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

New York Times, Friday, October 11, 2013

Author: Peter A. Collins
Editor: Will Shortz
Peter A. Collins
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1015/2/200611/13/201711
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
51224341394
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.564293

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 30 Missing: {JQZ} Spans: 6 This is puzzle # 72 for Mr. Collins. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Peter A. Collins notes: Well, the seed entry of this one was WHERES THE REMOTE — something that anyone with kids has uttered too many times to ... more
Peter A. Collins notes: Well, the seed entry of this one was WHERES THE REMOTE — something that anyone with kids has uttered too many times to count. My goal was to have interlaced 15-letter entries, but I wanted to stick to 15-letter entries that hadn't been used in the NYT before. I almost achieved my goal — MEAT THERMOMETER has been used a couple of times. But the other five are debuts, as are the two ten-letter entries (ARMY STRONG and OXYGENATED). The down side of this kind of grid layout is there aren't the usual wide swaths of open space as there are on many other themeless puzzles.

I see fellow Ann Arborite Jason Flinn constructed the NYT puzzle a couple of days ago. If you haven't caught on yet, it's all part of our plan to elevate Ann Arbor to the cultural center of the universe. Worldwide domination will soon follow.

First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin.

Will Shortz notes: All six intersecting 15-letter answers in this puzzle are pretty nice, I think. I also like ARMY-STRONG and HEY MAN.
Jeff Chen notes: A ton of nice debut stuff from Pete today. SETTLES THE SCORE, WHAT HAPPENS NEXT, and especially WHERES THE REMOTE with its brilliant ... more
Jeff Chen notes: A ton of nice debut stuff from Pete today. SETTLES THE SCORE, WHAT HAPPENS NEXT, and especially WHERES THE REMOTE with its brilliant clue. It's not often we see five debut 15's in a single puzzle; cool feat Peter's pulled off. I got a thrill typing those beauties in (what can I say, I'm easily amused).

Unusual arrangement, not only incorporating four 15's in the across direction, but interlocking them with two 15's in the vertical. Building a themeless grid in this style is daunting, because it creates so many subsections, each one with high constraints. Quite a challenge to find a set of six 15's which allows for reasonable fill. I really appreciated hearing Pete's comment about trying for six debut 15's, but settling for five in order to give the solver a better experience. I love hearing a constructor prioritize the solving experience rather than the construction feat.

While the arrangement of 15's is awfully nice, the surrounding fill suffers a tad. We get an assortment of partials (A STAR, USE AS), crossing awkward abbreviations (CTN/CWTS), French words crossing (ETAT/LYCEE), and a dash of crosswordese (ENOTE, REE, SERE), but I appreciate that Pete has carefully spread it out amongst the different categories so we don't get a ton of one type or another. Still, there was enough of the suboptimal stuff that I noticed it during the solve, and it made me think about the trade-offs Pete must have been weighing as he chose his 15's and filled the grid.

Quick observation about SERE, which has been a crossword staple for decades because it contains common letters. 149 instances in 12 years of the Maleska era (thanks David Steinberg for adding pre-Shortz puzzles to the master database, process still ongoing), 98 from 19 years of the Shortz era. I like this trend, as it discourages the idea that you need to know a totally different language in order to do crosswords. Perhaps with more of this kind of thoughtful progress, crosswords will one day be more popular than baseball.

A guy can dream, can't he?

Good workout today plus some very nice debut entries.

