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

New York Times, Monday, April 14, 2014

Author: Gareth Bain
Editor: Will Shortz
Gareth Bain
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
144/6/20119/18/20152
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0334112
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.58210

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 34 Missing: {JKQVZ} Spans: 3 This is puzzle # 10 for Mr. Bain. NYT links: Across Lite PDF

Support XWord Info

Donation Amount

XWord Info is only possible when people like you choose to support it through donations.

Donate to get access to XWord Info for a year.

Benefits vary by donation level. Thank you!

Gareth Bain notes: This crossword is one of those cases where Will kind of deserves co-authorship. The original puzzle I sent to him featured a 16x15 ... more
Gareth Bain notes: This crossword is one of those cases where Will kind of deserves co-authorship. The original puzzle I sent to him featured a 16x15 grid that featured THEYREWATCHINGUS in the centre. I battled to find a 15-letter THEYRE answer to balance the other two themers... Will liked the concept, and casually suggested I used THEYREGRRRRREAT and slot it in as the final answer. Such an elegant answer — why didn't think of that!? This theme is born out of exasperation with Internet commenters' poor grammar.
Jeff Chen notes: Super-clean start to the week from a highly experienced constructor and reviewer over at Crossword Fiend. Today's theme uses three ... more
Jeff Chen notes: Super-clean start to the week from a highly experienced constructor and reviewer over at Crossword Fiend. Today's theme uses three grid-spanning entries, the three homonyms THERE, THEIR, and THEY'RE. Not a ground-breaking theme, but certainly workable for a Monday.

What I appreciated most about this puzzle was its high level of smoothosity. Normally we see at least a little OLEO, some entry rarely (or never) used outside the world of crosswords. Gareth works over his grid with obvious care, allowing me to sail right through the puzzle. Nice stuff, excellent workmanship.

With only three themers, it's extremely important to choose them wisely. When there are five themers, if one misses or falls a little short, an 80% hit rate isn't bad. But with only three, a miss on one means a dismal 67%. So I was glad to see these three sparkly phrases, each of which I really appreciated. It would have been perfect (GRRRRREAT, should I say?) if the third had been another political line, for consistency's sake. But I can't think of another right off the bat, at least not one so iconic as the first two.

Given the light theme density, I would have liked to have seen more long fill out of this grid. ST LUCIA and AGE GAPS add some zest, along with FOODIE and PAYOLA, but there's not much else to pep up the puzzle. Having a few eight-letter (or longer) entries would have been really nice — removing one pair of black squares (or moving one set) to create a pair of long downs could have given the puzzle more pizzazz. But it's quite possible that doing this might eat away at the smooth factor, and I wouldn't want that. Always the trade-offs.

Overall, I enjoy seeing the variety even within Monday NYT puzzles. I could imagine giving this one to a beginner friend, in hopes of him/her finishing — a doable first puzzle for someone (aside from perhaps the AGRA/ST LUCIA crossing, which I think is fair but possibly hard for beginners). That's important in my opinion, as I believe drawing in new solvers is critical for the NYT crossword to survive and thrive. This puzzle likely will fall short for more experienced solvers whose expectations are higher, but the good thing about a daily puzzle is that over the course of a month or even a week, there will usually something for everyone.

