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

New York Times, Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Author: Dan Flanagan
Editor: Will Shortz
Dan Flanagan
TotalDebutCollabs
18/8/20170
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0010000
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.53000

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 36 Missing: {BJWXZ} This is the debut puzzle for Mr. Flanagan NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Dan Flanagan notes: I got started writing crossword puzzles through of a friend who publishes a small newspaper in northern Michigan. I was visiting a ... more
Dan Flanagan notes:

I got started writing crossword puzzles through of a friend who publishes a small newspaper in northern Michigan. I was visiting a few years ago and was irritated by the poor quality of the crossword puzzle he was running. I was sure I could do better, and he agreed to publish any puzzles I sent him. I started sending him Michigan-themed puzzles (with my wife Eliza always helping on the clues), and he kept his word. After that, I got a big head and tried my luck with The Times. After two years and eleven rejections, I'm very pleased to finally be in.

This puzzle is the second iteration on the #/# theme. The first version was a little more ambitious. It included a fifth theme entry (CINCO DE MAYO) and some of the theme answers crossed, which I always like. The second version has less theme but is a much better puzzle overall. Many thanks to Will and Joel for the feedback that led me down the simpler path.

Let me know if that works!

Jeff Chen notes: 4/4, 11/11, 20/20, 50/50 progression today. For the non-musicians out there, 4/4 is the most common time signature in music, meaning ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

4/4, 11/11, 20/20, 50/50 progression today. For the non-musicians out there, 4/4 is the most common time signature in music, meaning there are four beats in a measure, with the quarter note as the base unit. Even after playing in symphonies for 20 years, I didn't realize that COMMON TIME is actually what it's called. It is super common ...

I liked the diverse set of answers, from music to calendar to eyesight to odds. Dan could easily have used two calendar dates — aside from CINCO DE MAYO, there's also NEW YEARS DAY — so bravo for pulling each one from a different walk of life.

I'm not a fan of "definitional" entries (where the themers feel like they're lifted from a dictionary), so GREAT VISION was my least favorite of the four. EVEN STEVEN was so much more fun to uncover in the puzzle, for example, since it's a snappy phrase in common use. I can't think of a better 20/20 themer, though — HINDSIGHT (as in HINDSIGHT is 20/20) is a nice entry, but it doesn't quite fit a simple [20/20] clue.

QUICKSAND is already a great bonus, but its clue makes it even better. Sinking feeling, indeed ... love that wordplay! Also nice to get DECATHLON, NAME DROP, PRIMEVAL, even PATENT and SONNET. That's a lot of good stuff. (My second career was in pharma, so I should have known right off the top that PATENTs last 20 years, but I couldn't remember if they were 17 years (they used to be) or 20.)

Dan did a nice job of spreading out his themers and long bonuses, but he did need some crossword glue to hold everything together. COMMON TIME / NAME DROP / PATENT forced ENE, which is fine by itself. But then we get ESE, oddly plural LENTS, ERES, AERO, OPEL (not common in the US). All in all, it's over my personal threshold to qualify as an elegantly crafted puzzle. I can understand Dan's decisions, though — constructors all have different opinions on how much crossword glue is too much.

The eternal trade-off between bonus fill and crossword glue ...

Overall, I appreciated the novel idea. Great that Dan managed to present the themers in numerical order, too.

