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

New York Times, Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Author: Tom McCoy
Editor: Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
3011/14/201311/19/20170
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
15815100
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.61351
Tom McCoy

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 16 Words: 77, Blocks: 34 Missing: {BQVXZ} This is puzzle # 19 for Mr. McCoy. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Tom McCoy notes: For most puzzles, one of the most time-consuming components is scouring word databases (both online and mental) to find a symmetric set of ... more
Tom McCoy notes:

For most puzzles, one of the most time-consuming components is scouring word databases (both online and mental) to find a symmetric set of theme entries. For this puzzle, though, I got very lucky: The first three scoring terms I thought of were TOUCHDOWN, GRANDSLAM, and HATTRICK, and it was quick work to look up a 1-point play from basketball, which immediately gave me a set of 4 themers that added to 14 and that spanned (what I think are) the most widely-watched sports in the US.

Jeff Chen notes: Fun concept, Wilson's FOURTEEN POINTS (a statement of principles to be used post WWI) summed up by a GRAND SLAM (4), HAT TRICK (3), FOUL SHOT ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Fun concept, Wilson's FOURTEEN POINTS (a statement of principles to be used post WWI) summed up by a GRAND SLAM (4), HAT TRICK (3), FOUL SHOT (1), and a TOUCHDOWN (6, without extra point). I like that Tom chose scoring plays from each of the four major North American sports (sorry, soccer fans!).

Apparently this Moai's "hat" is made of SCORIA

It did feel odd to call a GRAND SLAM worth four "points," though. Same goes for a hockey HAT TRICK. Runs and goals, not points?

And a pox on the God of crossword symmetry, making FREE THROW unusable with the other themers. FOUL SHOT is so much less frequently used in real life, yeah?

I like how Tom always pushes himself, working to incorporate quite a bit of bonus long fill. It's normal to get a little TEA HOUSE and GOOD TO GO action in the long downs, but to work in nice big corners in the upper left and lower right is much appreciated. To get WEREWOLF, ORATORIO, IWO JIMA, and WASH ME, all for the price of DCI is well worth it.

There were a few ODD ONEs, though. NONSELF seems to be mostly employed in religious studies or biology? And SCORIA hasn't been used since the Maleska days. Ultimately, I think it's fine, but crossing it with two entries that felt not quite right--ODDONE (I so badly wanted ODDITY) and OIL CUP (OIL PAN perhaps?)--may cause some grumbling.

And for a puzzle depending on numbers to add up to 14, having TWOS and ONEPART in the grid felt inelegant. The latter has only been used a handful of times in the NYT crossword, and it strikes me as slightly partialish. Tough call.

Tom always does a nice job keeping his grids clean, and I like his ingenuity in making AERO seem actually fine, with a physics-ish clue. And WACO gets a nice piece of trivia that will appeal to Dr. Pepper drinkers. Just a bit of TOI and ETA and RATA kind of minor glue, otherwise.

Neat concept with a couple of aspects that made me hitch.

