It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker. Please consider supporting our site by purchasing an account.
Puzzle of the Week

New York Times, Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Author: Kevin Christian and Brad Wilber
Editor: Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
95/22/201311/27/20173
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0422010
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.64011
Kevin Christian
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
512/19/200510/21/201725
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
001201434
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.60001
Brad Wilber

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 38 Missing: {JKQZ} Spans: 3 This is puzzle # 5 for Mr. Christian. This is puzzle # 44 for Mr. Wilber. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Constructor notes: KEVIN: I'm happy to be collaborating with Brad Wilber on his first themed puzzle in the NYT. Brad's a very experienced constructor, ... more
Constructor notes:

KEVIN: I'm happy to be collaborating with Brad Wilber on his first themed puzzle in the NYT. Brad's a very experienced constructor, but he's only had themelesses in the NYT up to now.

I have two kids: Tim (age 13) and Kate (age 11). When they were small I used to read stories to them at night before they went to bed. We had many favorites that we read over and over, many of which were Dr. Seuss books.

My only regret about this puzzle is that I couldn't figure out a way to work in THE CAT IN THE HAT. That's 14 letters, which is sometimes an awkward theme answer length to work with.

I want to give credit where credit is due. Joel Fagliano, Will's editorial assistant, came up with the idea to use quotes from the books as clues, which I think is genius.

BRAD: By the time I came on board, Kevin had already designed the grid and filled it. I was immediately impressed with the presence of five theme entries plus a revealer. Kevin was concerned about some nose-wrinkling incidental fill (I remember RRR crossing RRS, for example), so together we did some "doctoring" of Dr. Seuss. I brainstormed different ideas for some of the seven-letter entries that crossed three Seuss titles. We tinkered with the upper middle and lower middle, especially, and did some sprucing up of corners.

Helping write Tuesday clues is kind of new ground for me, but we seem to have done all right based on what the final draft looks like!

Jeff Chen notes: This puzzle tickled me. Perhaps it's the piles of drivel that I read to my daughter that make Dr. SEUSS stand out? Not all his work ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

This puzzle tickled me. Perhaps it's the piles of drivel that I read to my daughter that make Dr. SEUSS stand out? Not all his work is amazing, but so much of it makes reading board books (over and over and over) at least palatable. Love the "Because after all, / A person's a person, no matter how small" quote from "Horton Hears a Who," for example. It's easy to make rhymes, not so easy to make ones with a neat story and a flowing meter.

Christian Bale's combover or Bradley Cooper's afro? I loved them both.

Kevin and Brad did a nice job of getting in a good amount of longer fill without introducing too much glue. I love MALE EGO, the easily bruised thing, and it's nice to see the full EMO BANDS instead of the usual EMO. I also liked getting Brad's erudite vibe in the mid-length stuff: PRECIS, NEWELS, MENSA, and ABSCAM, thankfully updated with an "American Hustle" clue.

I did notice a ton of 3-letter entries, which made me feel like I was switching from one answer to the next awfully fast. There are a whopping 28 of them, which explains it. Thankfully, most of them were innocuous, with just a bit of TES and UNA, and ABA and ANA kind of things.

I would have also liked to have the DR in Dr. SEUSS as part of the revealer, or at least SEUSS positioned in a central or final across slot. Tough to do with five themers, though.

Most of the time, I'm not wild about puzzles that have most of their oomph in the clues, but seeing snippets of Dr. SEUSS did it for me — beautiful idea. I'm big fans of both Brad (who publishes my stuff in the Chronicle of higher Education) and Kevin (who I roomed with at the ACPT two years ago), so I was glad to see a solid and entertaining Tuesday puzzle of out their collaboration.

