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, Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Author:
Paula Gamache
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1085/21/20021/14/20184
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
81318151217619
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.58431
Paula Gamache

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 74, Blocks: 38 Missing: {JQVX} This is puzzle # 90 for Ms. Gamache. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Will Shortz notes:
Paula's grid has a surprisingly low word count (74 entries) for a puzzle with this much theme material. As a result, the corners are ... read more

Paula's grid has a surprisingly low word count (74 entries) for a puzzle with this much theme material. As a result, the corners are quite chunky — which is great. Among the nontheme entries I particularly like SCREWY, SHU MAI, ANTINUKE, WINNIPEG, and I'M BACK.

Jeff Chen notes:
Easy-breezy theme for a Tuesday, WI/SE CRACKed so that it bookends the theme answers. It's fun to see a constructor's tastes come ... read more

Easy-breezy theme for a Tuesday, WI/SE CRACKed so that it bookends the theme answers. It's fun to see a constructor's tastes come through in a puzzle, and today is a fine example. I don't know Paula but get the impression from our brief meetings that she's more cultured than me. (Really though, I'm having trouble picturing anyone less cultured than me. Perhaps the construction worker at this coffee shop who's currently showing off a different type of crack. Tee hee.)

Fun theme phrases today which help make the puzzle sing. When there's a straightforward theme type, it's crucial to pick themers which are snappy, in-the-language phrases, and Paula does well in this arena. WINGED HORSE, WIN OR LOSE, WINEHOUSE, WILD GEESE, they're all phrases I would prioritize for use as long fill in one of my puzzles. Well done.

Tastes will differ of course, and I have a feeling this puzzle will appeal to more upscale clientele than me. Some may point out the elegance of having ANAIS above HENRI, perhaps an irreverent hint at Nin's personal life with Henry Miller (don't worry, I had to look that up too). The WARNERS class up the joint as well, and an ETUI and some POESY round out the high-classisity of the work. Perhaps not my cup of lowbrow tea, but I can appreciate it all the same.

A nit to pick: I got hung up on WISE CRACK, wanting the theme answers to have an actual crack within them made of black squares, or something of the like. Having the WI and SE at the outer ends of the themers more connotes WISE ENDS or OUTER WISE. Minor issue, but for these types of "literal interpretation of a phrase" puzzles, I like to have the interpretation be carried out as exactly as possible. This felt slightly loosey-goosey in interpretation.

Finally, the tremendous amount of strong long fill present today is a mark of a veteran constructor with chops. As Will mentioned, to pull off a 74-worder with such theme density is quite a challenge.

1
G
2
S
3
A
4
O
5
P
6
E
7
R
8
A
9
A
10
N
11
A
12
I
13
S
14
O
W
L
15
M
O
P
U
P
16
H
E
N
R
I
17
W
I
L
18
D
G
E
E
S
E
19
H
A
T
E
D
20
E
T
U
I
21
S
E
E
M
22
R
I
F
E
23
S
C
R
E
24
W
Y
25
A
26
R
27
P
28
N
U
B
29
T
H
E
T
A
30
W
31
I
N
E
H
32
O
U
S
E
33
R
34
A
I
N
35
P
A
C
K
E
T
36
W
37
I
N
G
E
D
38
H
O
R
S
E
39
T
40
A
I
P
E
I
41
U
R
S
A
42
W
I
N
O
R
L
43
O
S
E
44
O
45
B
46
I
47
T
48
S
49
E
R
N
50
S
E
N
51
S
H
U
M
A
I
52
E
L
I
53
S
54
E
55
R
56
I
N
57
R
B
I
S
58
Z
I
P
U
59
P
60
W
I
S
E
61
C
R
A
C
K
62
E
N
E
R
O
63
A
T
B
A
T
64
C
H
E
65
S
E
G
E
R
66
Y
A
N
K
S
67
K
I
L
© 2013, The New York TimesNo. 1105 ( 23,373 )

Support XWord Info today

Pay now and get access for a year.

1. Select account level
2. Choose how to pay
Across
1
Fed. procurement overseer : GSA
4
Boito's "Mefistofele," e.g. : OPERA
9
"Delta of Venus" author Nin : ANAIS
14
Giver of a hoot : OWL
15
Remove, as a spill : MOPUP
16
Bendel of fashion : HENRI
17
*Migratory flock : WILDGEESE
19
Couldn't stand : HATED
20
Small French case : ETUI
21
Appear : SEEM
22
Plenteous : RIFE
23
Cuckoo in the head : SCREWY
25
Dada pioneer : ARP
28
Heart : NUB
29
Greek letter traditionally associated with Earth Day : THETA
30
*Singer Amy with six Grammys : WINEHOUSE
33
Drought ender : RAIN
35
Group of papers : PACKET
36
*Pegasus, notably : WINGEDHORSE
39
Asian capital that was from 2004-07 home of the world's tallest building : TAIPEI
41
___ Minor : URSA
42
*"Regardless of the outcome ..." : WINORLOSE
44
News items often written years in advance : OBITS
49
Directional suffix : ERN
50
D.C. V.I.P. : SEN
51
Dim sum dish : SHUMAI
52
Yale Whale players : ELIS
54
Blarney Stone home : ERIN
57
Stat for A-Rod : RBIS
58
Take care of a fly? : ZIPUP
60
Witticism ... or, literally, a description of the answer to each of the four starred clues? : WISECRACK
62
Año's start : ENERO
63
Facing the pitcher : ATBAT
64
Who said "The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall" : CHE
65
"Hollywood Nights" singer Bob : SEGER
66
Bronx Bombers : YANKS
67
Le Mans race unit: Abbr. : KIL
Down
1
Head toward the setting sun : GOWEST
2
Trade, as places : SWITCH
3
Attraction : ALLURE
4
"Yipe!," online : OMG
5
Wordsworth words : POESY
6
Sporting weapon : EPEE
7
Artifice : RUSE
8
Hypothetical primate : APEMAN
9
"Yes ... that's the spot ... yes!" : AHH
10
Approaching : NEAR
11
Like a "Better active today than radioactive tomorrow" sentiment : ANTINUKE
12
"You can't make me!" : IREFUSE
13
Not the main action : SIDEBET
18
Course-altering plan? : DIET
24
Brothers of old Hollywood : WARNERS
26
Auto take-backs : REPOS
27
Mummy, maybe : PHARAOH
30
Golfer Michelle : WIE
31
River through Pakistan : INDUS
32
Training acad. : OCS
34
Like a ballerina : AGILE
36
Manitoba's capital : WINNIPEG
37
Big W.S.J. news : IPO
38
Charlemagne's domain: Abbr. : HRE
39
Plucks, as brows : TWEEZES
40
Fleet operator : AIRLINE
43
Like a relationship with a narcissist : ONEWAY
45
Historical subject for Gore Vidal : BURR
46
"It's me again" : IMBACK
47
Chinese martial art : TAICHI
48
Onetime colleague of Ebert : SISKEL
51
"___ Previews" (onetime show of 48-Down) : SNEAK
53
Not doubting : SURE
55
Journalist Skeeter of the Harry Potter books : RITA
56
Amazon.com ID : ISBN
59
___ favor : POR
61
Amt. to the right of a decimal point : CTS

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?