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, September 19, 2015

Author:
Kevin Adamick
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
35/16/20124/20/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0001002
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.44000
Kevin Adamick

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 58, Blocks: 29 Missing: {GJQWX} Minimum word length: 4 Average word length: 6.76 This is puzzle # 2 for Mr. Adamick. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
What an initial impression this puzzle makes, with its gigantic, wide-open spaces. I usually cringe when I see designs like this, ... read more

What an initial impression this puzzle makes, with its gigantic, wide-open spaces. I usually cringe when I see designs like this, because they're often only made possible with the help of boring(ish) entries and made-up-sounding ones. RE- prefixes, -ER or -ERS suffixes, and pluralized names are often the guilty parties. I find the segmentation into miniature puzzles undesirable as well, because it chokes off puzzle flow.

Thank goodness for the TETRA and his little brother, the PENTA!

I was pleasantly surprised when I finished the upper-left mini-puzzle, though. There are many more delightful entries than I would have ever guessed, featuring VIP PASSES, I NEED A NAP, and even SEA SNAKES. Better yet, not an ugly bit in sight! Well, RIRE is pretty deep French, and PENTA isn't perfect.

But PENTA did give me a much-needed entry into mini-puzzle number two: the upper right. Given how segmented each mini-puzzle is, I really appreciated the extra entry point of TETRA. This second mini wasn't as fun for me, as ALTERNATE and MARINATED are pretty neutral to my eye, and SCENARIST feels somewhat iffy. Speaking of iffy … UCLAN. Yikes! Growing up in California, having friends who went to UCLA, UCLAN … well, yikes.

I liked mini number three better, with TAKE MINE and AMAZON ANT standing out. MAN AT isn't good, but it's not terrible. And the late great Merl Reagle hated — HATED — IRANI because he thought it should be IRANIAN, but I don't mind it much. NANCE and ESTES aren't assets, but they're certainly legit names.

Lastly, I thought the mini-puzzle in the lower right was okay too. TRUE FALSE is nice, and BONES UP and ALABASTER are pretty good too. Are they worth TOYERS, not just a gluey -ER word but a pluralized one? Hmm ... likely, but that's a tough call.

Overall, a great mental workout, those huge open spaces providing an extremely tough challenge in each of four mini-puzzles; very few places to even get a toehold.

1
V
2
I
3
P
4
P
5
A
6
S
7
S
8
E
9
S
10
A
11
S
12
A
13
M
14
A
15
I
N
E
E
D
A
N
A
P
16
U
C
L
A
N
17
C
A
N
T
O
N
E
S
E
18
T
E
T
R
A
19
E
N
T
E
R
T
A
I
N
20
O
N
E
I
L
21
S
E
A
S
N
A
K
E
S
22
C
A
R
N
Y
23
R
I
R
E
24
A
R
N
A
Z
25
C
26
A
27
R
28
T
O
N
29
R
30
A
D
I
A
T
E
31
T
A
M
E
R
S
32
L
E
S
T
E
R
33
A
R
A
B
I
A
34
N
35
B
A
S
T
E
D
36
K
A
Z
A
N
37
A
38
T
O
B
39
E
C
O
L
I
40
N
O
N
A
41
C
42
T
43
I
44
V
45
E
46
M
A
N
A
T
47
E
Y
E
S
H
A
D
E
S
48
I
R
A
N
I
49
T
E
S
T
A
T
O
R
S
50
N
A
N
C
E
51
T
R
U
E
F
A
L
S
E
52
E
S
T
E
S
53
E
S
P
R
E
S
S
O
S
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0919 ( 24,056 )
Across
1
Dream acquisitions for huge fans : VIPPASSES
10
Central Honshu volcano : ASAMA
15
Words from the weary : INEEDANAP
16
Student with the motto "Fiat Lux," informally : UCLAN
17
Tongue with six phonetic tones : CANTONESE
18
3-Down minus one : TETRA
19
Wine and dine, say : ENTERTAIN
20
Roger of NBC News : ONEIL
21
Reef swimmers with no gills : SEASNAKES
22
Midway attention-getter : CARNY
23
Laugh, in Lyon : RIRE
24
Ball go-with? : ARNAZ
25
Lightweight boxing option : CARTON
29
Spread from the center : RADIATE
31
Breaking specialists : TAMERS
32
Jon ___, 2006-14 Red Sox pitcher : LESTER
33
Like dromedaries and carob trees : ARABIAN
35
Like some geese and turkeys : BASTED
36
"The Last Tycoon" was the last film he directed : KAZAN
37
Baby step? : ATOB
39
It has some bad strains : ECOLI
40
Like silent partners : NONACTIVE
46
___-arms : MANAT
47
Power nap wear : EYESHADES
48
Hormuz habitant : IRANI
49
Those who have given legacies : TESTATORS
50
Jack of "Twin Peaks" : NANCE
51
Like some questions : TRUEFALSE
52
Longtime maker of model rockets : ESTES
53
Stimulating shots : ESPRESSOS
Down
1
Subjects of many New Year's resolutions : VICES
2
Like folderol : INANE
3
18-Across plus one : PENTA
4
___ Tavern, Manhattan pub that's over 150 years old : PETES
5
Opposite of uglify : ADORN
6
Home of the West Coast's Empire College : SANTAROSA
7
Beat the security system, say : SNEAKIN
8
Like addition vis-à-vis division : EASIER
9
Private eye in dozens of novels : SPENSER
10
They're often escorted by police : AUTOCADES
11
Movie plotter : SCENARIST
12
Stand-in : ALTERNATE
13
Like satay and sauerbraten : MARINATED
14
One doing a dissection : ANALYZER
25
Vulture lookalikes of the falcon family : CARACARAS
26
It raids and enslaves other colony members : AMAZONANT
27
Fix some ledger errors in : REBALANCE
28
Some holy alliances? : TRINITIES
30
Smooth and white : ALABASTER
31
Offer of self-sacrifice : TAKEMINE
34
Lepore of women's fashion : NANETTE
35
Studies hard : BONESUP
38
Flirty types : TOYERS
41
Vex : CHAFE
42
Byes at Wimbledon : TATAS
43
What a heathen might collect : IDOLS
44
It's left in a manuscript : VERSO
45
Business end? : ESSES

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?