1
R
2
U
3
M
4
A
5
B
6
S
7
C
8
A
9
M
10
S
11
N
12
U
13
G
14
A
B
A
15
L
A
C
U
N
A
16
P
O
G
O
17
H
O
R
18
T
O
N
H
E
A
R
19
S
A
W
H
O
20
M
A
L
E
E
G
O
21
I
T
S
22
T
O
N
23
L
O
24
T
25
N
Y
M
26
P
27
H
28
S
29
T
30
H
E
L
O
31
R
A
X
32
A
I
L
33
O
34
O
35
M
P
A
36
O
A
R
37
A
T
T
A
38
G
R
E
E
N
39
E
40
G
G
S
A
41
N
D
H
A
M
42
R
A
N
G
43
M
A
O
44
C
A
S
T
S
45
E
T
S
46
H
O
P
O
47
N
48
P
O
P
49
S
E
A
50
L
A
B
51
D
E
R
52
T
53
E
54
S
55
U
N
A
56
W
E
57
V
E
M
E
58
T
59
I
60
F
61
I
R
A
N
62
T
63
H
E
C
I
R
C
U
S
64
B
A
R
I
65
D
E
A
L
I
N
66
E
S
P
67
M
R
E
D
68
S
A
Y
S
S
O
69
E
S
S
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0714 ( 23,989 )
Across Down
1. Mai tai ingredient : RUM
4. Carter-era F.B.I. sting that inspired "American Hustle" : ABSCAM
10. Close-fitting : SNUG
14. Litigator's org. : ABA
15. Blank portion of a manuscript : LACUNA
16. ___ stick : POGO
17. "Because, after all, / A person's a person, no matter how small" : HORTONHEARSAWHO
20. Easily bruised thing for half the world : MALEEGO
21. "___ a deal!" : ITS
22. Whole bunch : TON
23. Whole bunch : LOT
25. Satyrs' quarries : NYMPHS
29. "You're glumping the pond where the Humming-Fish hummed!" : THELORAX
32. Be bedridden : AIL
33. Start of a "Willy Wonka" song : OOMPA
36. Rowboat propeller : OAR
37. Lead-in to boy or girl : ATTA
38. "Would you eat them in a box? / Would you eat them with a fox?" : GREENEGGSANDHAM
42. Phoned : RANG
43. Chairman with a Little Red Book : MAO
44. Puts in a role : CASTS
45. U.F.O. pilots : ETS
46. "Red Ned Ted and Ed in bed" : HOPONPOP
49. Aquanaut's workplace : SEALAB
51. ___ Spiegel (German weekly) : DER
52. Parisian "your" : TES
55. Italian article : UNA
56. "No need for introductions" : WEVEMET
59. "There's no other Showman / Who shows you a show with a Blindfolded Bowman!" : IFIRANTHECIRCUS
64. Italian city on the Adriatic : BARI
65. Give cards to : DEALIN
66. Subj. of Stephen King's "The Dead Zone" : ESP
67. Surprising conversationalist of classic TV : MRED
68. Declares to be true : SAYSSO
69. Twisty curve : ESS
1. Chicago mayor Emanuel : RAHM
2. Lusitania sinker : UBOAT
3. Actress Thomas of TV : MARLO
4. Shaving lotion additive : ALOE
5. Bit of bling for the wrist : BANGLE
6. Group of fish : SCHOOL
7. Stick on a pub wall : CUE
8. Santa ___ winds : ANA
9. Certain breadstick dipping sauce : MARINARA
10. Twitch : SPASM
11. Currently : NOW
12. "Gross!" : UGH
13. S'mores marshmallow, after roasting : GOO
18. Something driven at a campsite : TENTPEG
19. River to Hades : STYX
24. Clearly superior, as an opponent : TOOGOOD
26. Routes : PATHS
27. Try to punch : HITAT
28. Broadsides : SLAMS
30. ___ Solo of "Star Wars" : HAN
31. Univ. dorm supervisors : RAS
33. Shrek and Fiona, for two : OGRES
34. Get on a soapbox : ORATE
35. The brainy bunch? : MENSA
37. Globetrotter's electrical device : ADAPTER
39. Performers of songs with confessional lyrics : EMOBANDS
40. Generation ___ : GAP
41. Many a PX customer : NCO
46. Mandlikova of tennis : HANA
47. Posts on handrails : NEWELS
48. Brief summary : PRECIS
50. Gruesomely sensational : LURID
53. Awards show presider : EMCEE
54. Author of the books quoted at 17-, 29-, 38-, 46- and 59-Across : SEUSS
57. Chianti, in Chianti : VINO
58. Six of them make a fl. oz. : TSPS
59. Big Blue on the stock mkt. : IBM
60. "___ From the Madding Crowd" : FAR
61. Steam : IRE
62. Serving in Japanese ceremonies : TEA
63. 67-Across food : HAY

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

Found bugs or have suggestions?