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

New York Times, Friday, November 4, 2016

Author: David Steinberg
Editor: Will Shortz
David Steinberg
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
636/16/20115/20/201711
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
4556718171
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.652113
Puzzle of the Week

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 68, Blocks: 34 Missing: {QXZ} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 55 for Mr. Steinberg. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick NYT links: Across Lite PDF

Support XWord Info

Donation Amount

XWord Info is only possible when people like you choose to support it through donations.

Donate to get access to XWord Info for a year.

Benefits vary by donation level. Thank you!

David Steinberg notes: This puzzle dates back to January 2015. If memory serves, Matt Ginsberg had just sent out the final version of a crowdsourced ... more
David Steinberg notes:

This puzzle dates back to January 2015. If memory serves, Matt Ginsberg had just sent out the final version of a crowdsourced word list that numerous other constructors and I had been working on, so I was excited to put it to the test! After receiving the word list, I sifted through it a bit to see which entries really stood out to me. One of the tricky things about crowdsourcing anything, especially something as subjective as a word list, is that everyone has slightly different tastes. So it took me a while to find three highly scored entries for the bottom left stack that I genuinely liked.

Once I had the bottom left in place, I plunked down WOW JUST WOW and moved on to the upper right. I can't say I was quite as happy with the upper right—the "never heard of it outside of crosswords" EILAT bothered me—but I was still pleased to work in a handful of entries I thought were interesting. My next task was to find a 15-letter entry for the center slot to tie everything together. I was thrilled to discover that HOT STONE MASSAGE fit nicely, and everything else fell into place from there.

I hope you enjoy the puzzle! In the meantime, I'll be busy working on my word list. . . .

Jeff Chen notes: A ton of flashy, catchy answers. That bottom left corner is especially shiny, with four strong answers — WOW JUST WOW / ASK ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

A ton of flashy, catchy answers. That bottom left corner is especially shiny, with four strong answers — WOW JUST WOW / ASK ANYONE / SLOW DANCE / TUNA STEAK — stacked right atop each other, with only the very minor ASTI needed to hold it all together. Stacking three long answers is hard enough, but when you throw in a fourth (even if it is shifted over somewhat), it gets much harder. That's fantastic work.

WOW JUST WOW might not do much for some people, but it's one of my favorite types of entries, taking advantage of the crossword convention of ignoring punctuation. WOW JUST WOW looks odd, but think of it like this: WOW. (eye roll) JUST … WOW. (shake head.) Love it.

Interesting to hear David say that HOT STONE MASSAGE wasn't one of the seed entries. I would never have thought to build opposite corners like this, hoping that they would mesh in the middle — seems like you'd too often end up with unmatchable starts / ends for that long slot. But David kept his middle section pretty closed off with liberal use of black squares, so he set himself up to facilitate the start / end of that grid-spanning entry meshing in the middle. Clever!

Also nice to hear David point out EILAT as the least desirable entry, as that one stood out to me as well (a name I know only from crosswords). Is it a truly gluey entry, though? I'm on the fence about that. Major cities ought to be fair game, and never having traveled in that part of the world, I don't know enough about EILAT to gauge its tourist draw or its place in history. Tough call.

AMICO was second behind EILAT for me, but that felt more minor to me (it's easily inferable from the common "amigo" and "amicus brief"). It speaks to David's construction abilities that he was able to keep it to just these entries in terms of crossword glue, especially considering all the long answers stacked atop each other.

I wasn't a fan of the mini-theme — four of the first five answers clued to "pot" or "pots" — a rare case that a mini-theme actually detracted from a themeless for me. Felt a bit haphazard; inelegant. I'm glad I went back afterward to review the construction though, because once I got past that opening sensation of oddness, I really enjoyed the craftsmanship.

