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New York Times, Monday, January 20, 2014

Author:
Elizabeth C. Gorski
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
2197/31/19952/23/20160
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
6716363439243
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.5430225
Elizabeth C. Gorski

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 36 Missing: {Q} Spans: 2 This is puzzle # 210 for Ms. Gorski. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Will Shortz notes:
11D and 29D in this puzzle both run through two horizontal theme entries. I appreciate it when a constructor takes the time and ... read more

11D and 29D in this puzzle both run through two horizontal theme entries. I appreciate it when a constructor takes the time and effort, as here, to find lively answers for these important spots.

Liz, btw, is the first Times constructor to benefit from the paper's new pay rate — $300 for a daily puzzle. That's still not a lot, considering the amount of time and skill it takes to create a first-class crossword. But it's a lot better than the $40 that The Times paid when I started in 1993. And it's much more than any other daily newspaper currently pays. I will keep working to increase the rate further, because the contributors deserve it.

Jeff Chen notes:
Tribute puzzle to a great man. Surprising that we haven't gotten more MLK tributes on MLK Day. Maybe it has to do with the conspiracy ... read more

Tribute puzzle to a great man. Surprising that we haven't gotten more MLK tributes on MLK Day. Maybe it has to do with the conspiracy put on by The Man, who also somehow makes good people of the world work on a such an important day.

*shaking fist at The Man*

Tribute puzzles are hard to do. I think they should celebrate the person by giving us a reminder of their achievements, but since it's a puzzle, it ought to entertain as well. My personal preference is to avoid tribute puzzles unless there's a way to incorporate an extra element, something that could only be done in a crossword puzzle. For example, I did a Roger Ebert tribute last year for the LA Times, with black squares looking like two thumbs up on the sides of the puzzle. That sort of thing.

Ouch, I hurt my shoulder from all that patting myself on the back, so onto the puzzle. I absolutely loved seeing the crazy sequence of consonants M L K J R in the dead center of the grid. How many times do you see an entry as cool-looking as that?

I wasn't as keen on seeing WE ARE FREE AT LAST as the final theme entry, because by itself, it doesn't carry Dr. King's message very well, seeming to imply that he's saying that we are (currently) free at last. Perhaps just FREE AT LAST would have been better, clued as something like "38-across's hope for all people in the future". It would also have been nice to see LET FREEDOM RING too, another important phrase repeated in Dr. King's speech.

Puzzle-wise, nice selection of long downs. As Will mentions, those are important slots in a puzzle, as the long downs are an important source of potential snazziness. And as always, Liz does a great job of plunking in two winners, even though her theme density is high. And she also manages to sneak in ATTACK AD, very impressive! The fill suffers a bit though, with such difficult (for a Monday) crossings as APIA/PIAGET as well as unslightly crosswordese (AROO, A IS, NES), and an arbitrary score (ONE ALL). Probably all fine for a later week puzzle, but it's not my personal preference for a Monday.

I hope everyone has the day off today. If you're doing some volunteer work today in remembrance, TWO THUMBS UP. Ow, my shoulder!

