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, Edge, Safari, or Firefox for best results.

New York Times, Thursday, February 14, 2019

Author:
John E. Bennett and Jeff Chen
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
64/9/20142/14/20193
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0031200
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.57050
John E. Bennett
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1027/5/20108/29/201961
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
2678182698
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.637222
Jeff Chen

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 74, Blocks: 38 Missing: {JKQZ} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 6 for Mr. Bennett. This is puzzle # 95 for Mr. Chen. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Constructor notes:
My initial concept with 'OUT OF ORDER SIGNS' as the central reveal was for common signage text entries consisting of two words, but ... read more

My initial concept with "OUT OF ORDER SIGNS" as the central reveal was for common signage text entries consisting of two words, but with the words reversed to make a totally different meaning. I.e. WAY WRONG (Clued: Totally not right) for the out-of-order WRONG WAY sign; or WANTED HELP (Clued: Needed assistance) for the out-of-order HELP WANTED sign. It was really limiting trying to find strong entries that would work both ways.

At some point a asked Jeff if he would look at a couple of puzzles I was playing around with and give me an opinion on whether I was wasting my time or not. He liked the OUT OF ORDER SIGNS concept but right away saw the potential in an anagrammed theme for the out-of-order connection.

Once Jeff "signed on" ;-) , a lot of fun anagramming options sprang up! I was surprised at how many anagrams can be made from words like "speed limit"! We also had a discussion about whether the entries should be the out-of-order signage text or the anagrammed clues. My recollection is that we thought it would be less confusing for solvers if the entries were clean, even though the central revealer seemed to be addressing the entries, and not the clues!

Not being a super savvy anagrammer, I though we should include an optional clue addition that would help solvers place where the out-of-order clue signage would be found. I.e. For SPEED LIMIT we submitted the clue "TEPID SLIME along an interstate". Will opted for the more difficult version without the locator clueing. He also revised our anagrams to be less humorously offbeat. Hmm…

This puzzle has a lot of Jeff Chen's constructing expertise rolled up in it from grid layout to entries. I was happy to be on the Chen team once again!

Jeff Chen notes:
Jeb and I meet up a couple of times a year, and it's fun to brainstorm with him. He showed me one built around OUT OF ORDER SIGNS, but ... read more

Jeb and I meet up a couple of times a year, and it's fun to brainstorm with him. He showed me one built around OUT OF ORDER SIGNS, but he had flipped pairs of sign words, i.e., WANTED HELP and WAY WRONG. I didn't find that interesting, but there was something about the revealer that tickled my fancy.

Several weeks and several hundred anagrams later, voila! I liked the image of a "Fawlty Towers" imp or Bart Simpson scrambling road signs. It amuses me to think about people confusedly driving past a sign reading DECAL ODORS.

Well, amusing, until they ran off the ROAD that was CLOSED. Ahem.

I almost always do the grid skeleton work in collaborations, but this one was all Jeb. I hesitated at his layout at first, especially considering how many down answers had to work through the first two themers (in the north region of the grid), but he made it work pretty well. Always interesting to see another constructor's process – I would have shoved SPEED LIMIT all the way to the right to create better spacing. Pleasantly surprised to see that it all worked out. Just took a few back and forths to figure out best options for each region after that.

We were hoping that this would run on a Wednesday, as I want more out of a Thursday theme. If you're gonna toil away at a tough solve, the payoff better be good! Hopefully at least a few of the anagrams were amusing enough to be worth your time.

P.S. Jeb and I have a much more juvenile taste than Will. Our submitted anagrams:

