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

New York Times, Monday, December 25, 2017

Author: Lynn Lempel
Editor: Will Shortz
Lynn Lempel
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
8312/9/19794/23/20182
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
658132130
ScrabRebusCirclePangrampre-WS
1.610812
Puzzle of the Week

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 36 Missing: {QZ} This is puzzle # 80 for Ms. Lempel. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. 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!

Lynn Lempel notes: I doubt that 'hit' puzzles are all that original, so I was mildly surprised when this was accepted, back in April. And I was ... more
Lynn Lempel notes:

I doubt that "hit" puzzles are all that original, so I was mildly surprised when this was accepted, back in April. And I was totally surprised to learn last week that it would be running on Christmas Day. Hitting someone doesn't seem like a Christmasy theme!

I think it was noticing Lucy's last name that inspired this. Van Pelt was a must-use answer, even with the sort-of extra word in there. Deciding on the theme answers made me realize the multitude of words — clock, paste, and belt being just a few — that can be used in this vein.

I didn't notice any significant changes to the clues, so the puzzle you worked is pretty much the one I submitted.

Peace and good will to all this holiday season, and here's to lots of good solving in 2018.

Jeff Chen notes: What a nice Christmas present, opening up another Lempelian delight. Like Lynn mentioned, I'd seen this theme a few times before ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

What a nice Christmas present, opening up another Lempelian delight. Like Lynn mentioned, I'd seen this theme a few times before — disguised synonyms for HIT — but I still got an a-ha moment because she did such a great job obfuscating CLOCK, BELT, BEAN (as in a beanball in baseball), PELT, and PASTE. Why had this huge "Peanuts" fan never thought of how apt LUCY VAN PELT's last name is?!

Great themer choices, too, colorful selections in SHOT CLOCK, SUN BELT, HIT PARADE, etc. Almost all of them I'd happily incorporate into a themeless.

Interesting choice to use the "windmill" layout of themers. That often allows for smoother fill because it spaces themers out to the max. Today, it lets Lynn squeeze two shorties — SUN BELT and WAX BEAN — into the center. A more traditional layout of "all themers in the across direction" would likely have resulted in more difficulty in filling, as putting six themers in the traditional way is no joke.

Neat that Lynn still managed to work in some beauties in the fill: CELSIUS, FAUX PAS, even MOXIE. The "windmill" layout's drawback is often a dearth of bonus fill, so good work here.

A bit more crossword glue that I'm used to in a Lempel, though: OTT, CSA (Confederate States of America), RAH, ILIE, RUSSE, VETOER. And a tough section for novices, CILIA / ILIE / SMELT. Given the simplicity of the theme, I would have preferred a stricter adherence to newbie-friendliness.

But overall, another gem of a puzzle from the early-week master, still at the top of my list of favorite Monday bylines. Such a pleasurable solving experience.

Speaking of pleasurable, heartfelt thanks to all our readers and site users out there. Jim and I know that you all have many URLs that attract your attention, so to continually get your eyeballs and feedback is a blessing to us. Happy holidays!

