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

New York Times, Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Author: Timothy Polin
Editor: Will Shortz
Timothy Polin
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
4312/11/201111/22/20172
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
64851802
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.634130

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 38 Missing: {J} This is puzzle # 43 for Mr. Polin. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes: A cartographer's dream puzzle! Tim gives us not just the EQUATOR, but the (Tropic of) CAN/CER and the (Tropic of) CAPRI/CORN. But ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

A cartographer's dream puzzle! Tim gives us not just the EQUATOR, but the (Tropic of) CAN/CER and the (Tropic of) CAPRI/CORN. But that's not all! The perimeter answers need a little direction … specifically the appropriate cardinal direction. Santa's workshop is in the (north) POLE, I-5's locale is the (west) COAST, etc. We've fixed up the answers below to reflect this.

I liked the perimeter answers that needed the appended direction much more than the ones that (sort of) worked without them. Eurus is a WIND in Greek myth. Yes, specifically the (east) wind, but still a WIND. It's more accurate to say (south) KOREA will host the 2018 Olympics, but KOREA would still describe it. Can't imagine what a North Korean Olympics would look like!

Tim chose to interlock his theme answers around the very perimeter, which constrained his themer choices mightily. Drastically reduces your options when they have to intersect at the corners. I might have liked it better to put cheater (black) squares in at least two of the corners so that you could work with stronger ones like (east)WOOD or (west) POINT or just (north) STAR instead of the defunct (north) STARS.

Super, super tough to work with perimeter answers, as they take away so much flexibility in the corners. And then you add three themers in the middle of the puzzle? Hatchi-matchi! Not a surprise to get a bunch of REQD, ABOX, ENOW, ANON, etc. But overall, I thought Tim's final product was good for this type of construction. It's nearly impossible to get a grid as constrained as this anywhere near the normal threshold for crossword glue, and he managed to get within spitting distance of it.

This general concept reminded me a little too much of other similar themes, most recently a Sunday from earlier this year, and it was odd to split up CANCER and CAPRICORN. But overall, I liked the mappiness of it all.

1
P
2
O
3
L
4
E
5
F
6
A
7
C
8
E
9
S
10
T
11
A
12
R
13
S
14
O
D
I
N
15
A
B
O
X
16
N
I
S
E
I
17
R
E
Q
D
18
Z
E
S
T
19
A
M
E
N
D
20
T
A
U
21
B
I
T
E
R
22
R
E
A
D
E
23
I
24
C
A
N
25
C
E
26
R
E
S
27
C
28
E
D
I
N
G
29
M
E
D
U
30
L
31
L
32
A
33
O
N
D
V
D
34
S
35
H
I
P
36
P
A
Y
S
37
A
N
I
38
E
39
Q
U
A
T
O
40
R
41
S
C
I
42
S
U
E
43
T
44
U
G
L
Y
45
I
46
N
T
R
A
47
T
I
T
A
48
N
I
A
49
A
P
P
I
A
N
50
C
A
P
R
51
I
52
C
O
R
N
53
B
54
A
55
N
T
U
56
S
T
57
E
R
N
58
L
59
A
60
W
61
A
L
O
I
S
62
N
I
N
O
63
C
I
T
I
64
N
T
I
L
E
65
A
N
O
S
66
A
N
O
N
67
K
O
R
E
A
68
P
A
W
S
69
B
E
N
D
© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 1122 ( 24,851 )
Across Down
1. Home to Santa's workshop : NORTHPOLE
5. Popular outdoor clothing brand, with "The" : NORTHFACE
9. Minnesota N.H.L. team from 1967 to 1993 : NORTHSTARS
14. Ruler over Valhalla : ODIN
15. As dumb as ___ of rocks : ABOX
16. American of Japanese origin : NISEI
17. Mandatory: Abbr. : REQD
18. Gusto : ZEST
19. Change for the better : AMEND
20. Fraternity "T" : TAU
21. Dog that needs a muzzle, say : BITER
22. Novelist Charles with an appropriate surname : READE
23. Volunteer's phrase : ICAN
25. Largest known asteroid : CERES
27. Giving over : CEDING
29. Part of the brainstem : MEDULLA
33. How most movies are released after theatrical runs : ONDVD
34. Send off, as an online order : SHIP
36. Remunerates : PAYS
37. What Friday has, unlike any other day? : ANI
38. Dividing line : EQUATOR
41. Subj. for Bill Nye : SCI
42. Candlemaking supply : SUET
44. Like Christmas sweaters, stereotypically : UGLY
45. Prefix with party or venous : INTRA
47. Queen in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" : TITANIA
49. ___ Way (Roman road) : APPIAN
50. Calf-length pants style : CAPRI
52. Iowa's largest export : CORN
53. Language group of central Africa : BANTU
56. Harsh : STERN
58. Anarchist's aversion : LAW
61. Eponymous Dr. Alzheimer : ALOIS
62. Young muchacho : NINO
63. New York's ___ Field : CITI
64. Scrabble 1-pointer (but a Words With Friends 2-pointer) : NTILE
65. Years on the Yucatán : ANOS
66. In a short while : ANON
67. Country hosting the 2018 Winter Olympics : SOUTHKOREA
68. Lefties : SOUTHPAWS
69. Notre Dame setting : SOUTHBEND
1. Affluent Connecticut town : WESTPORT
2. Theaters of antiquity : ODEA
3. Food restriction before and after surgery, maybe : LIQUIDDIET
4. Demise : END
5. Disconcerting : FAZING
6. Aid in mischief : ABET
7. Sine's reciprocal, in trig : COSEC
8. Hand or foot : EXTREMITY
9. Caught : SNARED
10. "Pencils down!" : TIMESUP
11. Like Edward Lear's Owl and Pussycat : ASEA
12. Tear apart : REND
13. U.N.'s location in Manhattan : EASTSIDE
21. Burglary, in police shorthand : BANDE
24. Kind of engineer: Abbr. : CIV
26. Certain tow job : REPO
27. Interstate 5's locale : WESTCOAST
28. Listless feeling : ENNUI
30. Bringing up the rear : LASTINLINE
31. Stretchy sportswear material : LYCRA
32. Resident of China or Japan, but not India or Iran : EASTASIAN
34. Pea with a thick, rounded pod : SUGARSNAP
35. Chess-playing movie villain : HAL
39. Bon mot : QUIP
40. Make fun of : RIPON
43. Capable of being touched : TACTILE
46. Network with news at the top of each hour : NPR
48. Revulsion : NAUSEA
49. Bridging : ACROSS
51. 1986 rock autobiography : ITINA
53. Area of longtime contention : WESTBANK
54. Choir part : ALTO
55. Pinot ___ : NOIR
57. Plenty, once : ENOW
59. Huge amounts : ATON
60. Eurus, in Greek mythology : EASTWIND
63. One waiting at the airport? : CAB

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?