1
S
2
H
3
A
4
R
5
D
6
A
7
N
8
T
9
E
10
S
11
T
12
O
13
P
14
W
E
B
E
R
15
M
A
R
I
16
J
U
A
N
A
17
I
R
O
N
Y
18
I
C
E
L
A
N
D
I
C
19
M
O
V
E
R
20
C
H
E
A
P
D
A
T
E
21
E
G
O
22
B
O
O
S
T
E
R
23
S
W
E
A
R
24
D
E
25
B
26
T
27
S
28
P
T
A
29
S
O
30
U
31
P
32
U
33
P
34
S
L
O
P
35
H
O
T
36
S
T
O
N
E
M
A
37
S
S
A
G
E
38
D
U
E
T
39
M
C
C
A
I
N
40
C
A
D
41
S
T
R
O
42
P
43
N
O
44
O
K
S
45
W
O
46
W
47
J
48
U
49
S
T
W
O
W
50
A
51
S
52
K
A
N
Y
O
N
E
53
C
L
I
54
F
55
F
56
S
L
O
W
D
A
N
C
E
57
R
A
D
I
O
58
T
U
N
A
S
T
E
A
K
59
A
L
O
N
G
60
I
G
G
Y
61
T
S
P
S
62
B
A
W
D
Y
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 1104 ( 24,468 )
Across Down
1. Pot remnant : SHARD
6. Pot part : ANTE
10. Anagram of "pots" : STOP
14. Magnetic flux unit : WEBER
15. Pot : MARIJUANA
17. Word from the Greek for "feigned ignorance" : IRONY
18. Source of the word "geyser" : ICELANDIC
19. Professional boxer? : MOVER
20. One who doesn't need fancy wining and dining : CHEAPDATE
21. Prestigious award or flattering compliment : EGOBOOSTER
23. Talk like a pirate, say : SWEAR
24. Things short people have? : DEBTS
28. Open-house grp. : PTA
29. Make more powerful : SOUPUP
34. Spill over : SLOP
35. Spa treatment favored by rock fans? : HOTSTONEMASSAGE
38. Something no one can sing? : DUET
39. Senator who wrote "Why Courage Matters" and "Hard Call" : MCCAIN
40. Sleazeball : CAD
41. Cutting edge producer : STROP
43. Certain tablets : NOOKS
45. Words from the speechless : WOWJUSTWOW
50. "It's not only me who thinks this" : ASKANYONE
53. Fiscal ___ : CLIFF
56. Sway with a partner : SLOWDANCE
57. BBC ___ : RADIO
58. Serving of ahi : TUNASTEAK
59. Beside : ALONG
60. Azalea with the 2014 #1 hit "Fancy" : IGGY
61. Fractions of fluid ozs. : TSPS
62. Off-color : BAWDY
1. Exercise at the Y, maybe : SWIM
2. Knight in shining armor : HERO
3. Solvent : ABOVEWATER
4. Not follow suit : RENEGE
5. Process, in a way, as peanuts : DRYROAST
6. Firenze friend : AMICO
7. Sports bar bite : NACHO
8. Joyce Kilmer poem that starts "I think that I shall never see" : TREES
9. Israeli seaport : EILAT
10. Informal summer wear : SUNDRESS
11. Word of mock fanfare : TADA
12. Doing the job : ONIT
13. Tempo : PACE
16. Said something in jest : JAPED
22. One stuck in the closet : BROOM
23. Full-bodied : STOUT
25. "Deadly" vodka cocktail : BLACKWIDOW
26. Caesar dressing? : TOGAS
27. Hastened : SPED
28. Elite group of grads : PHDS
30. N.C.A.A. hoops giant : UNC
31. Top part of a trunk, for short : PEC
32. Actress Thurman : UMA
33. Basic PC program : PAINT
36. Nautical nuisance : STOWAWAY
37. Bright orange seafood delicacy : SNOWCRAB
42. Settings for some Monet artwork : PONDS
44. "What a knockout!" : OOLALA
46. One of the Earp brothers : WYATT
47. Ache (for) : JONES
48. Take the top off : UNCAP
49. Tries to 54-Down : SEEKS
50. Freisa d'___ (Italian wine) : ASTI
51. Bullet : SLUG
52. King ___ : KONG
54. See 49-Down : FIND
55. Square type : FOGY

Answer summary: 6 unique to this puzzle, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?

|