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, April 12, 2019

Author:
Howard Barkin
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
87/23/20144/12/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1202111
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.64100
Howard Barkin

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 29 Missing: {JQVZ} This is puzzle # 8 for Mr. Barkin. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Howard Barkin notes:
This is a rare attempt for me at a freestyle, unthemed puzzle. Unlike some of these, this one did not have one 'seed' answer that ... read more

This is a rare attempt for me at a freestyle, unthemed puzzle. Unlike some of these, this one did not have one "seed" answer that started the grid. Instead, I tried just free-associating some creative ideas for the longer answers, then built organically (is that the right word?) from there; my goal was to build around each of the longest answers so that the smaller words (4-6 letters) would also be interesting. I'm not sure how it will play out, but the main goal was to keep it light and fun.

Translation - I don't really know to make themelesses well yet. I wanted to push myself to try something new.

Enjoy!

Jeff Chen notes:
Breath of fresh air to hear Howard's approach. 'What was your seed entry' is the question I get asked most often about my themelesses, ... read more

Breath of fresh air to hear Howard's approach. "What was your seed entry" is the question I get asked most often about my themelesses, and I can almost always recall the seed immediately. I can't even imagine how Howard used this freewheeling style – maybe it's like when people tell you to "be the ball" in baseball or golf (and you nod politely and then strain as if you were pooping so that you look like you're working hard at following their unintelligible instructions.)

He ended up with some great long fill, EXTRA CRISPY (yum!) crossing I HATE TO ASK … the highlights for me. I'd happy seed a themeless with either. STREET FOOD was a treat too – I'm a huge fan of bars that have rotating food trucks outside.

There were a lot of single-word entries, which often don't get much love from editors – it's so much easier to inject bursts of color using multi-word answers. Things like OBSESSES and RESORTS aren't often going to do much for the quality of a solve unless there's a wickedly clever clue that accompanies them.

But what a fun fact about CHIPOTLE peppers. I had no idea that one of my favorite tastes originates from a smoked jalapeno.

One with many hairy legs? Come on, we all thought of Europe, didn't we? Zing! Not that there's anything wrong with that! Okay, it's the TARANTULA. (Excuse me as I shudder – tarantulas are creepy.)

And it's not always the case that multi-word entries are more colorful than single-worders. I'd take SHOWPIECE any day over AT THE MOMENT.

A couple of clues elevated the solving experience. Best one was "19th-century author whose works are still read word for word." As in ROGET's Thesaurus! I'm not entirely sure if that means his editions have never been updated, or there's clever wordplay about words being substituted for synonymous words. But either way, I like it.

Overall, a bit more crossword glue than I like in a 72-worder – ANAS BAHN ILES RNS – and not as much color. But still, a good effort.

1
O
2
B
3
S
4
E
5
S
6
S
7
E
8
S
9
B
10
A
11
S
12
I
13
N
14
G
15
R
A
P
S
H
E
E
T
16
Y
O
O
H
O
O
17
C
H
I
P
O
T
L
E
18
O
R
N
A
T
E
19
A
N
T
20
W
A
S
P
21
S
22
T
O
T
E
S
23
O
P
T
24
M
C
25
C
A
F
E
26
M
27
E
28
S
S
I
29
B
O
H
O
30
A
T
31
M
32
S
33
A
T
T
H
E
34
M
O
M
E
N
35
T
36
O
O
H
37
C
U
R
A
C
A
O
38
M
I
A
39
S
A
R
A
40
A
D
E
41
E
X
T
42
R
A
C
R
I
S
P
Y
43
W
E
E
44
P
45
I
L
E
S
46
A
N
K
H
S
47
T
H
48
A
M
E
S
49
R
N
S
50
F
51
I
F
E
D
52
G
O
53
D
O
T
54
L
55
A
56
S
57
R
O
O
N
E
58
Y
59
R
O
G
U
60
E
O
N
E
61
O
T
O
O
L
E
62
T
H
E
L
O
R
A
X
63
M
A
D
M
E
N
64
S
A
T
A
N
I
S
T
© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 0412 ( 25,357 )
Across
1
Hangs onto something : OBSESSES
9
Establishing : BASING
15
Bad record : RAPSHEET
16
"Hello-o-o-o!" : YOOHOO
17
Jalapeño, after smoking : CHIPOTLE
18
Like Art Nouveau : ORNATE
19
Aesop's "The ___ and the Grasshopper" : ANT
20
Upper-crust sorts, stereotypically : WASPS
22
Utterly, in modern slang : TOTES
23
Elect : OPT
24
Starbucks competitor : MCCAFE
26
Soccer superstar Lionel : MESSI
29
___-chic : BOHO
30
They're loaded with cash : ATMS
33
Currently : ATTHEMOMENT
36
"I'm in awe" : OOH
37
Fruity liqueur : CURACAO
38
"Ferris Bueller's Day Off" co-star : MIASARA
40
Ending with many fruit names : ADE
41
Fried chicken option : EXTRACRISPY
43
Openly lament : WEEP
45
Composition of Indonésie : ILES
46
Looping symbols of life : ANKHS
47
"Sweet" locale in T. S. Eliot's "The Waste Land" : THAMES
49
Pro caregivers, for short : RNS
50
Led a parade, musically : FIFED
52
Title character not requiring an actor : GODOT
54
Start of many Southwest place names : LAS
57
Wayne of soccer fame : ROONEY
59
2016 prequel that earned more than a billion dollars at the box office : ROGUEONE
61
Lawrence of Arabia portrayer : OTOOLE
62
Classic book that begins "At the far end of town where the Grickle-grass grows ..." : THELORAX
63
Show that won the Outstanding Drama Emmy for each of its first four seasons : MADMEN
64
Worshiper with an inverted pentagram, maybe : SATANIST
Down
1
Sight on an Alaskan cruise : ORCA
2
German route : BAHN
3
Small peninsula : SPIT
4
Rafael Nadal's home, in Olympics shorthand : ESP
5
Exhibition highlight : SHOWPIECE
6
Adjust to, as on a thermostat : SETAT
7
Some bottom-dwellers : EELS
8
Part of a blended family : STEPMOM
9
Invitation qualification : BYO
10
Major vessel : AORTA
11
Cousin of "Gosh darn it!" : SONOFA
12
"Forgive the question ..." : IHATETOASK
13
C or D : NOTE
14
Splits : GOES
21
Outlines : SCHEMAS
23
Agcy. headed by a deputy asst. secretary of labor : OSHA
25
Like Bugles snacks : CONIC
26
Colorful parrot : MACAW
27
Piece played in a conservatory : ETUDE
28
Cart fare : STREETFOOD
29
Pirated, in a way : BOOTLEG
31
Transform : MORPH
32
Rebellion leader of 1786 : SHAYS
34
"Haste makes waste," e.g. : MAXIM
35
One with hairy legs : TARANTULA
39
Reasons to say "I'm sorry" : SINS
42
Many honeymoon locales : RESORTS
44
Whiz : PHENOM
48
"Send My Love" singer, 2016 : ADELE
49
19th-century author whose works are still read word for word : ROGET
50
Email line : FROM
51
"Not one ___!" : IOTA
53
Site of the 2022 World Cup : DOHA
54
Rick's wife on "The Walking Dead" : LORI
55
Santa ___ (some winds) : ANAS
56
Barely communicate? : SEXT
58
Thirst : YEN
60
Forever, seemingly : EON

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

Found bugs or have suggestions?