1
P
2
R
3
I
4
M
5
C
6
L
7
O
8
T
9
L
10
A
11
T
12
C
13
H
14
J
A
D
E
15
E
O
N
S
16
A
L
O
H
A
17
S
H
O
T
18
C
L
O
C
K
19
Y
E
M
E
N
20
R
U
S
S
E
21
T
E
X
A
N
S
22
C
23
A
24
L
O
R
I
E
25
F
A
T
26
T
E
E
27
O
S
U
28
S
U
N
29
B
E
L
T
30
O
Y
L
31
R
I
C
32
H
E
S
33
L
A
C
E
34
U
P
35
K
A
Y
O
36
N
U
T
37
S
A
38
S
39
H
40
V
E
41
T
42
O
E
R
43
F
44
I
A
S
C
O
45
C
46
S
A
47
W
A
X
B
48
E
A
N
49
T
A
G
50
R
U
N
51
O
T
T
52
R
U
D
53
D
E
R
S
54
I
M
P
55
I
S
H
56
M
O
X
I
E
57
S
M
E
L
T
58
H
I
T
P
A
R
59
A
60
D
61
E
62
C
I
L
I
A
63
A
R
I
A
64
B
A
I
L
65
O
T
T
E
R
66
M
A
C
S
67
Y
A
N
K
© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 1225 ( 24,884 )
Across Down
1. Adhering to old-fashioned modesty : PRIM
5. Congeal, as blood : CLOT
9. Gate closer : LATCH
14. Green precious stone : JADE
15. Years and years and years : EONS
16. Honolulu hello : ALOHA
17. *Game-quickening timer in basketball : SHOTCLOCK
19. Arabian Peninsula nation : YEMEN
20. Charlotte ___ (rich dessert) : RUSSE
21. Lyndon Johnson and George W. Bush : TEXANS
22. Food unit counted by a dieter : CALORIE
25. Budgetary excess : FAT
26. Golf ball propper-upper : TEE
27. Columbus campus, briefly : OSU
28. *Snowbirds' destination : SUNBELT
30. Cartoondom's Olive ___ : OYL
31. Wealth : RICHES
33. Tie, as figure skates : LACEUP
35. Clobber in the ring : KAYO
36. Weirdo : NUT
37. Miss America accessory : SASH
40. President saying "No!" : VETOER
43. Utter failure : FIASCO
45. Govt. of the Rebs : CSA
47. *Long vegetable with a yellow pod : WAXBEAN
49. Game of pursuit : TAG
50. Take part in 49-Across : RUN
51. Mel honored in Cooperstown : OTT
52. Ships' direction controllers : RUDDERS
54. Mischievous : IMPISH
56. Spunk : MOXIE
57. Small food fish : SMELT
58. List of popular songs ... or a hint to the ends of the answers to the starred clues : HITPARADE
62. Hairlike projections on cells : CILIA
63. Wagner's "Liebestod," e.g. : ARIA
64. Something an arrested person tries to "make" : BAIL
65. Playful river animal : OTTER
66. Some "big" burgers : MACS
67. Reb's foe : YANK
1. Nighttime wear, familiarly : PJS
2. Cheerleader's cry : RAH
3. Words solemnly sworn : IDO
4. Subway system : METRO
5. Swede who developed a temperature scale : CELSIUS
6. Ease up on : LOOSEN
7. Without repetition : ONCE
8. Sound of disapproval : TSK
9. Purchase for a newborn : LAYETTE
10. "Jeopardy!" host Trebek : ALEX
11. *Marinara sauce thickener : TOMATOPASTE
12. Vice president between Gore and Biden : CHENEY
13. Fairy tale boy who outsmarts a witch : HANSEL
18. Mean witch's pronouncement : CURSE
21. Soft mineral : TALC
22. Bottle stopper : CORK
23. Landmass bounded by a mountain chain and three oceans : ASIA
24. *Dispenser of psychiatric advice to Charlie Brown : LUCYVANPELT
25. Notable achievement : FEAT
29. Book jacket write-up : BLURB
32. What might turn up dirt on someone? : HOE
34. Stars-and-stripes land, for short : USA
36. Call at a deli or barbershop : NEXT
38. What psychological trauma may leave : SCAR
39. Swine : HOGS
41. Like a midlevel general or a so-so movie : TWOSTAR
42. Hippocratic ___ : OATH
43. Social gaffe : FAUXPAS
44. "Slumdog Millionaire" setting : INDIA
45. Cooking oil brand : CRISCO
46. Peak : SUMMIT
48. Steamy : EROTIC
53. Churchill Downs event : DERBY
55. 1970s tennis champ Nastase : ILIE
56. Sorvino of "Mighty Aphrodite" : MIRA
58. Overly theatrical type : HAM
59. Motorists' org. : AAA
60. Racket : DIN
61. Animal with a rack : ELK

Answer summary:

Found bugs or have suggestions?