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, Tuesday, August 8, 2017

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

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 few ... read more

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 ... read more

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 )

Support XWord Info today

Pay now and get access for a year.

1. Select account level
2. Choose how to pay
Across
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
Down
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?