1
S
2
P
3
A
4
T
5
S
6
P
7
E
8
N
9
T
10
Q
11
T
12
I
13
P
14
O
R
C
A
15
S
A
R
A
H
16
U
R
S
A
17
C
O
M
M
18
O
N
T
I
M
E
19
I
O
T
A
20
K
N
E
E
L
21
E
N
E
22
A
C
T
O
R
23
S
E
S
S
I
24
O
N
25
D
26
U
N
K
27
V
E
T
28
E
R
A
N
S
29
D
30
A
31
Y
32
F
33
O
34
D
35
D
E
R
36
P
O
E
37
A
E
R
O
38
A
M
I
E
S
39
P
I
P
40
S
N
E
A
K
41
N
A
R
C
42
O
R
C
43
T
O
D
D
L
E
44
G
R
E
A
45
T
V
I
S
46
I
O
N
47
T
R
A
M
48
C
E
N
49
T
50
R
51
A
52
L
53
P
54
U
55
S
H
Y
56
E
57
C
O
58
E
R
O
D
E
59
O
P
E
L
60
E
V
E
N
61
S
T
E
V
E
N
62
O
T
T
O
63
S
A
D
I
E
64
M
E
L
T
65
L
O
I
N
66
E
L
E
C
T
67
E
R
E
S
© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0808 ( 24,745 )
Across Down
1. Row : SPAT
5. Worn out : SPENT
10. The Kleenex of cotton swabs : QTIP
14. Predator of dolphins : ORCA
15. Press secretary ___ Huckabee Sanders : SARAH
16. ___ Major (Big Dipper's constellation) : URSA
17. 4/4 : COMMONTIME
19. Smidgen : IOTA
20. Prepare to be knighted : KNEEL
21. Indianapolis-to-Cleveland dir. : ENE
22. To whom "break a leg" is said : ACTOR
23. Period in Congress : SESSION
25. Basketball highlight : DUNK
27. 11/11 : VETERANSDAY
32. Hay and such for farm animals : FODDER
36. "The Raven" poet : POE
37. Prefix with space : AERO
38. Girlfriends in Paris : AMIES
39. "Great Expectations" protagonist : PIP
40. Tiptoe, perhaps : SNEAK
41. Drug informant, informally : NARC
42. "The Lord of the Rings" baddie : ORC
43. Walk like a two-year-old, say : TODDLE
44. 20/20 : GREATVISION
47. Trolley : TRAM
48. Division of baseball's N.L. or A.L. : CENTRAL
53. Always trying to get one's way : PUSHY
56. Green: Prefix : ECO
58. Wear away : ERODE
59. European automaker : OPEL
60. 50/50 : EVENSTEVEN
62. "The Simpsons" character with a palindromic name : OTTO
63. "Sexy" woman in a Beatles song : SADIE
64. Start running : MELT
65. Butcher's cut : LOIN
66. Put in office : ELECT
67. You are, south of the border : ERES
1. Argyle pair : SOCKS
2. Lying on one's stomach : PRONE
3. Zeniths : ACMES
4. Takes the wildness out of : TAMES
5. I.R.S. digits: Abbr. : SSN
6. It lasts 20 years : PATENT
7. The Emerald Isle : ERIN
8. Say "When I was with my good friend Barack last week ...," e.g. : NAMEDROP
9. Word ignored when alphabetizing : THE
10. Something that gives you a sinking feeling : QUICKSAND
11. Home-run run : TROT
12. Analogy words : ISTO
13. Jack of the old "Tonight Show" : PAAR
18. Mount of ___ (Jerusalem landmark) : OLIVES
22. Advice-giving Landers : ANN
24. "___ the land of the free ..." : OER
26. Dubai's home: Abbr. : UAE
28. Some long novels : EPICS
29. Monopoly card : DEED
30. Asia's disappearing ___ Sea : ARAL
31. Oxen connector : YOKE
32. Dracula's biter : FANG
33. Vizquel with 11 Gold Gloves : OMAR
34. Like some straits : DIRE
35. Olympic event won by Bruce Jenner in 1976 and Ashton Eaton in 2012 and 2016 : DECATHLON
39. Really, really old : PRIMEVAL
40. One of 154 by Shakespeare : SONNET
42. Eggs : OVA
43. Lowest digit : TOE
45. Word repeated before "again" : TRY
46. Like Warhol's Marilyn Monroe painting : ICONIC
49. Onetime HBO series set in New Orleans : TREME
50. Standard dog name : ROVER
51. "Skyfall" singer : ADELE
52. Periods after Mardi Gras : LENTS
53. Summer hangout : POOL
54. "I've had it ___ here!" : UPTO
55. Org. in Carl Sagan's "Contact" : SETI
57. Surrender : CEDE
60. Suffix in many language names : ESE
61. Ready : SET

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?