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

New York Times, Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Author: Finn Vigeland
Editor: Will Shortz
Finn Vigeland
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1410/20/20109/16/20174
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
6123011
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.64220
Puzzle of the Week

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 38 Missing: {QZ} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 12 for Mr. Vigeland. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. 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!

Finn Vigeland notes: The seed for this was the discovery that RUPAULSDRAGRACE was a grid-spanning 15 (hat tip to my fellow 20-something ... more
Finn Vigeland notes:

The seed for this was the discovery that RUPAULSDRAGRACE was a grid-spanning 15 (hat tip to my fellow 20-something constructor/frequent board game buddy Natan Last). I was aiming to write an early-week puzzle, and the QUEEN(S) connection elucidated itself quickly and seemed like an apt way to approach an easyish theme.

Because ROCKANDROLL and HALLOFFAME had to be positioned one after the other, and the gimmick didn't work as well if that pair came first, the themers had to be positioned in this order. Even with that constraint, the grid came together quite easily. YALU is a bit of an outlier, but I'm glad Will kept my cutesy clue.

In general, nearly all of these clues are my originals, which is always a satisfying feeling. I wrote this puzzle in October when I thought cluing TWEET via Trump would be a relic of the past. I guess I wish that clue had been changed, given the world we now live in. :(

Jeff Chen notes: Great puzzle. Finn gives us a twist in the 'definitional' theme type, i.e. a single word with multiple meanings. Entertaining to ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Great puzzle. Finn gives us a twist in the "definitional" theme type, i.e. a single word with multiple meanings. Entertaining to think about Queen or Queens in four different ways.

Will doesn't run this theme type often, since the grid entries tend to sound forced, as if from a dictionary. Finn does well to choose themers that can stand alone — CHESSBOARD, NEW YORK CITY, RUPAULS DRAG RACE, and ROCK AND ROLL / HALL OF FAME are all great entries. Much better than PIECE IN CHESS or FEMALE MONARCH or something.

Fantastic that Finn was able to divide up ROCK AND ROLL / HALL OF FAME in the most natural place. Cross-referenced answers are a pet peeve of mine since they break up my solving flow, but if you have to, do it this way. If Finn had required a 7 and a 14-letter themer and needed to pair them with ROCK AND / ROLL HALL OF FAME (7/14), that would have worked, but it would have been inelegant.

I enjoyed ARROWHEAD and BRUNO MARS (I didn't know who the latter is, but I've at least heard his name in the news). I'd have loved to get one more pair of bonus entries, perhaps by shifting NEW YORK CITY to the left and then trying for a nine-letter entry where MEAT and JOAD are. I'm sure it would have caused some problems, but a guy can wish.

This might have also solved the Y??U issue — a shame to have the one odd entry in an otherwise stellar grid. I did like the attempt to save it with a clue relating to the more recognizable YALE, but "random rivers" is one of those categories most constructors try hard to avoid.

There was one other spot I hitched on: the SXSW x NSFW crossing. I (mostly) knew these — South by Southwest and not safe for work — but there's no way for someone to infer these. I likely would have asked for a revision in this corner.

But these are minor issues. Overall, I dug the spin Finn put on the "definitional" theme type. Smooth, enjoyable solve.