DONE ROTTEN

TEPID SLIME

GREASED PET

DECAL ODORS

1
W
2
I
3
G
4
A
5
S
6
C
7
O
8
T
9
S
10
P
11
B
12
S
13
I
P
A
14
G
L
I
A
C
C
I
15
V
I
A
L
16
D
O
N
O
T
E
N
T
E
R
17
A
L
B
A
18
E
D
G
E
19
G
O
A
L
20
I
N
O
U
T
21
S
22
P
E
E
D
L
23
I
M
I
T
24
L
25
E
T
O
26
C
O
L
L
27
A
28
R
29
B
O
X
30
O
31
N
32
E
33
I
34
D
A
35
L
I
P
O
36
O
U
T
37
O
F
O
R
D
E
R
38
S
I
G
N
S
39
A
I
R
Y
40
T
R
O
W
E
L
41
H
E
Y
42
T
E
A
S
43
E
R
44
E
45
S
T
A
46
S
T
E
E
47
P
48
G
49
R
50
A
D
E
51
C
52
A
M
E
L
53
E
L
A
N
54
N
55
A
56
S
57
H
58
O
M
A
R
59
R
O
A
D
C
60
L
O
S
E
D
61
G
E
L
S
62
I
N
C
O
H
E
R
E
N
T
63
S
N
L
64
B
Y
E
N
O
W
65
A
T
V
© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 0214 ( 25,300 )

Support XWord Info today

Pay now and get access for a year.

1. Select account level
2. Choose how to pay
Across
1
Flip (out) : WIG
4
Dandy neckwear : ASCOTS
10
"___ NewsHour" : PBS
13
Opera that famously ends with the line "La commedia è finita!" : IPAGLIACCI
15
Potion container : VIAL
16
NOTED TENOR : DONOTENTER
17
"Dark Angel" star Jessica : ALBA
18
Advantage : EDGE
19
Kickstarter figure : GOAL
20
Desk tray labels : INOUT
21
SIMPLE DIET : SPEEDLIMIT
24
"Dallas Buyers Club" Oscar winner : LETO
26
Apprehend : COLLAR
29
Something checked on a questionnaire : BOX
30
One of the five founding nations of the Iroquois Confederacy : ONEIDA
35
Fat remover, for short : LIPO
36
Some bathroom postings ... or what the clues to 16-, 21-, 46- and 59-Across are? : OUTOFORDERSIGNS
39
Not stuffy : AIRY
40
Mason's tool : TROWEL
41
"Watch it!" : HEY
42
Puzzle : TEASER
44
Part of the Spanish conjugation of "to be" : ESTA
46
GET SPEARED : STEEPGRADE
51
Dune transport : CAMEL
53
Verve : ELAN
54
First car to offer seatbelts (1950) : NASH
58
Ilhan ___, one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress : OMAR
59
DOOR DECALS : ROADCLOSED
61
Goes from liquid to solid, say : GELS
62
Babbling : INCOHERENT
63
Show with noted alumni, for short : SNL
64
"See ya!" : BYENOW
65
Off-roader, in brief : ATV
Down
1
Out of the strike zone, in a way : WIDE
2
Product whose introduction was music to people's ears? : IPOD
3
Group of friends : GANG
4
Abbr. in a cockpit : ALT
5
The Alamo had a famous one : SIEGE
6
"Can you ___?" (classic cologne catchphrase) : CANOE
7
The planets, e.g. : OCTAD
8
Immune system defender : TCELL
9
___ Toby, character in "Twelfth Night" : SIR
10
Part of a stove : PILOTLIGHT
11
Pakistani restaurant owner on "Seinfeld" : BABU
12
Blind spot? : SLAT
14
"Whither ___ thou?": John 16:5 : GOEST
15
Milli ___ (1980s-'90s pop duo) : VANILLI
20
"Methinks," in texts : IMO
22
[It's gone!] : POOF
23
Words of empathy : ICARE
24
When repeated, a classic of garage rock : LOUIE
25
Teeny-tiny : EXTRASMALL
27
Nighttime woe : APNEA
28
Like the dawn sky : ROSY
29
Lead-in to load or lift : BOAT
31
Our: Fr. : NOTRE
32
Overthrow, e.g. : ERR
33
Court oath affirmation : IDO
34
Morning coat : DEW
37
___ Rockefeller : OYSTERS
38
Where to see two runners side by side : SLED
43
Serpentine swimmer : EEL
45
What to call un hombre : SENOR
47
State flower of Indiana : PEONY
48
Candied : GLACE
49
Heaviest of the noble gases : RADON
50
Pepper used in mole sauce : ANCHO
51
Teeth not connected to jaws : COGS
52
"And how!" : AMEN
55
On the briny : ASEA
56
Elated : SENT
57
LG product : HDTV
59
"Spare" part : RIB
60
___ Wallace, "Ben-Hur" author : LEW

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle.

Found bugs or have suggestions?