1
F
2
A
3
W
4
N
5
A
6
B
7
B
8
A
9
T
10
A
11
S
12
K
13
S
14
E
C
H
O
15
H
E
A
R
16
I
R
E
N
E
17
M
E
A
T
18
T
H
E
R
M
19
O
M
E
T
E
R
20
A
S
T
A
R
21
T
R
Y
M
E
22
T
W
A
23
H
R
A
24
P
25
S
A
G
26
A
L
27
P
28
L
A
Y
M
E
29
O
30
R
T
R
A
D
E
31
M
32
E
33
S
A
P
34
S
O
X
E
R
35
P
I
S
A
N
36
E
S
P
37
O
38
N
Y
T
O
39
L
40
A
T
N
O
41
U
S
E
A
42
S
43
G
I
N
O
44
S
45
H
O
T
46
D
O
N
T
E
47
V
E
N
G
O
T
48
H
E
R
E
49
S
H
E
E
N
50
P
I
E
S
51
C
52
T
N
53
K
E
A
54
T
55
S
56
L
Y
C
57
E
58
E
59
W
H
E
60
R
E
S
T
H
E
61
R
E
M
O
T
E
62
T
A
X
E
R
63
E
U
R
O
64
A
R
A
L
65
S
I
T
E
S
66
D
R
E
W
67
N
E
T
S
© 2013, The New York TimesNo. 1011 ( 23,348 )
Across Down
1. Forest newcomer : FAWN
5. Group whose last Top 40 hit was "When All Is Said and Done" : ABBA
9. To-do list : TASKS
14. Sound after call waiting? : ECHO
15. Sense, as a 14-Across : HEAR
16. Nobel winner Joliot-Curie : IRENE
17. Turkey sticker : MEATTHERMOMETER
20. "Everybody Is ___" (1970 hit) : ASTAR
21. Response to a threat : TRYME
22. Old co. with overlapping globes in its logo : TWA
23. 1960s civil rights leader ___ Brown : HRAP
25. Katey who portrayed TV's Peg Bundy : SAGAL
27. Benchwarmer's plea : PLAYMEORTRADEME
33. Drain : SAP
34. Bobby's follower? : SOXER
35. Fibonacci, notably : PISAN
36. Hockey Hall of Fame nickname : ESPO
38. Alternative to ZzzQuil : NYTOL
40. Stat. for Re, La or Ti : ATNO
41. "___ needed" : USEAS
43. Papa ___ (Northeast pizza chain) : GINOS
45. Now in : HOT
46. "That subject's off the table!" : DONTEVENGOTHERE
49. Luster : SHEEN
50. They have edible shells : PIES
51. Whse. sight : CTN
53. "Philosophy will clip an angel's wings" writer : KEATS
56. French class setting : LYCEE
59. Universal query? : WHERESTHEREMOTE
62. Uncle Sam, say : TAXER
63. One featuring a Maltese cross : EURO
64. Turkic word for "island" : ARAL
65. Browser history list : SITES
66. Couldn't discard in crazy eights, say : DREW
67. Court suspensions : NETS
1. Relief provider, for short : FEMA
2. Blasts through : ACES
3. "And now?" : WHATHAPPENSNEXT
4. Sealing worker : NOTARY
5. "Per-r-rfect!" : AHH
6. ___-red : BEET
7. Alfred H. ___ Jr., founding director of MoMA : BARR
8. Like G.I.'s, per recruiting ads : ARMYSTRONG
9. Interval : TIMEGAP
10. Were present? : ARE
11. Gets payback : SETTLESTHESCORE
12. Sensed : KNEW
13. They may be used in veins : SERA
18. They may be used around veins : TRAMS
19. All-Star Infante : OMAR
24. Drone : PEON
26. 1998 hit from the album "Surfacing" : ADIA
27. False start? : PSEUD
28. Stockholder? : LASSO
29. Like some hemoglobin : OXYGENATED
30. ___-A : RETIN
31. Plantation habitation : MANOR
32. Cybermemo : ENOTE
37. Something taken on the stand : OATH
39. Ring : LOOP
42. They're on hunts : SEEKERS
44. Revolving feature : STILE
47. Revolving features? : VEES
48. "Psst ... buddy" : HEYMAN
51. 1/20 tons: Abbr. : CWTS
52. Whence the word "bong" : THAI
54. Day of the week of Jul. 4, 1776 : THUR
55. Wizened up : SERE
57. Indiana, e.g., to Lafayette : ETAT
58. Some use electric organs : EELS
60. River Shannon's Lough ___ : REE
61. Sudoku segment : ROW

Answer summary: 9 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?