1
A
2
D
3
A
4
M
5
P
6
A
7
I
8
L
9
G
10
L
11
O
12
O
13
M
14
N
A
S
A
15
A
L
O
U
16
R
U
M
B
A
17
T
H
E
R
18
E
Y
O
U
G
19
O
A
G
A
I
N
20
E
L
A
T
I
O
N
21
E
X
P
E
N
S
E
22
S
L
E
23
W
24
E
E
R
25
M
26
A
27
R
28
I
N
A
29
R
30
A
Y
S
31
M
32
A
33
P
34
O
B
E
S
E
35
W
O
R
E
36
C
O
M
A
37
T
H
E
I
R
38
F
I
N
E
S
39
T
H
O
U
R
40
T
O
S
S
41
O
L
G
A
42
R
I
N
S
E
43
O
R
E
44
D
O
T
E
45
L
A
P
S
E
D
46
B
E
D
47
D
48
E
E
D
49
S
50
T
51
L
U
C
I
52
A
53
A
G
E
54
G
55
A
56
P
57
S
58
T
H
E
Y
R
E
G
59
R
R
R
R
R
E
A
T
60
A
R
N
I
E
61
R
I
T
E
62
E
R
I
E
63
B
O
O
N
E
64
A
C
H
E
65
W
O
R
M
© 2014, The New York TimesNo. 0414 ( 23,533 )
Across Down
1. Eve's mate : ADAM
5. Bucket : PAIL
9. Atmosphere of despondency : GLOOM
14. Launcher of the Curiosity rover : NASA
15. Major League Baseball family name : ALOU
16. Cuban dance : RUMBA
17. Famous debate words from Reagan to Carter : THEREYOUGOAGAIN
20. Extreme happiness : ELATION
21. Money outlay : EXPENSE
22. Boatload : SLEW
24. Always, in poetry : EER
25. Yacht club locale : MARINA
29. Sunbeams : RAYS
31. Cartographer's drawing : MAP
34. Not just overweight : OBESE
35. Sported, as a sports jacket : WORE
36. Unconscious state : COMA
37. Churchill's description of the Royal Air Force during W.W. II : THEIRFINESTHOUR
40. Deep-six : TOSS
41. ___ Korbut, 1972 Olympic gymnastics star : OLGA
42. Cycle after wash : RINSE
43. Mined metal : ORE
44. Lavish affection (on) : DOTE
45. Expired : LAPSED
46. Mattress site : BED
47. Homeowner's proof : DEED
49. Caribbean island nation south of Martinique : STLUCIA
53. May-December romance features : AGEGAPS
58. Endorsement from Tony the Tiger : THEYREGRRRRREAT
60. Golfer Palmer, to his "army" : ARNIE
61. ___ of passage : RITE
62. Canal of song : ERIE
63. "April Love" singer Pat : BOONE
64. Yearn (for) : ACHE
65. Wriggling bait : WORM
1. Pay to play, as poker : ANTE
2. Roald who wrote "James and the Giant Peach" : DAHL
3. Sailing : ASEA
4. Feature of many a gas station nowadays : MART
5. D.J.'s bribe : PAYOLA
6. "Home ___" (Macaulay Culkin film) : ALONE
7. Gambler's note : IOU
8. Olympic sled : LUGE
9. Vine fruits : GRAPES
10. German pistol : LUGER
11. Gulf country : OMAN
12. Geishas' sashes : OBIS
13. What a lion has that a lioness lacks : MANE
18. Former Disney chief Michael : EISNER
19. Some daisies : OXEYES
23. Treated badly : WRONGED
25. "Semper Fidelis," for the U.S. Marines : MOTTO
26. Hate, hate, hate : ABHOR
27. Witherspoon of "Legally Blonde" : REESE
28. Sister and wife of Osiris : ISIS
30. Square footage : AREA
31. Mars's Phobos and Deimos : MOONS
32. Tickle : AMUSE
33. Used a peeler on : PARED
35. Droop, as flowers : WILT
36. Word with potato or chocolate : CHIP
38. Gourmet : FOODIE
39. Wall Street worker : TRADER
44. Official proclamation : DECREE
45. Simon of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" : LEGREE
46. Pay to play, as poker : BUYIN
48. Third rock from the sun : EARTH
49. Assault with a knife : STAB
50. "Comin' ___ the Rye" : THRO
51. Recently retired Jay : LENO
52. Site of the Taj Mahal : AGRA
54. Got bigger : GREW
55. Prefix with dynamic : AERO
56. Low poker holding : PAIR
57. Bloom's support : STEM
59. Ocasek of the Cars : RIC

Answer summary: 1 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?