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

New York Times, Friday, January 24, 2014

Author: Ian Livengood
Editor: Will Shortz
Ian Livengood
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
554/12/20109/15/20164
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
617667112
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.64371

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 70, Blocks: 29 Missing: {FJQXZ} This is puzzle # 35 for Mr. Livengood. 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!

Ian Livengood notes: Prediction: In a couple hundred years, YA will replace YOU in the English language. And YOU will seem as archaic as THOU does ... more
Ian Livengood notes: Prediction: In a couple hundred years, YA will replace YOU in the English language. And YOU will seem as archaic as THOU does today. Might as well get ahead of the curve on that one.

Oh, MILE HIGH CLUB was my seed entry, obviously. But there's a special place in hell for 12-letter seed words. Never again, I tell ya.

Will Shortz notes: Not surprisingly, Ian's puzzle is the first Times crossword ever to have the entry MILE-HIGH CLUB. The term was probably a little ... more
Will Shortz notes: Not surprisingly, Ian's puzzle is the first Times crossword ever to have the entry MILE-HIGH CLUB. The term was probably a little too racy for my predecessors. But how to clue it? Ian's clue was "Group getting some air play?" I liked the misdirection of this, but the usage of the word "play" here felt too loose — and maybe too racy for the Times audience. Another clue I considered was "Group whose membership qualifications are up in the air?" — but that felt too easy. And "Set of screws on an airplane?" was just too rude. So I finally settled on what you see here.
Jeff Chen notes: There are lots of people probably confused as to why they saw this puzzle last week. I don't know the exact details, but apparently ... more
Jeff Chen notes: There are lots of people probably confused as to why they saw this puzzle last week. I don't know the exact details, but apparently there was a mixup at the Times, because Will wanted to run Kevin Der's puzzle just before the MIT Mystery Hunt, because it was actually integrated into the Hunt. Pretty cool, huh? Great idea, but the execution was lacking.

Onward and upward. Another fine offering from Ian, clean as a whistle. I have to think this follows more of his experiment placing the shorter stuff first, then seeing what he can get out of the longer answers. In general, I love the fact that there's hardly any ugly stuff (pretty amazing to have just AWS, HEPS, SSN, and only HEPS is really cringeworthy).

But the other day I had an interesting exchange with another constructor who's opposed to this approach, because it doesn't allow for as many new entries. Since you fix some constraints by placing shorties into the grid first, you limit your ability to insert truly snazzy stuff. I like the colloquial HOW ARE YA a lot and love MILE HIGH CLUB (if only this had been in another venue and we could have seen one of Will's clues), but other than that, nothing spectacular. And an entry like TRADE BOOKS is about as interesting to me as bond funds are to my nephew. (It's pretty fun to chase my nephew around, yelling about credit risk and durations. Ah, good times.)

For just about any constructor I'd stand up and clap upon encountering this puzzle. A 70-word puzzle is harder than a 72, and a 68 is verging on "only possible to do cleanly and sparkly for those named Berry." But Ian Livengood... well, he's Ian Livengood. I was expecting more sparkly goodness out of a 68-worder. It's kind of unfair, but once you achieve name-brand status a la BEQ, DQ, Nothnagel, Walden, et al, the ante is upped. Still, fun puzzle today; a good workout.

1
A
2
R
3
C
4
T
5
I
6
C
7
W
8
H
9
O
10
S
11
T
12
H
13
A
14
T
15
W
A
H
I
N
E
16
H
O
W
A
R
E
Y
A
17
S
T
A
N
C
E
18
A
M
E
N
A
M
E
N
19
P
L
E
A
20
R
T
E
S
21
D
A
R
K
22
A
O
K
23
S
24
M
O
T
E
25
H
E
N
S
26
M
I
L
27
E
H
I
G
H
C
28
L
U
B
29
I
S
I
S
30
S
U
E
31
S
T
O
32
P
33
I
34
T
35
C
O
N
C
36
I
S
E
37
Y
E
S
O
R
N
O
38
O
N
E
A
R
M
39
S
U
V
40
K
O
O
K
41
P
E
E
42
R
P
R
E
43
S
S
U
R
E
44
T
45
R
E
S
46
A
E
T
N
A
47
D
D
S
48
H
E
I
R
49
A
W
E
S
50
L
51
I
M
E
52
E
S
P
O
53
U
S
E
D
54
S
I
T
A
R
55
S
56
P
L
E
A
S
E
G
O
57
A
V
E
R
T
S
58
S
A
N
D
B
A
G
S
59
C
A
N
Y
O
N
© 2014, The New York TimesNo. 0124 ( 23,453 )
Across Down
1. Frigid : ARCTIC
7. Question at the door : WHOSTHAT
15. Miss out on a board : WAHINE
16. "'Sup?" : HOWAREYA
17. Subject for a golf lesson : STANCE
18. Emphatic approval : AMENAMEN
19. Petition : PLEA
20. 51-Down and others: Abbr. : RTES
21. Nighttime : DARK
22. Hunky-dory : AOK
23. Clobbered : SMOTE
25. Birds in a clutch : HENS
26. Group that no one on earth has ever joined : MILEHIGHCLUB
29. Sun disk wearer, in myth : ISIS
30. Petition : SUE
31. "That's quite enough!" : STOPIT
35. Abridged : CONCISE
37. "What's it gonna be?" : YESORNO
38. Feature of a certain bandit : ONEARM
39. 20-Down, e.g. : SUV
40. Nut : KOOK
41. What a nonconformist ignores : PEERPRESSURE
44. "___ magnifique!" : TRES
46. Big employer in Hartford, Conn. : AETNA
47. Canal checker?: Abbr. : DDS
48. One who's trustworthy? : HEIR
49. Doesn't just grab : AWES
50. Green shade : LIME
52. Public, as views : ESPOUSED
54. Instruments played with mizraabs : SITARS
56. "I'd like you to leave" : PLEASEGO
57. Nips in the bud : AVERTS
58. Bank guards? : SANDBAGS
59. Ambush locale in Episode 1 of "The Lone Ranger" : CANYON
1. "Cute" remarks : AWS
2. Thallium sulfate, e.g. : RATPOISON
3. Figure out on the street? : CHALKLINE
4. Stick with it : TINE
5. One way to pay : INCASH
6. Civic leader? : CEE
7. "Beg pardon?!" : WHATTHE
8. Shop alternative : HOMEEC
9. Takes credit? : OWES
10. Gabriel or Giorgio : SAN
11. Basic library stock : TRADEBOOKS
12. Iron-pumper : HEMAN
13. Australia's ___ Rock : AYERS
14. Lose a lot? : TANK
20. Nissan ___ : ROGUE
22. Italian friend : AMICO
24. Question in a long-distance relationship : MISSME
25. Humble dwellings : HUTS
27. Civil engineering safety feature : ESCAPEROAD
28. Square, in old slang, as indicated by forming a square with one's hands : LSEVEN
32. 1969 hit with the repeated lyric "Big wheel keep on turnin'" : PROUDMARY
33. So that one can : INORDERTO
34. Takes some hits : TOKES
36. Red states : IRES
37. Humble dwellings : YURTS
39. Short trunks : SPEEDOS
42. Possible protein shake ingredient : RAWEGG
43. Sample in a swab test : SALIVA
44. Weber per square meter : TESLA
45. Turn red, say : RIPEN
48. Drill bits? : HEPS
49. Away from port : ASEA
51. Christopher Columbus Transcontinental Hwy. : ITEN
53. Kind of port : USB
54. Pouch : SAC
55. Frequent form request: Abbr. : SSN

Answer summary: 6 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?