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, Edge, Safari, or Firefox for best results.

New York Times, Saturday, December 12, 2015

Author:
Byron Walden
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
9511/23/200110/19/201914
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
1101292637
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.58321
Byron Walden

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 66, Blocks: 30 Missing: {QX} This is puzzle # 77 for Mr. Walden. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Byron Walden notes:
This may be the most lightly edited puzzle I've had in the Times, so direct all complaints and recriminations to me. The most ... read more

This may be the most lightly edited puzzle I've had in the Times, so direct all complaints and recriminations to me.

The most interesting edit was for 6-Down. When I was originally cluing the puzzle (only a few months back), I checked to see how the Times styled said Angelina. She was generally just "Ms. Jolie," especially in her professional capacities. So my original clue was [Surname of six Hollywood scions]. But in the run up to her latest film, there was a long feature in the Times where she was now styled as Ms. Jolie Pitt. I shot Will and Joel an e-mail suggesting a change to the clue might be in order. Had I waited until after the film's release, I might have suggested ["By the Sea" bombmaker], but I'm guessing that wouldn't fly anyway.

The other major change was effected by the addition of a single word in the clue for 21-Across (JOHN MCENROE). That word is "American". Editorial Fairness 1, Constructor Mischief 0. (Oh well, there's always 1-A, 4-D, 17-A, 28-D, ...)

I'm guessing the most polarizing entry will be 5-Down (MY HUMPS). If it's not your dish of tea, there's always BRAHMS. The song itself is so annoying and insipid, but getting it and its deadpan clue into the Times ranks as one of my most cherished cruciverbal achievements.

Jeff Chen notes:
Byron is one of the most creative constructors when it comes to new entries. So many of his puzzles contain phrases I have to stare at ... read more

Byron is one of the most creative constructors when it comes to new entries. So many of his puzzles contain phrases I have to stare at before deciding if I love them or think they're bizarre. Or both! I was worried to hit [Angelina of Hollywood] since I only know one Angelina. It was so curious to uncover JOLIE to start … and what a great a-ha to finish it with PITT. (She officially added his name after getting married.)

Why hasn't Brad taken her name? Hmm?

[Targeting the Fourth Estate] had to start or end in PRESS. ANTIPRESS ... huh. It's in the dictionary, but it gets very few Google hits. I do think it's fair — it's inferable from the clue and word etymology — but it didn't give me the same feeling of satisfaction as uncovering JOLIE PITT.

I worked out the end of [One of the currencies replaced by the euro in 2002] = POUND, but figuring out which pound was challenging. I was thankful for all the fair crossings + the neat trivia that Ireland used to have a distinctive pound currency. Such a shame to lose the beautiful artwork.

[Balcony address?] had to relate to "Romeo and Juliet," but I could not figure out where the opening O should go. So it was a disappointment to fill in ROMEO ROMEO and see that my "knowledge" yet again failed me. Or did it! I was happy to find out that I did have the quote right — and not happy to see ROMEO ROMEO as a snippet cut out of the full quote. Didn't seem like a complete phrase.

Love his innovative and colorful stuff like SCAMPER AWAY. POST SALES … not so much, not even for this capitalist.

Byron always has great clues. Here are my favorite today, which really pep up the short entries.

  • [Skilled forger] makes you think about check fraud. Nope, it's a (metal)SMITH.
  • STENO has an old-timey feel to it, but the [Pool party] clue is great (office pool of stenos).
  • [New seal] had me thinking about state seals. Turns out it was a young PUP.
1
P
2
R
3
I
4
S
5
M
6
J
7
U
8
N
9
G
10
L
11
E
12
G
13
Y
14
M
15
M
O
R
A
Y
16
O
P
E
R
A
T
I
V
E
17
S
M
I
T
H
18
L
E
V
E
R
A
G
E
S
19
E
S
A
U
20
I
N
E
N
G
L
I
S
H
21
J
O
H
N
M
22
C
E
N
R
O
E
23
A
R
P
24
P
U
P
25
B
R
26
A
27
H
28
M
29
S
30
W
O
O
31
S
P
I
32
R
33
A
L
34
P
O
S
H
35
I
M
U
36
S
37
S
T
E
N
O
38
E
R
M
A
39
N
E
N
E
40
O
T
I
T
I
41
S
42
S
A
G
43
G
O
D
E
44
A
F
45
I
S
T
46
E
G
G
47
S
C
48
A
49
M
P
E
R
50
A
W
A
Y
51
S
52
L
53
U
54
M
P
O
V
E
R
55
A
T
O
Z
56
L
I
K
E
I
C
A
R
E
57
N
A
M
I
58
B
59
O
P
E
N
C
O
I
L
S
60
D
R
A
N
O
61
P
O
S
T
S
A
L
E
S
62
S
I
N
E
W
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 1212 ( 24,140 )

