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, Monday, September 30, 2019

Author:
Lynn Lempel
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
9012/9/197912/2/20192
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
664142130
ScrabRebusCirclePangramPre‑WS
1.610912
Lynn Lempel

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 38 Missing: {JQXZ} This is puzzle # 89 for Ms. Lempel. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
Whenever newish solvers ask me for suggestions on how to get started solving the NYT crossword, I point them to Lynn's body of work. ... read more

Whenever newish solvers ask me for suggestions on how to get started solving the NYT crossword, I point them to Lynn's body of work. She produces such smooth products, setting up solvers for emphatic slam-dunk victories. Today's is right in line. IRMA is perhaps the only tough entry — and an easy-peasy clue for that, anagramming MIRA, makes it no problem.

I like my crosswords fun and uplifting. This one was fun, but not so much uplifting, given that the themers were ordering me to tear five things a new one. PUT DOWN ROOTS = put down "Roots" was a clever reinterpretation, but the idea of being ordered to put down a literary classic … not for me.

Four out of five themers were spot-on, exhibiting both neat meaning changes and strong base phrases. The only one that didn't hit was TRASH PICKUPS, which sounds more like a dictionary entry than something I'd say in casual conversation.

Lynn did something unusual with her layout, stacking pairs of themers, i.e., PAN PIPES and TRASH PICKUP atop each other. As long as your overlapping letter pairs are friendly, this often makes grid design easier; as if you only had three themers to work with instead of five. It allowed Lynn to freestyle a bit, working in so many goodies: AIR KISS, BOB DOLE, REPTILE, T BONES, UPTURN.

The drawback is that the themers can feel crammed up against each other. Constructors have an ongoing debate, Lynn's approach here (producing a better solving experience due to stronger bonuses), vs. spacing themers out, in rows 3, 5, 8, 11, 13 (solvers experiencing themers in a more equally distributed manner).

Constructors are weird.

1
L
2
A
3
I
4
R
5
P
6
C
7
S
8
C
9
A
10
P
11
E
12
S
13
A
L
O
E
14
A
H
A
15
O
R
I
O
L
E
16
P
A
N
P
17
I
P
E
S
18
M
O
R
T
O
N
19
T
R
A
S
H
20
P
I
C
K
U
P
S
21
C
22
L
23
A
I
M
24
S
A
L
T
25
I
S
E
E
26
D
O
L
L
A
27
R
28
U
S
29
E
S
30
R
O
D
E
31
B
32
U
33
R
G
34
V
S
35
I
36
G
37
N
38
O
N
E
39
R
I
P
T
I
40
D
E
41
R
O
O
42
M
S
N
43
B
C
44
T
E
N
S
45
T
O
R
T
46
O
A
47
H
U
48
T
49
B
O
N
E
S
50
S
51
C
52
A
B
53
E
R
54
A
55
S
56
L
A
S
S
O
57
P
U
T
D
58
O
W
N
R
O
59
O
T
S
60
O
T
O
O
L
E
61
B
L
A
S
T
62
O
63
F
64
F
65
T
I
L
L
E
D
66
Y
A
K
67
E
R
I
E
68
S
E
L
E
S
69
S
R
S
70
D
E
N
Y
© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 0930 ( 25,528 )
Across
1
Den : LAIR
5
Some HP products : PCS
8
Wardrobe supplies for Batman : CAPES
13
___ vera : ALOE
14
"Like I told you!" : AHA
15
Player at Baltimore's Camden Yards : ORIOLE
16
Bash some tobacco holders? : PANPIPES
18
Name on a 24-Across container : MORTON
19
Bash some small trucks? : TRASHPICKUPS
21
Something a prospector stakes : CLAIM
24
NaCl : SALT
25
"O.K., got it" : ISEE
26
$ : DOLLAR
28
Functions : USES
30
Went on horseback : RODE
31
Small town : BURG
34
Winner's two-finger gesture : VSIGN
38
Ace's value, at times : ONE
39
Bash a laundry room brand? : RIPTIDE
41
Down Under hopper : ROO
42
Rachel Maddow's channel : MSNBC
44
Bills with Alexander Hamilton : TENS
45
Actionable misdeed : TORT
46
Diamond Head's island : OAHU
48
Some hearty steaks : TBONES
50
Strikebreaking worker : SCAB
53
Slices of time : ERAS
56
Calf-roping rope : LASSO
57
Bash an Alex Haley classic? : PUTDOWNROOTS
60
Peter of "Lawrence of Arabia" : OTOOLE
61
Bash a bug repellent brand? : BLASTOFF
65
Prepared for planting : TILLED
66
Tibetan beast of burden : YAK
67
Lake ___ (what separates Ohio and Ontario) : ERIE
68
Monica in the International Tennis Hall of Fame : SELES
69
Sophs. in two years : SRS
70
Disavow : DENY
Down
1
You need to sit down for this : LAP
2
Brownie ___ mode : ALA
3
Particle that's positive or negative : ION
4
Chameleon or iguana : REPTILE
5
Biggest of the Three Bears : PAPA
6
Game on an 8x8 board : CHESS
7
Malia Obama's sister : SASHA
8
Gator's cousin : CROC
9
Action accompanied by a "Mwah!" : AIRKISS
10
White House V.I.P. : POTUS
11
Marry on the cheap, say : ELOPE
12
Have a feeling : SENSE
15
Skips over : OMITS
17
Woman whose name is an anagram of MIRA : IRMA
20
Connect to an electrical outlet : PLUGIN
21
Data holder put into a drive : CDROM
22
Water birds with haunting cries : LOONS
23
John who arrived on the Mayflower : ALDEN
27
Slugging stat : RBI
29
Adam's madam : EVE
32
Improvement, as in the economy : UPTURN
33
GPS suggestion: Abbr. : RTE
35
Clubs at a country club : IRONS
36
Vice-presidential family of the 1990s : GORES
37
"That's just wrong!" : NOTSO
39
Classic TV brand : RCA
40
Cause of a Mar. clock change : DST
43
Bill Clinton's 1996 opponent : BOBDOLE
45
Like some bagels and newlyweds : TOASTED
47
Chopped : HEWED
49
Nonkosher sandwiches, for short : BLTS
50
Features of peacock tails : SPOTS
51
Adorable sort : CUTIE
52
Island with a lagoon : ATOLL
54
Fast-food chain with a cowboy hat logo : ARBYS
55
Type of clean energy : SOLAR
58
Bullring cheers : OLES
59
Acorn-producing trees : OAKS
62
Mined find : ORE
63
Telltale evidence of a shark : FIN
64
"Sisters" co-star Tina : FEY

Answer summary: 1 unique to this puzzle.

Found bugs or have suggestions?