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

New York Times, Friday, December 27, 2013

Author: Ian Livengood & J.A.S.A. Crossword Class
Editor: Will Shortz
Ian Livengood
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
554/12/20109/15/20164
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
617667112
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.64371

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 70, Blocks: 34 Missing: {Q} Spans: 2 This is puzzle # 34 for Mr. Livengood. 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!

Ian Livengood notes: This puzzle went through several rewrites before settling on the final themeless. CALVIN AND HOBBES (my favorite entry) is the ... more
Ian Livengood notes: This puzzle went through several rewrites before settling on the final themeless. CALVIN AND HOBBES (my favorite entry) is the perfect answer, I think. It's well-known by multiple generations, universally beloved and evokes some really fun memories.

Big thanks to Dan, Carol and Grant (to name a few) for their help putting this one together. Dan adds: "It was a great deal of fun to participate in the creation of this puzzle (as it is every semester). Any crossword enthusiast (at least 55 years old) would find this class immensely rewarding."

Will Shortz notes: Twice a year for the past few years Ian Livengood has conducted a class on crossword construction for the Jewish Association ... more
Will Shortz notes: Twice a year for the past few years Ian Livengood has conducted a class on crossword construction for the Jewish Association Serving the Aging in New York City. (Caleb Madison started the class in 2010, but Ian took it over when Caleb went off to Yale.) As with all of Ian's constructions, the grid here is lively and superclean. I wonder how he does a collaboration like this in real time in a class.
Jeff Chen notes: I wrote Ian a month ago, in mock surprise that his name WASN'T on the list for upcoming puzzles that week. His response: 'If it ain't ... more
Jeff Chen notes: I wrote Ian a month ago, in mock surprise that his name WASN'T on the list for upcoming puzzles that week. His response: "If it ain't broke ..." I'll have what you're having, sir.

Seriously, when you're this good, I don't mind seeing a name pop up this frequently. Today's themeless is a collaboration with his J.A.S.A. Crossword Class, which sounds like a blast. It's hard for me to imagine anyone in the class knows INSTAGRAM or DJANGO UNCHAINED well, so it's pretty awesome that this puzzle has a relatively recent feel to it, what with INSTAGRAM, OBAMACARE, and texty OTOH (on the other hand). Good mix too, with RED SCARE and NEWSREELS; something for everyone.

Themeless puzzles have an interesting race-like quality amongst constructors: "who'll be the first to debut X?" OBAMACARE debuted in the NYT in a 2012 David Quarfoot puzzle and has appeared two more times since (three including today's). Seeing it once recently is fine, but seeing it four times now gets a little tiresome. It's such a tough thing to figure out, since the delay in getting themeless puzzles can run in the range of two years.

A rule of thumb I use in my own themeless submissions is based off a comment Will made last summer. He puts checks by snappy answers (DADS TO BE, VETO POWER), and minuses next to ugly fill (I would consider NAOH, EST, plural UNOS, TAE, and TAI in this category), and that helps him figure out whether or not to accept. I like to have at least 10 checks (preferably 15), less than 5 minuses, and zero "automatic disqualifications" (recently I tried to sneak RSI (repetitive stress injury) by, but it didn't fly). This is all subjective of course. ONE IN TEN seems awfully arbitrary to me, but perhaps someone else would see it as desirable, especially if they could come up with an awesome clue for it.

Enjoyable solve today. J.A.S.A. Crossword Class, keep up the good work!

