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

New York Times, Friday, June 6, 2014

Author: Kameron Austin Collins
Editor: Will Shortz
Kameron Austin Collins
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
66/6/20146/25/20160
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0000114
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.60000

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 34 Missing: {QWX} This is the debut puzzle for Mr. Collins 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!

Kameron Austin Collins notes: I'm most interested in crosswords as incubators of what's weird and exciting in language and culture, and this puzzle, ... more
Kameron Austin Collins notes: I'm most interested in crosswords as incubators of what's weird and exciting in language and culture, and this puzzle, constructed in August, clued in December and submitted in January, is very much a product of its cultural moment. ARCADE FIRE's "Reflektor" had just dropped in late October, and I had it on constant rotation as I completed the puzzle. Nelson Mandela passed away in December, as I was cluing, and JACOB ZUMA, in the news for something other than a political scandal (for once), was doing his best to eulogize his forebear, despite the apparent irony. Freida Lee Mock had recently completed and released Anita: Speaking Truth to Power, a chronicle of ANITA HILL's involvement in the Clarence Thomas affair, and, having been raised a captive audience to this and a few other scandals in the '90s, I couldn't resist when her name appeared as an option.

Besides ANITA HILL and my seeds (JAVASCRIPT & DAKAR RALLY), the only other include-or-die-trying entries for me were NARUTO, which Will thankfully liked, and — my fav — ANABIOSIS, which some might guess is a subpar "glue" answer, since no one knows what the hell it is. In fact, it's the coolest thing here.

Feel free to harass me on Twitter (@melvillmatic), and enjoy.

Jeff Chen notes: Debut! Congrats, Kameron. Always nice to get a puzzle from yet another constructor's perspective. It always amazes me how much of ... more
Jeff Chen notes: Debut! Congrats, Kameron. Always nice to get a puzzle from yet another constructor's perspective. It always amazes me how much of his/her own style each constructor brings through the selection of a couple of key entries or clues.

Unusual construction today, one featuring quite a large white space in the very center of the grid. Typically something this big tends to be a bit rough around the edges, especially since it has to connect to four different subsections, but Kameron doesn't have a single STINKER in there. (Well, one stinker, in STINKER.) I even appreciated getting a novel and current clue for REE Drummond. It's impressive work in this large swath, even more so considering it's heavily constrained what with JAVASCRIPT and DAKAR RALLY intersecting it. I'm vaguely familiar with NARUTO, although really, what can compete with the joy that is Pokemon?

I've said too much.

Being the pop music moron I am, it took me every crossing to get ARCADE FIRE, thinking that it might be ARCADE TIRE, ARCADE FIRM, ARCADE FARE? I had a good laugh at my own ineptitude there. What made it extra tough was that the grid layout, while allowing for a giant center section, effectively chokes down each quadrant into its own mini-puzzle. The east and south mini-puzzles came quite easily to me, but they didn't help much in terms of breaking open that difficult north.

If a puzzle can be broken into two separate parts with the addition of a single pair of squares, that's generally a sign of potential flow problems. This grid doesn't exactly have that condition (try it; surprising to me that it didn't), but having two sets of places (the H of KESHA / the U of GUTSY and the N of KATRINA / the N of ANT NEST) where adding a pair of black squares could create a choked-off pattern felt constricting to me.

And wow, that west section was tough. I gave up, guessing ATABIOSIS and was initially frustrated by the term, but after pausing to reflect upon it, ANABIOSIS is pretty great. Who doesn't like zombie lingo? And for those of you equally baffled, ANA is defined as "a collection of various materials that reflect the character of a person or place." Learn something new every day. It's too bad that ANABIOSIS didn't have all easier crossings, because the more I think about it, the more I like it. If ANA had been [Santa ___] I think I would have loved learning ANABIOSIS.

Some beautiful clues today. [Printed slip] is such an innocent little clue, isn't it? Probably something like RECEIPT or BILL or something, yeah? Beautiful example of misdirection without the giveaway question mark at the end of the clue — "slip" here means "error," not "paper." [Pickup line?] was pretty good, although it felt slightly tortured to me (RAM = the Dodge Ram truck, methinks...). I liked [Reed section?] better, as it's repurposing the term for clarinets, oboes, etc. in order to make an otherwise boring entry stand out. Neat stuff.

