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, Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Author:
Kevin Christian and Bradley Wilber
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
105/22/20133/25/20194
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0522010
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.64011
Kevin Christian
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
512/19/200510/21/201725
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
001201434
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.60001
Brad Wilber

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 74, Blocks: 36 Missing: {Q} This is puzzle # 6 for Mr. Christian. This is puzzle # 45 for Mr. Wilber. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Constructor notes:
KEVIN: This is the first puzzle that Brad and I collaborated on chronologically, even though our Seuss-themed puzzle was published ... read more

KEVIN: This is the first puzzle that Brad and I collaborated on chronologically, even though our Seuss-themed puzzle was published last month. I first got the idea for this theme in early 2013 but I didn't do anything with it right away because I didn't have an ODIN theme answer that I liked. I considered GOOD IN MATH, but I thought it was kind of weak. I looked at other GOOD IN ???? possibilities, but never found anything that really grabbed me. I let the idea sit until one day I ran across MOOD INDIGO.

The hardest part of the grid was the SW. I wanted to use BORA at 38-Across but Brad talked me out of it and ultimately we went with the grid that you see here.

BRAD: When Kevin and I decided to work together on something, he sent me a handful of theme ideas, and I zeroed in on this one pretty quickly, as being fully formed and ready to go without any tweaking to the theme entries. We only have a small handful of Norse gods who are household names (one maybe shading into crosswordese), and Kevin had settled on some common but lively relevant phrases.

The original grid design had an excess of 3-letter words at the center, but we were able to add a pair of white squares back in and even jazz up some of the original fill in the swath from the NW to the SE. We did a bit of haggling over the NE and SE, but it was constructive and amiable, and the final result represents a nice melding of our styles.

Jeff Chen notes:
NORSE GODS hidden in colorful phrases. ODIN, THOR, LOKI, and … TYR? Apparently Kevin and Brad aren't afraid of getting on ... read more

NORSE GODS hidden in colorful phrases. ODIN, THOR, LOKI, and … TYR? Apparently Kevin and Brad aren't afraid of getting on Baldur, Frigg, Freyja, and Sif's bad side. Seriously though, it's too bad BALDUR doesn't get his due, as he has a great story, the "invincible" one getting killed by his one downfall, mistletoe. Someone have a famous kid named ARCHIBALD URANUS or something.

Tyr? Anybody? Bueller?

Great construction. There was so much excellent fill that I had to stop and admire it a few times during the solve. Five themers with a central 11 is a tough arrangement, so it's really cool that Kevin and Brad worked in BOSSMAN and LAW FIRM adjacent to that central TRUTH OR DARE. Great bonus material! I also liked those big SW and NE corners, with the juicy HEEL TAP, TELL MAMA, and EN VOGUE. Even BARRON was fun for this financial type (although BARRONS would have been much better).

Interesting to work in two Olympic figures, Matt BIONDI and SHANI Davis. I think the former is perfectly legit, with 11 medals, including five golds in one Games. SHANI Davis … I usually avoid that S???I pattern because SHANI is one of the few entries that works. But I read up more on him, and the fact that he's the first black athlete to win a Winter gold in an individual event is groundbreaking. Okay, he's perfectly fine too.

Took me a while to figure out why PIANO was an apt instrument for Alicia Keys. Keys. Keys! D'oh! Good one.

Nice to know that an EEL's blood is poisonous. Eel's blood vs. mistletoe? I'll take my chances on the latter.

Really strong execution. If TYR had been at ODIN, THOR, or LOKI's level, this would have been a serious contender for the POW.

