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

New York Times, Friday, July 29, 2016

Author:
John Guzzetta
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
2010/9/20129/14/20184
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1322453
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.63100
John Guzzetta

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 70, Blocks: 30 Missing: {JZ} Spans: 2 This is puzzle # 9 for Mr. Guzzetta. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
John Guzzetta notes:
Since trying themeless puzzles, I've gotten really comfortable with rejection! Here I took a step toward simplicity, kept my two ... read more

Since trying themeless puzzles, I've gotten really comfortable with rejection! Here I took a step toward simplicity, kept my two 15-letter seeds well separated, and tried to keep the liabilities to 0-2. It was sent in December 2014 and accepted in May 2015.

Thanks to Jeff Chen for his feedback on this grid! I don't know how you find the time to answer your emails, but you're a huge encouragement to new constructors!

Jeff Chen notes:
Really fun solve ... and so familiar! John sent me two versions of this puzzle, asking for my feedback. One was a 'clean' version ... read more

Really fun solve ... and so familiar! John sent me two versions of this puzzle, asking for my feedback. One was a "clean" version — this one — and the other was "less clean." They differed mainly in that bottom right corner, with LAST RESORT / URBAN DECAY in the "less clean" one where ANGLOPHONE / INTERSECTS is now. I felt like the puzzle would be just tremendous if he could work in LAST RESORT / URBAN DECAY … but without the uglies like TEN CC, EELER, GOER, STYE that it required to hold that corner together. Ultimately, it proved impossible, though. Ah well.

We also discussed INRI. That to me is a pretty big offender (stands for "Iesvs Nazarenvs Rex Iudaeorvm"), one I'd go to any length to get rid of, since to a good chunk of solvers it could seem like four random letters stuck together. I liked INRE much better, since I use that all the time in memos. But that required FOGS to become FOGG (with SICKOS becoming GECKOS), and John really disliked FOGG. Curious how subjective this business is! To me, Phileas FOGG is the beloved protagonist of "Around the World in 80 Days," a book that made a tremendous impact on me. But to people who haven't read the book, FOGG will be … just four random letters stuck together!

Other than INRI, it's such a well-made puzzle. Themelesses featuring 15-letter answers often have compromises, i.e. not very many feature answers, a lot of crossword glue, some stilted sounding fill. But to get not only TEACHABLE MOMENT and BIOLOGICAL CLOCK, but CHEST HAIR, GRAY MATTER, the ONE PERCENT, THE BEE GEES, etc. plus some really strong mid-length INKBLOT, CHURCHY, SPY KIDS, BAUBLES, is awesome. Very good use of all his slots.

QAID might cause some head-scratching. Merriam Webster does list it as a variant spelling of CAID, but it's so hard to pin down the "correct" spelling of those words like HIJAB and NIQAB. So I give it a pass.

All in all, I still would have loved for that bottom right corner to be snazzed up — ANGLOPHONE and INTERSECTS don't feel like standout answers to me — but as a whole, I really enjoyed the solve.

1
F
2
O
3
G
4
S
5
S
6
C
7
A
8
T
9
A
10
T
11
A
12
L
13
L
14
I
N
R
I
15
P
O
O
H
16
M
O
X
I
E
17
T
E
A
C
18
H
A
B
L
E
19
M
O
M
E
N
T
20
S
P
Y
K
I
D
S
21
B
A
U
B
L
E
S
22
E
M
O
T
E
23
C
E
R
N
24
B
R
A
S
I
25
C
H
E
S
T
26
H
27
A
28
I
29
R
30
A
C
T
31
T
32
H
O
U
G
H
33
A
N
N
A
34
S
E
T
35
S
36
A
G
R
E
E
37
H
G
T
V
38
K
N
E
E
39
N
I
C
E
S
40
T
41
L
E
E
42
S
T
R
E
43
N
G
T
H
S
44
O
45
D
O
R
S
46
O
D
A
Y
47
P
R
E
P
S
48
I
49
N
50
K
51
B
L
O
T
52
Q
U
I
C
H
E
53
S
54
B
I
O
L
O
G
I
55
C
A
L
C
L
O
C
K
56
I
G
L
O
O
57
N
E
I
L
58
A
N
T
I
59
S
H
A
C
K
60
G
O
D
S
61
W
E
S
T
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0729 ( 24,370 )

Support XWord Info today

Access this site for a full year:

  1. Select your level
  2. Choose how to pay

Learn about support levels.

$50 — Angel

Full access + download

$20 — Regular User

Full access, limited Finder

$10 — Casual User

Students & seniors
Across
1. Gets steamy, with "up" : FOGS
5. Order to go away : SCAT
9. Ever : ATALL
14. Letters on a crucifix : INRI
15. Rabbit's friend : POOH
16. Grit : MOXIE
17. Teen's fender bender, maybe : TEACHABLEMOMENT
20. 2001 fantasy/adventure film with three sequels : SPYKIDS
21. Many an étagère display : BAUBLES
22. Gush : EMOTE
23. Lab housing the world's largest machine : CERN
24. Luca who "sleeps with the fishes" : BRASI
25. Symbol of virility : CHESTHAIR
30. Don't delay : ACT
31. However : THOUGH
33. "Frozen" princess : ANNA
34. Match makeup : SETS
36. Match : AGREE
37. "Ellen's Design Challenge" airer : HGTV
38. One of the eight points of contact in Muay Thai : KNEE
39. Least apt to offend : NICEST
41. "Life of Pi" director : LEE
42. Longest word in English containing only one vowel : STRENGTHS
44. Many gases lack them : ODORS
46. R&B/pop singer Aubrey : ODAY
47. Readies for an operation : PREPS
48. Therapist's image : INKBLOT
52. Some miniature hors d'oeuvres : QUICHES
54. Concern in family planning : BIOLOGICALCLOCK
56. Inuit for "house" : IGLOO
57. Simon of the stage : NEIL
58. Hostile to : ANTI
59. Roughhouse? : SHACK
60. Eponyms of the week? : GODS
61. 270° : WEST
Down
1. Goes on perfectly : FITS
2. Target of the Occupy movement : ONEPERCENT
3. Brains : GRAYMATTER
4. Twisted sorts : SICKOS
5. Figure in a dark suit : SPADE
6. They're held at both ends when eating : COBS
7. Sister co. of Verizon Wireless : AOL
8. "How Deep Is Your Love" Grammy winners : THEBEEGEES
9. Principal, e.g. : AMOUNT
10. Catacomb component : TOMB
11. Turn and a half on the ice : AXEL
12. Shoppers' headache : LINE
13. "I'm in!" : LETS
18. Cry after "One, two, three," maybe : HITIT
19. Rail hubs? : MARSHES
23. Intolerantly pious : CHURCHY
24. Takes pleasure (in) : BASKS
25. Deep in thought : COGITATING
26. "Yeah, right!" : HAH
27. Like the Bahamas, Barbados and Belize : ANGLOPHONE
28. Cuts through : INTERSECTS
29. "Two thumbs way up!" and such : RAVES
32. Like losers' looks : HANGDOG
35. Get : SEE
40. Doughnutlike : TORIC
43. Kind of pass in basketball : NOLOOK
45. Make furniture-safe, in a way : DECLAW
47. Relatives of sprains : PULLS
48. Relative of a spoonbill : IBIS
49. Just about : NIGH
50. African tree cultivated for its nuts : KOLA
51. Like-minded voters : BLOC
52. Muslim judge of North Africa : QAID
53. Bit of improv : SKIT
55. Driver of a bus. : CEO

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle, 2 debuted here and reused later, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?