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, Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Author:
Jules Markey
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
205/10/20125/29/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0166700
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.58461
Jules P. Markey

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 38 Missing: {QWY} This is puzzle # 20 for Mr. Markey. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jules P. Markey notes:
The seed for this puzzle came to me while on a long drive to a good friend's birthday party. My wife was driving and I was doing some ... read more

The seed for this puzzle came to me while on a long drive to a good friend's birthday party. My wife was driving and I was doing some daydreaming while looking out the car window. The phrase "UTTER RUBBISH" popped up and its dual meaning intrigued me. In one sense it means to verbally communicate something, in another sense, its more common one, something else. So, I tried to come up with other examples — "SPEAK VOLUMES" was the only one I could come up with during the ride.

Later that week at home I made a list of synonyms for "talk", and the other entries fell into place, all conveniently the same length.

Thanks to Will and crew for their usual improvements in clueing. Thanks to my wife for driving that day, and to our friend Marian whose birthday begat a puzzle. I hope you enjoyed the solve and found this example of the extraordinary quirkiness of the English language interesting.

Jeff Chen notes:
It's unusual for Jim and me to agree on which puzzles we liked / didn't care for in any particular week. I always appreciate his ... read more

It's unusual for Jim and me to agree on which puzzles we liked / didn't care for in any particular week. I always appreciate his counterpoint, which so often makes me curious to go back and take another look.

My first impression of today's puzzle that it was pretty good. Interesting but not flashy theme, generally fine gridwork. So I was surprised to hear Jim say that he would have picked it for his POW! I did like it enough that I gave it a little POW! consideration, but the "a-ha" moment was more of a "okay, got it."

I also had wondered if SPEAK VOLUMES didn't disguise the first word as well as the others. It does have a different meaning – there's no actual speaking when something speaks volumes – but it's not as cleverly disguised as EXPRESS as in EXPRESS LINES.

All in all, it felt like a solid puzzle, certainly above average, but nothing to write home about.

Upon second glance though, I liked it more and more. I hadn't even noticed that each themer was about the written word: MOTTOES, LINES, VOLUMES.

Well, RUBBISH didn't fit that pattern. (Except maybe if you were reading aloud some of my earlier "practice novels." I'm trying to destroy all copies of those floating around.) Such a great bit of wordplay, though! Perfect way to repurpose the great phrase, "talk trash."

There were also a couple of clever clues I glossed over the first time around. The usually ignorable I DO gets an innocent [Pledge of allegiance] treatment. Get it? It's pledging your allegiance to your partner? Fantastic!

I ask for a [Little help?] often. With any luck, one of these days it'll be an ELF answering my request.

Maybe I should have made it my POW! pick. My appreciation rose with my second look, and yet more while writing this post. There is another puzzle later this week though, that resonated more strongly for me.

1
N
2
O
3
S
4
H
5
F
6
L
7
A
8
B
9
S
10
I
11
Z
12
E
13
O
R
E
O
14
E
L
A
T
E
15
I
D
O
L
16
P
A
N
S
17
R
O
M
A
N
18
G
O
O
F
19
U
T
T
E
20
R
R
U
B
B
I
21
S
H
22
L
O
T
23
U
A
R
24
C
O
T
25
T
26
O
27
N
28
P
R
O
29
U
S
T
30
C
31
O
I
F
32
A
D
O
33
S
T
A
34
T
E
M
O
T
35
T
O
E
S
36
B
37
A
38
S
E
L
39
E
E
N
40
P
A
S
S
E
41
E
X
P
R
E
42
S
S
L
I
43
N
E
S
44
A
L
I
45
S
O
S
O
46
O
D
E
47
S
48
S
49
A
50
D
E
T
51
O
U
R
52
A
L
A
53
A
M
I
54
S
P
E
55
A
56
K
V
O
L
57
U
M
E
S
58
P
59
I
60
M
A
61
A
R
I
E
S
62
R
O
L
L
63
J
P
E
G
64
R
E
A
R
S
65
I
S
L
E
66
S
A
T
E
67
M
A
S
T
68
S
A
S
S
© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 0529 ( 25,404 )

Support XWord Info today

Pay now and get access for a year.

1. Select account level
2. Choose how to pay
Across
1
Little something to eat : NOSH
5
Love handles, essentially : FLAB
9
Word with pint or plus : SIZE
13
McFlurry flavor : OREO
14
Delight : ELATE
15
Fawned-over figure : IDOL
16
Opening night nightmares : PANS
17
Times New ___ (popular typeface) : ROMAN
18
Idle, with "off" : GOOF
19
Talk trash? : UTTERRUBBISH
22
Nephew of Abraham : LOT
23
Bygone Mideast inits. : UAR
24
Word with boll or Bowl : COTTON
28
French novelist Marcel : PROUST
30
Hairstyle : COIF
32
Flurry : ADO
33
Recite aphorisms? : STATEMOTTOES
36
Swiss city on the Rhine : BASEL
39
Morn's counterpart : EEN
40
No longer in : PASSE
41
Perform poetry? : EXPRESSLINES
44
Ring master : ALI
45
C-worthy : SOSO
46
Old Soviet naval base site : ODESSA
50
Long way to go? : DETOUR
52
Taking after : ALA
53
Bordeaux buddy : AMI
54
Narrate audiobooks? : SPEAKVOLUMES
58
Native people of southern Arizona : PIMA
61
First sign of spring : ARIES
62
Snake eyes or boxcars, in craps : ROLL
63
Digital image format : JPEG
64
Brings up : REARS
65
Archipelago part : ISLE
66
Make content : SATE
67
Place for a crow's-nest : MAST
68
Freshness : SASS
Down
1
Orange juice specification : NOPULP
2
One on a soapbox : ORATOR
3
Mailed : SENTTO
4
Hydrant hookup : HOSE
5
Fine meal : FLOUR
6
Exemplar of innocence : LAMB
7
Run ___ (postpone the bar bill) : ATAB
8
Del Toro of "The Usual Suspects" : BENICIO
9
Something to see : SIGHT
10
Pledge of allegiance, maybe : IDO
11
Menagerie : ZOO
12
Little help? : ELF
14
Typos and such : ERRATA
20
Prepares on short notice : RUSTLESUP
21
Downplay : SOFTPEDAL
25
New Mexico resort town : TAOS
26
Horatian creations : ODES
27
There's a bridge at the top of it : NOSE
29
Operator : USER
30
Green with the 2010 hit "Forget You" : CEELO
31
Marriott competitor : OMNI
34
___ Trueheart, Dick Tracy's love : TESS
35
Give quite a shock : TASE
36
Slider on an abacus : BEAD
37
It gets the wheels turning : AXLE
38
Rain slightly : SPIT
42
Pitcher's problem : SOREARM
43
"Good riddance!" : NOLOSS
47
Appetizer often served with chutney : SAMOSA
48
Senses, as trouble : SMELLS
49
Two things in a 747 : AISLES
51
River named for a Plains tribe : OSAGE
52
Head off : AVERT
55
___ code : AREA
56
Souls, e.g. : KIAS
57
"Exodus" author : URIS
58
Attire in which to retire, briefly : PJS
59
Hoppy quaff, for short : IPA
60
Convened : MET

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle.

Found bugs or have suggestions?