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, Safari, Firefox, or Edge for best results.

New York Times, Saturday, May 17, 2014

Author:
Brad Wilber
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
522/19/20056/10/201925
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
011201434
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.60001
Brad Wilber

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 68, Blocks: 32 Missing: {HJQXZ} This is puzzle # 38 for Mr. Wilber. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Brad Wilber notes:
Last summer I did a few grids like this, with the 11-13-11 horizontal stack in the middle, and I was lucky enough to get them all ... read more

Last summer I did a few grids like this, with the 11-13-11 horizontal stack in the middle, and I was lucky enough to get them all accepted in various venues. This one is the only one where I was able to preserve the 12-letter down entries crossing the central stack — at least with 12-letter phrases I found interesting. I was happy to find a cool factual clue for 32A, and a new one for 56A. I'm perhaps more known for well-turned trivia-based clues than for sly wordplay, but hopefully the one at 32D comes off!

Jeff Chen notes:
Loved this one; right in my personal wheelhouse. A pinch of culture, a dash of history, add some devilishly clever clues, finish it ... read more

Loved this one; right in my personal wheelhouse. A pinch of culture, a dash of history, add some devilishly clever clues, finish it off with one of my personal heroes, BRUCE LEE, and you have a Jeff Chen special. I'd make a Kato / POW! joke here but that would be just too easy.

Brad, who is soon taking over the helm at the Chronicle of Higher Education's crossword, is as exacting and detailed with today's puzzle as ever. The construction itself is quite nice, with an artist I didn't know but should have, PAOLO VERONESE, straight across the middle. That's flanked by CAMEL CAVALRY, an awesome term in itself, and CAMERA TRIPOD, an already good entry made even better by the misdirectional [Stand for a photo]. I considered answers to the effect of STRIKE A POSE and PUT ON UGLY SWEATERS TO TAKE A FAMILY PHOTO AT JC PENNEY before getting it. Lovely that it didn't even need the telltale question mark, which would have given away some of the cleverness.

This type of arrangement, with central marquee answers (an 11-13-11 with two crossing 12's!), can often mean that the corners of the puzzle suffer. Not today. I absolutely love the NE corner, with the aforementioned BRUCE LEE next to BUGBEARS and SNEER AT. Reminds me of the way BRUCE LEE used to SNEER AT opponents before beating the living *@#$@#& out of them.

Once in a while, I tremble at Brad's byline, because I know there will be an entry or two that I don't know, or a piece of trivia that I just can't get without figuring out every cross. But today I really enjoyed working to pull out the pirate LAFITTE from my cobwebs, and actually being able to work out the beautiful LUCK BE A LADY from the clue. Sometimes the puzzle gets you, but today, I got the puzzle. Neat feeling.

There are few bits that I didn't care for, OREM and OTB always make me shrug, for example. But other that than, Brad keeps the grid amazingly clean. I wonder if people will gripe about FTLBS, but for me, I really liked it. Granted, I'm an engineer by education and it was a very common sight when I was practicing. And no one would ever write it out as "foot pounds" (we engineers like our efficiency). A rare example where I like the abbreviation much better than the full answer in a crossword grid.

Finally, [Group living at zero latitude?]. Beautiful. I knew something fishy was going on, what with the question mark, but what a clever repurposing of "latitude," nothing to do with geographic position but everything to do with level of strictness. Bravo!

Jim Horne notes:

The largest painting in the Louvre (32-A) is The Wedding at Cana.

