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

New York Times, Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Author:
Scott Yut
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutCollabs
110/26/20160
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0001000
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.54000
Scott Yut

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 36 Missing: {JQVX} This is the debut puzzle for Mr. Yut. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Scott Yut notes:
This being my very first published crossword puzzle, I'm quite pleased about seeing it in print. I started constructing a few years ... read more

This being my very first published crossword puzzle, I'm quite pleased about seeing it in print. I started constructing a few years ago after solving more and more puzzles. Thought I'd try my hand being on the other side. I started from ground zero, even submitting a few puzzles that didn't follow the basic rules of construction. Not a good move, but they were so much easier to build when I could make up the rules as I went along.

The theme for this puzzle came to me in a bit of a flash. I was standing on a curb as a friend was pulling up in a car to pick me up. Fooling around, I stuck my leg out and pretended to hitch up my skirt so as to get a lift as a hitchhiker. Because I had been reading Patrick O'Brian novels about Captain Jack Aubrey and the Royal Navy, "show a leg" popped into my head because it is a phrase that frequently appeared in those books. Back in that time period, gentlemen "showed a leg" when they stuck out a stockinged leg and bowed by way of introduction. I was looking for crossword themes at the time so whenever some odd phrase popped into my head, I bounced it around for crossword angles and fell upon "show some leg" and theme answers that had leg parts in them. When I hit upon RIDGEMONTHIGH, it felt like I might have something good.

The editors seemed to like the idea right from the get go, though not the initial theme execution. I am green at this stuff, so their comments were very welcome and very helpful. After a fair amount of back and forth, I finally got something that seemed to work pretty well. I was instructed to build for a Monday puzzle and was surprised to see it coming out as a Wednesday.

Jeff Chen notes:
Debut! I had the hardest time figuring out what was going on, but it was ultimately a fun discovery. SHOW SOME LEG hinted at three leg ... read more

Debut! I had the hardest time figuring out what was going on, but it was ultimately a fun discovery. SHOW SOME LEG hinted at three leg parts hidden in themers: ANKLE, CALF, THIGH. I've highlighted them below so they stand out better.

SHOW SOME LEG … it's spot-on as a revealer, no doubt. It did have an odd vibe, or at least a fusty feel to it, though. For me, it evoked an image of construction workers hooting at passing women to SHOW SOME LEG; not a very appealing visual. I was glad to read Scott's explanation — gentlemen displaying their stockings as part of a historical greeting is a lot of fun. I wish the clue could have had referred to that, but it wouldn't have quite worked since that was "show a leg," not SHOW SOME LEG.

That aside, I did enjoy the themer choices. Fast Times at RIDGEMONT HIGH always brings a smile to my face, and TROPICAL FRUIT is fun too.

I also liked how Scott worked hard to incorporate some good long fill, entries like UMA THURMAN, BEATS ME, FINAGLE, helping to build his STREET CRED as a newbie constructor.

There's a smattering of crossword glue holding the puzzle together, not unexpected out of a debut. I don't mind a little ENERO or ERNE here or there, but they get more noticeable for me when they're crossing. And if you have an ERNE, I'd much rather not call attention to it with a cross-reference (to EAGLE).

Reasonably smooth overall though, Scott wisely using some cheater squares to make his life easier in the middle section, between TROPICAL FRUIT and RIDGEMONT HIGH. ITS SO isn't great as a five-letter partial (the clue tries to hide this — it's not fooling anyone), but what would typically be a tough section to fill comes out well.

I would have loved the puzzle if 1) the leg parts were in visually correct order, i.e. THIGH to CALF to ANKLE, and 2) there was a revealer that didn't make me feel a little uncomfortable. Fun idea, though.

