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, Saturday, July 6, 2019

Author:
Erik Agard
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
4111/6/20127/6/201918
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
94565381
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.62150
Erik Agard

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 68, Blocks: 36 Missing: {QZ} This is puzzle # 41 for Mr. Agard. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Erik Agard notes:
I wouldn't submit this puzzle today. As a constructor it was satisfying to be able to fill that wide-open space in the middle, but as ... read more

I wouldn't submit this puzzle today. As a constructor it was satisfying to be able to fill that wide-open space in the middle, but as a solver I'd prefer a themeless that's packed with fascinating answers and/or clever clues at every turn (like this recent Caitlin Reid masterpiece - so jealous) over an architectural feat held together by less interesting stuff like 32-Across and 18-Down, and, worse, too many names. (I'm hardly anti-name, and I was excited to highlight 33-Across*, but everything in moderation.)

Hope you enjoyed it anyway, and thanks as always to the NYT team for having me!

*although the clue is a textbook example of how, in contrast to men being clued by their work/accomplishments (see 32-Down), women in crosswords are often contextualized by their relationships to men

Jeff Chen notes:
Jim and I both dropped in PABLO CASALS without a single crossing answer – a rare instance where his knowledge base and mine ... read more

Jim and I both dropped in PABLO CASALS without a single crossing answer – a rare instance where his knowledge base and mine overlapped. (I played cello for 20 years, Jim is a concert pianist and music arranger.) Good thing PABLO CASALS was a gimme, too, as I'm not sure I would have broken into the middle without him. DECLARATORY, DARLENE LOVE, INA CLAIRE, TIMBERLANDS all sound familiar when I type them now. Not so much when I solved.

I'm likely too old for some of these. Or too young.

Surprising to see POOP EMOJI. I find these disgusting, probably because I'm still in the thick of diapers. (My son's, not my own. Not yet.) With ASSHAT making its debut a few weeks ago, it'll be interesting to see what's the first edgy entry that creates backlash and helps Will draw the new line.

A few months ago, a friend emailed me that LATINX would be a great debut entry. I hadn't heard the term, but I enjoyed learning about it (a gender-neutral term for a person of Latin American descent). I'm not sure I would have finished the SE corner if I hadn't had that experience. AXILLA and SEXTON also fall into the categories of "things I learned from crosswords." That's not a bad thing, but it does make for an insidery feel, a secret handshake among Masons.

Gigantic swaths of white space like today's middle are some of the most daunting challenges in the entire crossworld. Five long answers stair-stacked atop each other, with six more long entries running through them? It's a beautiful result for the level of difficulty — a couple of marquee answers balancing the ones that didn't shine as well. Great craftsmanship there.

Such a tough solving experience; an intense workout that feels great to have completed. There weren't a lot of entries that played to a broad audience; an interesting mix of material that will elate one subset of solvers, and potentially alienate others.

As if I didn't admire Erik enough already. He's easily in my list of top ten favorite puzzlemakers, and the reflection and learning shown in his commentary makes him shine even brighter. I wish all constructors exhibited his constant drive to improve, no matter how good you already are.

1
I
2
P
3
A
4
S
5
S
6
T
7
A
8
P
9
E
10
P
11
D
12
A
13
M
O
N
A
E
14
I
M
A
X
15
B
R
U
N
16
D
I
D
J
A
17
M
O
T
O
18
R
B
I
K
E
19
O
S
H
A
20
T
B
S
21
I
B
E
A
M
22
W
O
O
K
23
I
E
E
24
L
25
P
S
26
S
K
I
27
N
N
W
28
N
A
R
29
C
O
L
E
30
P
T
I
C
31
P
A
B
L
O
C
A
S
A
L
S
32
D
E
C
L
A
R
A
T
O
R
Y
33
D
A
R
L
E
N
E
L
O
V
E
34
D
O
N
E
A
N
D
D
O
N
E
35
L
36
A
37
S
38
R
T
E
39
I
D
S
40
F
I
R
41
E
A
X
E
42
O
C
C
43
U
R
44
A
F
C
45
S
T
I
X
46
P
O
O
P
E
47
M
48
O
J
I
49
A
T
I
L
T
50
I
M
O
N
51
G
U
A
C
52
M
E
N
L
O
53
T
S
K
54
M
I
R
E
55
T
E
X
A
N
© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 0706 ( 25,442 )

Support XWord Info today

Pay now and get access for a year.

