles. I was looking for something that was a bit off the beaten track when researching "xxxx to xxxx" phrases, and came upon the film title "Road to Bali", which I had not seen until the weekend prior to publication. I did see "Road to Utopia" on TV as a child, but that wouldn't work unless it was an add-two-letters word ladder (hmm...).

My original grid lacked the two cheaters which turned two of the "L"s into "T"s (on the sides of the grid). I really liked that the original made the middle of the grid look like a letter box movie screen, but there were too many "uglies" without those cheaters. Will and crew provided the fix, and cleaned it up a bit. In the SW I was wedded to having COSTAR at 38-Down crossing DOROTHYLAMOUR and providing her clue, however that also resulted in a few less than desirable entries. The Roman numeral unfortunately was inoperable.

I did have my qualms about the theme being dated and possibly turning off younger solvers, who would think it, and by extension me, less than hip. My advice to them would be to make a visit to their local Blockbuster and rent a VHS tape of the movie, they might like it =).

Hope you enjoyed the solve.

Thu 2/12/2015
SWALLSAFTGEMS
HITSATJIBATOM
ENLACEARSLAVA
NEATPAREZALES
GSNNOSARIITO
EATINSCRIPTION
PITTAMOCO
CORNERSTONE
POEMEDEMI
TIMECAPSULEOMG
OSAAPESISTER
UTTERRISESIMI
CRITZOONIACIN
HINTARTOSMOND
SAGEGSARHINES

I was surprised to learn when researching the theme that it had not appeared before in the NY Times, so I was off and running with it. The fact that there are only four corners, however, made for a limited amount of theme material even with CORNERSTONE as the central reveal. I tried to find other entries which related and noticed INSCRIPTION — an integral part of a cornerstone. The task became finding an eleven letter partner, and it wasn't too long before I hit upon TIMECAPSULE, which very often is either contained in or lies behind a cornerstone.

The placement of the three elevens, with CORNERSTONE in the middle, was determined by the choice of vertical theme entries in the northeast and southwest. Fortunately, after some trial and error, STONEMASON and TOUCHSTONE fit the bill. I wanted all of the perimeter theme entries to be the same length, however with the added horizontal theme material that became very difficult to pull off, thus GEMSTONE and STONEAGE. I made a few changes to the fill after acceptance; 8-Down was originally SIDEARMS. Will and his team made a few more changes, as well as a great number of much better clues.

I was extremely honored to have this puzzle selected for the final round at this year's 16th Annual Westport Crossword Puzzle Tournament. Thanks to Will Shortz, and to Patrick Merrill who hosted, and congratulations to the winner Andy Kravis.

Thu 8/21/2014
TEMPCLASSRAPT
ALAWSAMOAASHE
CAKEPLEPSITION
ITERTARREDANA
TEAPTLEIEPNYM
FLORAFLAP
SHIITEWIICELS
POSTOFFICEBOXES
YETIEONGARTER
CARLMESNE
DEISMLOOSPNGE
ELSISOLDEPSAT
PISONPWDERPITH
SOURKEIRAEVEN
ETESEDENSREDO
This puzzle was originally submitted in February of this year, and it received a rejection with a proviso. Will liked the theme but not POLAR OPPOSITES because the PO didn't occur at the start of the second word as it did in all the others . Having a foot in the door, so to speak, I focused more intently on improving the puzzle. I replaced the offending entry with POLE POSITIONS but the resulting grid had all plural theme entries, which Will would not go for. To make the revised puzzle work I was forced to remove my favorite entry, POTENT POTABLE(S).

The original grid had all the themers running horizontally, I then realized that if I switched two of the them to the vertical they each serendipitously crossed the reveal symmetrically. The one remaining issue was a SW theme entry to balance POLE POSITION in the NE. After a few tries and some back and forth emails, Will accepted POISON POWDER in July, resulting in a surprisingly quick turn around for a rebus puzzle.

My favorite clues are 25-Across which is a newbie for a well-worn 3-letter word (LEI), and 44-Across. My favorite clue which didn't make the cut and admittedly was a bit of a stretch of the old "?", was 21-across clued as "Feathered friend?" as in "tarred and feathered". Will greatly improved on my cluing, especially for the theme entries, as usual.

A word on the "sausage making". I do not use any crossword compiler software to create my grids (I can hear the snark already: "Yeah we can tell"). I'm not of the graph paper and stacks of reference books school though, I do use an Excel spreadsheet for my grids and clues, and I use XWord Info and OneLook as helpers in weaving the words together.

I hope you like this puzzle, my seventh with a few more in the pipeline.

