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New York Times, Monday, June 12, 2000

Author:
Andrea C. Michaels
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
656/12/20003/25/201937
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
74592200
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.63217
Andrea Carla Michaels

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 40 Missing: {JWXZ} Spans: 1 This is the debut puzzle for Ms. Michaels. NYT links: Across Lite
Andrea Carla Michaels notes:

My first NY Times puzzle. I had been making them for TV Guide for years. Don't know what specifically prompted me to submit to Will, though we knew each other from the early 80s through Games Magazine where I did a lot of word game puzzles. I was an avid solver and then had an idea for one for the Times. This remains my favorite puzzle, though it didn't turn out in print (or on computer) as I hoped.

The idea was simple: EARTHQUAKE, SANANDREASFAULT, AFTERSHOCK I asked Will if there was a way to put a "tear" through the middle of the puzzle so that it would look like an earthquake had ruptured the puzzle. I envisioned it being torn down half way through. He ingeniously nudged up a few squares 1/3 of the way, the next few rows down a bit and the last ones up again. Problem was, unsolved in the paper it looked like something was amiss so folks didn't solve it, as though there was a printing problem. Years later when reprinted in books the computer printed it without the squares going up and down, just a regular grid, so all the cleverness was lost. Just three themes 10, 15, 10.

But I loved that AFTERSHOCK was below. And the whole impetus for SANANDREASFAULT is that a) I live in California and b) TV Guide never gave us bylines so I thought I'd sneak my name smack dab in the middle of the puzzle! (I later did those secret shoutouts with ACME or putting in a Beatles clue. In TV Guide, I put in "The Streets of ___ Francisco" whenever I could so friends would know it was one of my puzzles. As I said, we had no bylines and the Times had just started using them, under Will, but they were tiny, 1/4 size underneath the puzzle, so almost impossible to see.)

I still think this is an issue. Most people still think the puzzles are made by computer or by Will Shortz. And this was my first experience having a puzzle in a book with no residuals, no warning, not even a copy of the book! This has been a burning issue for me going on 15 years now, I'm almost at acceptance, but not fully!

I framed this puzzle, as it was my first, but it's ironic that there were computer issues with replicating it online more than a decade ago! On the other hand, it prompted a compliment from Manny Nosowsky, who recalled the puzzle and said he remembered it because it was literally thinking outside the box! It would be three years before I submitted another!

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© 2000, The New York TimesNo. 0612 ( 18,479 )
Across
1
"Yikes!" : EGADS
6
Actor Mineo and others : SALS
10
Aug.'s follower : SEPT
14
Sound thinking : LOGIC
15
Strung tightly : TAUT
16
The O'Hara homestead : TARA
17
Catastrophic event : EARTHQUAKE
19
"How sweet ___!" : ITIS
20
Camera shot that gets all the details : CLOSEUP
21
Logos : EMBLEMS
23
Knob site : DOOR
25
Sicilian erupter : ETNA
26
Phi ___ Kappa : BETA
30
Chauffeurs : DRIVERS
33
"I was out of town at the time of the murder," e.g. : ALIBI
35
Tree with cones : PINE
36
Neon or oxygen : GAS
39
Locale for a 17-Across : SANANDREASFAULT
43
Underhanded : SLY
44
Raise ___ (cause a ruckus) : CAIN
45
Soup seasoning : THYME
46
The South and the Southwest : SUNBELT
49
Right away, on a memo : ASAP
50
Messy dresser : SLOB
52
Partner of 4-Down : DAHS
54
Song starting "My country, 'tis of thee" : AMERICA
57
Team heads : COACHES
62
An arm or a leg : LIMB
63
It might follow a 17-Across : AFTERSHOCK
65
___ vera : ALOE
66
___ Rabbit : BRER
67
Vietnam's capital : HANOI
68
Mailed : SENT
69
Princes, e.g. : SONS
70
In regard to : ANENT
Down
1
Con Ed power: Abbr. : ELEC
2
Hockey score : GOAL
3
Soil: Prefix : AGRO
4
Morse marks : DITS
5
Flight board, e.g.: Abbr. : SCHED
6
Daze : STUPOR
7
Car owners' org. : AAA
8
An apostle : LUKE
9
Plant part : STEM
10
Clowns' props : STILTS
11
Consumed : EATEN
12
Kind of ballerina : PRIMA
13
Soviet news service : TASS
18
Part of Q.E.D. : QUOD
22
Deprived (of) : BEREFT
24
Matured, as fruit : RIPENED
26
Lowest voice : BASS
27
Airline to Israel : ELAL
28
Minuscule : TINY
29
Lawyers' org. : ABA
31
By way of : VIA
32
Lt.'s inferior, in the Navy : ENS
34
Evil spirits : INCUBI
36
Fellows : GUYS
37
___ mater : ALMA
38
Stair part : STEP
40
Newsman Rather : DAN
41
Tease : RIB
42
"I have an idea!" : AHA
46
Cold dessert : SORBET
47
Ones stringing up shoes : LACERS
48
Thunder god : THOR
50
Photographer's request : SMILE
51
Scent in furniture polish : LEMON
53
Alexander, for short : SASHA
54
"What a shame" : ALAS
55
Taxis : CABS
56
1960's activist's hairdo : AFRO
58
Detective Charlie : CHAN
59
Sharpen : HONE
60
Supply-and-demand subj. : ECON
61
Comical playlet : SKIT
64
Perfect rating : TEN

Answer summary: 1 debuted here and reused later, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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