1
G
2
O
3
O
4
D
5
C
6
A
7
T
8
C
9
H
10
S
11
T
12
O
13
R
14
M
15
I
N
S
T
A
G
R
A
M
16
T
I
N
E
A
17
N
E
W
S
R
E
E
L
S
18
S
L
E
D
S
19
U
S
E
20
B
E
A
V
21
L
I
S
T
22
P
E
G
23
S
24
T
I
25
C
26
S
Y
N
C
H
27
C
O
L
28
A
29
S
30
N
A
31
O
H
32
T
A
E
33
I
N
T
34
A
L
O
E
35
V
E
R
A
36
D
37
J
38
A
N
G
O
39
U
N
C
H
A
I
N
E
D
40
A
U
C
K
L
A
N
D
41
E
V
A
42
D
I
T
43
O
T
O
H
44
D
E
L
45
O
46
S
47
S
C
A
48
M
S
49
S
O
50
W
51
S
T
U
52
F
53
T
E
L
E
54
B
R
55
I
56
G
57
T
A
I
58
O
B
O
T
59
E
60
O
B
A
M
A
61
C
A
R
E
62
B
O
N
E
S
63
V
E
T
O
P
O
W
E
R
64
E
X
E
R
T
65
A
S
H
K
E
N
A
Z
I
© 2013, The New York TimesNo. 23,425
Across Down
1. Compliment after a dive : GOODCATCH
10. Word with cellar or door : STORM
15. 2012 billion-dollar Facebook acquisition : INSTAGRAM
16. Dermatologist's case : TINEA
17. Things employed to show the passage of time à la "Citizen Kane" : NEWSREELS
18. Some saucers : SLEDS
19. Mixed ___ : USE
20. '50s-'60s sitcom nickname : BEAV
21. Cant : LIST
22. Identifies : PEGS
24. Small jerk : TIC
26. Accord : SYNCH
27. Brown refreshers : COLAS
30. Caustic soda, chemically : NAOH
32. ___ kwon do : TAE
33. Gridiron datum: Abbr. : INT
34. So-called "potted physician" : ALOEVERA
36. Oscar-nominated film featuring a dentist-turned-bounty hunter : DJANGOUNCHAINED
40. Home of Sky Tower, the tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere : AUCKLAND
41. "Uncle Tom's Cabin" girl : EVA
42. Morse bit : DIT
43. Contrarian's abbreviation : OTOH
44. Island where Artemis was born : DELOS
47. Phishing lures : SCAMS
49. Disperse : SOW
51. Double ___ Oreo : STUF
53. Lead-in to type : TELE
54. Two-master : BRIG
57. Sushi fish : TAI
58. Leader of Uganda's independence movement : OBOTE
60. Subject of a landmark 2012 Supreme Court decision : OBAMACARE
62. Dice : BONES
63. Final say : VETOPOWER
64. Apply : EXERT
65. Like Albert Einstein, ethnically : ASHKENAZI
1. Add zip to : GINUP
2. "Hold on ..." : ONESEC
3. Port on Lake Ontario : OSWEGO
4. Result of drying out, maybe : DTS
5. Pasta, e.g., informally : CARB
6. "The African Queen" screenwriter : AGEE
7. Attempt to cure : TREAT
8. "Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat" duo : CALVINANDHOBBES
9. Bounty letters : HMS
10. E, F and G in D.C. : STS
11. Jennifer of "Bound" : TILLY
12. Quite a long shot : ONEINTEN
13. Cause for some blacklisting : REDSCARE
14. Who's who in publishing? : MASTHEAD
23. Move furtively : SLINK
25. Class graded on a curve? : CALC
26. Gather at harvest : SHEAVE
28. Whites, informally : ANGLOS
29. Brown coat : STOAT
31. Expressed some delight : OOHED
35. Perfume holders : VIALS
36. Some Lamaze assistants : DADSTOBE
37. Drink with a straw : JUICEBOX
38. Have no help : ACTALONE
39. Some, in Salamanca : UNOS
45. Parliamentary home : OTTAWA
46. Newsman Ray : SUAREZ
48. What stress may be good for : METER
50. "Roasted in ___ and fire": Hamlet : WRATH
52. Guy with a cooking show : FIERI
55. Reassuring comment after a fall : IMOK
56. Wide breach : GAPE
59. What means the most at the end? : EST
60. Beginnings of life : OVA
61. Bilk : CON

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 2 debuted here and reused later, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?

|