Support XWord Info today

Pay now and get access for a year.

1. Select account level
2. Choose how to pay
Across
1
Light shower? : PRISM
6
Bars where swingers hang out? : JUNGLEGYM
15
Reef denizen : MORAY
16
Private detective : OPERATIVE
17
Skilled forger : SMITH
18
Deploys to one's advantage : LEVERAGES
19
Joseph's uncle, in Genesis : ESAU
20
How the operas "Artaxerxes" and "Iolanthe" are usually performed : INENGLISH
21
German-born American tennis star who won 17 Grand Slam singles and doubles titles : JOHNMCENROE
23
"Mountain, Navel, Anchors, Table" artist, 1925 : ARP
24
New seal : PUP
25
"Hungarian Dances" composer : BRAHMS
30
Pitch ___ : WOO
31
Go a few rounds? : SPIRAL
34
Fancy : POSH
35
Longtime radio rival of Stern : IMUS
37
Pool party : STENO
38
Franklin who sang "Piece of My Heart" : ERMA
39
State symbol with a reduplicative name : NENE
40
Possible cause of vertigo : OTITIS
42
Lose tone : SAG
43
Lose tones? : GODEAF
45
Suffix with 4-Down : IST
46
Lead-in to drop or roll : EGG
47
Make a squirrellike exit : SCAMPERAWAY
51
Collapse at one's desk, say : SLUMPOVER
55
The gamut : ATOZ
56
"Whatevs" : LIKEICARE
57
African desert that includes the Skeleton Coast : NAMIB
59
Feature of some mattresses : OPENCOILS
60
Bathroom brand with a Snake Plus variety : DRANO
61
Part of a business that might include invoicing, payment, updates and equipment maintenance : POSTSALES
62
Raw power : SINEW
Down
1
Residents of 24 Sussex Dr. in Ottawa : PMS
2
Balcony address? : ROMEOROMEO
3
One of the currencies replaced by the euro in 2002 : IRISHPOUND
4
Job tester : SATAN
5
Grammy-winning hit that begins "Whatcha gon' do with all that junk" : MYHUMPS
6
Angelina of Hollywood : JOLIEPITT
7
Wharton's home, briefly : UPENN
8
Ultimatum retort : NEVER
9
In a sauce of browned butter, capers, parsley and lemon : GRENOBLOISE
10
Like South Dakota vis-à-vis North Dakota : LARGER
11
Citation shortening : ETAL
12
Best Picture Oscar winner before "Ben-Hur" : GIGI
13
Cosmetics company founder Rocher : YVES
14
Protection against mosquitoes : MESH
21
Gossiping : JAWING
22
Après-ski warmers : CUPSOFCOCOA
26
Pantomime : APE
27
Lady Godiva, for one : HORSEWOMAN
28
It has issues with feminism : MSMAGAZINE
29
Unkempt : SHAGGY
32
Retailer with stylized mountaintops in its logo : REI
33
Targeting the Fourth Estate : ANTIPRESS
36
"Capeesh?" : SEE
41
Beaches, in two senses : STRANDS
44
Gelatinous dishes : ASPICS
48
Be handy : AVAIL
49
___ Norman Cosmetics : MERLE
50
Maker of Basketbrawl and Robo-Squash : ATARI
51
Food for hogs : SLOP
52
Contouring procedure, briefly : LIPO
53
Relatives of banjoleles : UKES
54
Base closure? : MENT
58
Decorative flourish : BOW

Answer summary: 11 unique to this puzzle, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?