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New York Times, Thursday, January 4, 2018

Author:
Daniel Mauer
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
29/13/20171/4/20180
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0001100
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.57100
Daniel Mauer

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 74, Blocks: 32 Missing: {HJKQZ} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 2 for Mr. Mauer. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Daniel Mauer notes:
Hello solvers! This is my second published puzzle, and I'm pretty excited about it. I had the idea late last year in the context of ... read more

Hello solvers! This is my second published puzzle, and I'm pretty excited about it. I had the idea late last year in the context of "pointers" in computer programming: a chunk of memory that doesn't store relevant data itself but instead, points to another location in memory where the data can be found. Seemed an interesting concept to use as a trick in a crossword, so I got to work.

While thinking of words with "digit sounds" in them to cross the location answers, 4WARD popped into my head, which led me to 4WARDING ADDRESS — a perfect metaphor, and it was 15 characters long. Eureka! The 4 and S both fitting into the xxACROSS answers was a nice bonus, and really tied the theme together.

What made this a bear to construct was that only some digits work as sounds in other words, and adding or removing even a single black square could totally change the entries' numbering. Furthermore, the "forwarded" answers had to be reasonably interesting on their own (thanks to Jeff Chen, who took a look at an early version, for pointing out the importance of that last bit). Put that all together, and you have a lot of constraints to deal with.

It took a ton of work to get it into shape, but eventually, it was ready to submit. Will liked the concept, and after a bit more work it was approved. There was one significant editorial change worth mentioning: originally I had actual clues for the "forwarded" answers, marked with an asterisk, e.g. "Granted access*" at 38-Down instead of "Allowed in". The destination locations were clued with just an arrow, and the revealer clue was "Something to leave at the post office... or what the answers to the four starred clues each have". Will felt it would be a little too difficult to make that large a mental leap in solving, so it was changed to what you see now. I'm happy with the result, and proud of the puzzle. Hope you enjoyed it!

Jeff Chen notes:
Dan asked me to look at this in its early stages. I felt it had a lot of potential, but I found it so hard to explain the theme. Let's ... read more

Dan asked me to look at this in its early stages. I felt it had a lot of potential, but I found it so hard to explain the theme. Let's see if I can do it without discombobulating everyone:

  • Entries refer to other entries (1-Across is 12 DOWN, which points to the entry at 12-Down)
  • The clue from one reference is the entry at the other reference
  • Numbers are used, but as homophones in the crossing direction
  • It's all tied together by 4WARDING ADDRESS

Still with me? Didn't think so.

Okay, 1-Down isn't 1SIES, but ONESIES. 2-Down is 2TORED = TUTORED. And 1-Across is clued as [Ten cents], which is the entry at 12-Down. And 12 DOWN is the entry at 1-Across.

Whew!

Plenty of puzzles have used cross-referencing, numbers in grids, homophones, even clues duped as entries — but the combination feels like something different and unique.

One point I made to Dan was that it would be a lot better if it weren't random entries that were duped from clue to entry. Why SEA COW, MACARENA, etc.? "Just because they fit" usually isn't a good enough rationale for me. It'd be orders of magnitude harder — maybe impossible — to work in entries that hint at the puzzle's theme (maybe DUPLICATION, CLONING, EVIL TWIN, etc.). So I like the balance he achieved, giving us some snazzier answers in TEN CENTS and MACARENA.

I liked a lot of the bonuses in the fill — TIME STAMP, STARTUP, TARANTINO, CREATINE. And Dan kept his short fill fairly smooth, a tough task given all the themers packed into the grid. SSRS and WIEN were cringe-y outliers, but ELL, NEV, PRES, SENS are mostly ignorable.

I would have liked more bonuses, as things like REANNEX, ENTERER, ALLOWED IN all felt neutral to negative, but that's tough to do given how much real estate the themers take up.

All in all, I appreciated the novelty of the solve. It felt different. I think different is a great thing for crosswords.

