It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker. Please consider supporting our site by purchasing an account.
This web browser is not supported. Use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge for best results.

New York Times, Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Author:
Jeff Chen
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
977/5/20104/8/201959
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
2578172398
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.636212
Jeff Chen

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 40 Missing: {JQW} Grid has mirror symmetry. This is puzzle # 58 for Mr. Chen. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
Will mentioned earlier this year that he was running low on easy, smooth Monday puzzles, so I thought I'd write one. LIKE synonyms ... read more

Will mentioned earlier this year that he was running low on easy, smooth Monday puzzles, so I thought I'd write one. LIKE synonyms camouflaged in phrases felt like a simple enough idea ... and wouldn't LIKE MINDED make a great revealer!

Monday puzzles sometimes bore me, though, so I wanted to do something more interesting with this one. What if I added more elements — instead of four themers, how about five? Good, but the set I found meant that three synonyms would be at ends of phrases and two at beginnings. That felt inelegant.

Hey, how about using mirror symmetry to put all the key words in the middle of the puzzle? That fortuitously worked out, and then while I was building the grid, I thought it would be fun to make it a wide-open grid, with themeless-like corners. Some testing showed I could do it without resorting to much crossword glue, so I figured it could make for a more an interesting solve.

Sometimes I ought to listen to my own advice, though. As a constructor, I really enjoyed putting this grid together, what with entries like OR NURSE (nurse specializing in operating room work), DOORMEN, HOT DATE, FORGERS, IM COOL, GAL PAL, etc. And STIPPLE is such an interesting word.

But I presented Will a dilemma — with a Monday-like theme and a themeless-like grid, what day of the week should it run on? If a Monday, would a novice solver know what STIPPLE means (much less understand a clever clue for it)? And would someone who doesn't do that many crosswords appreciate the bizarre looking ORNURSE string of letters, or get completely confused?

So there you have it, my easy-breezy Monday puzzle … running on a Wednesday.

It really is a wonder that anyone ever listens to me.

Jeff Chen notes:
Everything came together so nicely for this low word-count grid ... except for an unfortunate ??N?V pattern at the left side of the ... read more

Everything came together so nicely for this low word-count grid ... except for an unfortunate ??N?V pattern at the left side of the grid. ANNIV came immediately to mind, but I didn't care at all for that abbreviation. I did some brainstorming and wondered if there had been a famous queen, Anne the Fifth (ANNE V)? Came as a complete surprise to me that there's a very popular model named ANNE V.

Should I have gone with ANNIV? I debated this one for days. ANNIV felt so ugly, and the more I read up on ANNE V, the more crossworthy she seemed, having risen to the highest levels of the modeling world. And it's kind of cool to have that bizarre ANNEV string, not knowing how to parse it. I had a feeling she would be a toughie for many, so I tried my best to make the crossings very easy, so she wouldn't hold up people's ability to achieve a correct solve.

Still hard to figure out if I made the right decision. I'm sure there will be some who disagree, but I'm equally sure that there would have been grumbling (probably more so) about ANNIV. I could have also gone with just four themers, but that seemed too thin. Given that it's a pretty straightforward theme type, I felt that having five themers would help give the puzzle a meatier feel.

Always the trade-offs!

1
G
2
A
3
L
4
P
5
A
6
L
7
I
8
M
9
C
10
O
11
O
12
L
13
P
A
L
E
A
L
E
14
D
O
O
R
M
E
15
N
16
A
L
B
E
R
T
A
17
A
R
R
A
N
G
E
18
D
E
A
R
T
H
19
E
N
L
I
S
T
20
Y
E
21
S
22
D
23
E
A
R
24
I
25
N
26
F
27
F
A
T
I
G
U
E
28
L
29
A
30
Y
31
M
I
A
32
T
A
33
I
G
O
34
L
35
A
I
L
A
36
A
N
N
E
V
37
P
D
T
38
I
N
K
U
P
39
X
A
C
T
O
40
P
E
R
41
S
T
E
M
S
42
Y
E
R
43
L
E
I
44
H
E
M
45
H
46
E
P
47
Z
E
P
P
48
O
49
I
50
T
51
S
52
O
R
A
53
N
54
G
E
55
N
56
A
57
R
N
I
A
58
O
R
N
U
R
S
59
E
60
C
I
C
A
D
A
S
61
H
O
T
D
A
T
E
62
F
O
R
G
E
R
S
63
A
R
S
E
N
A
L
64
O
N
E
A
D
A
Y
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 1012 ( 24,445 )

Support XWord Info today

Pay now and get access for a year.

