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, Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Author:
Amanda Chung and Karl Ni
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
86/17/20184/23/20198
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1133000
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.60020
Amanda Chung
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
86/17/20184/23/20198
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1133000
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.60020
Karl Ni

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 37 Missing: {JQVXZ} This is puzzle # 2 for Ms. Chung. This is puzzle # 2 for Mr. Ni. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Constructor notes:
AMANDA: We'd submitted quite a few puzzles before this one being accepted. The themes ranged from too silly to too familiar. There was ... read more

AMANDA: We'd submitted quite a few puzzles before this one being accepted. The themes ranged from too silly to too familiar. There was always feedback though, from Will, Joel, and Sam, and it was very insightful and encouraging (even for puzzles that now make me wince!) Every "no" helped make the next puzzle just a little better and we kept learning how to make better puzzles. I'd bounce theme ideas off of Karl and he'd often have something fresh that I hadn't thought of yet.

But this puzzle actually started in the opposite fashion, with Karl having an idea and me doing the fine-tuning. I remember wanting entries that fitted the FLYINGCOLORS theme, but weren't just generic flying things. BLUEBIRD was a slight concession, but it also being a "symbol of happiness" helped justify it.

I do love the song at 32-A, and the editorial team's cluing for it! I feel like we've come a long way together and am very excited for our first solo effort to appear here.

KARL: This, our first theme as a couple, was especially fun to work with, snowballing from a morning conversation. With airplanes in my dreams, I groggily mumbled to Amanda something about her being a BLUEANGEL pilot. We bore out a theme with a potential next color-flyer pair: REDROBIN, and from there, we didn't look back. We put a bit of ourselves into the entries, from kicking off with our favorite farm-fresh CA dish in 1-A, to some fun Jackson 5 songs. Thanks to Amanda for being a wonderful and positive partner. We hope you enjoy the puzzle!

Jeff Chen notes:
Loved this theme! FLYING COLORS = things that fly, all described by a color. This huge GREEN LANTERN fan loved seeing Hal Jordan get ... read more

Loved this theme! FLYING COLORS = things that fly, all described by a color. This huge GREEN LANTERN fan loved seeing Hal Jordan get his due (although, your weakness is the color yellow? Seriously, you cower in the face of a dandelion?). And GOLDEN SNITCH! It's like Amanda and Karl asked themselves, "What themers would make Jeff automatically give us his POW!?"

BLUEBIRD wasn't as interesting, but I read a ton of "Peanuts" as a kid, and I have a soft spot for Snoopy's dogfights with the RED BARON. it always made me want to go seek out root beer at a French cafe.

Now, the grid wasn't as clean as I want from an early-week puzzle. There was enough SOIRS, AFOG / ALII, NTSB, EDT, that I paused slightly before slamming down the POW! But there is a relatively high density of theme material, not easy to work with a split revealer like FLYING / COLORS in the center, kind of splitting the puzzle in half.

Speaking of that, splitting the puzzle nearly completely in half is another no-no. It forces solvers to do two mini-puzzles — blockages in the feng shui. But, FLYING / COLORS does tie the two halves together a little better, so that's something.

And ultimately, the gluey bits were all minor offenders, many in the name of working in great stuff like CATNIP / OK SURE / WEBBYS – ok sure, that's worth the price of NTSB!

Overall, the theme won me over so highly that the slight dings didn't bring things down much. Such an entertaining solve.

P.S. A friend and I have a puzzle waiting in the publication queue … also based on FLYING COLORS. This is one of the very few times I've wished for the lag time from acceptance to publication to be very long!

