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, Friday, October 13, 2017

Author:
Zhouqin Burnikel
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
6311/13/20125/15/201919
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
620186472
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.56281
Zhouqin Burnikel

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 33 Missing: {QVXZ} This is puzzle # 48 for Ms. Burnikel. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
I often debate whether I should prioritize quality or quantity in my assessment of themelesses. I remember when I first broke into ... read more

I often debate whether I should prioritize quality or quantity in my assessment of themelesses. I remember when I first broke into solving Fridays, I was delighted to uncover SAY THE MAGIC WORD — it was such an amazing entry, so snazzy, something a huge chunk of solvers would recognize. Didn't even matter to me what the rest of the puzzle was like. These days, I tend to do a straight-up count of how many above-average entries there are.

No entry of SAY THE MAGIC WORD's caliber today, but a couple of solid feature answers in WENT BERSERK, OPERA HOUSES. Those are ones I'd personally consider as seeds for a themeless.

I felt like there wasn't enough in the grid besides those. DIGITAL DATA is a thing, no doubt, but the difference between analog data and DIGITAL DATA isn't that interesting, even to this data junkie. I've seen a few episodes of AMERICAN DAD, but it didn't stick with me like "The Simpsons" or "King of the Hill" or "Family Guy." And I follow the stock market (although I'm 95% an asset allocation / passive index fund guy), but MARKETWATCH wasn't that interesting to me.

So many short answers, too. Some shorties are necessary to hold most grids together, but with only eight long answers (of 8+ letters) and six mid-lengthers (of 7 letters), there's little capacity to snazzify the grid. It's so difficult to make those shorter answers sing. BAR TAB is nice, SCARAB good, but so much of the short stuff tends to be of the LOWS, SWAB, OYL, NIGHT neutral quality. Overall, it's fine — especially considering there's virtually no crossword glue, except for RIS — but not much of it added to my solving experience.

Now, there were a few standout clues that helped make some of that short stuff sing — [Opposite of downs] was a great misdirect toward "nadirs," instead of "gulps, as a drink". AD HOC similarly, the clue [Not standing, in a way] befuddling, until I realized that an AD HOC committee is the opposite of a standing one. Great stuff.

But all in all, I would have liked either one or two sizzling standout entries to make the puzzle memorable, or a whole lot more long answers to give the puzzle more meat.

1
D
2
A
3
M
4
A
5
S
6
K
7
S
8
C
9
A
10
R
11
A
12
B
13
I
M
A
L
O
N
14
E
15
I
L
L
I
N
I
16
G
E
R
A
N
I
U
17
M
18
T
O
O
B
A
D
19
I
R
K
S
20
F
L
O
21
T
S
A
M
22
T
I
E
23
G
E
E
S
E
24
K
A
25
P
26
O
27
W
28
A
C
T
29
O
R
30
R
U
N
31
S
32
R
I
P
E
33
L
A
W
Y
E
34
R
35
L
O
W
36
S
37
L
E
N
38
D
N
A
L
A
B
39
S
40
R
A
P
41
P
O
R
T
42
A
D
T
43
T
I
P
44
S
45
B
A
R
T
A
B
46
T
A
C
47
H
48
S
I
P
49
S
50
M
O
S
H
E
51
A
D
H
O
52
C
53
L
O
I
54
N
S
55
C
O
R
56
T
O
57
R
T
O
N
I
58
C
R
U
S
59
G
60
I
61
J
A
N
E
62
L
E
G
63
R
A
I
S
E
64
O
R
E
I
D
A
65
W
H
I
S
P
E
R
66
P
A
T
R
O
L
67
T
S
K
T
S
K
© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 1013 ( 24,811 )

Support XWord Info today

Pay now and get access for a year.

1. Select account level
2. Choose how to pay
Across
1
Reversible fabric : DAMASK
7
Egyptian charm : SCARAB
13
"It's just me" : IMALONE
15
Marching ___ (Midwest college band) : ILLINI
16
Flower with five petals : GERANIUM
18
"Such a pity" : TOOBAD
19
Bugs : IRKS
20
Remains of a wreck : FLOTSAM
22
Evening result? : TIE
23
They're seen going south in the fall : GEESE
24
[Wham!] : KAPOW
28
Person in a trailer, in two senses : ACTOR
30
Heads up : RUNS
32
Ready (for) : RIPE
33
Either Bill or Hillary Clinton, once : LAWYER
35
Worst of times : LOWS
37
___ Lesser, player of Uncle Leo on "Seinfeld" : LEN
38
Sites associated with the Innocence Project : DNALABS
40
Good connection : RAPPORT
42
Big name in home security systems : ADT
43
Things worth waiting for? : TIPS
45
A screwdriver might be added to it : BARTAB
46
Dash part : TACH
48
Opposite of downs : SIPS
50
Six-Day War leader Dayan : MOSHE
51
Not standing, in a way : ADHOC
53
Pork cuts : LOINS
55
Heart: Lat. : COR
56
Ice cream treat : TORTONI
58
French vineyards : CRUS
59
1997 film whose poster shows a woman wearing dog tags : GIJANE
62
Exercise often done while lying down : LEGRAISE
64
Brand in the frozen food section : OREIDA
65
What a laryngitis sufferer may do : WHISPER
66
Pound a beat : PATROL
67
Double-click sound? : TSKTSK
Down
1
Bits of information? : DIGITALDATA
2
Long-running Fox sitcom : AMERICANDAD
3
Big news site for investors : MARKETWATCH
4
"Such a pity" : ALAS
5
Grand duke vis-à-vis a czar : SON
6
Big no-no at a T.S.A. checkpoint : KNIFE
7
Protests peacefully, in a way : SITS
8
Part of a wizard costume : CLOAK
9
Roberto ___, only Baseball Hall-of-Famer inducted as a Blue Jays player : ALOMAR
10
Tease : RIB
11
CNN anchor Cabrera : ANA
12
Offer : BID
14
18th-century pioneer in graph theory : EULER
17
Major city on the Tigris : MOSUL
21
Wagner's Siegfried, for one : TENOR
23
Awesome : GREAT
25
Initial challenge for certain screenwriters : PILOTSCRIPT
26
Places to see Wagner : OPERAHOUSES
27
Totally lost it : WENTBERSERK
29
Castor ___ of old comics : OYL
31
Lowly navy person : SWAB
34
Pete Rose's 1,314, for short : RBIS
36
Bombards with fake offers : SPAMS
39
Like milk you shouldn't cry over : SPILT
41
Advocating : PRO
44
Obsolescent film holder : SPOOL
47
Blather : HOTAIR
49
Source of strength : SINEW
52
Airbnb listing : CONDO
54
"Sweet dreams" : NIGHT
57
Honest-to-goodness : REAL
58
Port vessel : CASK
59
Letters leaning to the right? : GOP
60
Certain investment, for short : IRA
61
Jacuzzi part : JET
63
"___ for Ricochet" (2004 best seller) : RIS

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?