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, Monday, July 4, 2016

Author:
Jill Denny and Jeff Chen
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
57/5/20107/4/20165
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0200300
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.68200
Jill Denny
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1017/5/20108/7/201961
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
2678182598
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.637222
Jeff Chen

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 42 Missing: {QW} This is puzzle # 5 for Ms. Denny. This is puzzle # 54 for Mr. Chen. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Constructor notes:
JILL: I'm excited to see this puzzle make it to the page after a few years in the queue. Jeff and I painted ourselves into a corner by ... read more

JILL: I'm excited to see this puzzle make it to the page after a few years in the queue. Jeff and I painted ourselves into a corner by choosing a theme that could only reasonably run on a single day out of the year, and only in the Monday-Thursdayspan. Thursday, July 4, 2013 was the most recent eligible date until today. Hello, old friend!

This theme popped up while we traveling, as our themes usually do. I'll be reading a book or daydreaming, and Jeff will turn to me and say, "You know, we haven't come up with any good crossword ideas in a while," and then I'll propose approximately two dozen terrible ideas that Jeff very politely pretends to consider, usually phrased as, "Hmm, interesting. Let's put it on the list." In keeping with the Infinite Monkey Theorem, I eventually land on a theme that makes Jeff's eyes light up. This particular idea came a little sooner than most, thank goodness. Turning an ordinal number into a fraction seemed like the kind of nerdy yet accessible theme that makes for a straight-over-the-plate weekday grid.

Although I'm pleased with how the grid turned out, I think we both wish that we could have found another option for the 'L' themer. L-DOPA isn't the freshest. Regardless, it was a fun collaboration. Stay tuned for our next joint project, due in less than a month. Hint: it's not a crossword.

JEFF: As usual, the collaborations between my wife and me are one part inspiration, one part genius. She's responsible for both parts, so I ... well, I smell reasonably inoffensive. Most of the time.

Jeff Chen notes:
It's been an amusing game, waiting to see which July 4th this would be published on. We intended it to be hard, for July 4th, 2013 (a ... read more

It's been an amusing game, waiting to see which July 4th this would be published on. We intended it to be hard, for July 4th, 2013 (a Thursday). Then July 4th, 2014 was a Friday. And July 4th, 2015 was a Saturday. Stupid calendar!

When we pinged Will about possibly running it this year, he confessed he was struggling with how to word the revealer. In classic wordplay, FOURTH OF JULY hints only at the letter Y, since it's the fourth letter of JULY, so many solvers might get baffled by the theme concept. If it were to be run on a Monday, we'd have to make sure a bigger chunk of solvers figured it out.

We ran by several ideas — our favorite for a crystal-clear clue was [The starts of 20-, 26-, 36-, and 42-Across are all one-___], but that admittedly felt inelegant. So I like the compromise with the [… literally] hint. Hope that makes it clear to everyone that J U L Y are each literally 1/4 (one fourth) of JULY!

Tough grid to assemble, with much less flexibility than usual. In working up the skeleton, I pulled out every trick in the book, including shifting each themer back and forth, changing the spacing, trying stacking / interlock, etc. I'm not a fan of the big L blocks of black squares on the sides, but it felt like the least of all evils.

Then it was a matter of choosing some good long fill — Jill liked MOM JEANS over LEE JEANS and DIONYSUS / TS ELIOT over many other options, even though the latter pair required an ORU to make it work.

I did sneak in a NYUK — the two of us have radically different opinions when it comes to the Three Stooges. I suppose she had to have some flaw.

1
R
2
A
3
I
4
M
5
I
6
Z
7
E
8
T
9
A
10
H
11
A
12
L
13
L
14
V
R
O
O
M
15
I
N
O
N
16
O
B
I
E
17
S
T
U
M
P
18
N
Y
U
K
19
T
O
K
E
20
J
E
21
D
G
A
R
H
22
O
O
V
E
R
23
G
24
O
E
T
H
E
25
M
I
E
N
S
26
U
H
A
U
L
R
27
E
28
N
29
T
A
L
30
S
I
G
N
S
31
C
A
I
N
32
L
33
I
34
P
35
I
D
O
S
36
L
37
D
O
P
A
38
D
E
C
O
39
X
E
D
40
M
A
I
N
41
T
I
M
E
X
42
Y
C
H
R
O
43
M
44
O
S
O
M
E
45
A
46
T
47
S
E
A
48
A
R
E
N
A
S
49
F
O
U
R
T
50
H
51
O
52
F
J
U
L
Y
53
T
R
I
O
54
A
R
L
O
55
I
S
56
I
57
A
58
H
59
E
T
T
U
60
C
Z
A
R
61
O
U
N
C
E
62
R
E
S
T
63
K
O
P
S
64
T
S
K
E
D
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0704 ( 24,345 )

Support XWord Info today

Pay now and get access for a year.

