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

New York Times, Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Author: Michael J. Doran
Editor: Will Shortz
Michael J. Doran
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
79/16/200311/8/20160
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1141000
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.50100

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 36 Missing: {JQXZ} This is puzzle # 7 for Mr. Doran. 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!

Michael J. Doran notes: This puzzle was accepted back in January 2013. I was pleasantly surprised last week when I got an email saying the puzzle ... more
Michael J. Doran notes:

This puzzle was accepted back in January 2013. I was pleasantly surprised last week when I got an email saying the puzzle would run today, as I'd completely forgotten about it being in the queue.

It's hard to give too much insight into the construction since I made this puzzle about four years ago. I do remember I got this theme idea while driving to work and passing a realtor's sign for an OPEN HOUSE. I spent the rest of the ride thinking of prefixes for HOUSE, and luckily for me there were lots of options to make common phrases from. I then got fortunate to include a few extra of these theme entries from my list when the stacks worked at 17/20 and 55/61-across.

Will and Joel did change a good amount of clues for this puzzle (for the better!), but I'm glad they left my opening clue at 1-across, as "She's Leaving Home" has always been one of my favorite Beatles songs.

The Election Day crossword has big shoes to fill after the famous CLINTON/BOB DOLE puzzle, so despite not being as clever as that puzzle, I hope solvers nonetheless enjoyed this one today. If nothing else, I hope it served as a nice diversion from this year's polarizing election.

Jeff Chen notes: OPEN HOUSE used as a revealer today, indicating that both words in the theme entries can follow HOUSE: STATE BIRD = STATE HOUSE / ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

OPEN HOUSE used as a revealer today, indicating that both words in the theme entries can follow HOUSE: STATE BIRD = STATE HOUSE / BIRD HOUSE, TOLL ROAD = TOLLHOUSE / ROADHOUSE, etc. Interesting that Mike stacked pairs of themers like STATE BIRD over TOLL ROAD — rarely an easy task. And working in eight (!) themers is never easy.

I met Mike a few years back at the ACPT, and a conversation we had made me rethink some things. I had commented on ROTA in one of his puzzles, and he said that it actually was a really common term in golf. Sure enough, he was right.

That made me realize I was seeing "crossword glue" in very black-and-white terms, when gray was more appropriate. I still don't think ROTA is great in a mass-market puzzle, but ever since then, I've internally debated these questions much harder.

Some crossword glue is clear-cut, i.e. listings on editors' spec sheets: abbreviations (ATT, SESS, ONT, NSEC), esoteric-ish foreign words (SETTE, LITRE), old-school crosswordese (OLIO), etc. But something like ROILY? Hmm ...

A while back, SKYEY made a rare appearance, and I was on the fence about that one too. Brad Wilber, who edits the Chronicle of Higher Education, made a case that 1.) it's listed in all his dictionaries, not even as a variant and 2.) it gives variety that's potentially nice for solvers used to seeing the same short words all the time. After much thought, I still wouldn't use it or ROILY in one of my puzzles, but I like Brad's perspective.

Nice bonuses in PT BOAT, POTLUCK, NAME ONE, BIG CATS. Very hard to work in extras with so many themers, so that was appreciated.

Overall, I've seen this theme type enough that I think there has to be something extra for a puzzle of this genre to stand out. HOUSE is a little too easy to work with for my taste, and some of the themers (TOLL ROAD and ART STORE especially) were a little dry for my taste. But given that very few 15x crosswords ever go to eight themers, I like seeing an outlier every once in a while.

