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

New York Times, Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Author:
Peter A. Collins
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1045/2/20064/18/201812
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
51225361394
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.564313
Peter A. Collins

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 36 Missing: {QWXZ} This is puzzle # 95 for Mr. Collins. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Peter A. Collins notes:
There are some things about this puzzle that I really like. I like that the sets of circles are symmetrically placed. I like ... read more

There are some things about this puzzle that I really like.

  • I like that the sets of circles are symmetrically placed.
  • I like that the themed entries (are there three or five? — more about that in a minute) all run through a set of circles, with DOGLEGS running through two.
  • I like the atlas-y feeling middle of the grid, with LIBYA, RIYADH, OSLO, MALI, EL PASO, and ERIN.
  • I like that I no longer play golf, and now have a hobby (crossword puzzle construction) that actually pays me a little bit of money.
  • I like that I was able to fit the names of my three children – ELIE, ESME, and ESAI — in the grid. (By the way, the baby's on its way – ELKE if it's a girl, ESAU if it's a boy?)
  • I like that, in the spite of the presence of ELIE, ESME, and ESAI, the fill was not too ugly, given that diagonal entries often put a real strain on a grid.

Now, about those themed entries. DOGLEGS and GOLF COURSE are certainly legit. What about LADIES TEES? They're definitely on golf courses, but they don't really have anything to do with doglegs. I also have the symmetrically placed ON A PAR and CARDED in the grid. Themed entries? If so, they're very, very weak. "On a par" has nothing to do with golf, other than sharing the word "par". "Carded" could be clued in a number of ways. I chose to clue it (and Will & Joel chose to keep it clued) in a golf sense.

I hope this gets you ready for the Masters, which starts in a little more than a week. I don't care much for golf on TV, but that course is so gorgeous, I often tune in for just a peek.

Jeff Chen notes:
DOGLEGS today, four types of dogs 'bent' into the shape of golf course doglegs (when a fairway takes a bend). Pretty, those sets of ... read more

DOGLEGS today, four types of dogs "bent" into the shape of golf course doglegs (when a fairway takes a bend). Pretty, those sets of circles in the grid. Something graceful about them, and they sort of evoke the image of a big golf course within the grid. (Sort of.)

Single and double DOGLEGS

GOLF COURSE is more or less essential to include as a revealer — just DOGLEGS might leave too many non-golfing solvers scratching their heads. Tough to find something equally perfect for the symmetrical spot. LADIES TEES are definitely real, where we horrifyingly poor golfers pretend we're are allowed to tee off. To Pete's point, it felt pretty shaky as a themer.

I might have preferred something like DOGLEG LEFT to match GOLF COURSE. Of course, that would mean all the dogs would need to bend left, making it very difficult to achieve symmetry in the sets of circles. But as pretty as that looks (SETTER symmetrically matching COLLIE), this is a rare case where I might have voted for asymmetry. Golf courses are never (rarely?) laid out to have rotational symmetry, so more random placements of the DOGLEGS might have been more evocative.

That could have also helped with the difficulty involved with placing diagonal entries in a crossword. Diagonal entries are notorious for necessitating crossword glue; such a tough task to fill around diagonal entries. Peter already does pretty well though, with really just an I GOT around one of them and an INGLE (I'm still undecided on that one), using his black squares really wisely to separate the sets of circles.

Solvers may have missed the bonus entries, ON A PAR and CARDED, placed in symmetrical spots. They don't directly tie into the DOGLEGS theme, but they do add a little more golf-y feel to the puzzle.

Loved the clue for HAT. "Overhead expense" is common in business-speak, so to repurpose it for a hat purchase is clever.

Some pretty grid imagery today, along with solid execution.