1. Select account level
2. Choose how to pay
Across
1
Sam who directed "Spider-Man" : RAIMI
6
Greek "Z" : ZETA
10
___ of Fame : HALL
14
Revved engine sound : VROOM
15
Privy to : INON
16
Annual theater award : OBIE
17
Campaign trail : STUMP
18
When repeated, a Stooge's laugh : NYUK
19
What can be a real drag? : TOKE
20
Longtime F.B.I. chief : JEDGARHOOVER
23
German author who wrote "Faust" : GOETHE
25
Demeanors : MIENS
26
Van for moving day, maybe : UHAULRENTAL
30
Zodiac divisions : SIGNS
31
Herman who ran for the 2012 Republican nomination : CAIN
32
Back talk : LIP
35
They're exchanged at the altar : IDOS
36
Drug used to treat Parkinson's : LDOPA
38
See 2-Down : DECO
39
Crossed (out) : XED
40
Street likely to have the most stoplights : MAIN
41
Watch that "takes a licking and keeps on ticking" : TIMEX
42
Male characteristic : YCHROMOSOME
45
Perplexed : ATSEA
48
Skybox locales : ARENAS
49
Holiday suggested by the starts of 20-, 26-, 36- and 42-Across, literally : FOURTHOFJULY
53
Threesome : TRIO
54
Guthrie who sang at Woodstock : ARLO
55
N.B.A. Hall-of-Famer Thomas : ISIAH
59
Caesar's accusation to Brutus : ETTU
60
Russia's Nicholas I or II : CZAR
61
1/16 of a pound : OUNCE
62
The first "R" of R&R : REST
63
Keystone ___ of early film : KOPS
64
Clucked in disapproval : TSKED
Down
1
Traveling homes, for short : RVS
2
With 38-Across, 1920s-'30s design style : ART
3
Payment-to-come-later note : IOU
4
Much-ridiculed pants for women : MOMJEANS
5
Instigation : IMPETUS
6
"Oh, snap!" elicitor : ZINGER
7
Writer/singer of an Elvish song for "The Lord of the Rings" : ENYA
8
With 23-Down, leader of a sightseers' group : TOUR
9
Symbol of life in ancient Egypt : ANKH
10
Necessity for deep-frying : HOTOIL
11
On top of : ABOVE
12
Make an analogy with, with "to" : LIKEN
13
Satyrs' looks : LEERS
21
FedEx competitor : DHL
22
Arabian Peninsula sultanate : OMAN
23
See 8-Down : GUIDE
24
"This is terrible!" : OHGOD
27
Low-priced, in brand names : ECONO
28
Short snooze : NAP
29
___ Maria (coffee liqueur) : TIA
30
Highest roll of a die : SIX
32
Helpful theorem, in math : LEMMA
33
Slushy drinks with a polar bear mascot : ICEES
34
Curse : POX
36
"Well, ___-di-dah!" : LAH
37
Boardroom V.I.P.: Abbr. : DIR
38
Greek god of wine : DIONYSUS
40
Exam for future docs : MCAT
41
"The Waste Land" poet : TSELIOT
42
Ump's cry at home : YEROUT
43
College students' declarations : MAJORS
44
Sch. in Tulsa, Okla. : ORU
45
Pursuing : AFTER
46
Rich dessert : TORTE
47
♠, ♥, ♦ and ♣ : SUITS
50
Cabbie : HACK
51
Rice-shaped pasta : ORZO
52
Kerfuffle : FLAP
56
Newspaper coverage, informally : INK
57
Expert : ACE
58
"If only ___ listened ..." : HED

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

Found bugs or have suggestions?