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, Thursday, June 9, 2016

Author:
Damon Gulczynski
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
3611/8/20043/28/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
14508810
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.65320
Damon J. Gulczynski

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 36 Missing: {Q} This is puzzle # 15 for Mr. Gulczynski. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Damon J. Gulczynski notes:
Silent letters: The English language's stoic warriors. Without them, a buffet would always be confused with a musician who sings about ... read more

Silent letters: The English language's stoic warriors. Without them, a buffet would always be confused with a musician who sings about margaritas, and the name "The Colbert Report" just wouldn't make us chuckle. I thought it was time to properly honor these quiet, but useful characters — honor them in puzzle form. This is their story. I hope you enjoyed it.

Jeff Chen notes:
There have been a lot of plays on silent letters in crosswords over the years. One of my favorite was on Christmas Eve a few years ... read more

There have been a lot of plays on silent letters in crosswords over the years. One of my favorite was on Christmas Eve a few years back, and a more recent one blew me away (when I finally understood everything that was going on). I thought Damon's execution today was really nice, that diagonal of S I L E N T letters perfectly spaced out.

A FANZINE for "Civil War gamers." Huh.

And did you notice right away that the shaded letters were all actually SILENT in the across answer, i.e. the first S in AISLES silent, the I in CARRIAGE, etc.? What, you did? Really? Yeah, I did too! (Not really.) Very cool — I hadn't realized that an I could actually be silent.

It would have risen to the very top of my list of favorite silent letter puzzles if the down answer also followed that principle. I'm 95% sure that'd be impossible to pull off though, given how many crossings you'd need to fix in place. Ah well, a guy can dream.

Nice to have the bonus (SILENT) PARTNERS and (SILENT) MAJORITY. I don't know that they added much to the quality of my solve, but the puzzle would likely have felt thin if they hadn't been included.

What did add a lot was the snazzy long fill. FANZINES is a beautiful answer, as are FAIR GAME, USER IDS, and LEONINE. (NON-BASIC isn't equivalent to "acidic" (I think) since the term includes neutral pH 7 solutions. Not sure if I love this answer or detest it.)

Good execution on the short entries, too. I think NITA, AKINS, and TVA are minor by themselves (there's a case to be made that each is perfectly fine), but as a whole, it's too bad that these all felt somewhat dated. Good thing the rest of Damon's grid is so smooth and clean.

Something so pretty about that S I L E N T diagonal, and it's so elegant to have each silent letter in the across answer in the perfect place.

1
T
2
A
3
L
4
C
5
U
6
M
7
D
8
E
9
F
10
K
11
N
12
O
13
B
14
I
M
P
O
S
E
15
R
D
A
16
R
A
V
E
17
A
I
S
L
E
S
18
A
N
I
19
O
P
E
D
20
O
R
C
21
P
A
R
22
T
N
E
R
S
23
C
24
A
25
R
R
I
A
26
G
E
27
G
O
O
28
L
I
E
I
D
L
E
29
B
A
R
R
30
E
31
L
32
S
33
A
K
I
N
S
34
L
35
L
A
M
A
36
M
A
P
37
W
I
N
G
38
F
A
I
R
E
39
N
I
T
A
40
A
D
E
41
M
A
T
T
E
42
C
O
L
I
C
43
T
O
R
44
T
O
N
I
45
L
46
E
O
N
I
N
E
47
B
O
Z
48
H
Y
M
N
B
O
O
K
49
M
50
A
51
J
O
R
I
52
T
Y
53
A
S
A
54
E
C
O
N
55
N
A
P
56
J
O
S
57
T
58
L
59
E
60
L
A
K
E
61
E
X
E
62
O
L
I
V
I
A
63
D
I
E
D
64
S
I
S
65
R
E
C
A
N
T
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0609 ( 24,320 )
Across
1
Powder used to combat moisture : TALCUM
7
Cool, in hip-hop slang : DEF
10
Opening part : KNOB
14
Obtrude : IMPOSE
15
Nutritional std. : RDA
16
Party that might start after midnight : RAVE
17
Pair of big jets? : AISLES
18
"Evolve" artist DiFranco : ANI
19
Piece designed to sway : OPED
20
Monster of fantasy : ORC
21
With the shaded letters, investors not involved in the management of their businesses : PARTNERS
23
Baby transport : CARRIAGE
27
Fake blood, e.g. : GOO
28
Go unused : LIEIDLE
29
Crude measurements? : BARRELS
33
Claude who played Sheriff Lobo : AKINS
34
Source of soft wool : LLAMA
36
Navigational aid : MAP
37
Building extension : WING
38
Renaissance ___ : FAIRE
39
1920s silver screen star Naldi : NITA
40
Juicy ending? : ADE
41
Photo finish : MATTE
42
Woe for newborns (and thus new parents as well) : COLIC
43
Trattoria dessert : TORTONI
45
Strong and proud : LEONINE
47
Dickens pen name : BOZ
48
Singer's volume? : HYMNBOOK
49
With the shaded letters, large but not often vocal voting bloc : MAJORITY
53
___ courtesy : ASA
54
Nobel Prize subj. : ECON
55
Preschool break : NAP
56
Elbow : JOSTLE
60
Summer camp locale : LAKE
61
Computer file suffix : EXE
62
Wilde of TV's "House" : OLIVIA
63
Didn't make it : DIED
64
Paige, to Jason, in "FoxTrot" : SIS
65
Unsay : RECANT
Down
1
Mexican relative : TIA
2
Terse, introspective question : AMI
3
A D.J. might spin them : LPS
4
Salon job : COLORING
5
Email addresses, sometimes : USERIDS
6
Agave drink : MESCAL
7
Hang : DRAPE
8
"Downton Abbey" maid : EDNA
9
A legitimate object to attack : FAIRGAME
10
Swedish money : KRONOR
11
Mane area : NAPE
12
In the strike zone : OVER
13
Hotel reservation specification : BEDS
22
When tripled, 1970 film about the attack on Pearl Harbor : TORA
23
Try to scratch : CLAWAT
24
Modern Japanese martial art : AIKIDO
25
"Stand by Me" director, 1986 : REINER
26
Trattoria desserts : GELATI
29
Just : BARELY
30
Estevez of the Brat Pack : EMILIO
31
Many a Dream Act beneficiary : LATINO
32
Sissy of Netflix's "Bloodline" : SPACEK
35
Wasted : LIT
38
Publications for and by aficionados : FANZINES
39
7 or below on the pH scale : NONBASIC
41
Shrubby wasteland : MOOR
42
Wii, for one : CONSOLE
44
Broadsided, informally : TBONED
46
Key with four sharps : EMAJOR
48
Creates a buzz for : HYPES
49
Blend : MELD
50
Berry advertised as healthful : ACAI
51
Ridiculously inadequate sort : JOKE
52
Curbside call : TAXI
57
F.D.R. program, for short : TVA
58
Broadway's ___-Manuel Miranda : LIN
59
Do lunch, say : EAT

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?