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, Thursday, May 22, 2014

Author:
Adam G. Perl
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
3012/28/19984/25/20180
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
18108300
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.50020
Adam G. Perl

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 42 Missing: {JKVZ} Spans: 2 This is puzzle # 23 for Mr. Perl. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Adam G. Perl notes:
The initial inspiration for this puzzle came from 'See Me After Class,' which I transformed into CLASSSEEME, but the 10 letter mate to ... read more

The initial inspiration for this puzzle came from "See Me After Class," which I transformed into CLASSSEEME, but the 10 letter mate to this themed entry proved much more difficult. Initially I had NOONDOGDAY (Dog Day Afternoon), but Will rejected it on the grounds that AFTER was a part of the larger word, Afternoon, while in all the other themes, AFTER was implied as a single word. I spent weeks and weeks trying to come up with a good 10-letter substitute, all of which fell short(z).

In all of the earlier versions of the puzzle, I had the word AFTER at the bottom as a revealer, but Will thought it was unnecessary. I had one version with ten themes, one that was a pangram, but Will kept encouraging me to keep it simple.

I finally had to reluctantly abandon the two 10-letter entries and went to a pair of 15-letter themes instead. I had ANOTHERONETHING (One Thing After Another) but couldn't find a suitable mate until I came up with CIBEFOREEEXCEPT (I Before E Except After C). By this time I had made 18 different versions of the puzzle! I am particularly pleased that Will kept my clue for this last entry, "Rule contradicted by science?"

So when people ask me how long it takes me to make a crossword puzzle, I answer "Anywhere between 45 minutes and three months."

Jeff Chen notes:
Nice theme today, a literal interpretation of phrases with the word 'after' in them. The morning after pill becomes literally PILL ... read more

Nice theme today, a literal interpretation of phrases with the word "after" in them. The morning after pill becomes literally PILL MORNING, one thing after another becomes ANOTHER ONE THING, etc. At first I wondered what these four had in common — there have to be hundreds of "X after Y" phrases out there. But sometimes you just have to turn off your constructor's brain and enjoy the ride. I mean, I BEFORE E EXCEPT AFTER C transmogrified into the crazy looking CIBEFOREEEXCEPT, plus a great clue for it? Excellent.

Unusual placement of themers today, but Adam makes it work pretty well. Typically it's best to spread out themers as much as possible, as having two rows in between themers is much better than one (three is even better, but that usually isn't possible unless you only have three themers). Note how all four of them are crammed together toward the middle, only a single space between adjacent ones. I do like how it presents all the meat in a group, sort of concentrating all your best material into one fell swoop. But it does create some difficulties.

Check out the west and east sections. When you have two grid-spanners so close to each other like this, the west and east sections will be often be constrained enough to cause difficulty. Adam does well to get by with just PARC and RTE. Not shabby at all. I wonder though, if those two glue-y entries could have been reduced by spreading those themers apart, perhaps even switching things so the grid-spanners were in rows 3 and 13. I realize this may come off as nit-picky to some, but in today's world of rapidly increasing crossword quality, I believe many solvers are expecting more and more smoothness from their puzzle.

A huge number of really good clues today, enough that I slowed down my pace to enjoy. [Twenty-one words] for HIT ME (blackjack-related clue), [Starbuck's orderer] having nothing to do with the coffee chain but everything to do with the Moby-Dick characters, even [Make a long story short, perhaps] for EDIT and you have a lot of nice material concentrated up top. I really enjoyed that. And then saving the best for (almost) last, [One acting on impulse?] for AXON — that's the way to make your clues work for you.

So even though I would have liked the themers to be more specific, tying together better somehow, much of the rest of the puzzle stepped up its game to produce a very enjoyable experience for me.

