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, Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Author:
Peter Gordon
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1149/5/19897/2/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
841241411619
ScrabRebusCirclePangramPre‑WS
1.5891611
Peter Gordon

This puzzle:

Rows: 16, Columns: 15 Words: 81, Blocks: 38 Missing: {QVX} This is puzzle # 114 for Mr. Gordon. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Peter Gordon notes:
Inspiration came from Lorelai Gilmore, Lauren Graham's character on 'Gilmore Girls,' but I couldn't find even one other example from ... read more

Inspiration came from Lorelai Gilmore, Lauren Graham's character on "Gilmore Girls," but I couldn't find even one other example from television. I avoided ones like Jerry Lewis playing Jerry Langford in "The King of Comedy" since then "Jerry" is in the clue and answer, and also similar ones like Joe Pesci playing Joseph Palmi in "The Good Shepherd."

Some decent ones that didn't make the puzzle:

  • Denzel Washington as Demetrius Williams in "Mississippi Masala"
  • Jim Broadbent as John Bayley in "Iris"
  • Jeff Bridges as Jack Baker in "The Fabulous Baker Boys"
  • Rod Steiger as Reb Saunders in "The Chosen"
  • Wesley Snipes as Web Smith in "Rising Sun"
  • James Woods as Jake Wise in "Against All Odds"
  • John Travolta as Jack Terry in "Blow Out"
Jeff Chen notes:
Actors with initials identical to the characters they played. I was a huge 'Blues Brothers' fan when I was younger, so JOHN BELUSHI / ... read more

Actors with initials identical to the characters they played. I was a huge "Blues Brothers" fan when I was younger, so JOHN BELUSHI / Jake Blues came easily. Neat realization – how is it that I never before made the connection?

ANTHONY / HOPKINS playing Alfred Hitchcock was another interesting find. I haven't seen the film, but it's on my list, as Hitchcock's vast body of work amazes me.

JAMES STEWART as Mr. (Jefferson) Smith, too. Although, who calls him "James"? His prim and proper grandmother, perhaps?

The others weren't as interesting since the names aren't as recognizable. You ask anyone on the street, what's the last name of the famous director Alfred? Or the last name of Jake and Elwood in "The Blues Brothers"? You'd get a lot more right answers than if you asked for the name of MARK RUFFALO's character in "Spotlight."

Interesting grid layout. I wouldn't have thought to try intersecting JAMES STEWART / ANTHONY and LIZA MINNELLI / HOPKINS.

Why, though? Why not use a more traditional layout, MARK RUFFALO in row 3, LIZA MINNELLI in row 5 or 6, ANTHONY / HOPKINS split in row 8, etc.? It'd be more like a movie poster presentation — appropriate to the theme — and it doesn't separate ANTHONY and HOPKINS in an awkward way, where solvers will likely encounter HOPKINS before ANTHONY.

The unusual layout did make for some rarely-seen opportunities. A lot of great bonuses, BIKER BAR, NORMALCY, TIMELINE, MINGLES, UNWRITTEN standing out. Some were in unexpected places, too, which I like. Good to be surprised every once in a while.

But let's consider the liabilities on the other side of the balance sheet. AS A LARK is a 7-letter partial. BOSSA can only be clued in one way. ESS ESO, SCI, SST? And the solve felt choppy, so it wasn't a surprise to see 26 3-letter words, four more than some editors allow.

It's a unique theme, and I like encountering something I haven't seen before. Not an idea that wowed me, though, and it would have benefitted from more a traditional themer layout.