JimH notes: The "London Trilogy" at 16-Across begins with Money: A Suicide Note, an excellent introduction to MARTIN AMIS if you're not already a fan.
1
R
2
I
3
S
4
K
5
F
6
I
7
V
8
E
9
K
10
A
11
C
12
S
13
A
R
C
A
14
D
E
F
I
R
E
15
S
N
A
P
16
M
A
R
T
I
N
A
M
I
S
17
P
I
P
E
18
S
T
U
R
M
19
C
H
20
A
I
T
E
A
21
E
M
I
22
A
23
B
24
S
25
A
T
T
A
C
K
26
N
27
A
R
U
T
28
O
29
T
A
H
O
E
30
J
31
A
32
V
A
S
C
R
I
P
33
T
34
L
I
R
A
35
A
N
A
36
H
E
I
N
I
E
37
S
38
L
A
S
39
C
A
P
40
S
41
D
A
K
A
R
R
42
A
L
L
Y
43
O
B
I
T
44
S
45
L
E
T
S
O
N
46
B
I
D
I
N
47
G
48
R
E
E
49
T
50
S
51
K
52
Z
O
N
E
O
U
53
T
54
O
N
E
A
55
L
56
U
S
E
R
57
T
Y
58
L
59
E
60
R
P
E
R
R
Y
61
M
I
S
S
62
S
P
E
C
I
E
S
I
S
M
63
A
S
S
64
Y
O
Y
O
S
65
T
A
T
E
© 2014, The New York TimesNo. 0606 ( 23,586 )
Across Down
1. Decision theory factor : RISK
5. Athletic short? : FIVEK
10. Coolers, in brief : ACS
13. Indie rock band whose "The Suburbs" was the Grammys' 2010 Album of the Year : ARCADEFIRE
15. Jiffy : SNAP
16. British author of the so-called "London Trilogy" : MARTINAMIS
17. Feature of a Norman Rockwell self-portrait : PIPE
18. Agitation overseas : STURM
19. Hot, spicy brew : CHAITEA
21. ___ Records : EMI
22. Washboard parts : ABS
25. "Sic 'em!" : ATTACK
26. Popular Japanese manga seen on the Cartoon Network : NARUTO
29. "Bonanza" setting : TAHOE
30. Language originally known as Mocha : JAVASCRIPT
34. Turkish money : LIRA
35. Miscellany : ANA
36. Tochises : HEINIES
38. Diego Rivera's "___ Sandías" : LAS
39. Ceilings : CAPS
41. Exotic annual off-road race : DAKARRALLY
43. Dead reckonings? : OBITS
45. Admits : LETSON
46. In wait : BIDING
48. Best-selling food writer ___ Drummond : REE
49. "Bad!" : TSK
52. Become dazedly inattentive : ZONEOUT
54. Ryan of Hollywood : ONEAL
56. One with a password, maybe : USER
57. Writer, director and co-star of the Madea films : TYLERPERRY
61. Master's counterpart : MISS
62. Belief in human supremacy : SPECIESISM
63. Buffoon : ASS
64. Goes on and off diets, say : YOYOS
65. ___ Modern : TATE
1. Pickup line? : RAMS
2. Furious : IRATE
3. Rugby formation : SCRUM
4. Subject of Spike Lee's "When the Levees Broke" : KATRINA
5. Reed section? : FEN
6. 1962 film "___ Man Answers" : IFA
7. Energy : VIM
8. Actor Stoltz : ERIC
9. Gaga contemporary : KESHA
10. Notable Senate testifier of 1991 : ANITAHILL
11. Florida's so-called "Waterfront Wonderland" : CAPECORAL
12. Password requirer, maybe : SPEAKEASY
14. 10-watt, say : DIM
15. Old-fashioned shelter along a highway : SPITAL
20. Phone inits. : ATT
22. Proceeded like a rocket : ARCED
23. Time capsule event : BURIAL
24. Tough problem : STINKER
27. Grayish : ASH
28. Downer : OPIATE
30. South African leader beginning in 2009 : JACOBZUMA
31. Reanimation after apparent death : ANABIOSIS
32. Insipidity : VAPIDNESS
33. Short : TERSE
37. Kind of hotel, for short : SRO
40. David Ogden ___, actor on "M*A*S*H" : STIERS
42. Colony unit : ANTNEST
44. ___-cone : SNO
47. Bold : GUTSY
50. Opera ___ : SERIA
51. Land formation known for its caves : KARST
53. Printed slip : TYPO
54. Unlock, in poetry : OPE
55. Old ___, Conn. : LYME
58. Willy ___, pioneering writer on rocketry : LEY
59. Green start? : ECO
60. "___ for rainbow" : RIS

Answer summary: 10 unique to this puzzle, 2 debuted here and reused later, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?

|