1. Select account level
2. Choose how to pay
Across
1
"No, thanks" : IPASS
6
Rapper's release : TAPE
10
Activity that might elicit stares, for short : PDA
13
Singer/actress Janelle : MONAE
14
Theater option : IMAX
15
Couleur du chocolat : BRUN
16
"___ Ever" (Elvis song from "G.I. Blues") : DIDJA
17
Yamaha purchase : MOTORBIKE
19
Hazmat regulator : OSHA
20
USA competitor : TBS
21
Construction piece that describes what happens when you compliment me? : IBEAM
22
Kashyyyk denizen, in sci-fi : WOOKIEE
24
Contents of some sleeves : LPS
26
Olympic runner? : SKI
27
Up and a little to the left, for short : NNW
28
One who might be diagnosed with a polysomnogram : NARCOLEPTIC
31
Cellist with a Presidential Medal of Freedom : PABLOCASALS
32
Like some legal judgments : DECLARATORY
33
Singer seen annually on David Letterman's Christmas show : DARLENELOVE
34
"Say no more - I'm on it" : DONEANDDONE
35
"___ Mañanitas" (traditional Mexican birthday song) : LAS
38
GPS suggestion: Abbr. : RTE
39
Walletful : IDS
40
Aid in breaking down doors : FIREAXE
42
Go down, so to speak : OCCUR
44
___ South, div. of the 55-Acrosses : AFC
45
Pixy ___ : STIX
46
#2 image among smartphone users? : POOPEMOJI
49
Not straight up : ATILT
50
"That's my cue!" : IMON
51
Taqueria order, informally : GUAC
52
___ Park, Calif. : MENLO
53
"C'mon, man," in a syllable : TSK
54
Wetlands feature : MIRE
55
See 44-Across : TEXAN
Down
1
"Count me in" : IMDOWN
2
One of the nine weapons in 2008's expanded version of Clue : POISON
3
"That, in spades!" : ANDHOW
4
See 8-Down : SAJAK
5
Lead-in to cow, horse or dog : SEA
6
Footwear with a tree logo : TIMBERLANDS
7
Who said "The Lord will roar from Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem" : AMOS
8
With 4-Down, someone who might repossess your car when you go bankrupt? : PAT
9
Prefix with thermic : EXO
10
Like some vestments : PRIESTLY
11
1980s presidential candidate : DUKAKIS
12
Weak : ANEMIC
15
So-so bond rating : BBB
18
Conquers : RISESOVER
20
English breakfast, for example : TEABLEND
23
"Ninotchka" actress, 1939 : INACLAIRE
24
Mayoralty, e.g. : LOCALOFFICE
25
Close ... but not THAT close : PLATONIC
29
Unseeded? : CORED
30
Trim : PARE
31
French homophone of 30-Down : PERE
32
Stand-up comedian with the 2005 double-platinum album "Retaliation" : DANECOOK
33
Companies known for their net profit : DOTCOMS
34
"Enough already!" : DROPIT
35
Many a Univision viewer, in modern usage : LATINX
36
Armpit : AXILLA
37
Poet with the 1967 Pulitzer-winning volume "Live or Die" : SEXTON
41
Big name in parfum : ESTEE
43
Original airer of "Everybody Hates Chris" : UPN
44
Cracked : AJAR
47
___ Resorts International : MGM
48
"Je pense que ___" ("I think so": Fr.) : OUI
49
Tsp. or tbsp. : AMT

Answer summary: 10 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?