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, Safari, Firefox, or Edge for best results.

New York Times, Thursday, February 1, 2018

Author:
Damon Gulczynski
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
3511/8/20048/10/20180
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
14507810
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.65320
Damon J. Gulczynski

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 74, Blocks: 36 Missing: {JKQZ} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 31 for Mr. Gulczynski. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Damon J. Gulczynski notes:

My only regret with this puzzle is that there was no room in it for SEAN ASTIN – "Salad popular in ‘80s movies?"

Jeff Chen notes:
Love me a good parsing puzzle. Roman of Hollywood isn't a 'Roman,' but an R. O. man = RYAN O'NEAL. Great consistency, Damon finding ... read more

Love me a good parsing puzzle. Roman of Hollywood isn't a "Roman," but an R. O. man = RYAN O'NEAL. Great consistency, Damon finding "person" terms readily hideable within regular words: ROman, LEgal, MAlady, REgent. Tight set, too — I'd be remiss in saying that the only other possibility I could find (besides SAlad) was REmiss.

*rimshot*

INITIALLY initially didn't click with me. Yes, the first two initials are at the start of the first word, thus doubly "initial." Thinking about it for a while, it does feel like there's cleverness that should have produced a stronger a-ha moment for me. Not sure why it's still feeling like a stretch — perhaps it's a bit too punny for my taste?

Good gridwork. The obvious glue is stuff that gets listed on editors' spec sheets, i.e. abbrs. (RETD), tough foreign words (A TOI), entries that might feel esoteric (NENE). The one that interests me most today is A LOAD. It feels bad to me, but how is it different than A LOT or A TON, which both feel fine? Perhaps it's because I usually hear A LOT or A TON by themselves, but A LOAD always comes with "of"? Hmm.

AGE TEN was another that made me pause. It is a milestone age, turning double digits. But I don't like the idea of paving the way for AGE FIVE (when most kids start school) or AGE TWO ("terrible" time for tots) or other arbitrariness.

APERY is another odd-sounding word — if you have to convince yourself that yeah, it's probably fine because it's in the dictionary, it's probably not. But the fantastic clue rescued it for me. Love the clever repurposing of the word "Impressionism."

All in all, a neat idea. I think I would have given it the POW! if 1) the INITIALLY revealer had hit me more strongly (subjective call), or if 2) the people had all been drawn from the same walk of life, tightening up the theme set even further. Lots of people whose initials are MA, for example.

Would have been POY! (year) status if everyone had been the first to do something in their field … thus triply INITIAL!

Jim Horne notes:

Clever theme. Over at Crossword Fiend, Andy Kravis noticed that this same idea had been used two years earlier by Zhouqin Burnikel.

1
P
2
A
3
I
4
N
5
D
6
O
7
H
8
A
9
O
10
P
11
T
12
I
13
N
14
E
M
M
A
15
I
C
E
S
16
B
R
I
D
E
17
R
Y
A
N
18
O
N
E
A
L
19
L
E
T
O
N
20
L
A
G
E
A
R
21
V
I
T
A
L
E
22
S
23
A
L
24
L
I
N
D
25
A
E
V
A
N
S
26
C
L
E
27
M
E
N
S
28
U
N
I
X
29
H
O
A
R
30
O
T
T
O
31
S
32
O
33
T
34
M
A
R
I
35
E
36
A
37
N
T
O
I
N
38
E
T
T
E
39
O
D
S
40
C
P
A
S
41
R
E
T
D
42
A
H
E
M
43
S
44
W
45
A
R
M
E
D
46
R
47
O
G
E
R
E
48
B
E
R
T
49
C
R
Y
50
S
O
R
E
L
Y
51
O
R
I
O
52
L
E
53
P
L
A
T
O
54
I
N
I
T
I
A
L
55
L
56
Y
57
O
F
T
E
N
58
A
G
E
E
59
C
L
I
O
60
T
E
E
N
S
61
M
O
S
S
62
E
S
P
N
© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0201 ( 24,922 )
Across
1
Tough person to tolerate : PAIN
5
Qatar's capital : DOHA
9
Decide to join : OPTIN
14
Literary matchmaker : EMMA
15
Clinches : ICES
16
One joining a union? : BRIDE
17
*Roman of Hollywood? : RYANONEAL
19
Pretend : LETON
20
Shoe company based in Southern California : LAGEAR
21
Basketball sportscaster Dick : VITALE
22
Paradise in "On the Road" : SAL
24
*Legal acting in a 1980s prime-time soap opera? : LINDAEVANS
26
Seven-time Cy Young Award winner of the 1980s-2000s : CLEMENS
28
Operating system developed at Bell Labs : UNIX
29
Frost : HOAR
30
"The Simpsons" bus driver : OTTO
31
Barfly : SOT
34
*Malady of French history? : MARIEANTOINETTE
39
Really binges, in brief : ODS
40
No. crunchers : CPAS
41
No longer serving: Abbr. : RETD
42
"Uh, excuse me" : AHEM
43
Like rock stars among fans : SWARMED
46
*Regent of film criticism? : ROGEREBERT
49
Get blubbery : CRY
50
In the worst way : SORELY
51
Maryland state symbol : ORIOLE
53
Student of Socrates : PLATO
54
At the start ... or how the first two letters of each starred clue relate to the answer? : INITIALLY
57
In many cases : OFTEN
58
James with a posthumous Pulitzer : AGEE
59
Award for Agency of the Year, e.g. : CLIO
60
Frigid temps : TEENS
61
Velvety growth : MOSS
62
FiveThirtyEight.com owner : ESPN
Down
1
According to : PER
2
"Arrival" actress Adams : AMY
3
"Talk away" : IMALLEARS
4
Mom's mom : NANA
5
Have a date night at home, say : DINEIN
6
Vast amounts : OCEANS
7
"Have you ___?" : HEARD
8
Digital communication, for short? : ASL
9
The void : OBLIVION
10
Like one line on a sales receipt : PRETAX
11
Magnate : TITAN
12
Subjects of the Second Commandment : IDOLS
13
Endangered state bird : NENE
18
Beach look? : OGLE
21
Starbucks specification : VENTI
22
Average guy : SCHMO
23
Tons : ALOAD
25
A camera may be set on it : AUTO
27
Something a doc might order : MRI
30
They may follow buzzers, for short : OTS
31
Subject of some biomedical research : STEMCELLS
32
Den : bear :: holt : ___ : OTTER
33
Child's bear : TEDDY
35
Ranks : ECHELONS
36
Impressionism? : APERY
37
Handle : NAME
38
Goof : ERR
42
When many kids start fifth grade : AGETEN
43
1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13 ..., e.g. : SERIES
44
Pens : WRITES
45
Yours, in Tours : ATOI
46
John of colonial Jamestown : ROLFE
47
Give an address : ORATE
48
Beat it! : BONGO
50
Difficult situation : SPOT
52
Castigate, with "into" : LACE
54
Cartesian conclusion : IAM
55
Sass : LIP
56
Over there : YON

Answer summary: 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?