1
Q
2
U
3
I
4
D
5
H
6
I
7
T
8
M
9
E
10
A
11
H
12
A
13
B
14
E
S
S
O
15
O
N
E
A
L
16
C
A
G
E
17
I
S
A
W
18
N
A
N
N
Y
19
E
D
I
T
20
I
R
O
N
21
S
22
L
A
G
23
S
H
O
N
E
24
P
I
25
L
L
M
O
26
R
N
I
N
G
27
P
28
A
29
L
A
T
E
30
A
I
G
31
A
N
O
T
H
E
32
R
33
O
34
N
E
T
H
35
I
36
N
37
G
38
R
T
E
39
U
T
E
40
T
A
U
41
C
I
B
42
E
43
F
44
O
R
E
E
45
E
46
X
47
C
E
P
T
48
D
A
B
49
A
T
O
N
E
S
50
R
51
E
A
D
I
52
N
53
G
54
B
U
R
N
55
H
O
R
S
E
56
O
R
E
57
A
G
58
O
59
N
60
Y
61
A
X
O
N
62
N
O
I
R
63
E
64
A
R
E
A
65
W
I
D
E
66
I
N
F
E
R
67
M
A
I
L
68
N
E
E
R
69
B
E
T
T
E
70
E
L
L
E
© 2014, The New York TimesNo. 0522 ( 23,571 )

Support XWord Info today

Pay now and get access for a year.

1. Select account level
2. Choose how to pay
Across
1
Pound : QUID
5
Twenty-one words : HITME
10
Starbuck's orderer : AHAB
14
Old station name : ESSO
15
Youngest Oscar winner in history : ONEAL
16
Part of a pound : CAGE
17
Caesarean section? : ISAW
18
Billy's mate : NANNY
19
Make a long story short, perhaps : EDIT
20
Brand producers : IRONS
22
Trail : LAG
23
Stood out : SHONE
24
Plan B, e.g. : PILLMORNING
27
Wine taster's asset : PALATE
30
2008 TARP recipient : AIG
31
A seemingly endless series : ANOTHERONETHING
38
One of just 12 in Alaska: Abbr. : RTE
39
Pac-12 player : UTE
40
Fraternity letter : TAU
41
Rule contradicted by science? : CIBEFOREEEXCEPT
48
Little application : DAB
49
Does penance : ATONES
50
Note to a spy, perhaps : READINGBURN
55
One with a bag lunch? : HORSE
56
Part of a krone : ORE
57
Waiting, for the impatient, say : AGONY
61
One acting on impulse? : AXON
62
See 13-Down : NOIRE
64
Find the ___ (geometry test instruction) : AREA
65
"Open ___" : WIDE
66
Surmise : INFER
67
Knightly wear : MAIL
68
Start to do well? : NEER
69
Name that's a homophone for 13-Down : BETTE
70
Cosmopolitan competitor : ELLE
Down
1
Role for Helen Mirren, briefly : QEII
2
Group of red states, for short? : USSR
3
Golfer Aoki : ISAO
4
Learned perfectly : DOWNPAT
5
Sugar substitute? : HON
6
Together : INALL
7
Break time, perhaps : TENAM
8
Snapple flavor : MANGO
9
Ron who played Tarzan : ELY
10
Loser to a pair : ACEHIGH
11
Sported : HADON
12
Getting on : AGING
13
With 62-Across, dreaded one : BETE
21
Jedi foes : SITH
23
Pet : SNIT
25
"Malcolm X" director : LEE
26
Actress Charlotte : RAE
27
Jardin du Luxembourg, par exemple : PARC
28
Against : ANTI
29
Leopold's partner in crime : LOEB
32
Whence the word "robot" : RUR
33
Taxonomic suffix : OTE
34
Formerly : NEE
35
Southern hwy. : ITEN
36
Pickup spot? : NAPE
37
They may be spilled : GUTS
42
One of the voices in "Up" : EDASNER
43
Film technique : FADE
44
Eastern band : OBI
45
Évian, e.g. : EAU
46
Bonus, in ads : XTRA
47
Scam : CONGAME
50
"Chicago" number : ROXIE
51
Undermine : ERODE
52
Ray Charles hit of 1963 : NOONE
53
Type of scam : GRIFT
54
Green ___ : BERET
55
"The First Wives Club" co-star, 1996 : HAWN
58
___-B : ORAL
59
"Cosmos" host ___ deGrasse Tyson : NEIL
60
Brown competitor : YALE
62
Tip for a writer : NIB
63
Long intro? : ERE

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle.

Found bugs or have suggestions?

See NYT Crosswords for info.