1
R
2
I
3
S
4
E
5
R
6
P
7
F
8
C
9
A
10
C
11
H
12
E
13
S
14
A
N
I
M
E
15
I
R
A
16
R
H
O
N
E
17
P
A
N
T
Y
18
R
A
I
D
19
C
A
R
V
E
20
I
T
T
21
S
E
N
T
22
B
A
R
R
O
N
23
D
I
A
24
Z
25
M
O
O
26
D
I
N
D
I
G
O
27
S
E
X
E
28
S
29
W
O
E
30
B
U
T
31
B
O
32
S
33
S
34
M
A
N
35
A
L
E
E
36
T
R
U
T
H
O
R
D
37
A
R
E
38
R
39
H
E
A
40
L
A
W
F
I
R
M
41
E
E
L
42
N
U
N
43
K
O
44
J
45
A
46
K
47
H
E
L
48
L
O
K
I
49
T
50
T
51
Y
52
R
O
M
A
53
E
L
M
O
R
E
54
T
E
E
55
M
56
Y
I
N
57
A
T
A
R
I
58
N
O
R
S
E
59
G
O
D
S
60
T
A
M
E
S
61
A
P
R
62
S
O
U
S
A
63
S
P
A
N
K
64
P
S
A
65
H
O
S
T
S
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0902 ( 24,039 )
Across
1
Platform for a drum set : RISER
6
Army E-3 : PFC
9
Rheumatic ills : ACHES
14
Japanese genre with voice actors : ANIME
15
Portfolio part, for short : IRA
16
Arles's river : RHONE
17
College prank popular in the '50s : PANTYRAID
19
Do the honors on Thanksgiving : CARVE
20
"Ooky" cousin on TV : ITT
21
Emailed, say : SENT
22
Surname on a financial weekly : BARRON
23
Cameron of "Charlie's Angels" : DIAZ
25
Classic Duke Ellington tune : MOODINDIGO
27
They may be determined by sonograms : SEXES
29
Hand-wringer's word : WOE
30
On the contrary : BUT
31
Head honcho : BOSSMAN
35
How a ship's sails may be positioned : ALEE
36
Slumber party game : TRUTHORDARE
38
Perlman of "Cheers" : RHEA
40
Place where people practice : LAWFIRM
41
Fish that's never served raw because its blood is poisonous : EEL
42
Parochial school teacher, maybe : NUN
43
Lollipop-loving character of 1970s TV : KOJAK
47
Japanese toon with a red bow : HELLOKITTY
52
Oblong tomato : ROMA
53
Leonard who wrote "Get Shorty" : ELMORE
54
Abound (with) : TEEM
56
Dark half of a Chinese circle : YIN
57
Game console pioneer : ATARI
58
They're hidden in 17-, 25-, 36- and 47-Across : NORSEGODS
60
Breaks, as a stallion : TAMES
61
Eliot's "cruellest" mo. : APR
62
Composer with a horn named for him : SOUSA
63
Hit bottom? : SPANK
64
"Don't text and drive" spot, for short : PSA
65
Invitation senders : HOSTS
Down
1
Rafter's challenge : RAPIDS
2
Headed for overtime : INATIE
3
Cigarette levy, e.g. : SINTAX
4
CPR expert : EMT
5
Margret and Hans, who created Curious George : REYS
6
Alicia Keys's instrument, aptly : PIANO
7
Crunchy corn chip : FRITO
8
No Mr. Right : CAD
9
Understood by few : ARCANE
10
Certain salad green : CHARD
11
Really, really bad : HORRIBLE
12
All-female group with the hit "Free Your Mind" : ENVOGUE
13
Cross-reference words : SEENOTE
18
"Losing My Religion" group : REM
22
Matt with 11 Olympic swimming medals : BIONDI
24
N.F.L. ref, slangily : ZEBRA
26
Tower over : DWARF
28
Nearly worthless old French coin : SOU
32
Acts of the Apostles writer, by tradition : STLUKE
33
Olympic speed skater Davis : SHANI
34
Do a golf course job : MOW
35
Cover of knight? : ARMOR
36
1968 Etta James album : TELLMAMA
37
Craft for couples : ARK
38
Readies, as leftovers : REHEATS
39
Shoe lift : HEELTAP
42
Without a downside : NORISK
44
Happy, and then some : JOYOUS
45
In the heart of : AMIDST
46
Setting for Capote's "In Cold Blood" : KANSAS
48
Best Actress for "Two Women" : LOREN
49
Some 'Vette roofs : TTOPS
50
Earth, in sci-fi tales : TERRA
51
"What is it?" : YES
55
Fit together, as gears : MESH
58
Spend time in a hammock, say : NAP
59
Icky stuff : GOO

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?