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

New York Times, Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Author:
Peter Gordon
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1119/5/198912/4/20180
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
839231411619
ScrabRebusCirclePangramPre‑WS
1.5891611
Peter Gordon

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 74, Blocks: 40 Missing: {FJQW} This is puzzle # 111 for Mr. Gordon. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
I've heard anecdotes that the average crossword solver doesn't even notice themes, just mindlessly filling in squares until it's done, ... read more

I've heard anecdotes that the average crossword solver doesn't even notice themes, just mindlessly filling in squares until it's done, then wiping their butt with it.

I kid!

At least for the e-solvers. That'd be messy.

While I do give the NYT solving population much more credit than the average crossworder, I wonder how many people will miss some of what's going on today. It might be too easy to shrug at what seems like a S* S* phrase theme, which we've seen many times before.

I've missed parts of themes enough times that I'm hyper-aware of it these days. Not that I needed it today! Of course, there's more! I didn't miss another part of a theme yet again!

Okay fine, I did.

Peter takes this tried and true "initialism" theme type a little further, mixing it with the also tried and true "vowel progression" – using A E I O U (and sometimes Y), in that order. It's a creative blendification, although I wouldn't say it was exciting.

I *think* I liked that Peter went the extra mile by including the sixth themer. It's not easy to find phrases starting with SY* SY*, so kudos for taking on the challenge.

Although, I'm a big jazz fan, and SYLVIA SYMS was only on the periphery of my knowledge base (admittedly, I'm not nearly as good with jazz singers as with instrumentalists). I wonder if SYMBOLIC SYSTEMS would have catered to a wider audience? Not sure.

Also, six themers nearly always strains a grid in all sorts of places. I'm not a fan of using entries like ENERO, LTYRS, ERLE, that seem like they could stymie newer solvers. I'd much rather stick to lesser glueys like ASSN, PPS, PRES, SSE, UNI, which seem much more gettable.

I liked some of the bonuses, SARTRE, AU REVOIR helping keep up my interest. And I don't quite remember this particular mixture of theme types, so bonus points for novelty.

ADDED NOTE: Gerry Wildenberg says, "I pioneered the same theme that Peter used today."

Jim Horne notes:

Fun puzzle. I like this one.

1
A
2
N
3
K
4
L
5
E
6
P
7
A
8
P
9
A
10
A
11
A
12
H
13
S
14
B
R
I
A
N
15
A
P
O
P
16
U
T
A
H
17
S
A
M
P
L
18
E
S
A
L
E
19
R
A
V
I
20
S
A
R
T
R
E
21
P
E
R
O
N
22
S
E
C
R
E
T
S
23
E
R
V
I
C
E
24
A
25
B
I
D
E
26
N
E
O
27
B
O
X
28
S
29
I
30
M
31
P
32
L
E
S
I
33
M
34
O
35
N
36
C
Z
A
37
R
38
C
A
P
E
R
39
R
A
R
E
40
S
O
M
E
41
D
A
Y
S
O
O
42
N
43
S
E
X
44
D
O
H
45
I
46
L
O
S
T
47
S
48
U
49
D
D
E
N
50
L
51
Y
52
S
53
U
S
A
N
54
C
H
E
E
R
55
T
E
E
N
S
Y
56
R
U
I
N
57
S
Y
L
V
I
A
S
58
Y
59
M
60
S
61
U
R
G
E
62
E
R
L
E
63
N
O
E
L
S
64
B
A
N
D
65
A
S
S
N
66
S
N
A
K
E
© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 1204 ( 25,228 )

Support XWord Info today

Access this site for a full year:

  1. Select your level
  2. Choose how to pay

Learn about support levels.

$50 — Angel

Full access + download

$20 — Regular User

Full access, limited Finder

$10 — Casual User

Students & seniors
Across
1. Commonly sprained joint : ANKLE
6. Smurf with a white beard : PAPA
10. Sounds when settling into a hot bath : AAHS
14. Good name for a dyslexic neurosurgeon? : BRIAN
15. Each : APOP
16. Four Corners state : UTAH
17. Clothing store event to get rid of excess merchandise : SAMPLESALE
19. Sitarist Shankar : RAVI
20. French writer who refused the 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature : SARTRE
21. Evita of "Evita" : PERON
22. Government agency charged with protecting the first family : SECRETSERVICE
24. Tolerate : ABIDE
26. Prefix with -phyte : NEO
27. Participate in a prizefight : BOX
28. Nursery rhyme character who met a pieman : SIMPLESIMON
36. Old Russian autocrat : CZAR
38. Prank : CAPER
39. Steakhouse specification : RARE
40. In the near future : SOMEDAYSOON
43. Word before sells or cells : SEX
44. Exclamation on "The Simpsons" : DOH
45. Admission of defeat : ILOST
47. Brooke Shields sitcom set at a trendy magazine : SUDDENLYSUSAN
54. "Hurray!" or "Olé!" : CHEER
55. Really small, informally : TEENSY
56. Destruction : RUIN
57. Nightclub singer who was given the nickname "Buddha" by Frank Sinatra : SYLVIASYMS
61. Strong desire : URGE
62. ___ Stanley Gardner of detective fiction : ERLE
63. Christmas carols : NOELS
64. Hot Chocolate or Vanilla Fudge : BAND
65. Professional org. : ASSN
66. Plumber's device : SNAKE
Down
1. "Washboard" muscles : ABS
2. Org. opposed by Everytown for Gun Safety : NRA
3. North Korean leader : KIM
4. Expired, as a membership : LAPSED
5. Intertwines : ENLACES
6. Cut's partner in word processing : PASTE
7. Separately : APART
8. Firehouse fixtures : POLES
9. Orangutan, for one : APE
10. Bye at the French Open? : AUREVOIR
11. Company that created Pong : ATARI
12. Destruction : HAVOC
13. Bootblack's job : SHINE
18. Drop the ball : ERR
21. Air Force One passenger: Abbr. : PRES
22. Schoolteacher's wake-up time, perhaps : SIXAM
23. First month of el año : ENERO
24. Basic facts : ABCS
25. Nincompoop : BOZO
29. Billionaire Carl : ICAHN
30. Last full month of spring : MAY
31. Second addendum to a letter, for short : PPS
32. Summer zodiac sign : LEO
33. One who works with bricks : MASON
34. Bonanza discoveries : ORES
35. Barbershop call : NEXT
37. Blushed or flushed : REDDENED
41. Active person : DOER
42. Popular Japanese cars : NISSANS
46. Applies, as a thick coat of paint : LAYSON
47. Second-stringer : SCRUB
48. Communications officer on the Enterprise : UHURA
49. Condescend (to) : DEIGN
50. Distance units in astron. : LTYRS
51. Shouts : YELLS
52. Commonest craps roll : SEVEN
53. Prefix with cellular : UNI
57. Where the buoys are : SEA
58. Affirmative vote : YEA
59. Jan. honoree : MLK
60. NNW's opposite : SSE

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?