1
1
2
2
3
D
4
O
5
W
6
N
7
A
8
R
9
F
10
A
11
C
12
T
13
1
14
S
T
E
V
I
E
15
R
E
A
16
C
R
E
8
17
I
O
L
A
N
I
18
M
A
C
19
A
R
E
N
A
20
E
R
A
21
E
L
22
L
23
M
E
L
24
A
C
C
25
S
E
N
26
S
27
L
A
28
B
29
C
A
30
S
T
E
R
31
D
O
T
32
E
33
T
A
34
R
A
N
T
I
N
O
35
E
N
36
T
E
R
E
R
37
A
N
T
S
38
4
39
W
40
A
R
D
I
N
G
A
D
41
D
R
E
S
S
42
4
A
G
E
43
M
E
A
N
S
I
T
44
A
L
L
O
45
W
E
D
I
N
46
D
U
47
O
48
S
49
C
R
I
S
I
S
50
N
E
51
V
52
P
R
E
53
S
54
R
U
T
55
E
T
56
S
57
X
I
58
I
59
S
A
W
60
O
S
T
61
I
N
A
T
62
O
63
E
N
64
R
I
C
O
65
S
E
E
D
66
M
A
X
67
D
M
I
N
O
R
68
S
S
R
S
69
P
R
Y
70
4
8
D
O
W
N
© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0104 ( 24,894 )
Across
1
Ten cents : 12DOWN
7
Yelp alternative : ARF
10
When a messenger from Godot arrives in "Waiting for Godot" : ACT1
14
Many-hit Wonder : STEVIE
15
Stephen of "The Crying Game" : REA
16
Make : CRE8
17
Honolulu's ___ Palace : IOLANI
18
[Answer found elsewhere] : MACARENA
20
Century 21 competitor : ERA
21
Right-angle pipe : ELL
23
Nickname shared by two Spice Girls : MEL
24
Virginia Cavaliers' org. : ACC
25
Hill workers: Abbr. : SENS
27
Indoor place in which coats are worn : LAB
29
Desk chair part : CASTER
31
What many grandparents do : DOTE
33
"Jackie Brown" director, 1997 : TARANTINO
35
One providing input : ENTERER
37
Hill workers : ANTS
38
Something to leave at the post office ... or a hint to this puzzle's theme? : 4WARDINGADDRESS
42
Gather food : 4AGE
43
Is dead serious : MEANSIT
44
[Answer found elsewhere] : ALLOWEDIN
46
Pairs : DUOS
49
Emergency : CRISIS
50
Henderson's home: Abbr. : NEV
52
U.S. 1? : PRES
54
In a ___ (stuck) : RUT
55
Some characters on TV's "Futurama," briefly : ETS
57
Last pope named Pius : XII
59
Caught, as a movie : SAW
60
Recurring melodic phrase : OSTINATO
63
Physicist Fermi : ENRICO
65
___ money : SEED
66
Take to the limit, with "out" : MAX
67
Key of Dvorák's Symphony No. 7 : DMINOR
68
Historical group of 15, for short : SSRS
69
Ask too-personal questions : PRY
70
Sea cow : 48DOWN
Down
1
Toddlers' attire : 1SIES
2
Gave private lessons to : 2TORED
3
Name of a family from which Franklin Roosevelt was descended : DELANO
4
Fallopian tube travelers : OVA
5
"One of the most civilized things in the world," per Hemingway : WINE
6
"The Piano" actor Sam : NEILL
7
QB's asset : ARM
8
500 sheets : REAM
9
Kings and queens : FACECARDS
10
Height: Prefix : ACR
11
Powder supplement for bodybuilders : CREATINE
12
[Answer found elsewhere] : TENCENTS
13
Macarena : 18ACROSS
19
Computer scientist Turing : ALAN
22
Approached dusk : LATENED
26
You might put CDs on them : STEREOS
28
Real deal : BARGAIN
30
Angels might come to its aid : STARTUP
32
Extreme : END
34
Take back, as territory : REANNEX
36
Part of many a digital photo : TIMESTAMP
38
Allowed in : 44ACROSS
39
Blubbery ones : WALRUSES
40
Twinkling : AGLITTER
41
Perpetrated : DID
45
Capital of Österreich : WIEN
47
"If music be the food of love, play on" speaker : ORSINO
48
[Answer found elsewhere] : SEACOW
51
Tried to win, as a title : VIED4
53
___ enemy : SWORN
56
Sun : STAR
58
Prisoner : INM8
61
Social Security cards, e.g. : IDS
62
Acne medication brand : OXY
64
Disposed (of) : RID

Answer summary: 14 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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