1
H
2
D
3
T
4
V
5
T
6
U
7
D
8
O
9
R
10
P
11
U
12
P
13
S
14
A
R
O
O
15
I
R
A
N
I
16
A
P
I
A
17
L
I
N
C
18
O
L
N
M
E
M
19
O
R
I
A
L
20
S
P
E
A
R
21
P
A
I
R
I
N
G
S
22
B
E
23
D
24
E
25
L
E
T
26
T
E
A
27
J
28
E
29
T
30
C
I
V
31
I
L
R
I
32
G
H
T
S
33
A
M
A
34
K
E
E
N
35
Z
O
E
36
M
I
K
37
A
38
M
L
K
39
J
40
R
41
D
A
42
W
43
N
44
E
T
45
D
46
E
P
O
47
S
48
I
I
I
49
I
50
H
A
V
E
51
A
52
D
R
E
A
M
53
R
N
A
54
N
E
S
55
U
S
E
56
G
R
A
57
B
58
A
T
T
59
A
C
K
A
60
D
61
R
E
62
M
63
I
64
X
65
W
E
A
R
E
F
R
E
66
E
67
A
T
L
A
S
T
68
A
R
N
E
69
O
M
A
N
I
70
O
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A
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71
Y
O
D
A
72
R
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73
W
A
W
A
© 2014, The New York TimesNo. 0120 ( 23,449 )
Across
1. Modern set in the family room : HDTV
5. Family name of Henry VIII : TUDOR
10. Canine newborns : PUPS
14. Suffix with buck : AROO
15. Tehran native : IRANI
16. Samoa's capital : APIA
17. Site of a 1963 speech by 38-Across : LINCOLNMEMORIAL
20. Asparagus unit : SPEAR
21. Matchmaker's match-ups : PAIRINGS
22. George Eliot's "Adam ___" : BEDE
25. Allow : LET
26. Boston ___ Party : TEA
27. Boeing 747, e.g. : JET
30. Cause associated with 38-Across : CIVILRIGHTS
33. Docs' org. : AMA
34. Enthusiastic : KEEN
35. Actress Saldana of "Avatar" : ZOE
36. "Morning Joe" co-host Brzezinski : MIKA
38. Annual Jan. honoree : MLKJR
41. Vampire's bedtime : DAWN
44. When a plane is due to take off: Abbr. : ETD
46. Long narrative poem : EPOS
48. Three on a grandfather clock : III
49. Repeated phrase in 38-Across's speech at the 17-Across : IHAVEADREAM
53. Genetic stuff : RNA
54. Super ___ (game console) : NES
55. Employ : USE
56. Seize : GRAB
58. Aggressive campaign TV spot : ATTACKAD
61. New arrangement of tracks on a recording : REMIX
65. Famous closing words of the 49-Across speech : WEAREFREEATLAST
68. "Rule, Britannia" composer Thomas : ARNE
69. Muscat citizen : OMANI
70. Poet ___ Khayyám : OMAR
71. "Star Wars" sage : YODA
72. Pulls apart : RENDS
73. Muted trumpet sound : WAWA
Down
1. Dutch old master Frans : HALS
2. Burning candle feature : DRIP
3. Voice inflection : TONE
4. Words, informally : VOCAB
5. "___ Death" (2000s Fox sitcom) : TIL
6. Large container of coffee : URN
7. Moist : DAMP
8. Tie score early in a game, maybe : ONEALL
9. Covered with more frost : RIMIER
10. ___-mutuel betting : PARI
11. Still undecided : UPINTHEAIR
12. Luxury watch brand : PIAGET
13. Does a Latin dance : SALSAS
18. Vacuum cleaner brand : ORECK
19. David ___, baseball's Big Papi : ORTIZ
23. Per ___ (by the day: Lat.) : DIEM
24. Stuntman Knievel : EVEL
27. Smucker's product : JAM
28. Former owner of Capitol Records : EMI
29. Get off the fence? : TAKEASTAND
31. Print shop device : INKER
32. "In ___ We Trust" : GOD
37. Dunes transport, briefly : ATV
39. Emailed pic, often : JPEG
40. Niagara Falls sound : ROAR
42. Take home the gold : WIN
43. Actress Long of "Boyz N the Hood" : NIA
45. Score before ad in or ad out : DEUCE
47. Brainy : SMART
49. More or less : INAWAY
50. Prefix with sexual : HETERO
51. Request : ASKFOR
52. "My goodness!" : DEARME
57. Under : BELOW
59. Zone : AREA
60. College adviser : DEAN
62. Papa's mate : MAMA
63. What "vidi" means in "Veni, vidi, vici" : ISAW
64. Bonus, in commercial lingo : XTRA
66. Conclusion : END
67. "___ for apple" : AIS

Answer summary: 1 unique to this puzzle, 2 debuted here and reused later, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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