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, Monday, June 30, 2014

Author:
Ed Sessa
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
429/10/20073/23/20200
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
41178552
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.64361
Edward Sessa

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 36 Missing: {GJQVZ} This is puzzle # 25 for Mr. Sessa. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Edward Sessa notes:
Bobby Flay is my favorite celebrity chef. His name came to mind one day a couple of years ago and the four subsequent entries followed ... read more

Bobby Flay is my favorite celebrity chef. His name came to mind one day a couple of years ago and the four subsequent entries followed immediately. When by some odd quirk the numbers added up symmetrically I figured I had nothing to lose by writing it up in a puzzle. Fortunately the term "yuppie flu" has fallen by the wayside as more is learned about the complex debilitating condition that is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Although declared "dead" in the early 90s by Time Magazine, the concept of the "yuppie," like the flu, keeps resurrecting itself, either intact or in mutated forms.

If you're not a big fan of vowel-progression puzzles (you know who you are), at the very least try Bobby Flay's paella and enjoy Herb Alpert's trumpeting in "Spanish Flea," preferably at the same time!

Jeff Chen notes:
A vowel progression today, a phonetic one using all five long vowel sounds. Just as Ed mentioned, there will be haters who are tired ... read more

A vowel progression today, a phonetic one using all five long vowel sounds. Just as Ed mentioned, there will be haters who are tired of vowel progressions. Any established theme type will have detractors. What matters to me though: does the puzzle delight me? In large part, Ed's themers did it for me. I don't know celebrity chefs, but I did recognize BOBBY FLAY, And I'm with Ed — it'd be treasonous not to like Herb Alpert's SPANISH FLEA. Unamerican, I say!

I personally like vowel progressions, especially when they're done like this. The long vowel sounds are nice to see in order, and I like how only 1/5 of them are spelled simply with the lone vowel. As Andrea Carla Michaels says, they're like poetry. Mellifluous. Of course, as with any art, taste is in the eye of the beholder. Er, the tongue.

I also appreciate how Ed stayed away from actual sicknesses in YUPPIE FLU. There are plenty of BIRD FLU, AVIAN FLU, SWINE FLU sort of answers (never mind that they don't match lengths with BOBBY FLAY) but I personally prefer to stay away from those. Finn Vigeland astutely asked me why I chose ASIAN FLU instead of AVIAN FLU on a puzzle earlier this year. ASIAN FLU to me refers to the financial crisis that swept throughout Asia, something I'd much rather think about instead of the killing disease, AVIAN FLU. Personal choice, anyway.

Puzzles with five themers will naturally have a higher degree of difficulty than ones with just four, and having a middle entry of length = 9, 11, or 13 will up that even more. Note how it effectively splits the puzzle in half, creating filling difficulties in all four corners. In just one corner, the SE, we have SO I, ERS, and DELE, all of which are fine on their own, but taken as a whole in a concentrated area is a bit rough. Same with the SW, where REN, SERENER ("more serene" more commonly, right?), DSL all appear. Tough to cleanly execute those 7 x 3 (really 7 x 3.5) corners.

I did really like the NE corner, where Ed treats us to the triple of THRILLA / TOP SEED / SOS PADS, with only ISP to glue it together. That's nice bonus material; a strong use of seven-letter spaces.

Often, a seven-letter middle themer makes for cleaner execution. In this case, it might have been possible with something like SHOO FLY! Or even better, SHOO FLY pie. (Mmm, pie.) I think this would have made it easier to avoid the aforementioned rough patches, plus the killer ASTA / FARO crossing. Seems to me that's a pretty unfriendly crossing for novices. Not that Will's goal is to make the NYT puzzle accessible to everyone in the world, but both entries strike me as inelegant, and to have them crossing each other makes it doubly so.

Fun start to the week, a very nice selection of sing-song themers.

