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

New York Times, Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Author:
Jeff Chen and Seth Geltman
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
947/5/20101/22/201956
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
2468172298
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.636202
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 )
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?