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

New York Times, Monday, March 7, 2016

Author: Damon Gulczynski
Editor: Will Shortz
Damon J. Gulczynski
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
3311/8/20044/3/20180
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1450779
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.65320

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 38 Missing: {JX} This is puzzle # 12 for Mr. Gulczynski. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Damon J. Gulczynski notes: In June, 2006 a puzzle of mine ran in the New York Times with the central revealer 80SFADS. Since that was about 10 years ... more
Damon J. Gulczynski notes:

In June, 2006 a puzzle of mine ran in the New York Times with the central revealer 80SFADS. Since that was about 10 years ago, I figured — why not a sequel '90s puzzle?

I tried to cut a wide swath culturally and categorically with the types of fads I chose, but with only two pairs of symmetrical entries, I was obviously quite limited. Noticeably absent is a hip-hop fad. I tried to get one in, but the fads that were distinctly '90s didn't fit (e.g., overalls with one strap undone), and the ones that did fit weren't distinctly '90s (e.g., high top fades).

A few technical things: I think the clue for 14-Across contains an inaccuracy. The Wham-O product appears to be stylized Slip'N Slide, without a space between the apostrophe and the N (this is how it was written in my submission). Also, my original clue for FIVE0 explicitly referenced the remade version of the show, as the original is "Hawaii Five-O" with the letter O at the end, not the number 0. The clue isn't wrong as stated — there is a TV show called "Hawaii Five-0" — but I wanted to remove the ambiguity. Oh well, no biggie.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the trip down memory lane. The good thing about making a puzzle like this is that even if it's not very good, a certain segment of the population will like it anyway because it reminds them of the good old days (it's the same phenomenon that makes Jimmy Fallon popular). And so, I will leave you with some '90s fads that didn't make the cut: flannels, Zubaz pants, starter jackets, Reebok Pump, Hypercolor, Umbro shorts, Beanie Babies, Tickle Me Elmo, Pogs, frosted tips, Baja hoodies, No Fear tees, snap bracelets, wallet chains, chokers, hacky sack, pagers, and the Spice Girls.

Does anybody else have the urge to play some Sega Genesis?

Jeff Chen notes: 90s FADS today, a nice trip down memory lane, allowing me to recall the days when TAMAGOTCHIS were hot, THE MACARENA earworm ate away ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

90s FADS today, a nice trip down memory lane, allowing me to recall the days when TAMAGOTCHIS were hot, THE MACARENA earworm ate away my sanity, and THE RACHEL hairdo was in. Oddly enough, apparently there's a new cadre of young adults getting into "Friends," as it speaks to a sense of simplicity, of pleasantly hanging out with a group of close compadres. I must admit I was wrong about that show's ability to persist!

Rachel doesn't seem terribly excited about THE RACHEL

That made me wonder about DR MARTENS (which I call "Doc Martens" — is that just me?). They were ultra-popular back in the 90s, but I still see people wearing them. Perhaps it's the Seattle fashion sense, still influenced by grunge.

Very unusual to have numerals in a Monday puzzle, and it was a nice change of pace. FIVE-0 (zero) threw me for a loop, as I know it as FIVE-O ("oh"), and I don't seem to be the only one. Apparently it was such a controversy that there was a vote to determine which was "correct"! Officially, the original show is FIVE-(zero) and the remake is FIVE-(oh), so both are acceptable.

It would have been nice to have something better for 9's crossing — 9 PM is so unspecific. Something like 9 LIVES (the cat food) or DISTRICT 9 (the movie) — something containing the actual digit — could have been really fun. Using a longer entry does make the construction harder, of course. It's so easy to tuck the three-letter 9PM into the middle of the puzzle.

I appreciated Damon giving us a bit of bonus fill in FENNEL, SMURFS (I must admit I watched every episode as a kid), FUGUE, and my favorite, METADATA. What a cool word! Also appreciated is Damon's effort to keep the grid smooth and free of crossword glue. silky solve, aside from my internal FIVE-O / FIVE-0 debate.

Overall, a fun concept. I would have preferred not having two "THE" themers, and maybe more consistency — I did appreciate the variety, but it did feel a bit random as to which of the dozens of 90s FADS were included — but I still enjoyed the solve.

