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

New York Times, Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Author: Andrea Carla Michaels
Editor: Will Shortz
Andrea Carla Michaels
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
596/12/20003/19/201832
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
64092200
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.63117
Puzzle of the Week

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 40 Missing: {Q} This is puzzle # 45 for Ms. Michaels. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Andrea Carla Michaels notes: The original idea came as a follow up to the FOOTBALL MATCHUP crossword made with my neighbor Kent Clayton. This is ... more
Andrea Carla Michaels notes: The original idea came as a follow up to the FOOTBALL MATCHUP crossword made with my neighbor Kent Clayton. This is really a naming puzzle disguised as a sports theme. Unbelievably, all the sports clues are mine (ROY, TONYA, LET, YDS).

I feel giddy getting in GLITTERATI and the "Splish Splash" (BATH) clue!

It might surprise some folks to see me on a Tuesday, but I swear I send 90% of my puzzles thinking they are Tuesdays ... inevitably, Will asks me to get rid of some "later week" entries and try again! In this case I had to get rid of ECZEMA and a few other entries, but I'm glad I did. I had to start from "scratch" (eczema pun intended!) and this is my fifth rendition. In the earlier versions, at least 3 of the clues had Beatles lyric references (AND I love her, Come TOGETHER, IM A Loser, but I didn't want to cause a STIR.)

Honestly, I didn't know these were the only non-plural NBA team names ... that's trivia perhaps Will dug up. My original thought was to have RUN WITH THE BULLS (15) going down the middle, but this set was cleaner.

This is the most elaborate construction I've ever attempted (two sets of parallel 10-letter downs, and the two middle theme entries cross at 7 of their 13 letters.

It's a Q short of a pangram, but, despite (un)popular belief, I'm not ever trying to force one, tho I love to fill my puzzles with a Z here, a K there and at least one X.

Finally, there is my usual Minnesota shout out — see if you can spot it!

Will Shortz notes: Andrea's puzzle today does something I like. It involves a complete set of things — in this case N.B.A. teams whose names ... more
Will Shortz notes: Andrea's puzzle today does something I like. It involves a complete set of things — in this case N.B.A. teams whose names don't end in the plural -s. There's something neat about completeness that appeals to a puzzle solver's mind. Or at least my mind. And as the N.B.A. season opens tonight, this puzzle couldn't be timelier.
Jeff Chen notes: I love being surprised by an early-week puzzle — what a neat a-ha moment when I ran across the NBA revealer. Even though I'm a ... more
Jeff Chen notes: I love being surprised by an early-week puzzle — what a neat a-ha moment when I ran across the NBA revealer. Even though I'm a long-time NBA fan (draft day used to be my favorite sporting event of the year, due to the gravity of the decisions the GMs have to make), I've never thought about the fact that there are only four teams with a singular name. How cool is that?

For all you aspiring crossword constructors out there, this is a textbook example of specificity. Many people ask me what makes a good crossword, and this idea of "specificity" is a tough one to grasp. Will explains it well with his use of the word "completeness." A reasonable theme here could contain entries ending in KINGS, HORNETS, NETS, BULLS, etc., but the constructor then has 30 to select from. To have four and only four names that could have been used feels a bit magical — that specificity is mighty elegant. Not everyone agrees with me (Jim and I have differing viewpoints, in fact), but high specificity is something I personally highly value.

I like the unusual layout, too. Acme does use 24 three-letter words, which did feel noticeable during my solve, but I love how it enabled so much long fill: ANSEL ADAMS, GLITTERATI, CATALYST. Adds so much to the quality of solve.

Run TMC

Those parallel downs in the NE and SW do require some crossword glue to hold everything together: IMA, AND I, UTA, DEM, YDS, but that's really not too bad, and it felt like a good trade-off in order to get those long parallel downs. It would have been perfect if DISCOUNTED and SEMITROPIC had been snazzier entries, to the level of ANSEL ADAMS and GLITTERATI, but that parallel down structure usually doesn't allow for such goodness. I personally don't use it too much anymore since it's so difficult to come up with great long downs with perfectly smooth surrounding fill.

