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New York Times, Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Author:
David J. Lieb
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
24/7/20157/29/20150
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0011000
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.63000
David J. Lieb

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 16 Words: 81, Blocks: 36 Missing: {FQX} This is puzzle # 2 for Mr. Lieb. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
David J. Lieb notes:
I don't remember the exact genesis of this theme in March 2012, but of course it was inspired by all the 'word that can follow both parts of ... read more

I don't remember the exact genesis of this theme in March 2012, but of course it was inspired by all the "word that can follow both parts of …" puzzles that came before. I submitted the puzzle in October 2013 and it was accepted in January 2014.

My original idea for the DOUBLE DOUBLE reveal was to stack the two DOUBLES on top of each other in one answer, resulting in six adjacent rebus squares. But I couldn't get it to work, especially because of the limited possibilities for answers containing UU.

I put the puzzle aside and took my dog for a walk and was fortunate to run into my crossword consigliere, Brendan Emmett Quigley, in the park. Brendan suggested keeping it simple and to just go with the DOUBLEDOUBLE answer you see today.

With six theme answers, the first and last of which are 12 letters long, I had to widen the puzzle to 16 squares instead of the standard 15 to fit all the themers in. Perhaps another constructor could have done it with some themers going down.

This puzzle benefitted from considerable editing, with not just clues, but several answers changed in the SE corner. Two of the best new clues, IMO, are movie-related: 36-Down (American Sniper) and 48-Down (Fargo). One of my favorite clues that didn't make the cut was also movie-related: "Delta __ Chi (‘Animal House' frat)" at 69-Across, as I am an unrecovered Animal House fan. My other favorite clue that was changed: "The majority of the answer to this clue" for ESSES at 73-Across was actually improved by the clue that references the whole bottom row of the puzzle and the general crossword phenomenon that many S's tend to accumulate there. Finally, on one more movie note, I was happy to see ELI still clued in reference to my cousin, director Eli Roth. I hope Eli Manning's family is not too disappointed.

Thanks to BEQ, Will and Joel and to Jeff and Jim for XWord Info, which is a real boon to fledgling constructors!

Jeff Chen notes:
I love fantasy basketball. If I didn't have other commitments, I'd spend all my waking hours (and some of my sleeping ones) analyzing data, ... read more

I love fantasy basketball. If I didn't have other commitments, I'd spend all my waking hours (and some of my sleeping ones) analyzing data, reading commentary, trying to pick up the smallest tidbit. So it was fun to see the DOUBLE-DOUBLE as today's revealer, pointing to phrases where both words can be followed by DOUBLE.

Jahlil Okafor, future double-doubler or bust?

I was helping a friend with a similar theme construction which recently got rejected, Will/Joel saying the NYT has run so many of this theme type that it's nearly run its course. I agree with that sentiment, although every once in a while it's fun to see a well-constructed example.

I liked all the themers in today's puzzle, although they didn't feel as snazzy as I would have liked. STANDARD TIME is in the name of a famous Wynton Marsalis album, but the general term isn't as interesting to me. TAKEOVER and BACKDATE aren't bad. And PLAYBILLS is good. All solid, but CROSSTALK is the only one which I really loved.

And it was slightly confusing to me that CARWASH looked like a themer. (There really ought to be such a thing as a DOUBLE CAR.) With a theme like this, I would have preferred for the themers to stand out on their own right. That would have meant putting a single word in CARWASH's place, or rearranging the grid such that the CARWASH slot was shorter.

Great clue for ZEBRA. I hadn't heard of a "zorse" or a "zonkey," but I'll be looking for every opportunity to use them now. Another great clue for PLANE = [It lacks depth]. I love it when math and the English language merge to create cleverosity.

As with fantasy basketball, a DOUBLE DOUBLE guy is pretty good, but there are (relatively) a lot of them out there. It's when you see the potential for a guy to notch some TRIPLE DOUBLEs that you really get excited. "Three-word phrases where all words can precede DOUBLE" … now that would be Showtime!

P.S. Anyone with a good read on Okafor or Mudiay, lemme know. They both look like they might be worth a flyer.