1
H
2
A
3
R
4
P
5
P
6
A
7
C
8
E
9
W
10
A
11
T
12
T
13
S
14
O
L
I
O
15
T
R
O
N
16
H
I
R
E
E
17
S
T
A
T
18
E
B
I
R
D
19
I
K
E
A
S
20
T
O
L
L
R
O
A
D
21
S
T
E
E
R
S
22
U
M
A
23
S
24
H
E
E
N
A
25
B
26
I
27
G
C
A
T
28
S
29
A
T
T
30
N
31
A
32
B
33
L
A
R
K
34
C
35
O
N
T
E
36
I
V
E
37
O
M
E
38
A
39
R
A
L
S
E
A
40
M
A
E
41
A
B
E
42
R
O
M
E
O
43
N
A
I
F
44
T
I
N
45
T
I
P
46
N
47
A
48
S
A
L
L
Y
49
L
50
E
S
L
I
51
E
52
T
I
M
53
G
54
A
I
E
T
Y
55
S
56
M
O
K
E
57
O
58
U
59
T
60
A
N
G
L
O
61
O
P
E
N
H
O
U
S
E
62
E
T
H
E
R
63
N
Y
S
E
64
N
S
E
C
65
L
I
T
R
E
66
T
S
A
R
67
E
T
D
S
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 1108 ( 24,472 )
Across Down
1. First instrument heard in the Beatles' "She's Leaving Home" : HARP
5. Marathoner's concern : PACE
9. Bulb units : WATTS
14. Miscellany : OLIO
15. 1982 sci-fi film with a 2010 sequel : TRON
16. One who's new on board : HIREE
17. *Carolina wren, for South Carolina : STATEBIRD
19. Places to buy furniture to assemble : IKEAS
20. *Turnpike : TOLLROAD
21. Has control of the wheel : STEERS
22. Actress Thurman : UMA
23. Queen of the Jungle, in comics : SHEENA
25. Pumas and panthers : BIGCATS
29. Lawyer: Abbr. : ATT
30. Collar : NAB
33. Carefree adventure : LARK
34. Tale of adventure : CONTE
36. "___ had enough!" : IVE
37. Kipling's "Follow Me ___" : OME
38. Asian body of water that's now largely dried up : ARALSEA
40. Sallie ___ : MAE
41. Cent gent? : ABE
42. Name repeated before "Wherefore art thou" : ROMEO
43. Innocent sort : NAIF
44. Gift on a 10th anniversary : TIN
45. Something worth waiting for? : TIP
46. How people with colds may speak : NASALLY
49. Nielsen of "Airplane!" : LESLIE
52. Rice or Curry : TIM
53. High spirits : GAIETY
55. *Force from a hiding place : SMOKEOUT
60. ___-Saxon : ANGLO
61. Realtor's big day ... or what each word in the answers to the starred clues can do : OPENHOUSE
62. Surgeon's supply in the old days : ETHER
63. Wall Street inits. : NYSE
64. Minuscule div. of a minute : NSEC
65. Petrol unit : LITRE
66. Winter Palace resident : TSAR
67. SFO postings : ETDS
1. Deer, to a tick : HOST
2. Member of a mixed quartet : ALTO
3. Capital of Iran : RIAL
4. Dinner at which everyone does the dishes? : POTLUCK
5. W.W. II naval craft : PTBOAT
6. Las Vegas casino with a musical name : ARIA
7. Ribbed pants, informally : CORDS
8. Adjourn : END
9. *Highly antioxidant beverage : WHITETEA
10. Pulitzer-winning poet Conrad : AIKEN
11. *Sloth, for one : TREEANIMAL
12. Sign of sadness : TEAR
13. Meeting of Congress: Abbr. : SESS
18. Humorist Bombeck : ERMA
21. Number of hills in Roma : SETTE
24. "MMMBop" band : HANSON
25. Cause to swell : BLOAT
26. "Whose woods these are I think I know" has four : IAMBI
27. *Approve : GREENLIGHT
28. Garlic lover's dish, maybe : SCAMPI
31. Be of use : AVAIL
32. Like many bar bouncers : BEEFY
35. "Bravo!" : OLE
38. *Place to buy paint : ARTSTORE
39. Turbulent : ROILY
43. "Give me an example" : NAMEONE
47. Penitent person : ATONER
48. Many a Punjabi : SIKH
50. Conger catcher : EELER
51. Annual sports prizes : ESPYS
53. Erse speaker : GAEL
54. Voting against : ANTI
56. Grand Canyon sight : MESA
57. Send packing : OUST
58. Like many Craigslist items : USED
59. Private eyes, in slang : TECS
61. Neighbor of Mich. : ONT

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?