1
S
2
E
3
T
4
S
5
U
6
H
7
A
8
U
9
L
10
P
11
S
12
S
13
T
14
I
G
O
T
15
S
A
L
S
A
16
R
I
T
E
17
L
A
D
I
18
E
S
T
E
E
S
19
I
D
O
S
20
O
N
A
P
A
R
21
S
T
22
E
V
E
N
S
23
Y
E
T
24
L
25
O
U
26
L
I
B
Y
A
27
A
28
M
O
S
29
P
A
N
P
30
I
P
E
31
F
A
N
32
A
O
N
E
33
N
A
S
34
S
35
E
36
R
37
A
L
L
38
D
O
G
L
39
E
G
S
40
C
R
O
41
R
I
Y
42
A
D
H
43
O
S
L
O
44
O
I
L
45
L
I
S
46
S
O
M
E
47
J
U
N
E
48
S
49
T
50
E
R
N
51
U
K
E
52
M
A
N
53
H
A
L
O
G
54
E
N
55
C
A
R
D
56
E
57
D
58
I
S
A
K
59
G
O
60
L
61
F
C
O
U
R
S
E
62
E
T
T
E
63
O
C
E
A
N
64
L
E
A
K
65
D
E
E
R
66
S
O
O
T
Y
67
E
L
I
E
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0329 ( 24,248 )

Support XWord Info today

Access this site for a full year:

  1. Select your level
  2. Choose how to pay

Learn about support levels.

$50 — Angel

Full access + download

$20 — Regular User

Full access, limited Finder

$10 — Casual User

Students & seniors
Across
1. Volleyball actions between bumps and spikes : SETS
5. Name on an orange-and-white truck : UHAUL
10. "Hey, buddy!" : PSST
14. "What ___" (1996 Sublime hit) : IGOT
15. Some chip dip : SALSA
16. Ceremony : RITE
17. What red markers may indicate on 59-Acrosses : LADIESTEES
19. Altar exchange : IDOS
20. Even (with) : ONAPAR
21. Cat in a record store : STEVENS
23. To date : YET
24. Musician Reed or Rawls : LOU
26. Tripoli's land : LIBYA
27. Musical name after Tori or before Lee : AMOS
29. Ancestor of the harmonica : PANPIPE
31. Supporter : FAN
32. Top-shelf : AONE
33. 1960s Egyptian president : NASSER
37. "___ My Children" : ALL
38. Some links holes ... with a hint to the circled letters : DOGLEGS
40. ___-Magnon : CRO
41. Capital of Saudi Arabia : RIYADH
43. Capital of Norway : OSLO
44. Big export of Saudi Arabia and Norway : OIL
45. Lithe : LISSOME
47. When summer officially starts : JUNE
48. Like a disciplinarian's talk : STERN
51. Luau instrument, informally : UKE
52. Symbol of power, with "the" : MAN
53. Like some lights : HALOGEN
55. Scored, as on a 59-Across : CARDED
58. "Out of Africa" author Dinesen : ISAK
59. 18 holes, often : GOLFCOURSE
62. Suffix with disk : ETTE
63. Indian ___ : OCEAN
64. Pipeline problem : LEAK
65. Animal that's sometimes frozen in the headlights : DEER
66. Like a chimney sweep : SOOTY
67. Nobel winner Wiesel : ELIE
Down
1. Missile ___ : SILO
2. Op-ed columnist Timothy : EGAN
3. "Act quickly! This offer will end very soon!" : TODAYONLY
4. Supporting stalks : STIPES
5. Country in a classic Beatles title : USSR
6. Overhead expense? : HAT
7. Pub order : ALE
8. Exhausts : USESUP
9. Z's position : LAST
10. Outhouses : PRIVIES
11. Obsolescent designation in the music business : SIDEB
12. Expressionless : STONY
13. Girl's name that's a benefit in reverse? : TESSA
18. Sup : EAT
22. Texas home of the Sun Bowl : ELPASO
24. Early filmmaker Fritz : LANG
25. It just took this before "I fell so hard in love with you," in a 1960s hit : ONELOOK
27. Way off : AFAR
28. Burkina Faso neighbor : MALI
29. Some stuffed bears : POOHS
30. Hearth : INGLE
32. Doing sums : ADDING
34. Rascal : SCOUNDREL
35. "___ go bragh!" : ERIN
36. Something cast : ROLE
39. Salinger title girl : ESME
42. Morning TV weatherman : ALROKER
46. Gas brand with an arrow in its logo : SUNOCO
47. "Always on Time" rapper : JARULE
48. Recoiled (from) : SHIED
49. Flavor : TASTE
50. Thrill : ELATE
52. World leader with a distinctive jacket : MAO
54. Divas have big ones : EGOS
55. Sch. overlooking Harlem : CCNY
56. Morales of "La Bamba" : ESAI
57. Hockey feint : DEKE
60. Many an August birth : LEO
61. What beef marbling is : FAT

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?