1
U
2
P
3
C
4
A
5
S
6
T
7
Z
8
E
9
B
10
R
11
A
12
N
13
P
14
R
15
N
O
O
G
I
E
16
E
A
R
E
D
17
E
L
I
18
S
T
A
N
D
A
19
R
D
T
I
M
E
20
G
A
G
21
T
E
E
22
A
S
A
D
A
23
R
E
N
O
24
C
25
A
R
W
A
26
S
H
27
T
A
K
28
E
O
V
E
R
29
A
B
O
30
A
R
31
C
32
L
E
S
T
33
C
R
O
34
S
35
S
T
A
L
36
K
37
S
T
I
38
G
39
M
40
A
41
T
A
M
P
A
42
H
O
Y
43
T
44
A
N
O
U
T
45
I
M
S
O
L
46
D
47
P
L
A
48
Y
B
I
L
L
S
49
O
A
R
50
S
51
E
T
A
52
D
E
E
53
B
54
A
55
C
K
D
A
T
56
E
57
T
H
58
E
59
R
E
S
A
60
E
B
A
Y
61
G
R
U
62
E
L
63
C
O
N
64
L
B
J
65
D
O
U
B
L
E
66
D
O
U
B
67
L
68
E
69
T
A
U
70
U
N
T
I
L
71
A
L
T
O
I
D
72
S
S
N
73
E
S
S
E
S
74
Y
E
S
Y
E
S
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0729 ( 24,004 )
Across
1
Thrown skyward : UPCAST
7
Parent of a zorse or a zonkey : ZEBRA
12
"Fresh Air" network : NPR
15
Knuckle to the head : NOOGIE
16
Lop-___ : EARED
17
"Hostel" director Roth : ELI
18
*It's divided into four zones in the contiguous U.S. states : STANDARDTIME
20
React to a stench, maybe : GAG
21
One end of a fairway : TEE
22
Carne ___ (burrito filler) : ASADA
23
Eight-year member of Clinton's cabinet : RENO
24
Common school fund-raiser : CARWASH
27
*Coup d'état, e.g. : TAKEOVER
29
Blood-typing system : ABO
30
What a line drive lacks : ARC
32
"... ___ ye be judged" : LEST
33
*Incidental chatter : CROSSTALK
37
Stain on one's reputation : STIGMA
41
Home of the Buccaneers : TAMPA
42
Knuckleballer Wilhelm : HOYT
44
Have ___ (avoid blame) : ANOUT
45
"You've convinced me!" : IMSOLD
47
*Handouts to theatergoers : PLAYBILLS
49
Regatta gear : OARS
51
Flight info, briefly : ETA
52
End to "end" : DEE
53
*Make retroactive : BACKDATE
57
Russell of "Black Widow" : THERESA
60
Site with Daily Deals : EBAY
61
Fare for Oliver Twist : GRUEL
63
Hoodwink : CON
64
Great Society inits. : LBJ
65
Statistical achievement in basketball ... or what the answer to each starred clue is : DOUBLEDOUBLE
69
Fraternity letter : TAU
70
As late as : UNTIL
71
Breath mint in a tin : ALTOID
72
Hyphenated ID : SSN
73
Half of the letters in this answer's row : ESSES
74
"Of course, that's obvious" : YESYES
Down
1
Young ___ (tots) : UNS
2
Container for 6-Down : POT
3
Where forgotten umbrellas may accumulate : COATROOMS
4
Vice president before Ford : AGNEW
5
Half a 45 : SIDEA
6
Chai ___ : TEA
7
Sleep indicator in a British comic strip : ZEDS
8
Really get to : EATAT
9
Like some showers : BRIDAL
10
Many movies with built-in audiences : REMAKES
11
Ending with Gator : ADE
12
More than half of Israel : NEGEV
13
It lacks depth : PLANE
14
Extreme hardship : RIGOR
19
Full of school spirit : RAHRAH
23
Corkscrew-shaped pasta : ROTINI
24
Prickly pears, e.g. : CACTI
25
James ___ Garfield : ABRAM
26
Remained idle : SAT
28
Founded: Abbr. : ESTAB
31
Sound of a wooden shoe : CLOP
34
Like a haunted house : SPOOKY
35
Restaurant dish that patrons may make themselves : SALAD
36
"American Sniper" subject Chris ___ : KYLE
38
Person who can do no wrong : GOLDENBOY
39
Stubborn sorts : MULES
40
Totally disoriented : ATSEA
43
Act the snitch : TATTLE
46
Chinese New Year decorations : DRAGONS
48
"Fargo" assent : YAH
50
Walks like a peacock : STRUTS
53
Big swigs : BELTS
54
Arafat's successor : ABBAS
55
New Orleans cuisine : CAJUN
56
Ragtime pianist Blake : EUBIE
58
France's ___ des Beaux-Arts : ECOLE
59
Defeats handily : ROUTS
62
Some add-ons : ELLS
65
Expected in : DUE
66
Word repeated in "___ in, ___ out" : DAY
67
Polygraph detection : LIE
68
Some desk workers, for short : EDS

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle, 2 debuted here and reused later, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?