Tue 4/29/2014
JUTSPUPASANER
AMIEUPONUTERO
DAMERESTNEWAT
EMERGENTSWASTE
DISLENOPOMP
TAOSFARRALA
ORALBAFROSPUG
RUBLEBITHIERO
EELTRUCEIRREG
OSERATEOPEC
CLOYBOREOSA
HIHATCOVERALLS
AVANTAXELCUES
VERGEPENSAMEN
ESTERESSEINKS
This puzzle was one of two that I constructed with this theme. The original idea of NEWSPAPER COLUMN as the reveal came while I was thinking about vertically themed puzzles, which unlike horizontal themes almost always have their verticality as an integral part of the theme. The other version included "THE" in its three 15-letter themers, as in: THE SUN ALSO RISES; THE GLOBE THEATER; and THE POST EXCHANGE, the latter of which did not pass muster with Will. Readers usually refer to their papers as "the Post", "the Times" etc., so I did like that version, however I had a difficult time coming up with enough suitable theme entries, thus I went with the version you see today.

I like the published version for its four theme entries, several of which are debuts. TIMES TABLE CHART might be a bit weaker than the others, however I think most people are familiar with the term from their elementary school days, or their children's. The rest of the fill is fairly clean, so all in all I'm happy with the result, as I hope you are too.

Finally, thanks to Will for accepting this puzzle and improving some of my underwhelming clues, although I think my clue for 42-Across is a nice bit of misdirection.

Wed 11/27/2013
MALIAALAABCS
UCONNTOMEDUAL
GRAVYTRAINDICE
SOMERINSESCHE
SQUASHRACKET
CACTUSOTOS
ISHITALONERD
THANKSGIVINGDAY
EYREANIMEACE
LOEBPRANKS
DRESSINGROOM
WESLOOIESSOBA
ETTETURKEYTROT
EROSANTEMEZZO
BONESHYALOOP
This puzzle was created shortly after Thanksgiving Day of last year, the impetus for it came from SQUASHRACKET, which I had used in an earlier "veggie" themed puzzle that was not selected. I then started thinking of it in terms of Thanksgiving dinner, and tried to find phrases which included other holiday menu items. The fact that the reveal was 15 letters was the whipped cream atop the sweet potato pie.

Thanksgiving Day is my lovely wife's favorite holiday, she says it is a day on which all people of the world can celebrate, regardless of their religious or cultural heritage. We all can be thankful in our own way. She also happens to be an excellent cook and for that I am extremely thankful.

Hope you enjoyed this pre-holiday treat. Happy Thanksgiving, from my family to one and all.

Thu 11/21/2013
CONARCATHOME
HMOWOODSHARES
ANTLOCOSISALS
RITEFOWLESNEE
MAORISNONWAGES
WITACETIC
SPONGEBOBLETTS
UAREDAMOLDHAT
FIRSTSFLAPEXE
IDYLSBOOKATRIP
ABOARDSEE
COPYEDITTSETSE
ABOTENETSSHAQ
VAULTSROAMEMU
EMCEESSIRIROI
SAHARALSDESP
This is the second vertically themed puzzle of mine accepted by Will Shortz, and as I mentioned to him in my cover letter, I was hoping vertical was the new horizontal. There are certain limitations to the format, namely that all of the theme entries as well as the reveal are encountered somewhat early in the solving process, but it would be unfortunate to waste all the possibilities that "downness" brings to self-referential themes because of that.

This puzzle was submitted last December, and was accepted in April with some provisos. A few changes had to be made to the fill, however there was one sticking point, the ten letter 3-Down themer didn't quite fit with the others. In subsequent submissions 3-Down went from: THISLLPASS; to YOUAREOKAY; to DONTGIVEUP; to LIFEGOESON, each of which was rightly met with Mr. Shortz's disapproval. I just couldn't find something that sounded right.

By then it was the end of August, my wife and I were spending two weeks at a lake cabin in Vermont. On our final evening, after one or two margaritas, (underage constructors please disregard this), the heavens opened up, and NOTTOWORRY was comfortingly whispered into my mind's ear. EUREKA!!!

Mr. Shortz concurred.

Thu 2/14/2013
REPOORBROSES
ELANBELLATOYA
FIRESIDEASTLEY
ECASHDUTCHOVEN
RIDESEYEAEXO
STEELTRAPDEFAT
EVEFEBNOMO
ELEVATORCAR
SLUEEARETC
HARDGBARNSTORM
APOARBOTCTEA
BACKSTAGEAPOLO
BLOUSEOPENDOOR
AMINESLEGALAI
TANGSFROSENS
Tue 10/23/2012
AVESUSPSFOCAL
BORASODAARUBA
FIRSTCLASSCABIN
ALOHASHOTADE
BARISTAALIGNED
MEANTION
REGISTEREDNURSE
AAANEABEG
PRIORITYSEATING
WISSETTE
STEEPLELETSSEE
HESPAPAITALL
EXPRESSCHECKOUT
BAYEROTOEINDO
ASSTSMAILTEEN
Thu 5/10/2012
ZIGSKNOWQUISP
ISEEARCHUNTIL
SUITEMATEISERE
THEASPLETSEAT
KABUKIENID
SAWMILLSSRA
EUROPEANSELOAN
REPOMANESTELLE
ERATOCATBALLOU
OSSSTARDATE
IBARTAKEME
BAILEYSPARADE
MAFIACOURTSHIP
AMASSALVAAPEX
CARTEPDASJUMP