Some tough crossings — AZT/ZOWIE (I imagine some will finish with AYT and YOWIE) along with SHTETL/EERO (SHTATL/AERO anyone?), which might have nudged this puzzle out of the Monday spot we usually see Acme's puzzles in. All in all though, such a fun theme with tight specificity and resulting elegance; a pleasure for this NBA fan. Now if we could only resurrect the good old Run TMC days

1
F
2
A
3
L
4
C
5
O
6
A
7
M
8
I
9
S
10
S
11
G
12
S
13
T
14
I
L
I
A
C
15
Z
O
W
I
E
16
L
E
I
17
A
L
L
T
H
18
A
T
J
A
Z
Z
19
I
M
A
20
T
A
T
A
R
S
21
O
S
E
22
S
T
I
R
23
L
E
T
24
O
U
T
T
A
25
D
26
A
Y
S
O
27
F
28
T
29
H
30
U
N
D
E
R
31
S
I
N
S
32
L
O
A
N
S
33
R
O
34
Y
35
P
S
S
T
36
T
O
N
Y
A
37
T
A
P
E
38
A
C
E
39
A
E
R
I
E
40
O
T
I
S
41
O
L
42
D
B
L
A
C
K
43
M
44
A
G
I
C
45
G
U
A
V
A
46
A
T
E
47
A
N
D
I
48
N
49
B
50
A
51
S
H
T
52
E
53
T
54
L
55
U
T
A
56
B
E
A
T
57
T
H
E
H
E
A
T
58
D
E
M
59
E
X
T
R
A
60
N
E
R
D
Y
61
Y
D
S
62
E
T
H
A
N
63
A
R
O
A
R
© 2014, The New York TimesNo. 1028 ( 23,730 )
Across Down
1. Edie of "Nurse Jackie" : FALCO
6. Not quite right : AMISS
11. Prime meridian std. : GST
14. Hipbone-related : ILIAC
15. "Holy cow!" : ZOWIE
16. Waikiki wear : LEI
17. Related add-ons, informally : ALLTHATJAZZ
19. "___ long gone daddy in the U.S.A." (Springsteen lyric) : IMA
20. Golden Horde members : TATARS
21. Suffix with sucr- and lact- : OSE
22. Brouhaha : STIR
23. Tennis umpire's call : LET
24. "Straight ___ Compton" (seminal rap album) : OUTTA
25. Tom Cruise/Nicole Kidman racing film : DAYSOFTHUNDER
31. Things confessed at confession : SINS
32. Bad things from sharks? : LOANS
33. Dodgers great Campanella : ROY
35. It's attention-getting : PSST
36. Figure skater Harding : TONYA
37. Scotch ___ : TAPE
38. Whiz : ACE
39. Place for a kiddie hawk? : AERIE
40. Elevator innovator : OTIS
41. "That" something in an Arlen/Mercer standard : OLDBLACKMAGIC
45. Exotic jelly fruit : GUAVA
46. "No thanks, I already ___" : ATE
47. The Beatles' "___ Love Her" : ANDI
48. Org. whose only members with nonplural names appear at the ends of 17-, 25-, 41- and 56-Across : NBA
51. "Fiddler on the Roof" setting : SHTETL
55. Old-time actress Hagen : UTA
56. Keep cool in summer : BEATTHEHEAT
58. Obama or Clinton, informally : DEM
59. Add-on : EXTRA
60. So unhip as to be hip, maybe : NERDY
61. Gridiron gains: Abbr. : YDS
62. One of the Coen brothers : ETHAN
63. Din-making : AROAR
1. Company that owns Ferrari : FIAT
2. Milan's Teatro ___ Scala : ALLA
3. Gentle rise and fall of the voice : LILT
4. It makes things happen : CATALYST
5. Earthy tones : OCHRES
6. First anti-AIDS drug : AZT
7. Luck that's workin' for ya : MOJO
8. "___ a Teenage Werewolf" : IWAS
9. Jumbo, for one : SIZE
10. "Oh yeah? ___ who?" : SEZ
11. Fashionable celebs : GLITTERATI
12. Like the climate of Miami or Rio : SEMITROPIC
13. Princess topper : TIARA
18. Concerning : ASTO
22. South of France : SUD
24. Follower of clip or slip : ONS
25. Not full-price : DISCOUNTED
26. Famous Yosemite photographer : ANSELADAMS
27. Fauna's counterpart : FLORA
28. Elixir : TONIC
29. "Frida" star Salma : HAYEK
30. Acapulco article : UNA
31. Hot spot? : SPA
34. "You betcha!" : YES
36. Business card abbr. : TEL
37. With it : TOGETHER
39. Lawyers' org. : ABA
42. Roman 506 : DVI
43. Turn to pulp : MASH
44. Subject of a massive statue in the ancient Parthenon : ATHENA
45. Tastelessly showy : GAUDY
48. Call at a deli counter : NEXT
49. "Splish Splash" spot : BATH
50. Gillette brand : ATRA
52. Architect Saarinen : EERO
53. Cry made with a curtsy, maybe : TADA
54. Astronomical meas. : LTYR
56. Honey Nut Cheerios mascot : BEE
57. Catch some rays : TAN

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle.

Found bugs or have suggestions?