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

New York Times, Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Author: Bryant White
Editor: Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
406/1/19915/2/20180
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
500151118
ScrabRebusCirclePangramPre‑WS
1.5451211
Bryant White

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 42 Missing: {QX} This is puzzle # 40 for Mr. White. 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!

Bryant White notes: After hurrying downstairs one day, I stubbed my toe — the resulting pain soared up my leg, roller-coastered around my ... more
Bryant White notes:

After hurrying downstairs one day, I stubbed my toe — the resulting pain soared up my leg, roller-coastered around my innards and finally skyrocketed through my head where it exploded like fireworks into the idea for this puzzle's theme. From pain to eventual pleasure in one not-so-easy step. Normally, I remain stationary and try to think outside the box when considering most themes.

It's been a couple of decades since the NYT published my last puzzle — I was a semi-regular contributor for both the NYT and Simon & Schuster throughout the 1990s and late ‘80s (back, it seems, when dirt was just invented) before stopping to pursue other hobbies. Recently, I've taken up both writing and cartooning, and have published two e-books apiece in both genres. The lure of crafting crosswords, however, still sings to me with its siren-sweet voice, so I've been making puzzles in bunches as of late between other projects. Unfortunately, I've been amassing numerous rejections. I might have to try the ‘hurry-down-the-stairs' trick again.

Jeff Chen notes: I loved this concept. There's something so evocative about the HIDDEN STAIRCASE wending its way down from the TROPHY ROOM to the WINE ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

I loved this concept. There's something so evocative about the HIDDEN STAIRCASE wending its way down from the TROPHY ROOM to the WINE CELLAR. Secret entrances and passageways, opened by pulling a WALL SCONCE or pushing a FALSE PANEL – fodder for many a fantastic novel!

Usually, I find it problematic when a grid gets segmented up, messing with my solving feng shui. But in this case, I didn't mind that the center is so choked off. In fact, it's a bonus, considering the theme of narrow, twisty passageways! Bravo, sir.

I wasn't sure why a TROPHY ROOM would be the start point, or the WINE CELLAR the end. But I enjoyed the Masonic cabal feel that I overlooked this.

What I couldn't overlook though, was issues with the execution. I enjoyed the Poe-esque conceit so much that I so badly wanted to give it the POW! Couldn't do it, though.

First, HIDEAWAY / HIDDEN STAIRCASE is duplicative. Then CASE / BOOKCASE too? I could see it if the BOOKCASE was the thing that was pushed back to open up the HIDDEN STAIRCASE! How awesome would that have been? So much more apt than a FALSE PANEL.

Sadly, that wouldn't have worked, since the BOOKCASE wants to be on top, but the CASE part of the HIDDEN STAIRCASE wants to be on the bottom. So in that CASE, I'd have much preferred the CASE of BOOKCASE to be more well-hidden.

CASE closed?

Nope. Bryant had to close off his middle so much, that the rest of the puzzle was forced to contain huge wide-open spaces. In the NE alone, see DRAYS, LDS, and the Maleskan ONER. That last one is nearly a puzzle-killer to me.

I think changing to shorter theme bonuses — from BOOKCASE to BOOK, e.g., would have helped.

Overall, fantastic idea. Stupendous. Too many execution problems, though.

