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, Monday, February 18, 2019

Author:
Leslie Rogers and Andrea Carla Michaels
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutCollabs
12/18/20191
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0100000
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.55000
Leslie Rogers
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
666/12/20009/23/201937
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
74692200
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.63217
Andrea Carla Michaels

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 38 Missing: {JKQVZ} This is the debut puzzle for Ms. Rogers. This is puzzle # 63 for Ms. Michaels. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Constructor notes:
ACME: Leslie Rogers was looking for a mentor and had forwarded many good ideas, and this one stood out to me. We had a natural ... read more

ACME: Leslie Rogers was looking for a mentor and had forwarded many good ideas, and this one stood out to me.

We had a natural reveal in CAP AND GOWN, so it was a matter of hashing out details (e.g., caps should consistently come first. We needed matching 10s, etc.)

There are both metaphoric types of caps as well as physical ones (i.e., baseball vs. ice cap or hard cap) but there are only a few types of gowns, almost entirely physical (hospital, wedding.)

Leslie is a software engineer, so after we came up with initial lists, she made a program that generated every conceivable combination. New way of working for me!

Big age gap, but she learned who BILLY IDOL is, and I learned what a DATASET is. Fun and easy collaboration facilitated by the fact that we "met" online through the blogosphere but both live in San Francisco.

Happy to have played a part in her debut.

Leslie Rogers: It's a dream come true to make my debut as a New York Times crossword constructor! My mom introduced me to crosswords when I was young, and my obsession has grown in the last couple of years as I've discovered the NYT app, tournaments, and blogs. I'm a software engineer from Silicon Valley, and besides crossword puzzles, my hobbies include backpacking, scavenger hunts, trivia nights, board games, and cross country skiing with my team Aloha Nordic.

I originally met Andrea online when she posted a message that she was open to mentoring and I took her up on her offer. Coincidentally, it turned out that we live right by each other, which made collaboration easier! I sent her several theme ideas, and she picked CAP AND GOWN as having the most potential. We brainstormed dozens of caps and gown and I wrote a short script to print out all the combinations and filter them by entry length to help us choose. NIGHT-NIGHT came quickly, WHITE WEDDING was next after Andrea convinced me that Billy Idol is crossworthy, and after another round of brainstorming we finally came up with MUSHROOM BALL to round out the set. I hope you enjoy the solve!

Jeff Chen notes:
I love playing the 'can I guess the theme' game on Mondays. A perfect early-week theme is obfuscated until the very end, where a ... read more

I love playing the "can I guess the theme" game on Mondays. A perfect early-week theme is obfuscated until the very end, where a revealer gives me a delightful a-ha moment. My observations through my solve today, along with timestamps:

1:24 — NIGHT-NIGHT. Theme is doubled words? Hmm, that'd be boring.

2:05 — WHITE WEDDING!

(singing) It's a nice day to … START AGAIN!

Oops, gotta get back to it.

2:16 — NIGHT / WHITE … rhymers with different spellings?

2:58 — MUSHROOM BALL? Let's put the theme game aside and figure out WTF a MUSHROOM BALL is.

(down the internet rabbit hole) Wow, those look delicious!

3:31 — Scratching my head. How could these three themers possibly be related?

4:24 — Hit the revealer, CAP AND GOWN.

4:26 — Wha ... ?

4:32 — Uh ... buh?

4:37 — More head scratching.

4:46 — Re-read the clue for the fourth time. Still nonsensical.

5:05 — Jeff is getting angry!

5:31 — AHA! Happy dance! NIGHT cap, WHITE cap, MUSHROOM cap. NIGHT gown, WEDDING gown, BALL GOWN!

Great twist on the "both words can precede X" theme type. Fortuitous findings – I wouldn't have believed it possible. Huge kudos.

And great gridwork too. Enough bonuses in SUNSCREEN, OBNOXIOUS, COPYCAT, DATASET. Not much crossword glue in ETH MATA SNO. This is the way to execute on a Monday grid, folks. Don't be afraid to go up to the max of 78 words. Don't try for anything flashy. Focus on a clean, smooth grid, and work in a couple of strong bonuses. Pro stuff right here.

POW! Congrats on joining the club, Leslie, and looking forward to more from both of you!

