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, Friday, March 9, 2018

Author:
Neville Fogarty and Doug Peterson
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
95/3/201210/25/20183
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1131210
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.64020
Neville Fogarty
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
452/20/20069/26/201925
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
3273212142
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.63300
Doug Peterson

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 70, Blocks: 30 Missing: {QV} This is puzzle # 7 for Mr. Fogarty. This is puzzle # 42 for Mr. Peterson. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Constructor notes:
We're both big fans of the Golden Age of Television, so we racked our brains to find some way to sneak a classic TV reference into ... read more

We're both big fans of the Golden Age of Television, so we racked our brains to find some way to sneak a classic TV reference into this puzzle. Should we use Simon & Simon or Riptide in the DETECTS clue? How about the "L" monograms that were SEWN ON all of Laverne DeFazio's tops? We could've asked which cop show was the LEAD-IN to The Love Boat for four seasons. (T.J. Hooker. Duh.) Or maybe a shoutout to our favorite NEMESES, Jo and Blair from the Facts of Life. In the end, we decided there was simply no elegant way to refer to a '70s-'80s sitcom that ran for 9 seasons on CBS and was recently rebooted as a successful Netflix series. Maybe next puzzle!

Jeff Chen notes:
I wasn't familiar with the term NIGHTMARE FUEL, but that's a good phrase to learn. Sounds like something straight out of 'Monsters, ... read more

I wasn't familiar with the term NIGHTMARE FUEL, but that's a good phrase to learn. Sounds like something straight out of "Monsters, Inc."! Maybe I'm not familiar with the term because researching what it meant crEEEEPED ME OUT SPIDERS AND BEDBUGS AND ICK!

All shuddering aside, the phrase-that-shall-remain-unspoken crossing ONE DAY AT A TIME made for a solid spine to the puzzle. Love KABLOOEY too, although I confidently plunked in KABLOOIE. Either makes for a happy Jeff – such a funny word.

Themelesses built off of interlocking central spines can be tough, because each of the usual stacks of long entries now has to work with those spines. I thought Neville and Doug did a nice job with the NW, getting RAT PACK, EURASIAN, and ABU DHABI intersecting with KABLOOEY / NIGHTMARE FUEL. Solid result.

A bit of wastage in the other long slots though, in ORDER OUT and DETECTS (not super interesting), ADO ANNIE (from … "Oklahoma!"?), and even MONTANA. As much as I love #16 – tons of great memories watching the Niners as a kid – just a last name isn't nearly as great as working in the full JOE MONTANA. It's pretty common to have some LUKEWARM long entries in themelesses built off intersecting spines.

I appreciated that the short fill did its job, mostly staying out of the way (ARE WE, I see you). And even chipping in, with a great clue for EDSEL – "The thrill starts with the grille" is an awesome way to add color to a puzzle.

And finally, the mid-length stuff helped raise the puzzle's impact for me, NBA JAM a favorite of my youth. Along with GROMIT (cheese!), EXOTICA, a TRUISM, and some PROZAC, the mid-length fill was in many ways the star of the show.

A lot to enjoy out of this one. If more of the longer slots had sizzled, this would have been in POW! contention.

1
R
2
A
3
T
4
P
5
A
6
C
7
K
8
N
9
B
10
A
11
J
12
A
13
M
14
E
U
R
A
S
I
A
15
N
16
Y
E
S
I
D
O
17
A
B
U
D
H
A
B
I
18
S
E
W
N
O
N
19
P
A
I
R
20
O
L
G
21
A
22
N
A
G
A
T
23
E
D
S
E
24
L
25
O
H
M
26
S
27
N
O
N
A
28
R
E
M
29
E
30
X
O
T
I
C
31
A
32
I
N
N
33
H
A
R
E
M
34
R
U
35
S
S
I
A
36
O
37
N
E
D
A
Y
A
38
T
A
T
I
M
E
39
G
R
O
M
I
T
40
R
A
P
I
D
41
A
D
S
42
N
E
43
M
E
S
E
S
44
P
45
A
46
C
47
N
E
L
48
L
49
D
A
F
T
50
M
51
A
R
S
H
52
G
R
O
A
53
N
54
S
U
E
55
Z
56
R
O
S
A
57
S
O
U
P
E
58
D
59
E
B
E
60
N
E
Z
E
R
61
T
U
C
S
O
N
62
L
U
K
E
W
A
R
M
63
A
T
H
E
N
A
64
D
E
T
E
C
T
S
© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0309 ( 24,958 )