1
O
2
R
3
S
4
L
5
I
6
B
7
Y
8
A
9
W
10
I
11
R
12
E
13
D
14
N
E
T
15
I
M
O
U
T
16
E
N
E
R
O
17
T
A
R
18
B
A
N
K
L
19
E
N
D
I
N
G
20
A
M
E
21
R
I
C
A
S
22
A
T
O
N
E
S
23
P
S
E
U
D
O
24
G
O
O
25
T
R
O
P
26
I
27
C
28
A
L
F
R
29
U
30
I
31
T
32
Y
33
M
C
A
S
34
T
H
I
E
F
35
M
O
T
36
E
A
R
L
37
S
U
M
38
Z
A
N
Y
39
A
Y
E
40
B
41
A
S
R
A
42
F
A
T
A
L
43
R
I
D
44
G
E
M
O
N
T
45
H
I
G
H
46
N
A
N
47
O
N
A
U
48
T
49
O
50
S
51
T
52
R
A
T
I
53
S
54
U
M
A
T
R
A
N
55
S
H
O
W
S
O
56
M
E
L
E
G
57
M
R
E
58
T
O
T
E
M
59
P
A
N
E
L
60
A
S
A
61
S
U
E
D
E
62
G
R
A
C
E
63
N
I
L
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 1026 ( 24,459 )
Across
1. Places for hosp. scrubs : ORS
4. Arab Spring country : LIBYA
9. Overcaffeinated : WIRED
14. Bring home : NET
15. "Too rich for me" : IMOUT
16. Month after diciembre : ENERO
17. Blacktop material : TAR
18. Source of start-up cash, perhaps : BANKLENDING
20. ___ Cup : AMERICAS
22. Makes up (for) : ATONES
23. Prefix with science or intellectual : PSEUDO
24. Hot 17-Across, e.g. : GOO
25. Guava or papaya : TROPICALFRUIT
32. Certain pool sites, for short : YMCAS
34. Robin Hood, notably : THIEF
35. Verbal zinger : MOT
36. Countess's man : EARL
37. Basic spreadsheet function : SUM
38. Like much Gene Wilder humor : ZANY
39. Roll call vote : AYE
40. Port of Iraq : BASRA
42. Like cobra/mongoose encounters, to cobras : FATAL
43. "Fast Times" school : RIDGEMONTHIGH
46. Indian bread : NAN
47. Running by itself : ONAUTO
50. Low-altitude clouds : STRATI
53. Certain Indonesian : SUMATRAN
55. Not dress overmodestly ... or what 18-, 25- and 43-Across each do? : SHOWSOMELEG
57. G.I. fare : MRE
58. Figure head? : TOTEM
59. "Meet the Press" feature : PANEL
60. ___ rule : ASA
61. Glove material : SUEDE
62. It's a blessing : GRACE
63. Zippo : NIL
Down
1. Ready to pour : ONTAP
2. Enlarges, as a hole : REAMS
3. Good rep : STREETCRED
4. Sexual appetites : LIBIDOS
5. Sgt. Friday catchphrase : IMACOP
6. ___ fide : BONA
7. Big laughs : YUKS
8. NATO part: Abbr. : ATL
9. Exploded : WENTOFF
10. Like winter soccer, most likely : INDOOR
11. Rider's handful : REIN
12. Fish-eating raptor : ERNE
13. Feet, slangily : DOGS
19. Sea ___ (12-Down) : EAGLE
21. Like Mayberry : RURAL
26. "For real!" : ITSSO
27. Butter maker : CHURN
28. Shoot for : AIMAT
29. "Kill Bill" co-star : UMATHURMAN
30. Inner Hebrides isle : IONA
31. Texter's "ciao" : TTYL
32. Wine bottle datum : YEAR
33. "Please?" : MAYI
38. Restaurant guide name since 1979 : ZAGAT
40. "No clue" : BEATSME
41. Prenatal test, for short : AMNIO
42. Acquire by deceit : FINAGLE
44. Chewed like a chipmunk : GNAWED
45. Onetime for-girls-only course, for short : HOMEEC
48. Sets of foot bones : TARSI
49. Tatum who won an Oscar at 10 : ONEAL
50. J.F.K. landers until 2003 : SSTS
51. G : THOU
52. Tedious way to learn : ROTE
53. Blacken on a grill : SEAR
54. Neighbor of the funny bone : ULNA
56. High fig. for a hybrid car : MPG

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?