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, Edge, Safari, or Firefox for best results.

New York Times, Friday, July 8, 2016

Author:
Barry C. Silk
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
929/1/20037/8/20166
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
358532741
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.651215
Barry C. Silk

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 30 Missing: {JQX} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 92 for Mr. Silk. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Barry C. Silk notes:
I really don't have noteworthy to say about the puzzle. The only thing I remember is that I noticed BLACK FRIDAY and CYBER MONDAY had ... read more

I really don't have noteworthy to say about the puzzle. The only thing I remember is that I noticed BLACK FRIDAY and CYBER MONDAY had the same number of letters and I thought it would be cool to start and end a puzzle with those. I guess technically the puzzle has a mini-theme, but nothing else in the puzzle relates to those terms, so the rest of the puzzle is basically themeless.

Jeff Chen notes:
A strong triple-stack of 11-letter answers kicking off the puzzle, BLACK FRIDAY / TITANIUM ORE / WAITING AREA really fun. I'm a ... read more

A strong triple-stack of 11-letter answers kicking off the puzzle, BLACK FRIDAY / TITANIUM ORE / WAITING AREA really fun. I'm a mechanical engineer by education, so I'm always amazed at how useful TITANIUM is. Such an incredible strength to weight ratio, and it's one of the foundations of modern orthopedics.

Stretching to fill in 15 long answers is no joke. It's especially hard to convert all those long slots into assets when you take up so much real estate with the central grid-spanner, BED AND BREAKFAST. I really like WINE STEWARD, and the MANASSAS / ANTIETAM pairing is fun, but I felt like the conversion rate today wasn't as high as I would like. GO BEFORE, TAKES LEAVE, SIGNS OVER are all fine answers, just not that colorful or interesting to me.

That's a risk themeless constructors run when trying to work with so many long entries. I generally find themelesses to be outstanding if there are at least 10 snazzy entries, so is it better to start with a ton of interlocked long slots and hope to convert most of them to assets, or start with fewer long slots and make sure every single one sings? That's the eternal question.

I'm on the fence about BTWO and R AND B types of entries these days. On one hand, they are hard to suss out and look interestingly weird in the grid. On the other, when do you ever see B TWO in real life? R AND B feels better to me (not sure why), but it was a little odd to get the full BED AND BREAKFASTS and the shortened R AND B.

ORT is harder to swallow, as one of the more notorious crosswordese words. Patrick Merrell recently started a blog using ORT in a cheeky way. Fun posts.

Overall, I like having mini-themes in themelesses, but it's often nice to have something not quite so transparent (I filled in CYBER MONDAY right after getting BLACK FRIDAY). I'd prefer to have to work a little to figure out both answers, and then earn my a-ha moment.

1
B
2
L
3
A
4
C
5
K
6
F
7
R
8
I
9
D
10
A
11
Y
12
T
13
A
14
B
15
T
I
T
A
N
I
U
M
O
R
E
16
A
S
U
17
W
A
I
T
I
N
G
A
R
E
A
18
K
H
Z
19
O
R
T
20
T
A
S
M
A
N
21
G
E
E
Z
22
M
S
G
23
G
A
24
T
O
S
25
A
26
G
27
R
A
28
L
29
A
30
S
31
S
U
B
L
32
E
33
T
34
T
R
A
N
35
S
E
P
T
36
S
37
R
E
E
S
E
38
B
E
D
A
N
D
B
R
E
39
A
K
F
A
S
T
40
A
B
A
S
E
41
S
I
G
N
S
O
V
E
R
42
T
E
R
S
E
43
R
44
P
O
T
45
R
E
N
A
46
B
A
R
E
47
R
48
I
49
C
E
50
P
51
A
L
S
52
S
A
53
W
54
Y
E
R
55
H
56
A
57
G
58
A
M
I
59
W
I
N
E
S
T
E
60
W
A
R
D
61
I
M
P
62
A
N
D
R
E
A
D
O
R
I
A
63
D
O
S
64
C
Y
B
E
R
M
O
N
D
A
Y
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0708 ( 24,349 )
Across
1
Preceder of 64-Across on the calendar : BLACKFRIDAY
12
It may justify things : TAB
15
Ilmenite is the chief one : TITANIUMORE
16
Winner of the first three Fiesta Bowls, for short : ASU
17
Airport terminal feature : WAITINGAREA
18
Radio frequency abbr. : KHZ
19
Scrap : ORT
20
Discoverer of New Zealand : TASMAN
21
"I can't believe that!" : GEEZ
22
Liberty's home, for short : MSG
23
4-Downs, south of the border : GATOS
25
Site of Akbar the Great's tomb : AGRA
28
Article in El País : LAS
31
Release? : SUBLET
34
Parts of cross-shaped churches : TRANSEPTS
37
He worked for Hershey in the 1910s-'20s : REESE
38
Quaint getaway destination : BEDANDBREAKFAST
40
Bring down : ABASE
41
Officially gives up : SIGNSOVER
42
More compact : TERSER
44
Dutch oven, e.g. : POT
45
1995 Emmy winner Sofer : RENA
46
Less adorned : BARER
48
Highway hazard : ICE
50
Laverne and Shirley, e.g. : PALS
52
Lumber mill employee : SAWYER
55
World of Warcraft figure : HAG
58
Bud abroad : AMI
59
Port authority? : WINESTEWARD
61
World of Warcraft figure : IMP
62
Name that went down in history? : ANDREADORIA
63
Buns, for example : DOS
64
Follower of 1-Across on the calendar : CYBERMONDAY
Down
1
Vitamin a.k.a. riboflavin : BTWO
2
Story teller : LIAR
3
Having a scrap : ATIT
4
Stealthy sort : CAT
5
Sweaters and such : KNITS
6
Got via guile : FINAGLED
7
Kirmans, e.g. : RUGS
8
Certain prayer leader : IMAM
9
Rapper wrapper? : DORAG
10
22-Across and others : ARENAS
11
Motion supporter : YEA
12
Departs : TAKESLEAVE
13
Court legend : ASHE
14
Dreaded game show sound : BUZZ
21
Antedate : GOBEFORE
22
Civil War battle site : MANASSAS
24
Largest minority in Bulgaria : TURKS
25
Single chance? : ATBAT
26
Duck lookalike : GREBE
27
Spots for air traffic controllers : RADARBLIPS
29
They may precede high-speed chases, in brief : APBS
30
Peel : STRIP
32
European city whose name means "eat" : ESSEN
33
Bright swimmer : TETRA
35
Part of a mean mien : SNEER
36
One of Utah's state symbols : SEGO
39
Civil War battle site : ANTIETAM
43
Like hashish or shoe wax : RESINY
47
Soul mate? : RANDB
49
Philosophy : CREDO
50
Bookkeeper's stamp : PAID
51
It's loaded : AMMO
53
"___ live!" : WERE
54
W.W. I battle site : YSER
55
With 60-Down, gotten by great effort : HARD
56
"Eri tu," but not "Eres Tú" : ARIA
57
Oz salutation : GDAY
59
New Mexico State's athletic grp. : WAC
60
See 55-Down : WON

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 5 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?