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, Saturday, February 9, 2019

Author:
Ryan McCarty
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
116/17/20176/15/20191
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0000128
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.57000
Ryan McCarty

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 66, Blocks: 32 Missing: {JQXZ} This is puzzle # 9 for Mr. McCarty. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Ryan McCarty notes:
I started this one by playing with a number of options at 32-Across and ended up with SCULPTED ABS working out best, and only then ... read more

I started this one by playing with a number of options at 32-Across and ended up with SCULPTED ABS working out best, and only then after running through a number of more normal options for 33-Down and ending up with the unusual C SCALE. I don't love this answer as a musician because the scale itself is ambiguous (Major? Minor? Mixolydian?), but it helped pull together the middle. I originally had BAYONETTED for 29-Across before finding that it was more commonly spelled with one T in American English, so I ended up switching to BAYONETING and redoing the NE corner. Unfortunately, there weren't as many stellar fill options here, so I threw in TEA EGG for some interest. I'm sure the critics will love it.

Overall the editing team did a good job tempering my clues, some of which I'll admit were a bit too difficult. I was sad to see a couple of my favorite clues go, including "One-man band?" for ID BRACELET, and "Public display of confection" for DESSERT CASE, but I'm glad they kept my unassuming clue for MEN. Hope you enjoy!

Jeff Chen notes:
I'm a big fan of Ryan's wide-open constructions. This one, with a football-ish shape in the center, reminds me of another one of his I ... read more

I'm a big fan of Ryan's wide-open constructions. This one, with a football-ish shape in the center, reminds me of another one of his I loved. It's so clean, just an ENDO as a minor dab of crossword glue needed to hold such an audacious construction together. Great craftsmanship.

Some top-notch feature entries, too. Loved TORCH RELAYS and DESSERT CASE crossed by BUSH LEAGUE in the center. ID BRACELET / BOOK REVIEW anchoring the NW, GOLDEN BEAR / ESPY AWARDS in the SE, even a bit of DIATRIBE in the upper right? Nice to get a little something everywhere you look.

Because I'd already seen a similar grid pattern from Ryan, my expectations were pretty high. I had a couple of hitches in TWO TONE CAR – apparently that's a thing, but it doesn't resonate strongly for me – and SCULPTED ABS, which felt not as solid (pardon the pun) as SIX PACK ABS or WASHBOARD ABS. I know that they mean slightly different things and that SCULPTED ABS is a real thing. But the other two phrases sound so much snappier.

A bit of an ick factor with BAYONETING, too. It's a real word. A pretty unpleasant one, though.

A couple of clues elated me, while I felt like some others needed explaining:

  • NINE is a small square – three squared, to be exact!
  • How is FIVE an orange ball? Hmm ... it's the orange ball on a pool table?
  • [Field of flowers] is so innocent, so fun, referring to the field of BOTANY!
  • [Off] isn't as innocent for LESS. Yikes is that tough, not in a fun way. I *think* it's referring to the "minus" meaning of both?

Overall, a fine piece of craftsmanship. It didn't hit my ear quite as well as Ryan's last one, but it still made for a satisfying and challenging solving experience.

1
I
2
D
3
B
4
R
5
A
6
C
7
E
8
L
9
E
10
T
11
E
12
D
13
I
14
T
15
B
O
O
K
R
E
V
I
E
W
16
N
I
N
E
17
A
R
T
O
O
D
E
T
O
O
18
D
A
D
A
19
N
R
A
20
M
E
N
21
T
22
O
O
T
I
E
23
K
I
N
24
D
A
25
C
26
M
O
N
27
R
A
G
28
S
T
Y
E
29
B
30
A
Y
O
N
E
31
T
I
N
G
32
S
33
C
U
L
P
T
E
D
A
B
S
34
D
E
S
S
E
R
T
C
A
S
E
35
T
O
R
C
H
R
E
L
A
Y
S
36
W
H
A
T
A
L
O
S
E
R
37
E
38
R
39
O
40
S
41
H
E
F
42
L
E
S
S
43
B
L
A
S
T
44
I
N
A
45
R
E
A
46
F
47
L
Y
48
T
W
A
49
F
I
V
E
50
G
51
O
52
L
D
E
N
53
B
E
A
R
54
F
L
O
E
55
U
D
O
N
N
O
O
D
L
E
56
S
E
R
F
57
E
S
P
Y
A
W
A
R
D
S
© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 0209 ( 25,295 )
Across
1
Hospital attachment : IDBRACELET
11
Get in the last word? : EDIT
15
Novel opinion? : BOOKREVIEW
16
Small square : NINE
17
Servant to Queen Amidala : ARTOODETOO
18
Bit of baby babbling : DADA
19
Its PAC is the Political Victory Fund : NRA
20
Some couples : MEN
21
Gossipy schoolmate on "The Facts of Life" : TOOTIE
23
"Ish" : KINDA
25
"You're killin' me!" : CMON
27
"The Entertainer," for one : RAG
28
Lid bump : STYE
29
Taking a stab at? : BAYONETING
32
Six-pack : SCULPTEDABS
34
It takes the cake : DESSERTCASE
35
Some preparations for the Olympics : TORCHRELAYS
36
"That guy's pathetic!" : WHATALOSER
37
Statue in Piccadilly Circus : EROS
41
Former publishing nickname : HEF
42
Off : LESS
43
Fiercely criticize : BLAST
44
How plots are measured : INAREA
46
Leave in a hurry : FLY
48
Carrier seen in "The Aviator" : TWA
49
Orange ball : FIVE
50
Top prize at the Berlin International Film Festival : GOLDENBEAR
54
Sheet : FLOE
55
Bit in some Japanese soup : UDONNOODLE
56
Manor occupant of yore : SERF
57
Best Play and Best Moment : ESPYAWARDS
Down
1
Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, casually : IBANKS
2
Dickens's "Little ___" : DORRIT
3
Field of flowers : BOTANY
4
Fox rival, once : RKO
5
Something picked up at a coffee shop : AROMA
6
Give way : CEDE
7
Flush : EVEN
8
Hammered : LIT
9
Abbr. in a job posting : EEO
10
Popular 1950s vehicle making a comeback in the 2010s : TWOTONECAR
11
Prefix with spore or sperm : ENDO
12
Polemic : DIATRIBE
13
Team with the longest active World Series drought (as of 2018) : INDIANS
14
Chinese snack with marblelike patterns on the outside : TEAEGG
22
Sometime : ONEDAY
24
Much of Chile : DESERT
25
Tree pictured in van Gogh's "The Starry Night" : CYPRESS
26
Patchy pattern : MOTTLE
29
Amateurish : BUSHLEAGUE
30
Competitors of Grand Ams : ALEROS
31
Part of a cornstalk : TASSEL
33
Beginner's piano exercise : CSCALE
34
Help out : DOAFAVOR
35
Setting for an Agatha Christie mystery : THENILE
36
Swings and misses : WHIFFS
38
Adult, say : RATEDR
39
Lucky Rabbit's name in early Disney films : OSWALD
40
Can hardly believe what one sees, say : STARES
43
To this point : BYNOW
45
Sound barrier? : REEF
46
Big Apple's "bravest," briefly : FDNY
47
Actress Headey of "Game of Thrones" : LENA
51
Has too much, for short : ODS
52
___-eared : LOP
53
Stole from a drag show? : BOA

Answer summary: 13 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?