1
T
2
W
3
O
4
S
5
W
6
A
7
C
8
O
9
G
10
H
11
O
12
S
13
T
14
S
15
A
E
R
O
16
A
F
R
O
17
O
I
L
C
U
P
18
G
R
A
N
19
D
S
L
A
M
20
O
D
D
O
N
E
21
G
E
T
22
C
H
O
M
P
23
E
D
24
E
R
I
C
25
I
W
O
26
J
I
M
A
27
H
A
T
28
T
R
I
C
K
29
N
O
R
A
30
E
T
31
A
32
T
O
I
33
A
S
S
34
G
L
I
N
35
T
36
R
37
O
U
G
E
38
S
39
F
O
U
R
40
T
41
E
E
N
P
O
I
N
42
T
43
S
44
S
E
E
N
A
T
45
N
O
R
A
46
D
47
A
48
R
49
C
50
E
A
R
51
O
52
O
53
F
54
W
I
L
E
55
F
O
U
56
L
S
H
O
57
T
58
N
O
59
N
S
E
L
F
60
R
A
T
A
61
O
N
E
62
P
A
R
T
63
D
O
E
64
A
R
E
Y
65
O
U
66
T
O
U
C
H
67
D
O
W
N
68
M
I
S
E
R
S
69
R
O
T
E
70
R
U
E
S
71
E
N
T
R
E
E
72
A
R
O
D
73
E
T
R
E
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0420 ( 24,270 )
Across Down
1. Uncommon bills : TWOS
5. Texas city where Dr Pepper was created : WACO
9. Wraiths : GHOSTS
15. Reducing wind resistance : AERO
16. Hairstyle maintained with a pick : AFRO
17. Receptacle in a machine : OILCUP
18. Baseball scoring play : GRANDSLAM
20. Rara avis : ODDONE
21. Understand : GET
22. Munched (on) : CHOMPED
24. "Layla" musician Clapton : ERIC
25. Site of an iconic war photo : IWOJIMA
27. Hockey scoring play : HATTRICK
29. Ephron who wrote "When Harry Met Sally" : NORA
30. Moment to come, briefly : ETA
32. French pronoun : TOI
33. Onager, for one : ASS
34. Catch the light : GLINT
36. Makes red in the face : ROUGES
39. Proposal of Woodrow Wilson ... or what the scoring values of 18-, 27-, 55- and 66-Across total : FOURTEENPOINTS
44. Spotted attending : SEENAT
45. Santa-tracking org. : NORAD
47. Multi-episode story line : ARC
50. Canal zone? : EAR
51. Grunt upon hoisting something heavy : OOF
54. ___ E. Coyote : WILE
55. Basketball scoring play : FOULSHOT
58. Material that is foreign to the body : NONSELF
60. Pro ___ : RATA
61. Cocktail recipe phrase : ONEPART
63. A deer, a female deer : DOE
64. Question in response to "I am" : AREYOU
66. Football scoring play : TOUCHDOWN
68. Real keepers? : MISERS
69. Mechanical repetition : ROTE
70. Laments : RUES
71. Main course : ENTREE
72. Yankee nickname beginning in 2004 : AROD
73. Raison d'___ : ETRE
1. Identifying, on Facebook : TAGGING
2. Lycanthrope : WEREWOLF
3. Handel's "Messiah," for one : ORATORIO
4. Male delivery : SON
5. Words finger-drawn on a dirty car : WASHME
6. Not sinking : AFLOAT
7. Study all night, say : CRAM
8. Vigor : OOMPH
9. All set : GOODTOGO
10. Concealed : HID
11. Word at the bottom of a blog page : OLDER
12. Dark volcanic rock : SCORIA
13. Loose garb in ancient Rome : TUNICS
14. Little bits : SPECKS
19. Cicero's 601 : DCI
23. Readily accept : EATUP
26. Two-faced Roman god : JANUS
28. Many a Happy Meal toy : TIEIN
31. Neck of the woods : AREA
35. Golf course obstacles : TREES
37. Aware of : ONTO
38. Persuades in a deceitful way : SNOWS
40. Place to chat over a hot drink : TEAHOUSE
41. Name in a 2002 scandal : ENRON
42. Auditioned : TRIEDOUT
43. More pallid : SALLOWER
46. Chant at a basketball game : DEFENSE
47. Structure that's roughly a triangular prism : AFRAME
48. Enter with much commotion : ROARIN
49. Most adorable : CUTEST
52. Proceeding unthinkingly : ONAUTO
53. Like some smiles and humor : FORCED
56. Mantle or crust : LAYER
57. Aquarium fish : TETRA
59. Last in a series : NTH
62. D-worthy : POOR
65. Bauxite, for aluminum : ORE
67. Beats by ___ (audio brand) : DRE

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 4 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?