1. Select account level
2. Choose how to pay
Across
1
Ladies' night attendee : GALPAL
7
"It's all good" : IMCOOL
13
Light-colored brew : PALEALE
14
Condo building employees : DOORMEN
16
Canada's first province alphabetically : ALBERTA
17
Prepare, as a musical score : ARRANGE
18
Lack of supply : DEARTH
19
Join : ENLIST
20
Possible response to "Can you pick up the kids from school?" : YESDEAR
24
Like Beethoven's Symphony No. 6 : INF
27
What an Ironman has to battle : FATIGUE
28
Place : LAY
31
Mazda roadster : MIATA
33
"___ out walkin' after midnight" (Patsy Cline lyric) : IGO
34
Boxer Ali : LAILA
36
Model in 10 straight Sports Illustrated swimsuit editions, familiarly : ANNEV
37
Summer setting in Seattle: Abbr. : PDT
38
Get tats : INKUP
39
Big name in precision cutting : XACTO
40
___ capita : PER
41
Asparagus spears, e.g. : STEMS
42
"___ durn tootin'!" : YER
43
Luau souvenir : LEI
44
Bottom of bell bottoms : HEM
45
Like a zoot-suiter : HEP
47
A Marx brother : ZEPPO
49
Possessive often containing a mistaken apostrophe : ITS
52
Color of the Dodge Charger on "The Dukes of Hazzard" : ORANGE
55
Land created by C. S. Lewis : NARNIA
58
Surgical asst. : ORNURSE
60
Insects on a 17-year cycle : CICADAS
61
Exciting romantic prospect : HOTDATE
62
Ones defrauding museums : FORGERS
63
Weaponry storehouse : ARSENAL
64
Vitamin brand with an instructive name : ONEADAY
Down
1
High wind : GALE
2
Actress Jessica : ALBA
3
Satyr's stare : LEER
4
Item in a swag bag : PARTYFAVOR
5
Gibson who was the first person of color to win a tennis Grand Slam event : ALTHEA
6
Bucolic locale : LEA
7
Journalist Wells : IDA
8
Title "Dr." in an H. G. Wells story : MOREAU
9
Southern side dish made with kernels off the cob : CORNRELISH
10
Spoken test : ORAL
11
Marriott competitor : OMNI
12
Last parts drawn in hangman : LEGS
13
Crib : PAD
15
Something cut down during March Madness : NET
21
Go completely dotty? : STIPPLE
22
Push oneself to the max : DIGDEEP
23
Bout of swellheadedness : EGOTRIP
24
Where to see pictures on the big screen? : IMAX
25
Ship of 1492 : NINA
26
Pretentiously high-class : FANCYPANTS
28
Thinking similarly : LIKEMINDED
29
Many a college applicant's interviewer, for short : ALUM
30
Flaps one's gums : YAPS
32
Spot for un chapeau : TETE
35
Pay to play : ANTE
45
Hullabaloo : HOOHA
46
Wild throw, e.g. : ERROR
47
Keebler saltine brand : ZESTA
48
Sometimes-caramelized food : ONION
50
Part of Wonder Woman's outfit : TIARA
51
Impertinent : SASSY
53
Like Venus in "The Birth of Venus" : NUDE
54
Nickname for Mom's mom : GRAN
56
A lot of land, maybe : ACRE
57
Bit of Bollywood music : RAGA
59
Jellied delicacy : EEL
60
Exec. money manager : CFO

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?