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 19, 2019

Author:
Sam Trabucco
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
2010/29/20156/19/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
3102356
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.68150
Sam Trabucco

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 16 Words: 79, Blocks: 38 Missing: {JQXZ} This is puzzle # 20 for Mr. Trabucco. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Sam Trabucco notes:
I nearly went with a more Pride-appropriate revealer like GAY WEDDING or GAY COUPLES, but decided against for two reasons. First, nothing of ... read more

I nearly went with a more Pride-appropriate revealer like GAY WEDDING or GAY COUPLES, but decided against for two reasons. First, nothing of that nature feels like a tight, in-the-language phrase at this point — any wedding I ever have will just be called a WEDDING, not a GAY WEDDING. Second, a gender-specific revealer addresses the fact that all the themers are pairs of traditional men's names — pairs of women's names proved a lot harder to find.

Happy Pride anyway!

Jeff Chen notes:
I've both solved and made a lot of parsing puzzles (where adding or changing spaces create new phrases). Not many stick in my mind anymore, ... read more

I've both solved and made a lot of parsing puzzles (where adding or changing spaces create new phrases). Not many stick in my mind anymore, since they all tend to run together.

Today's theme stood out. It's fantastic. Not only are the finds interesting – I know a few BAR TRICKs, but the one I'll lead off with now is that shifting its space turns it into BART RICK. And PHILANDERS to PHIL ANDERS? Excellent!

And the revealer! MARRIED MEN brought everything together so perfectly. I can't remember the last time I've expressed a WITT (wish I'd thought of that) longing so strongly.

I badly wanted to give this a POW!

Alas.

There's a constructors' maxim that a fantastic grid can't make up for a subpar theme, but a fantastic theme can overcome most anything. If I didn't know anything about Sam – one of the few five-tool constructors, meaning that they can make easy, mid-week, tricky, themeless, Sunday – I'd probably have given the benefit of the doubt and slapped on the POW!

But it's Sam. With four POW!s to his name already, I expect a lot out of him. He'd need an excellent reason to use ITER in a grid. Not to mention ECARTE, and the olio of RES OFT ADAH GREYED OMNIA.

My guess is that Sam flew too close to the sun. It's hard to work with seven themers. When you push even further, to incorporate a ton of great mid-length fill – SO COOL, HOO BOY, BAD COP, SCHLUB, DATE UP all standing out – you're bound to get burned.

Sam did excel in the SW / NE corners. Most themeless-focused constructors don't dare to work with big 4x7 chunks. Toss in a constraint, of NORMANDY and BARTRICK reducing flexibility, and most constructors would flub. I had a strong feeling that Sam would make these sing, and with COINSTAR / AP COURSE / BEER BONG, COLOR TV / HOTWIRE / THANK GOD, Sam did just that.

Tough call. I loved the theme. Loved the SW / NE corners. I wouldn't go so far as to say the middle was an ATROCITY, but a bit too much of looking the other way cost Sam his fifth POW!

