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, Edge, Safari, or Firefox for best results.

A SIGN OF THE TIMES

New York Times, Friday, October 24, 2014

Author:
Patrick Blindauer
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
677/21/20059/4/201922
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
14661417118
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.59262
Patrick Blindauer

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 27 Missing: {QV} This is puzzle # 59 for Mr. Blindauer. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Notepad: A Crossword Contest
All the puzzles this week, from Monday to Saturday, have been created by one person, Patrick Blindauer. Keep your solutions handy, because the Saturday puzzle conceals a meta-challenge involving the solution grids of all six. When you have the answer to the meta-challenge, send it to crossword@nytimes.com. Twenty correct solvers, chosen at random, whose entries are received by 6:00 p.m. E.T. Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014, will win one-year online subscriptions to the New York Times crossword. Only one entry per person, please. The answer and winners' names will appear on Friday, Oct. 31, at www.nytimes.com/wordplay.
Patrick Blindauer notes:
My first Friday NYT puzzle! As of tomorrow I will have 'hit for the cycle' (had a puzzle on every day of the week), but it took a ... read more

My first Friday NYT puzzle! As of tomorrow I will have "hit for the cycle" (had a puzzle on every day of the week), but it took a week-long contest to make it happen since I don't generally write themeless puzzles. And now I remember why … they're really hard to make well. This one went through lots and lots of versions before settling on this grid; hope y'all have some time to enjoy it.

Will Shortz notes:
Jeff Chen notes:
Contest week! Jim and I decided to keep everything quiet until the contest is over, including the grid solutions. I doubt we'd give ... read more

Contest week! Jim and I decided to keep everything quiet until the contest is over, including the grid solutions. I doubt we'd give anything away by publishing all the clues and answers, but this method better preserves the mystery.

Speaking of mysteries, this week is an appropriate time for me to delve into some of my favorite cryptological mysteries throughout history. None of these write-ups have anything to do with the contest, I promise (I'll put up a post summarizing how I solved it afterward, assuming I solve it). I simply like sharing my obsession with unsolved coded puzzles throughout history. And my posts will need to get shorter anyway, as a certain 12-day-old little dictator has initiated me into a CIA-level interrogation program involving roughly 0.75 hours of sleep per night. There ... are ... FOUR ... lights!

Kryptos sculpture

KRYPTOS

A lot of people have issues with the CIA and its operations, but one thing I think they did well was to create Kryptos, a sculpture incorporating a still unsolved problem in cryptography. I read about this in WIRED magazine a few years back, and I thought it was some sort of hoax — it was part of an issue-long puzzle contest, after all. But no, Kryptos is real, and only three parts of it have been cracked after 24 years.

Before learning about Kryptos, my interest in cryptology was only surface-level, mostly doing shallow reading about topics like the Enigma machines of WWII. But the article inspired me to go learn how Vigenère ciphers work, as well as to research other common encoding schemes which sculptor Jim Sanborn might have incorporated. If I had read this article earlier in life, perhaps I might have chosen computer science instead of mechanical engineering and American studies. I wonder how many young people it could inspire to go into tech and computer careers.

And I can't wait until the fourth piece gets cracked. It's so impressive that someone created a puzzle so difficult that the last part has eluded everyone. The title of "Best Code-breaker in the World" is still up for grabs.

Jim Horne notes:

Patrick Berry also hit for the cycle only because of his six-day meta contest back in 2011. They're still his only Monday and Tuesday NYT crosswords.