1
G
2
U
3
A
4
C
5
H
6
I
7
M
8
S
9
C
10
H
11
E
12
M
13
E
14
I
T
S
Y
15
E
P
I
16
C
O
I
N
E
D
17
R
E
D
B
18
A
R
O
N
19
U
M
P
I
R
E
20
D
R
O
O
L
S
21
A
22
M
F
M
23
D
E
N
24
S
O
I
R
S
25
P
R
E
F
A
26
B
27
G
O
28
L
D
E
N
S
N
I
29
T
30
C
31
H
32
A
33
B
34
C
35
O
A
T
S
36
D
E
T
O
O
37
F
L
Y
38
I
39
N
G
40
C
O
L
O
R
S
41
O
U
T
D
O
42
B
43
E
44
A
U
45
P
E
T
46
G
R
E
E
N
47
L
A
N
T
E
48
R
49
N
50
A
D
O
R
N
S
51
I
O
52
W
53
A
54
N
55
S
56
S
57
N
58
A
U
T
O
59
A
L
T
H
E
A
60
C
A
T
61
N
I
P
62
B
63
L
U
E
B
I
R
D
64
O
K
S
U
R
E
65
L
I
N
66
A
L
I
I
67
W
E
B
B
Y
S
68
E
D
T
69
D
E
E
R
© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0717 ( 25,088 )
Across
1
Avocado dip, slangily : GUAC
5
"Peace be upon ___" (Muslim phrase about a prophet) : HIM
8
Devise a plot : SCHEME
14
Teeny-tiny : ITSY
15
Prefix with center : EPI
16
Invented, as a new word : COINED
17
W.W. I enemy ace : REDBARON
19
Diamond judge : UMPIRE
20
Slobbers : DROOLS
21
Letters on a radio button : AMFM
23
Lair : DEN
24
Parisian evenings : SOIRS
25
Like a house that might be built in a day : PREFAB
27
Quidditch ball that ends the game when it's caught : GOLDENSNITCH
32
Jackson 5 hit with the lyric "It's easy as 1, 2, 3" : ABC
35
Feedbag feed : OATS
36
Artoo-___ : DETOO
37
With 40-Across, what a straight-A student passes with ... or a hint to 17-, 27-, 46- and 62-Across : FLYING
40
See 37-Across : COLORS
41
Best : OUTDO
42
Swain : BEAU
45
Responsibility for a house sitter, maybe : PET
46
Comics hero with a magic ring : GREENLANTERN
50
Decorates : ADORNS
51
Des Moines resident : IOWAN
55
W-2 ID : SSN
58
Opposite of manual : AUTO
59
Gibson of tennis fame : ALTHEA
60
Something a tabby can't resist : CATNIP
62
Symbol of happiness : BLUEBIRD
64
"Fine by me" : OKSURE
65
Jeremy of the N.B.A. : LIN
66
Et ___ (and others) : ALII
67
Annual internet awards : WEBBYS
68
"Spring forward" hrs. in N.Y.C. : EDT
69
Subject of road "Xing" signs : DEER
Down
1
Prepares, as oneself for battle : GIRDS
2
In ___ (unborn) : UTERO
3
"Likewise" : ASDOI
4
Half human, half machine : CYBORG
5
That lady's : HERS
6
Tech start-up's big moment : IPO
7
Part of a mosque from which the call to prayer is made : MINARET
8
Shoe blemishes : SCUFFS
9
Military raider : COMMANDO
10
Not square : HIP
11
Children's author Blyton : ENID
12
Slight : MERE
13
First garden site : EDEN
18
Moreover : ALSO
22
Department store department : MENS
25
Smartphone predecessor, for short : PDA
26
Jessica of "7th Heaven" : BIEL
28
Fuel for a fire : LOG
29
Roof style of some Corvettes : TTOP
30
Uneaten part of an apple : CORE
31
Parasite harborer : HOST
32
Lost in ___ : AFOG
33
Make fuzzy : BLUR
34
Suffix meaning "cell" : CYTE
38
Notion : IDEA
39
Product label looked for by the lactose intolerant : NONDAIRY
40
"You go onstage ... now," e.g. : CUE
42
Cartoon boy who makes many prank calls : BART
43
Elevate to royalty : ENNOBLE
44
@@@ : ATS
47
Jewelers' glasses : LOUPES
48
Tick off : RILE
49
So-so : NOTBAD
52
Period of time : WHILE
53
American Eagle clothing line : AERIE
54
All-time low : NADIR
55
Flat-bottomed boat : SCOW
56
Sushi bar drink : SAKE
57
Accident investigation org. : NTSB
59
Family title with two pronunciations : AUNT
61
Worn-down pencil, e.g. : NUB
63
Slang for a hat : LID

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?