1
F
2
A
3
S
4
T
5
P
6
A
7
C
8
E
9
W
10
E
11
B
12
B
13
S
14
A
U
T
O
L
O
A
N
15
S
A
T
U
R
N
16
U
P
I
N
A
R
M
S
17
P
R
A
G
U
E
18
L
A
F
I
T
T
E
19
C
R
Y
20
B
C
E
21
T
I
L
T
22
A
L
23
M
A
Y
24
D
E
E
R
25
R
E
E
26
F
27
C
O
M
28
K
O
A
L
A
29
T
30
R
A
D
E
31
S
E
C
R
E
T
32
P
33
A
34
O
L
O
V
E
R
O
N
E
S
E
35
L
U
C
K
B
E
A
L
A
D
Y
36
A
R
E
A
S
37
L
E
T
38
A
39
D
40
A
41
M
42
W
I
R
Y
43
D
R
D
R
44
E
45
O
R
E
46
M
47
O
T
B
48
B
A
Y
49
I
M
50
P
L
O
R
E
51
M
A
I
52
T
A
I
53
A
P
P
L
A
U
S
E
54
A
N
T
O
N
S
55
G
O
T
U
P
S
E
T
56
N
S
Y
N
C
57
O
D
Y
S
S
E
Y
S
© 2014, The New York TimesNo. 0517 ( 23,566 )
Across
1
Gallop : FASTPACE
9
"Our Town" family : WEBBS
14
Three- to six-year financial commitment, usually : AUTOLOAN
15
Eponym for a day of the week : SATURN
16
Livid : UPINARMS
17
Where Mozart's "Don Giovanni" premiered : PRAGUE
18
Infamous settler on Galveston Island, 1817 : LAFITTE
19
Fail at stoicism, say : CRY
20
Dating inits. : BCE
21
Result of pushing too hard? : TILT
22
Revlon brand : ALMAY
24
Road sign silhouette : DEER
25
Natural barrier : REEF
27
Domain name element : COM
28
Tree-dweller that sleeps 20 or so hours a day : KOALA
29
Recipe for KFC chicken, e.g. : TRADESECRET
32
Italian artist with the largest painting in the Louvre : PAOLOVERONESE
35
"Guys and Dolls" number that ends with the rolling of dice : LUCKBEALADY
36
Gray ones spark debate : AREAS
37
Umpire's call : LET
38
"Bonanza" brother : ADAM
42
Like poodle hair : WIRY
43
"The Marshall Mathers LP" co-producer : DRDRE
45
Home of Utah Valley University : OREM
47
Parlor with simulcasts, briefly : OTB
48
Seabiscuit, notably : BAY
49
Urge : IMPLORE
51
Cousin of a zombie : MAITAI
53
It's often canned : APPLAUSE
54
Composers Bruckner and Webern : ANTONS
55
Couldn't keep cool : GOTUPSET
56
Anthem singers at the closing ceremony of the Salt Lake City Olympics : NSYNC
57
Lengthy undertakings : ODYSSEYS
Down
1
Denali National Park sits on one : FAULT
2
One who puts others to sleep? : AUPAIR
3
Suppress : STIFLE
4
Show time, in some ads : TONITE
5
___ du jour : PLAT
6
Trunk line : AORTA
7
Once-common desert fighting force : CAMELCAVALRY
8
There are three in an inning : ENS
9
Not easily taken : WARY
10
Air ticket info : ETA
11
Sources of chronic annoyance : BUGBEARS
12
Many watch his movies for kicks : BRUCELEE
13
Run down : SNEERAT
15
Quick : SPRY
19
Stand for a photo : CAMERATRIPOD
23
Posed : MODELED
24
Number of signos del zodiaco : DOCE
26
Ballistics test units: Abbr. : FTLBS
28
Country whose currency is the shilling : KENYA
30
Tommy of 1960s pop : ROE
31
Stuff sold in rolls : SOD
32
Group living at zero latitude? : PURITANS
33
Tartness : ACERBITY
34
Allow : OKAY
35
Classic Doors song in which Jim Morrison refers to himself anagrammatically as "Mr. Mojo Risin'" : LAWOMAN
39
Exercise in a pool, say : DOLAPS
40
Kindle : AROUSE
41
River crossed by a ferry in a 1965 top 10 hit : MERSEY
43
Recitation station : DAIS
44
It's dangerous to run on : EMPTY
46
Touches : MEETS
48
French seat : BANC
50
"As if that weren't enough ..." : PLUS
52
Slew : TON
53
Opposite of hence : AGO

Answer summary: 7 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?