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, Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Author:
Jeff Chen and Seth Geltman
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1047/5/201011/27/201963
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
2678192798
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.637242
Jeff Chen
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
212/21/20165/29/20172
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0101000
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.68000
Seth Geltman

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 74, Blocks: 36 Missing: {FQX} This is puzzle # 63 for Mr. Chen. This is the debut puzzle for Mr. Geltman. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Constructor notes:
SETH: Hi there. Hope you enjoyed the solve. My father introduced me to crosswords. Through puzzles, we found a unique connection ... read more

SETH: Hi there. Hope you enjoyed the solve.

My father introduced me to crosswords. Through puzzles, we found a unique connection — and we both admired Jeff's work. It was great, talking with my dad about gems like Cut Above the Rest from 2013.

When he died in 2014, I wrote Will a thank-you note. I told him that, for my dad and I, "exchanges about puzzles became our own secret language. Even non-puzzle conversations sometimes took on the best qualities of the solving experience — oblique, compelling, full of understated humor and unexpected harmonies."

I was a new reader of XWord Info, and asked Jeff if he'd consider passing the note on to Will. He did — and, with an incredible generosity of spirit, suggested that we collaborate on a puzzle in my father's honor.

Brad Wilber published that one in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Since then, Jeff and I have made about a dozen more. One more's on tap for the Times, two ran in the Wall Street Journal, several in the Orange County Register, one in the American Values Club... and a couple misfires currently kick around the crossword dead-letter office.

Working with Jeff is such a delight. In the Pro-Am circuit of puzzles, he's definitely the Pro, and I'm the Am.

I work as a Computer Teacher for grades 2 - 8. This lets me pass puzzling on to the next generation. For class warmups, kids solve puzzles I make from their vocabulary lists.

Many, many thanks to Will and Joel.

Seth Geltman notes:
(Seth's letter, reprinted with his permission:) March 21, 2014 Dear Will, My father, an inveterate solver from the Maleska ... read more

(Seth's letter, reprinted with his permission:)

March 21, 2014

Dear Will,

My father, an inveterate solver from the Maleska era through last week, passed away on Monday. Myself, I've been solving for last eight or nine years.

For many years, we'd communicated in that pleasant but slightly stiff style of conversation employed, I imagine, by many fathers and sons.

But once I became as accomplished a solver as he was, things changed. Our exchanges about puzzles became our own secret language. Even non-puzzle conversations sometimes took on the best qualities of the solving experience — oblique, compelling, full of understated humor and unexpected harmonies.

He was intellectually vibrant up to the final week of his 86-year-long life. The habits of curiosity, resourcefulness, and persistence practiced over decades of puzzling were key to his lasting vitality.

Thank you for enriching my father's life, and for providing this connection between us. I can't imagine we could have reached it in any other way.

All my best,

Seth Geltman

Jeff Chen notes:
I love working with Seth — we've had 10ish puzzles accepted in various media so far, and we continue to work on more. ... read more

I love working with Seth — we've had 10ish puzzles accepted in various media so far, and we continue to work on more.

Sneaky devil switched the order of our byline just before sending this one in, though. This puzzle was his idea, so he deserves to be listed first.

I grew up playing cello and trombone, so this classical music-lover didn't even hesitate when dropping in Die MOLDAU, Smetana's famous composition. Seth gently nudged me, asking me if that might be replaced?

Nonsense! I said. Surely, Die Moldau is in everyone's consciousness, or should be. Plus, it was critical in holding that corner together, allowing for nice goodies like MAGNUM, APROPOS, and the DEATHLY Hallows.

Will and Joel thought we did a very nice job on the grid … except for the odd entry, MOLDAU, which "they had trouble swallowing."

Yet again, shows you just how much I know. It's a mystery why anyone ever listens to me.

ADDED NOTE (from blog reader Mark): "Glad MOLDAU remained. Instant answer for me. One of the first musical compositions I adored all because of a marvelous high school Music teacher who taught … wait for it … Music Appreciation!! FYI: I'll be 78 in January. The memory still lingers."