Support XWord Info today

Pay now and get access for a year.

1. Select account level
2. Choose how to pay
Across
1
Group in the original "Ocean's 11" : RATPACK
8
Classic arcade game with lots of shooting : NBAJAM
14
Like Istanbul : EURASIAN
16
Emphatic admission : YESIDO
17
First world capital, alphabetically : ABUDHABI
18
Like clothes buttons, generally : SEWNON
19
Unexciting poker holding : PAIR
20
2008 Bond girl Kurylenko : OLGA
22
Bedevil : NAGAT
23
Car once promoted with the line "The thrill starts with the grille" : EDSEL
25
Speaker units : OHMS
27
Prefix with -gon : NONA
28
Nocturnal acronym : REM
29
Strange things : EXOTICA
32
Super 8, e.g. : INN
33
Group of female seals : HAREM
34
Powerhouse in Olympic weightlifting : RUSSIA
36
Gradually : ONEDAYATATIME
39
Animated character who graduated from Dogwarts University : GROMIT
40
The "R" of 28-Across : RAPID
41
Circular parts : ADS
42
Formidable opponents : NEMESES
44
Campaign aid : PAC
47
"The Old Curiosity Shop" girl : NELL
49
Touched : DAFT
50
Rail center? : MARSH
52
Express stress, in a way : GROAN
54
Gulf of ___ : SUEZ
56
Santa ___, Calif. : ROSA
57
Juiced (up) : SOUPED
59
Jacob's partner in "A Christmas Carol" : EBENEZER
61
City nicknamed "The Old Pueblo" : TUCSON
62
So-so, as support : LUKEWARM
63
Acropolis figure : ATHENA
64
Spots : DETECTS
Down
1
One going against the grain? : REAPER
2
Poem greeting the dawn : AUBADE
3
"What's past is past," e.g. : TRUISM
4
Giant competitor : PADRE
5
Last name of cosmetics giant Mary Kay : ASH
6
"See ya" : CIAO
7
Bad way to go : KABLOOEY
8
Buffalo's home: Abbr. : NYS
9
Has-___ : BEEN
10
Source of stone used to build the ancient Egyptian pyramids : ASWAN
11
Flag-waving and such : JINGOISM
12
Musical "girl who cain't say no" : ADOANNIE
13
Joe known as "The Comeback Kid" : MONTANA
15
Cause of bad dreams, in modern lingo : NIGHTMAREFUEL
21
Follower of bon or mon : AMI
24
Show immediately preceding another : LEADIN
26
Scuffle : SCRAPE
30
For adults only : XRATED
31
Special-education challenge : AUTISM
33
Bottom line? : HEM
35
Tom Sawyer's half brother : SID
36
Request for food delivery : ORDEROUT
37
Someone who's pretty darn good : NOSLOUCH
38
It could be on the tip of your tongue : TASTEBUD
39
___ rap : GANGSTA
43
More, in México : MAS
44
O.C.D. fighter, maybe : PROZAC
45
Put forth : ASSERT
46
Enamors : CHARMS
48
Small slip : LAPSE
51
"___ done now?" : AREWE
53
Superbright : NEON
55
"The Wizard of Oz" farmhand : ZEKE
58
Helicases split it : DNA
60
Court divider : NET

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?