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, Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Author:
Andrew Zhou
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1711/11/20101/5/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
3021533
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.62241
Andrew Zhou

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 38 Missing: {JQXZ} This is puzzle # 13 for Mr. Zhou. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Andrew Zhou notes:
I hope only that the quaint, slightly out-of-the-ark feel of the revealer elicits a chuckle. With the theme juxtaposed against some ... read more

I hope only that the quaint, slightly out-of-the-ark feel of the revealer elicits a chuckle. With the theme juxtaposed against some rather fresh fill, like NSFW, CHABAD, FRITOPIE, BOOYA, GOOGLEIT, the puzzle seems to me to approach a nice balance between classic and trendy. Yes, there are some choices in short fill I wouldn't normally make, but the slew of newish-feeling entries, given the straightforwardness of the theme, seemed worth it.

The original theme clues only stated the date and type of work (1977 film, 1871 novel, etc.); the edited version here is much easier. Hopefully, the different categories of work allow for at least one of the answers not to be in the wheelhouse of the solver, so that some challenge remains.

Lastly, I am glad a female George (a nom de plume, of course) made the cut. Ms. Eliot is not unique here. I'm looking at you, George Sand.

Jeff Chen notes:
BY GEORGE, it's theme entries that are 'things written by a person named George.' Fun idea. I liked the consistent cluing style of ... read more

BY GEORGE, it's theme entries that are "things written by a person named George." Fun idea. I liked the consistent cluing style of "year of work" + "last name" + "type of work." STAR WARS was an obvious one for this sci-fi ubergeek, and I even recognized MIDDLEMARCH — nice touch to feature a woman in what would otherwise have been a male-dominated puzzle.

(George Eliot was Mary Anne Evans' pen name.)

DECISION POINTS didn't come easy, nor did MY SWEET LORD, but they do seem crossworthy. (The latter more so, after the melody came back to me.)

Working with an eight-letter revealer can be surprisingly tricky. That's because revealers usually are best placed at the end of a puzzle, in row 13, forcing a big white space on the opposite side. Check out the roughly 6x5 chunk of space in the lower left — not easy to fill such a big swath well.

Andrew wisely added a cheater square in the very lower left (note: some editors hate this aesthetic), but these two corners still are the toughest part of the puzzle to fill. The lower left is pretty good, with just the tough IONESCO (not to be confused with ENESCO) and the odd UPCAST.

The opposite corner … SHA is a minor ding. ESL is okay. ACHESON crossing CHABAD crossing DOHA, though. Oof. I think all world capitals are fair game. But I don't know if it's fair to expect solvers to remember the spelling of Dean ACHESON's name, or to know the CHABAD organization. That crossing could be a killer for some poor solvers.

There's also more crossword glue than I expect from Andrew's work, ARIDE, YOO, ETTE / ATTA. That's because of the high theme density though — ETTE and ATTA are directly attributable to having to work with the ends of RHAPSODY IN BLUE and DECISION POINTS, for example. Perhaps one fewer themer would have been a better trade-off, although RHAPSODY IN BLUE is peskily an even number of letters, so it can't go in the middle of a 15x15 grid.

Overall, a neat concept. I might have given it the POW! if all the themers felt more like master opuses in the vein of STAR WARS. (Thank goodness THE PHANTOM MENACE is too long for a normal crossword grid!)