1
P
2
A
3
P
4
A
5
A
6
C
7
T
8
P
9
R
10
I
11
M
12
E
13
R
14
E
V
E
R
15
N
O
W
16
B
U
R
E
A
U
17
L
I
A
R
18
C
H
E
19
S
S
B
O
A
R
D
20
T
A
C
O
21
H
E
R
O
22
A
N
T
S
Y
23
N
E
W
24
Y
O
R
K
C
25
I
T
Y
26
H
A
R
E
27
C
O
O
28
J
29
L
30
O
31
W
32
H
33
E
E
L
34
F
E
W
35
B
O
O
R
36
R
U
P
A
U
37
L
38
S
D
R
A
39
G
R
A
C
E
40
A
M
I
D
41
A
I
R
42
A
U
D
I
O
43
P
E
C
44
H
I
C
45
E
46
A
R
N
47
R
O
C
K
48
A
N
D
R
O
49
L
50
L
51
T
52
W
53
E
E
T
54
O
L
A
F
55
M
A
I
56
N
57
H
A
L
L
O
58
F
F
A
M
E
59
A
T
V
S
60
U
R
B
A
N
E
61
R
O
E
62
R
E
E
F
63
S
T
A
Y
E
D
64
M
R
S
65
S
X
S
W
© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0207 ( 24,563 )
Across Down
1. Bear whose bed was too hard for Goldilocks : PAPA
5. With 15-Across, "Don't delay!" : ACT
8. First coat for a painter : PRIMER
14. At any point in history : EVER
15. See 5-Across : NOW
16. Chest of drawers : BUREAU
17. Repeated word before "pants on fire" : LIAR
18. Queen's place : CHESSBOARD
20. Mexican dish served in a shell : TACO
21. Villain's vanquisher : HERO
22. On edge : ANTSY
23. Queens' place : NEWYORKCITY
26. Loser to the tortoise, in fable : HARE
27. Lovey-dovey sound : COO
28. "Let's Get Loud" singer, affectionately : JLO
31. People often caution against reinventing it : WHEEL
34. "The ___, the Proud, the Marines" : FEW
35. Oafish sort : BOOR
36. Queens' place : RUPAULSDRAGRACE
40. In : AMID
41. Broadcast : AIR
42. Broadcast part : AUDIO
43. Muscle toned from push-ups, informally : PEC
44. Comic strip sound from a drunkard : HIC
45. Make bread : EARN
47. With 57-Across, Queen's place : ROCKANDROLL
51. Many a Donald Trump announcement : TWEET
54. Snowman in "Frozen" : OLAF
55. Common street name : MAIN
57. See 47-Across : HALLOFFAME
59. Off-roaders, for short : ATVS
60. Debonair : URBANE
61. Fish eggs : ROE
62. Place divers explore : REEF
63. Hung around : STAYED
64. Title for two Clue characters : MRS
65. Annual Austin festival, for short : SXSW
1. Animal hide : PELT
2. Bird-related : AVIAN
3. "See ya" : PEACE
4. Pointy stone used in early Native American weaponry : ARROWHEAD
5. TV news deliverer : ANCHOR
6. Hold together : COHERE
7. Shake one's booty : TWERK
8. "Masterpiece Theatre" network : PBS
9. In a relaxed rhythm, musically : RUBATO
10. Twisted humor : IRONY
11. Heart of the matter : MEAT
12. Prominent Dumbo features : EARS
13. 1993 football movie starring Sean Astin : RUDY
19. World Cup sport : SOCCER
24. Asian river whose name is one letter away from an Ivy League college : YALU
25. Site of the first-in-the-nation caucuses : IOWA
28. "The Grapes of Wrath" surname : JOAD
29. Central points : LOCI
30. Cookie that's often pulled apart : OREO
31. "That's a ___!" : WRAP
32. David ___, philosopher influenced by Locke : HUME
33. Grander than grand : EPIC
34. Four-term prez : FDR
35. 2014 Super Bowl performer : BRUNOMARS
37. Secular : LAIC
38. So done with : SICKOF
39. Teri who played Phoebe's mother on "Friends" : GARR
44. Scorcher : HOTONE
45. Inflame with love : ENAMOR
46. Charges for some Madison Avenue firms : ADFEES
47. Track-and-field event : RELAY
48. Bedside buzzer : ALARM
49. Condom material : LATEX
50. A cat is said to have nine of them : LIVES
51. "Ergo ..." : THUS
52. Blemish : WART
53. First place where Napoleon was exiled : ELBA
56. Warning initials above an Internet link : NSFW
58. Interest rate setter, with "the" : FED

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later.

Found bugs or have suggestions?