1
T
2
A
3
R
4
O
5
T
6
A
7
W
8
E
9
D
10
R
11
O
12
P
13
E
14
U
N
I
O
N
15
M
A
T
A
16
O
B
E
Y
17
N
I
G
H
T
18
N
I
G
H
T
19
A
N
N
E
20
E
M
U
21
O
D
E
22
A
23
L
M
O
N
D
24
R
E
P
25
O
26
S
T
S
27
E
S
S
E
X
28
W
H
I
T
29
E
W
E
D
D
I
30
N
31
G
32
P
33
A
34
S
E
O
35
P
E
T
36
O
I
L
37
E
L
U
D
E
38
U
S
S
39
S
40
A
U
C
E
41
R
O
N
42
C
F
O
43
I
B
S
E
N
44
M
U
S
45
H
46
R
O
O
M
47
B
48
A
L
L
49
C
O
O
P
S
50
A
T
T
E
51
S
52
T
53
S
54
P
55
A
R
O
D
Y
56
S
N
O
57
T
O
E
58
A
G
E
D
59
C
60
A
P
A
N
61
D
62
G
O
W
N
63
T
R
E
E
64
A
L
A
N
65
N
A
M
E
S
66
H
A
N
D
67
T
I
N
A
68
A
P
P
L
E
© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 0218 ( 25,304 )
Across
1
Fortuneteller's deck : TAROT
6
Flabbergasted : AWED
10
Material for a rock climber's harness : ROPE
14
Collective bargaining side : UNION
15
___ Hari (W.W. I spy) : MATA
16
Follow orders : OBEY
17
"Sleep well!" : NIGHTNIGHT
19
Actress Hathaway of "The Devil Wears Prada" : ANNE
20
Australia's unofficial national bird : EMU
21
Work from Keats or Shelley : ODE
22
Nut used to make marzipan : ALMOND
24
Content that has already been shared, as on a Reddit forum : REPOSTS
27
Coastal county of England : ESSEX
28
Billy Idol hit that starts "Hey little sister, what have you done?" : WHITEWEDDING
32
Bullfighters' entrance march : PASEO
35
Stroke gently : PET
36
Crankcase fluid : OIL
37
Sidestep : ELUDE
38
___ Enterprise : USS
39
Secret ___ (metaphoric key to success) : SAUCE
41
Pal of Harry and Hermione : RON
42
Corporate money V.I.P. : CFO
43
Henrik ___, "Hedda Gabler" playwright : IBSEN
44
Vegetarian spaghetti topper : MUSHROOMBALL
49
Chicken holders : COOPS
50
Bears witness (to) : ATTESTS
54
Austin Powers, vis-à-vis James Bond : PARODY
56
___-Caps (candy) : SNO
57
Stocking stuffer? : TOE
58
Elderly : AGED
59
Graduation garb ... or what the compound answers to 17-, 28- and 44-Across represent? : CAPANDGOWN
63
Birch or beech : TREE
64
Astronaut Shepard : ALAN
65
Elements of a roll call : NAMES
66
Minute or hour marker on a clock : HAND
67
Fey of comedy : TINA
68
iPhone maker : APPLE
Down
1
One doing piano repair : TUNER
2
Japanese cartoon art genre : ANIME
3
Assemble, as equipment : RIGUP
4
Cry of delight : OOH
5
Big bang maker : TNT
6
Surrounded by : AMIDST
7
$15/hour, maybe : WAGE
8
Biblical verb suffix : ETH
9
Collection of figures for a statistical analysis : DATASET
10
Meandered : ROAMED
11
Very annoying : OBNOXIOUS
12
Quaker William : PENN
13
Took a gander at : EYED
18
"Me? Never!" : NOTI
23
'60s hallucinogenic : LSD
25
"Never in the field of human conflict was so much ___ by so many to so few": Churchill : OWED
26
Slipper or sandal : SHOE
27
Females in wool : EWES
29
British racing town that lent its name to a kind of salt : EPSOM
30
Pleasant : NICE
31
Country/pop singer Campbell : GLEN
32
Request at a hair salon, informally : PERM
33
Last name of a trio of baseball brothers : ALOU
34
Protection at the beach : SUNSCREEN
38
Crafts in a "close encounter of the third kind" : UFOS
39
Riverbank deposit : SILT
40
Partner of ready and willing : ABLE
42
"Monkey see, monkey do" type : COPYCAT
45
Like some sweatshirts and cobras : HOODED
46
Item of fishing gear : ROD
47
Fruit that's peeled : BANANA
48
Zillions : ATON
51
Crush with the foot, with "on" : STOMP
52
Low-tech hair dryer : TOWEL
53
Touch, taste or sight : SENSE
54
Hiker's route : PATH
55
Home of the Taj Mahal : AGRA
56
Length of a bridge : SPAN
60
Rumble in the Jungle champ : ALI
61
Crime lab material : DNA
62
Space between two teeth, e.g. : GAP

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

Found bugs or have suggestions?