1
N
2
O
3
V
4
A
5
T
6
A
7
U
8
A
9
C
10
T
11
U
12
P
13
S
T
A
R
14
W
A
R
S
15
C
H
A
B
A
16
D
17
F
R
I
T
O
P
I
E
18
H
E
R
E
T
O
19
W
O
N
20
M
I
D
D
21
L
E
M
A
R
C
H
22
P
A
N
E
23
E
S
L
24
S
H
A
25
A
26
S
27
L
A
N
T
28
S
O
A
29
P
30
R
H
A
P
S
O
31
D
32
Y
I
N
B
L
33
U
34
E
35
M
E
T
A
36
R
O
O
37
A
T
T
38
A
39
D
E
C
40
I
41
S
I
O
N
42
P
43
O
I
N
T
S
44
Y
O
K
E
45
I
N
D
E
E
P
46
I
47
T
48
O
49
N
E
S
50
B
E
E
S
51
M
Y
S
52
W
E
E
T
53
L
O
R
D
54
M
55
R
56
S
57
U
P
C
A
S
T
58
G
O
O
G
59
L
E
I
T
60
S
E
A
N
C
E
61
B
Y
G
E
O
R
G
E
62
A
R
D
O
R
63
T
A
I
64
B
E
A
M
© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0614 ( 24,690 )
Across
1
Terra ___ (old name for Newfoundland) : NOVA
5
Symbol for torque : TAU
8
Malfunction : ACTUP
13
1977 Lucas film : STARWARS
15
Jewish organization known for its outreach work : CHABAD
17
Dish featuring corn chips as a main ingredient : FRITOPIE
18
Regarding this matter : HERETO
19
Took top honors : WON
20
1871 Eliot novel : MIDDLEMARCH
22
Stamp collector's unit : PANE
23
Immigrant's course, for short : ESL
24
Syllable in oldies songs : SHA
25
Off-axis : ASLANT
28
Dial, e.g. : SOAP
30
1924 Gershwin composition : RHAPSODYINBLUE
35
Self-referential : META
36
Bush denizen, for short : ROO
37
Lead-in to boy : ATTA
39
2010 Bush autobiography : DECISIONPOINTS
44
Coupling device : YOKE
45
Heavily involved : INDEEP
46
Actor Robert of 1970s-'80s TV's "Quincy, M.E." : ITO
49
Early platform for The Legend of Zelda, for short : NES
50
Colony members : BEES
51
1970 Harrison song : MYSWEETLORD
54
Wifey, with "the" : MRS
57
Looking skyward : UPCAST
58
Easy way to get information on something nowadays : GOOGLEIT
60
Raising of spirits? : SEANCE
61
Exclamation that describes 13-, 20-, 30-, 39- and 51-Across : BYGEORGE
62
Fire : ARDOR
63
___ chi ch'uan : TAI
64
Gymnastics event, informally : BEAM
Down
1
[Warning: explicit content] : NSFW
2
Other, in Oaxaca : OTRO
3
Pointless : VAIN
4
"___ does not surpass nature, but only brings it to perfection": Cervantes : ART
5
Access : TAPINTO
6
Bum ___ : ARIDE
7
Amazon category : USED
8
Secretary of state during the Korean War : ACHESON
9
Place to find solutions in school : CHEMLAB
10
Plantation of book and film : TARA
11
Some paid rides : UBERS
12
Aid in quitting smoking : PATCH
14
Word before Day or World on magazine racks : WOMANS
16
Capital of Qatar : DOHA
21
Scrape or cut : LESION
22
Office of the Vatican : PAPACY
25
Place for a 12-Down : ARM
26
Sloughed off : SHED
27
Like the baby in a 9 1/2-month pregnancy : LATE
29
Highland patterns : PLAIDS
31
Like the Atacama Desert among all places on earth : DRIEST
32
"___-hoo!" : YOO
33
Magazine founder Eric : UTNE
34
Suffix with major : ETTE
38
"Poor venomous fool," in Shakespeare : ASP
40
Playwright Eugène : IONESCO
41
Flying pest, slangily : SKEETER
42
Polish dumpling : PIEROGI
43
Nervous : ONEDGE
46
Shock jock Don : IMUS
47
Sort with a high-energy personality : TYPEA
48
"And the ___ goes to ..." : OSCAR
50
Celebratory cry : BOOYA
52
T.S.A. tool : WAND
53
Letters associated with a rainbow flag : LGBT
54
Just : MERE
55
Baltic capital : RIGA
56
Modern education acronym : STEM
59
High throw : LOB

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?