1
R
2
S
3
S
4
S
5
O
6
C
7
O
8
O
9
L
10
C
11
H
12
A
13
T
14
I
C
U
15
E
M
O
R
A
P
16
B
O
O
T
H
17
P
H
I
18
L
A
N
D
E
R
S
19
U
L
T
R
A
20
E
L
S
A
21
I
O
S
22
G
R
O
W
O
N
23
R
U
S
S
24
I
A
N
25
B
26
A
R
T
R
I
C
K
27
B
E
E
T
28
S
29
H
A
D
E
30
T
R
I
G
31
R
E
32
S
33
O
D
A
Y
34
V
E
T
O
35
C
36
A
37
B
38
R
I
39
C
O
C
H
E
40
T
41
S
Y
D
42
O
P
E
43
R
44
L
O
B
O
45
D
O
46
W
47
I
C
E
E
48
E
L
O
P
49
E
50
L
A
51
M
52
B
53
N
O
R
M
54
A
N
D
Y
55
C
56
A
L
G
A
R
57
Y
58
S
U
B
O
U
T
59
W
A
D
60
E
R
I
E
61
T
R
O
V
E
62
M
63
A
R
R
I
64
E
D
M
E
N
65
A
S
N
E
R
66
E
V
I
T
E
S
67
O
F
T
68
R
E
G
S
69
D
A
T
E
U
P
70
T
S
A
© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 0619 ( 25,425 )
Across
1
Blog feed format, for short : RSS
4
"Awesome!" : SOCOOL
10
Heart-to-heart, maybe : CHAT
14
Where some R.N.s work : ICU
15
Modern music hybrid : EMORAP
16
Diner option : BOOTH
17
*Plays around (4 & 6) : PHILANDERS
19
Very, very : ULTRA
20
"Lohengrin" soprano : ELSA
21
Siri runs on it : IOS
22
Start appealing to more : GROWON
23
*Language in which "hello" is "privet" (4 & 3) : RUSSIAN
25
*Opening a beer bottle with a ring, e.g. (4 & 4) : BARTRICK
27
___-red : BEET
28
27-Across, e.g. : SHADE
30
Sin-ful teaching? : TRIG
31
In medias ___ : RES
33
Jazz singer Anita : ODAY
34
Presidential threat : VETO
35
Ride that you "catch" : CAB
38
*Bounce (4 & 4) : RICOCHET
41
Barrett of the original Pink Floyd : SYD
42
Abbr. above "0" : OPER
44
Western wolf : LOBO
45
Wall Street average, with "the" : DOW
47
Summertime cooler : ICEE
48
What Romeo and Juliet plan to do : ELOPE
50
Jesus, in a metaphor : LAMB
53
*Omaha Beach locale (4 & 4) : NORMANDY
55
*1988 Winter Olympics host (3 & 4) : CALGARY
58
Give a break from the game : SUBOUT
59
Load of cash : WAD
60
Fort ___, Ontario : ERIE
61
Store of riches : TROVE
62
Bachelors no more ... or, literally, the answers to the six starred clues : MARRIEDMEN
65
Ed of "Up" : ASNER
66
They might include an R.S.V.P. interface : EVITES
67
What's frequently found in poetry? : OFT
68
Rules, for short : REGS
69
Be out of one's league, in a way : DATEUP
70
Org. whose workers get hands-on experience? : TSA
Down
1
Less green, perhaps : RIPER
2
Disheveled sort : SCHLUB
3
Credit ___ (financial giant) : SUISSE
4
Setting for much of the "Odyssey" : SEA
5
Amor vincit ___ (love conquers all) : OMNIA
6
Genetic sequences : CODONS
7
Bauxite and others : ORES
8
Crew's control? : OAR
9
D.J.'s library : LPS
10
Invention celebrated by NBC's peacock logo : COLORTV
11
Starts without a key, say : HOTWIRES
12
Horrible event : ATROCITY
13
"Phew!" : THANKGOD
16
Singer/songwriter Bacharach : BURT
18
Kind of beam : LASER
22
Aged, in England : GREYED
24
Way of old Rome : ITER
25
Dark blue? : BADCOP
26
Wife of Esau : ADAH
29
"Whew, that was something!" : HOOBOY
32
Like three of the letters of "aisle" : SILENT
35
Machine for counting loose change : COINSTAR
36
Class for college-bound kids, maybe : APCOURSE
37
Aid for getting drunk fast : BEERBONG
39
Distant : COLD
40
Cost that weighs heavily : TOLL
43
Takes off : REMOVES
46
Carried on, as war : WAGED
49
Card game akin to whist : ECARTE
51
Animal in the squirrel family : MARMOT
52
Underwear option : BRIEFS
54
Violin virtuoso Leopold : AUER
56
"Till we meet again" : ADIEU
57
Gossipy sort : YENTA
59
___ large : WRIT
62
T-shirt size: Abbr. : MED
63
Director DuVernay : AVA
64
"I know what you're thinking" feeling : ESP

Answer summary: 7 unique to this puzzle, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?