1
O
2
U
3
T
4
E
5
R
6
F
7
A
8
Q
9
A
10
B
11
U
12
S
13
E
14
W
H
A
M
O
15
A
S
U
16
F
U
G
U
E
17
L
U
M
P
S
18
T
H
E
19
R
A
C
H
E
L
20
S
H
A
R
I
21
F
22
L
A
R
K
23
G
E
N
I
24
A
25
L
L
Y
26
E
27
T
28
C
29
H
30
U
31
F
O
S
32
V
I
E
33
S
34
A
Y
H
E
Y
35
S
E
T
S
36
E
R
A
37
S
E
E
M
E
38
A
N
C
39
9
0
S
F
40
A
41
D
S
42
M
E
N
43
U
N
H
44
I
P
45
L
I
E
46
N
A
N
A
47
S
E
I
S
M
48
S
49
E
W
E
50
A
C
T
S
51
A
L
S
O
52
M
53
E
T
A
D
54
A
T
A
55
L
56
O
U
D
57
S
M
U
R
58
F
59
S
60
D
61
R
62
M
A
R
T
E
63
N
64
S
65
B
R
E
A
K
66
A
C
U
T
E
67
N
I
T
68
L
A
N
C
E
69
P
A
G
E
S
70
S
L
Y
71
E
L
A
T
E
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0307 ( 24,226 )
Across Down
1. Exterior : OUTER
6. Acronym on an online help page : FAQ
9. Treat cruelly : ABUSE
14. Toy company that gave us Frisbee and Slip 'N Slide : WHAMO
15. Sch. in Tempe : ASU
16. Type of composition that Bach is noted for : FUGUE
17. They're taken in punishment, so to speak : LUMPS
18. *Hairstyle popularized by Jennifer Aniston's character on "Friends" : THERACHEL
20. Omar who portrayed Dr. Zhivago : SHARIF
22. Happy as a ___ : LARK
23. In a cheerful and pleasant manner : GENIALLY
26. Write permanently : ETCH
30. Mysterious sightings that hover : UFOS
32. Compete (for) : VIE
33. The ___ Kid (Willie Mays) : SAYHEY
35. Tennis match units : SETS
36. A low one is good in baseball, in brief : ERA
37. Words written by a teacher on a failed test, perhaps : SEEME
38. Nelson Mandela's org. : ANC
39. What the answers to the four starred clues are : 90SFADS
42. Fellows : MEN
43. So not cool : UNHIP
45. Tell a whopper : LIE
46. Mom's mom : NANA
47. Tremors : SEISMS
49. Female sheep : EWE
50. Does stage work : ACTS
51. "Oh, one more thing ..." : ALSO
52. Set of info about sets of info : METADATA
55. Opposite of quiet : LOUD
57. Little blue cartoon characters whose adversary is named Gargamel : SMURFS
60. *Boots brand big in grunge fashion : DRMARTENS
65. Shatter : BREAK
66. Sharper than 90° : ACUTE
67. Trivial gripe : NIT
68. Jouster's weapon : LANCE
69. "War and Peace" famously has more than 1,200 : PAGES
70. Crafty : SLY
71. Thrill : ELATE
1. Avian hooters : OWLS
2. "Forget it!" : UHUH
3. *Hand-held "pets" with digital faces : TAMAGOTCHIS
4. Catherine the Great, for one : EMPRESS
5. Bagful on a pitcher's mound : ROSIN
6. Obese : FAT
7. Baseball bat wood : ASH
8. Stop, as an uprising : QUELL
9. Many miles off : AFAR
10. Ohio State student : BUCKEYE
11. "Blech!" : UGH
12. "A Boy Named ___" (1969 song) : SUE
13. Fish that is long and thin : EEL
19. Fish that are flat and wide : RAYS
21. TV's "Hawaii ___" : FIVE0
24. Puts on TV : AIRS
25. Printed handout : LEAFLET
27. *Dance associated with a #1 Los del Rio hit : THEMACARENA
28. Sidewalk material : CEMENT
29. "Laughing" animals : HYENAS
30. Patriotic Olympics chant : USAUSA
31. Herb sometimes called "sweet anise" : FENNEL
34. Donkey : ASS
39. 2100, in civilian time : 9PM
40. Onetime big name in Japanese electronics : AIWA
41. Monopoly cards : DEEDS
44. Quarantine : ISOLATE
46. Word before gas or disaster : NATURAL
48. Obscene material : SMUT
53. Perfect places : EDENS
54. Mosey along : AMBLE
56. Metals from lodes : ORES
58. Fiction's opposite : FACT
59. ___-Ball (arcade game) : SKEE
60. Fist bump : DAP
61. ___ Victor : RCA
62. Make a face for the camera : MUG
63. Zero, in a soccer score : NIL
64. Very messy room : STY

Answer summary: 8 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?