1
A
2
T
3
E
4
A
5
M
6
O
7
L
8
D
9
I
10
E
11
L
12
A
13
M
14
T
I
A
R
A
15
F
E
E
D
S
16
I
W
O
17
M
A
R
K
R
18
U
F
F
A
L
O
19
Z
A
P
20
S
I
N
21
T
R
Y
22
B
A
K
E
23
T
24
A
25
J
26
T
W
27
I
S
T
28
A
I
M
E
D
29
A
S
A
30
L
A
R
K
31
H
32
O
P
K
I
N
S
33
T
I
M
E
L
I
N
34
E
35
T
E
E
N
36
A
D
E
S
37
T
O
R
38
C
H
39
R
N
40
A
41
E
S
S
42
T
W
I
N
E
43
B
E
R
44
G
45
S
T
46
Y
E
47
N
O
R
48
M
A
L
C
Y
49
A
50
N
T
H
O
N
51
Y
52
T
W
I
R
L
E
R
53
I
B
E
A
M
54
A
55
T
E
I
N
56
I
D
O
57
S
A
W
N
58
S
C
I
59
S
G
60
T
61
L
E
A
62
J
O
H
N
63
B
E
L
U
64
S
65
H
66
I
67
E
R
R
68
A
S
T
E
R
69
E
T
H
I
C
70
S
S
T
71
B
O
S
S
A
72
S
U
E
M
E
© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 0702 ( 25,438 )
Across
1
Starting players : ATEAM
6
Any classic vinyl record : OLDIE
11
On the ___ (fleeing) : LAM
14
Crown for Miss America : TIARA
15
Satellite signals : FEEDS
16
___ Jima : IWO
17
Actor with the same initials as Michael Rezendes, his role in "Spotlight" : MARKRUFFALO
19
Nuke : ZAP
20
Sloth, for example : SIN
21
Have a go at : TRY
22
Put in a tandoor : BAKE
23
___ Mahal : TAJ
26
Citrus garnish in a mixed drink : TWIST
28
Used a riflescope, say : AIMED
29
For fun : ASALARK
31
See 49-Across : HOPKINS
33
Graphic representation of history : TIMELINE
35
Fake ID user, often : TEEN
36
Fruity drinks : ADES
37
Image on the back of a dime : TORCH
39
Cell messenger : RNA
41
Serpentine letter : ESS
42
Strong string : TWINE
43
Floating mass in the North Atlantic : BERG
45
Eye woe : STYE
47
Regularness : NORMALCY
49
With 31-Across, actor with the same initials as Alfred Hitchcock, his role in "Hitchcock" : ANTHONY
52
Performer with a baton : TWIRLER
53
Construction girder : IBEAM
54
Didn't do takeout at a restaurant : ATEIN
56
Altar promise : IDO
57
Like lumber : SAWN
58
Subj. involving telescopes or microscopes : SCI
59
Army NCO : SGT
61
Grassy field : LEA
62
Actor with the same initials as Jake Blues, his role in "The Blues Brothers" : JOHNBELUSHI
67
Do the wrong thing : ERR
68
Fall bloom : ASTER
69
Set of moral principles : ETHIC
70
Former fast jet, in brief : SST
71
___ nova (Brazilian music style) : BOSSA
72
"So I was wrong" : SUEME
Down
1
It's stuffed with dough : ATM
2
Acapulco aunt : TIA
3
Musical sense : EAR
4
Temple cabinets : ARKS
5
___ status (survey information) : MARITAL
6
Not working : OFF
7
Southpaw punches : LEFTS
8
Lack : DEARTH
9
How doodles are generally drawn : IDLY
10
What that is, in Tijuana : ESO
11
Actress with the same initials as Linda Marolla, her role in "Arthur" : LIZAMINNELLI
12
Come to : AWAKEN
13
Relatives of scooters : MOPEDS
18
Oral only : UNWRITTEN
22
Establishment that might have a lot of hogs in front : BIKERBAR
23
"Cheerio!" : TATA
24
Parenthetical comment : ASIDE
25
Actor with the same initials as Jefferson Smith, his role in "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington" : JAMESSTEWART
27
"You don't have to tell me" : IKNOW
28
Lummox : APE
30
What "<" means : LESSTHAN
32
Else : OTHERWISE
34
"___ go bragh!" : ERIN
38
$100 bill, in slang : CNOTE
40
Took a parabolic path : ARCED
44
Greek sandwich : GYRO
46
___ Kippur : YOM
48
Is sociable at a party : MINGLES
49
A wide-body plane has two of them : AISLES
50
Cavs and Mavs, for example : NBAERS
51
Billionaires' vessels : YACHTS
55
Fork prongs : TINES
58
Mediocre : SOSO
60
Ballerina's skirt : TUTU
62
Quick punch : JAB
63
Bikini top : BRA
64
That woman : SHE
65
That man : HIM
66
Rink surface : ICE

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?