1
B
2
A
3
T
4
S
5
D
6
R
7
J
8
S
9
T
10
A
11
T
12
S
13
A
S
H
E
14
R
E
O
15
U
S
U
R
P
16
S
17
T
H
E
C
18
L
I
N
K
19
M
A
R
I
E
L
20
H
A
S
21
A
V
E
E
22
N
O
23
I
N
C
A
24
O
N
E
25
N
E
W
Y
O
R
26
K
C
I
T
Y
27
I
T
U
28
N
E
S
29
M
I
A
30
T
R
E
31
L
I
S
A
32
A
33
G
O
N
Y
34
Y
E
R
35
H
36
A
37
M
B
U
R
G
E
38
R
39
M
40
A
41
D
42
R
O
U
T
E
43
A
44
T
45
M
46
S
47
A
P
E
48
O
P
T
49
W
50
W
E
R
A
W
51
G
R
A
52
N
D
P
O
53
O
54
B
A
H
55
E
L
I
56
N
O
T
E
57
E
N
R
A
G
E
58
M
A
G
59
U
P
H
E
60
L
D
61
T
H
I
N
62
K
B
I
G
63
M
O
L
D
A
U
64
I
A
N
65
E
L
S
E
66
S
Y
S
O
P
67
Z
I
G
68
W
E
E
D
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 1221 ( 24,515 )

Support XWord Info today

Pay now and get access for a year.

1. Select account level
2. Choose how to pay
Across
1
Creatures under Wayne Manor : BATS
5
6'7" Sixers #6 : DRJ
8
Walks and balks : STATS
13
Court giant Arthur : ASHE
14
Maker of the old Speed Wagon : REO
15
Takes over : USURPS
17
HOUSE : THECLINK
19
Hemingway who wrote "Out Came the Sun" : MARIEL
20
"Rumour ___ It" (2011 Adele hit) : HAS
21
Skin-care brand whose active ingredients are oat compounds : AVEENO
23
Ancient sun worshiper : INCA
24
You, more formally : ONE
25
APPLE : NEWYORKCITY
27
Genius Mixes program : ITUNES
29
She played Rosemary in "Rosemary's Baby" : MIA
30
Rightmost number on an Italian clock : TRE
31
Simpson who lost a crossword contest in 2008 : LISA
32
State nobody wants to live in : AGONY
34
"___ out!" : YER
35
MAC : HAMBURGER
39
"I learned to be a movie critic by reading ___ magazine": Roger Ebert : MAD
42
GPS suggestion : ROUTE
43
Places where people have withdrawals? : ATMS
47
Galoot : APE
48
Choose : OPT
49
Sports entertainment show since 1993 : WWERAW
51
CHEESE : GRANDPOOBAH
55
The "E" of 14-Across : ELI
56
Observe : NOTE
57
Bring to a boil : ENRAGE
58
___ wheels : MAG
59
Supported : UPHELD
61
"Shoot for the moon!" ... or a hint to interpreting the clues to 17-, 25-, 35- and 51-Across : THINKBIG
63
European river that inspired Smetana : MOLDAU
64
Baseball's ___ Desmond, three-time Silver Slugger Award winner : IAN
65
Alternatively : ELSE
66
Message board admin : SYSOP
67
Sudden turn : ZIG
68
Gardener's bane : WEED
Down
1
Aromatherapy substance : BATHOIL
2
Single-named singer with the 2002 hit "Foolish" : ASHANTI
3
Ariadne helped him navigate the Labyrinth : THESEUS
4
Jiffy : SEC
5
Tees off : DRIVES
6
Magazine urging : RENEW
7
Hardly serious : JOKEY
8
Heavyweight bout venue : SUMORING
9
Screeners' org. : TSA
10
Golden : AURIC
11
Christian supergroup? : TRINITY
12
007 movie after "Skyfall" : SPECTRE
16
Heavy-metal band with a killer sound? : SLAYER
18
Word with fast or fire : LANE
22
"Spare me!" : NOMORE
26
Comic actor Danny : KAYE
28
Slangy negative : NAH
32
Be alongside : ABUTON
33
Instinctive : GUT
36
Longtime Yankee nickname : AROD
37
Took care of the last bit : MOPPEDUP
38
Norma ___ (Sally Field title role) : RAE
39
1 1/2-liter bottle : MAGNUM
40
Fitting : APROPOS
41
Like the Hallows in a Harry Potter title : DEATHLY
44
Quake : TREMBLE
45
Torpor : MALAISE
46
Drank, as from a flask : SWIGGED
49
Undertaking, as a war : WAGING
50
"Say ___" : WHEN
52
Water and sunlight, for plants : NEEDS
53
David ___, longtime Red Sox slugger : ORTIZ
54
Faith founded in Persia : BAHAI
60
Thai neighbor : LAO
62
___ Gardens, N.Y. : KEW

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?