1
J
2
A
3
V
4
A
5
S
6
A
7
T
8
S
9
F
10
E
11
D
12
O
V
I
D
13
T
U
R
N
14
S
15
F
A
I
R
16
L
E
N
A
17
A
E
I
O
U
18
A
L
G
A
19
T
R
O
P
20
H
Y
R
O
O
M
21
A
S
H
Y
22
T
I
E
23
S
T
A
24
B
25
E
T
S
26
P
27
A
28
W
29
D
D
30
E
31
C
O
32
O
P
S
33
A
D
A
34
T
E
35
N
36
A
37
P
38
O
N
A
I
39
R
40
P
O
L
K
A
41
S
T
A
42
K
E
N
D
O
43
A
L
L
O
W
44
E
L
I
45
C
R
E
E
D
46
E
S
S
A
47
Y
48
R
49
C
A
50
L
D
S
51
E
S
C
52
Y
O
53
G
54
A
55
A
S
56
P
57
E
C
O
58
N
59
W
I
N
60
E
C
E
L
61
L
62
A
63
R
64
R
E
N
O
65
L
A
T
C
H
66
A
I
D
E
67
I
N
C
H
68
S
N
O
R
E
69
N
A
Z
I
70
E
T
E
71
T
N
U
T
72
T
M
E
N
© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0502 ( 25,012 )
Across Down
1. Christmas Island's closest neighbor : JAVA
5. Rites of passage for college-bound students : SATS
9. "The X-Files" extra : FED
12. "Metamorphoses" poet : OVID
13. Throws of the dice, maybe : TURNS
15. Within bounds : FAIR
16. ___ the Hyena of old comics : LENA
17. Key parts of a so-called supervocalic word : AEIOU
18. Seaweed, e.g. : ALGA
19. Where gold and silver cups may be displayed : TROPHYROOM
21. Like a hearth : ASHY
22. Word with twist and neck : TIE
23. Impale : STAB
25. "The X-Files" extras, for short : ETS
26. Foot with claws : PAW
29. W.W. II inits. : DDE
31. Fowl places : COOPS
33. "... ___ which will live in infamy" : ADATE
35. Snooze : NAP
38. Broadcasting live : ONAIR
40. Dance often accompanied by an accordion : POLKA
41. Railroad terminus: Abbr. : STA
42. Martial art with bamboo swords : KENDO
43. Green-light : ALLOW
44. Automotive pioneer Ransom ___ Olds : ELI
45. Guiding set of principles : CREED
46. Try : ESSAY
48. Nipper's co. : RCA
50. Mormon grp. : LDS
51. Corner keyboard key : ESC
52. Meditative practice : YOGA
55. Hieroglyphic figure : ASP
57. Nobel Prize subj. : ECON
59. Temperature- and humidity-controlled place : WINECELLAR
64. City near the California/Nevada border : RENO
65. Gate feature : LATCH
66. Number two : AIDE
67. Creep (along) : INCH
68. Elicit a slug with a pillow, maybe : SNORE
69. Extra in "The Producers" : NAZI
70. Good time for un pique-nique : ETE
71. Fastener with a flange : TNUT
72. Tax evasion investigators, quaintly : TMEN
1. What a double shot of caffeine provides : JOLT
2. State : AVER
3. Chianti or Asti Spumante : VINO
4. Not be a dinosaur : ADAPT
5. Didn't leave : STAYED
6. Violinist Leopold : AUER
7. Quartets after some infighting? : TRIOS
8. High-and-mighty sort : SNOOT
9. Something you might secretly push in a 24-Down : FALSEPANEL
10. Octagonal : EIGHTSIDED
11. Heavy carts : DRAYS
14. Poison ___ : SUMAC
15. Branch of the Dept. of Transportation : FAA
20. Secret spot : HIDEAWAY
24. Where you might adjust the volume? : BOOKCASE
26. Family nickname : PAPA
27. Teen, e.g. : ADOLESCENT
28. Something you might secretly push in a 19-Across : WALLSCONCE
30. Start of Massachusetts' state motto : ENSE
32. Extraordinary thing, in slang : ONER
34. Some ring decisions : TKOS
36. CNN's home: Abbr. : ATL
37. Glove purchase : PAIR
39. Subjects of meltdowns : RODS
47. Some caterwauling : YOWLS
49. Prestige : CACHET
51. Spooky : EERIE
53. "Fee, fi, fo, fum" speaker in a fairy tale : GIANT
54. Author Chekhov : ANTON
56. Purposely placed evidence : PLANT
58. Japanese drama : NOH
60. Khaki-like color : ECRU
61. One of Hollywood's Hemsworths : LIAM
62. Shaping tool : ADZE
63. Control, with "in" : REIN

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

Found bugs or have suggestions?