1
O
2
R
3
A
4
L
5
E
6
X
7
A
8
M
9
S
10
C
11
R
12
A
13
S
14
S
15
R
E
D
C
A
R
P
E
T
16
Z
I
P
U
P
17
G
R
A
D
U
A
T
E
D
18
A
T
A
R
I
19
C
O
M
S
20
Y
E
T
21
X
R
A
T
E
D
22
H
U
B
23
A
S
S
E
24
N
T
S
25
H
O
E
26
A
T
E
27
S
T
28
T
R
E
E
29
S
Y
F
Y
30
R
E
D
E
E
31
M
32
S
E
R
33
T
A
34
T
S
E
L
I
O
35
T
36
T
R
O
U
37
P
38
E
39
S
40
E
N
N
I
41
S
42
A
N
D
A
L
E
43
J
44
A
45
W
S
46
I
N
K
47
S
48
T
I
M
I
D
49
U
Z
O
50
L
E
T
I
T
51
G
O
52
P
T
A
53
L
A
N
54
C
E
S
55
S
E
A
56
F
L
I
T
57
E
L
T
O
N
58
T
U
R
N
59
L
O
O
S
E
60
P
E
O
N
Y
61
G
I
N
J
O
I
N
T
S
62
S
A
N
K
A
63
I
T
S
A
B
L
A
S
T
© 2014, The New York TimesNo. 1024 ( 23,726 )
Across
1
Times for speaking one's mind? : ORALEXAMS
10
Coarse : CRASS
15
Spot for shooting stars : REDCARPET
16
Finish putting on pants, say : ZIPUP
17
Became a bachelor, maybe : GRADUATED
18
Onetime Coleco competitor : ATARI
19
Rom-___ (some films) : COMS
20
Up to the present time : YET
21
Beyond blue : XRATED
22
Trivial Pursuit board location : HUB
23
Agreements : ASSENTS
25
Richard March ___ (inventor of the rotary printing press) : HOE
26
Remotely monitored event, informally : ATEST
28
Plum or pear : TREE
29
"Sharknado" channel : SYFY
30
Save : REDEEM
32
Sleep on it : SERTA
34
"Ash Wednesday" poet : TSELIOT
36
Groups with play dates? : TROUPES
40
"Brokeback Mountain" role : ENNIS
42
"Hurry up!," en español : ANDALE
43
Henchman first seen in "The Spy Who Loved Me" : JAWS
46
Stationery store stock : INKS
48
Pusillanimous : TIMID
49
___ Aduba of "Orange Is the New Black" : UZO
50
Stop obsessing : LETITGO
52
Not just a pop group, for short? : PTA
53
Tilting poles : LANCES
55
Triton's domain, in myth : SEA
56
Dart : FLIT
57
Two-time N.B.A. All-Star Brand : ELTON
58
Free : TURNLOOSE
60
Flowering plant named for a Greek god : PEONY
61
Saloons : GINJOINTS
62
Onetime sponsor of "I Love Lucy" : SANKA
63
"Boy, am I having fun!" : ITSABLAST
Down
1
Diagram showing company positions, briefly : ORGCHART
2
Detours : REROUTES
3
Title carpenter of an 1859 novel : ADAMBEDE
4
Watch things, for short : LCDS
5
Condensed vapeur : EAU
6
Patient looks? : XRAYS
7
Most fitting : APTEST
8
People with signs at airports, e.g. : MEETERS
9
Part of E.S.T.: Abbr. : STD
10
Bygone emperors : CZARS
11
"Lovely" one of song : RITA
12
It may elicit a shrug : APATHY
13
Not doubting : SUREOF
14
___ sense : SPIDEY
21
Nissan offering : XTERRA
23
Took courses at home : ATEIN
24
"Faster than shaving" brand : NEET
27
Yugoslavian-born winner of nine Grand Slam tournaments : SELES
29
One with a short hajj : SAUDI
31
$, € and £ : MONIES
33
Johnny Depp role of 2013 : TONTO
35
Formatting palette choice : TINT
37
Site of an annual encierro : PAMPLONA
38
They think they're special : ELITISTS
39
Least excited : SEDATEST
41
Outfit worn with goggles : SKISUIT
43
Things downed at Churchill Downs : JULEPS
44
Rhododendron relative : AZALEA
45
Chinese appetizer : WONTON
47
Rear ends : STERNS
50
Actress/singer Lotte : LENYA
51
Pot : GANJA
54
Bop : CONK
56
Thwart : FOIL
58
___ Friday's : TGI
59
Start of an alley-oop : LOB

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 4 debuted here and reused later, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?