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Puzzle of the Week

New York Times, Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Author: Andrew Kingsley and John Lieb
Editor: Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
124/29/20168/8/20182
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0013053
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.55010
Andrew Kingsley
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
145/14/20138/21/20184
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0432203
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.60110
John Lieb

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 74, Blocks: 34 Missing: {QUVZ} This is puzzle # 8 for Mr. Kingsley. This is puzzle # 11 for Mr. Lieb. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Constructor notes: ANDREW: John and I both teach at The Roxbury Latin School in West Roxbury, MA. I joined the faculty last year, so it was only a ... more
Constructor notes:

ANDREW: John and I both teach at The Roxbury Latin School in West Roxbury, MA. I joined the faculty last year, so it was only a matter of time before we put our heads together to create some crosswords. This one began as a themeless which included the entry SPIN CLASS. John came up with the idea of people who spin things for a living, and we were off from there (although neither of us is a big fan of this exercise regimen). As a duo, we found we work nicely together, especially since we can pop into each other's office during free periods and talk shop. Look out for more Kings-Lieb puzzles soon!

JOHN: This puzzle was Puzzle #2 at Boswords, a crossword tournament that Andrew and I co-directed at our school on Sunday August 6. We are grateful to Will for allowing us to use this puzzle at the tournament, which had 149 competitors. It was a blast to both write this puzzle and to organize this tournament with Andrew! More information on the tournament can be found at www.boswords.org and we look forward to running it again next summer. The rest of the tournament puzzles, plus a few bonus ones, are available for purchase (for an Abe) at the site.

Jeff Chen notes: I love it when 1.) I can't guess the theme, even after seeing all the themers, and 2.) when it immediately comes to me after ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

I love it when 1.) I can't guess the theme, even after seeing all the themers, and 2.) when it immediately comes to me after uncovering the revealer. (It's not so fun when #1 happens without #2.) I sat for a long minute wondering how SKRILLEX could possibly be connected to PAT SAJAK, SPIDERMAN, and MINNESOTA FATS, but great moment of clarity when I realized that they're all masters of (some sort of) SPIN.

MINNESOTA FATS' spin skills might not be immediately obvious to some, but to those of us that played pool for four hours a day during freshman year (don't judge me), putting spin on the cue ball is a critical mechanic of the game.

And SPIDERMAN spins a web, of course, while SKRILLEX spins records. PAT SAJAK might not actually do the spinning of the Wheel of Fortune, but he'd be my first choice for that type of SPIN CLASS. (I always wondered if contestants could adjust the amount of force they apply to their spins to aim for certain slots. Anyone know?)

Even with MINNESOTA FATS being an awkward 13 letters, Andrew and John did a nice job of executing. A 13-letter middle themer tends to force big corners, and I love it when those big corners yield such great material as WINE LIST / ELEMENTS / DETOXES, and TOPICAL / MARADONA / ICE TONGS. I love it even more when you can carefully pull off these swaths of goodness without much crossword glue. LSTS isn't great, but if that's the only price to pay, I'm eager to shell out.

(OXO clued as "random string of Os and Xs" isn't great, but since OXO is a big brand name, the entry doesn't bother the constructor in me at all.)

I have so much fun with these "how are these seemingly unrelated themers related" puzzles. Neat reveal in SPIN CLASS. Along with strong execution, it's my POW!

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© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0816 ( 24,753 )
Across Down
1. Early Peruvian : INCAN
6. "Gone With the Wind" studio : MGM
9. Mooed : LOWED
14. Festive : MERRY
15. Folk singer DiFranco : ANI
16. Edward Snowden, e.g. : EXILE
17. Peter Parker is his alter ego : SPIDERMAN
19. Musical piece for nine : NONET
20. "That's terrible!" : OHNO
21. Wipes out on the half-pipe, say : EATSIT
23. Comedian Philips : EMO
24. Rue : REGRET
26. Grammy-winning electronic music producer and D.J. : SKRILLEX
28. Ram's mate : EWE
29. Red Cross response : AID
31. J. Peterman employee on "Seinfeld" : ELAINE
32. Excited Spanish cry : ARRIBA
35. D-Day carriers: Abbr. : LSTS
36. Name assumed by billiards great Rudolf Wanderone : MINNESOTAFATS
40. Asset for a press secretary : TACT
41. Way to watch "Game of Thrones" on your phone : HBONOW
42. Tater Tots maker : OREIDA
45. Course standard : PAR
46. ___ Kat : KIT
49. Longtime co-worker of Vanna White : PATSAJAK
52. Chevy's response to the Mustang : CAMARO
54. Vow before testifying : IDO
55. Sushi condiment : WASABI
57. Words said before and after "what" : ITIS
58. TBS late-night host : CONAN
60. Modern exercise option ... or what the answers to 17-, 26-, 36- or 49-Across could teach? : SPINCLASS
62. A straight one is 180° : ANGLE
63. Suitable : APT
64. Fictional orphan protected by Punjab : ANNIE
65. Zapped, as unwanted hair : LASED
66. West who said "Too much of a good thing can be wonderful" : MAE
67. Wherewithal : MEANS
1. Complaint after overexercise : IMSORE
2. Huey, Dewey or Louie, to Donald Duck : NEPHEW
3. Reaction to an awkward moment : CRINGE
4. Passion : ARDOR
5. Bill ___, the Science Guy : NYE
6. One of the Three Bears : MAMA
7. Cloud in the summer : GNATS
8. Capital of Belarus : MINSK
9. Kind of soup mentioned in Genesis : LENTIL
10. Losing tic-tac-toe line : OXO
11. Request at a fine restaurant : WINELIST
12. Earth, wind and fire : ELEMENTS
13. Cleanses, in a way : DETOXES
18. Finish the job? : RETIRE
22. Boiling point? : IRE
25. Make : EARN
27. 1980s-'90s NBC drama : LALAW
30. One running away in "Hey Diddle Diddle" : DISH
32. Opposing side : ANTIS
33. Short cut : BOB
34. Above : ATOP
36. With Pelé, co-winner of FIFA's Player of the Century award : MARADONA
37. Minibar accessory : ICETONGS
38. Advil alternative : ANACIN
39. Fit ___ king : FORA
40. In the news : TOPICAL
43. Began : DAWNED
44. 1977 Steely Dan album : AJA
46. Samurai sword : KATANA
47. Silent film opener : IRISIN
48. Scraps : TOSSES
50. Kind of tea from Asia : ASSAM
51. 10th of 24 : KAPPA
53. Pooh creator : MILNE
56. Orthodontist's concern : BITE
59. Pub pint : ALE
61. Kiss ___ : CAM

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later.

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