1
E
2
L
3
A
4
L
5
E
6
N
7
D
8
S
9
M
10
I
11
T
12
T
13
S
14
M
O
M
A
15
L
I
R
A
16
A
C
H
O
O
17
B
O
B
B
18
Y
F
L
A
Y
19
P
E
R
P
S
20
A
N
I
S
E
21
W
H
22
Y
23
I
S
P
24
L
I
E
25
S
26
P
27
A
N
I
S
28
H
29
F
L
E
A
30
M
E
N
31
T
E
N
32
L
U
L
L
E
D
33
S
S
T
34
S
35
L
I
36
M
37
P
38
R
O
A
D
S
39
T
40
S
E
T
S
E
41
F
L
Y
42
O
43
S
44
S
I
E
45
A
S
T
A
46
D
47
U
48
C
49
T
50
B
E
L
F
R
51
Y
52
A
R
53
K
54
S
O
I
55
T
R
A
F
F
I
56
C
57
F
L
O
W
58
E
R
S
59
R
E
N
60
P
R
O
61
A
62
F
R
O
S
63
U
N
D
64
I
65
D
66
Y
U
67
P
68
P
I
E
F
L
U
69
D
E
E
M
S
70
P
R
I
X
71
D
E
L
E
72
E
R
R
O
L
73
T
S
P
S
74
S
E
A
S
© 2014, The New York TimesNo. 0630 ( 23,610 )
Across
1
Airline to the Holy Land : ELAL
5
Finishes : ENDS
9
Baseball gloves : MITTS
14
N.Y.C. institution with works of Warhol and Dalí : MOMA
15
Italian currency before the euro : LIRA
16
Sound muffled by a handkerchief : ACHOO
17
Celebrity chef and host of the Food Network's "Boy Meets Grill" : BOBBYFLAY
19
Crooks, to cops : PERPS
20
Licorice flavoring : ANISE
21
For what reason? : WHY
23
AOL or EarthLink: Abbr. : ISP
24
Tell tall tales : LIE
25
Theme music for TV's "The Dating Game" : SPANISHFLEA
30
Majority of the contestants on "The Dating Game" : MEN
31
Equivalent of a Roman X : TEN
32
Pacified : LULLED
33
Bygone jets, informally : SSTS
35
Like a wet noodle : LIMP
38
Byways : ROADS
39
Insect that causes sleeping sickness : TSETSEFLY
42
Actor Davis : OSSIE
45
"The Thin Man" pooch : ASTA
46
___ tape : DUCT
50
Proverbial place for bats : BELFRY
52
Biblical boat : ARK
54
"___ hear" : SOI
55
It's typically slow during rush hour : TRAFFICFLOW
58
Hosp. triage areas : ERS
59
Stimpy's TV pal : REN
60
One who plays for pay : PRO
61
Jackson 5 hairstyles : AFROS
63
Disentangled : UNDID
66
Dismissive term for chronic fatigue syndrome : YUPPIEFLU
69
Judges to be : DEEMS
70
Grand ___ (auto race) : PRIX
71
Remove, to an editor : DELE
72
Dashing Flynn of old films : ERROL
73
Sugar amts. : TSPS
74
Adriatic and others : SEAS
Down
1
Mummifies, e.g. : EMBALMS
2
Fruitcakes : LOONIES
3
Surrounding, as sound : AMBIENT
4
Experiment sites : LABS
5
Santa's little helper : ELF
6
Nothing : NIL
7
Sketched : DRAWN
8
Give an informal greeting : SAYHI
9
Poster with a "You are here" label : MAP
10
Rink surface : ICE
11
___ in Manila (Ali/Frazier fight) : THRILLA
12
Favorite entrant in a tournament : TOPSEED
13
Kitchen scourers : SOSPADS
18
Tues. vis-à-vis Wed. : YEST
22
Handbag monogram : YSL
26
Brazilian soccer legend : PELE
27
Singer Baker with the 1988 hit "Giving You the Best That I Got" : ANITA
28
Throw : HURL
29
"Pretty Boy" of crime : FLOYD
34
Completely unlike a wet noodle : STIFF
36
Author's submissions: Abbr. : MSS
37
Flower part : PETAL
40
Feudal peasant : SERF
41
Casino card game : FARO
42
Stick out : OBTRUDE
43
More calm : SERENER
44
Spoken slur : SLANDER
47
Charge for entering a park, e.g. : USERFEE
48
Flower part : COROLLA
49
Kleenexes : TISSUES
51
Pup's cry : YIP
53
"The Bridge on the River ___" : KWAI
56
Burial vault : CRYPT
57
On all ___ (crawling, say) : FOURS
62
G-men : FEDS
64
"If you ask me," in chat rooms : IMO
65
Internet connection inits. : DSL
67
"Great Expectations" boy : PIP
68
Stores for G.I.'s : PXS

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle.

Found bugs or have suggestions?

See NYT Crosswords for info.