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 5, 2016

Author:
Tracy Gray
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
289/8/201010/10/20196
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
7445710
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.61451
Tracy Gray

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 36 Missing: {VXZ} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 18 for Ms. Gray. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Tracy Gray notes:
My first Monday puzzle! The inspiration came from a little retail therapy at the mall with one goal in mind: FIND THE PERFECT JEANS. ... read more

My first Monday puzzle! The inspiration came from a little retail therapy at the mall with one goal in mind: FIND THE PERFECT JEANS. In the store, surrounded by the overwhelming choices of jean styles, fits, rises, etc., my crossword brain kicked into high gear and I quickly had some theme entries in mind, even before leaving the fitting room.

My first grid (not submitted) had a revealer of sorts with the Neil Diamond song "FOREVER IN BLUE JEANS" (18) broken up into two 9's and three styles of jeans as theme entries. My second grid, which I submitted, was rejected because (SLIM)SHADY was too similar to (SKINNY)DIP and (LOOSE)LIPS was overly generic, in terms of jean styles. However, the rejection came with the encouraging words "different and fun theme" and a note from Joel saying that he had come up with (BAGGY)EYES - which I loved. The next day, I came up with (RIPPED)ABS, (BOOT)DRIVE, and (CUTOFF)SAW, the latter of which Will felt was the best, plus it worked with my simple JEANS revealer, crossing at the "A."

So, that's the real skinny on this Labor Day puzzle — hope you enjoy the holiday and the puzzle!

Jeff Chen notes:
'Words that can be preceded by' theme today, something we rarely see these days. (Most editors take very few of them now.) A few ... read more

"Words that can be preceded by" theme today, something we rarely see these days. (Most editors take very few of them now.) A few months ago, Tracy asked me about this idea, and I mentioned that although it is indeed a "words that can be preceded by," what might help elevate it is that some of the terms — SKINNY (JEANS), LOW RISE (JEANS) — are fresh, colorful phrases. It also has a somewhat "fashionable" feel to it, making it a little more upscale.

Tracy does a nice job with her grid, especially considering the theme density. Five longish phrases, including a 15-letter one, are tougher to fill around than jamming oneself into a pair of SKINNY JEANS. Just getting a smoothish, cleanish result is an accomplishment, but Tracy works to give us the nice UP AND AT IT (AT EM would have been just perfect!). TWO HANDED is more workmanlike, but getting some OPAQUE, ENSUITE helps elevate the solve. I like seeing those careful touches, showing the constructor's desire to do something more for the solver.

Relative lack of DRECK, too — I was almost all the way through the puzzle before I hitched at the south. Not surprising that two themers (FLARE GUNS and CUT OFF SAW) sandwiching a six-letter word (ENESCO) would be the boggiest section. All the ENESCO crossings are fair (although that entry in itself might turn off some novice solvers), but to have any ?STAR, NEURO, and the slightly odd UNCAP doesn't do that region any favors. It's a lot to cram into one tiny section.

I wasn't familiar with the term FLARE JEANS, but fashion is not at all my forte, and it does Google well. I felt as a mechanical engineer I should know CUT OFF SAW, but it didn't hit my ear very well as something like, say, CHOP SAW. Research shows it's a real thing though — perhaps I've been out of engineering too long.

Nice execution through most of the puzzle, along with some great phrases like SKINNY DIP and BAGGY EYES, helping to overcome my personal ennui with this type of theme.

1
G
2
A
3
R
4
B
5
S
6
O
7
D
8
S
9
D
10
R
11
U
12
G
13
S
14
O
B
O
E
15
T
H
R
U
16
D
E
P
O
T
17
B
A
G
G
18
Y
E
Y
E
S
19
S
L
A
T
E
20
I
C
E
21
A
M
E
C
H
22
E
23
A
N
T
E
24
G
I
R
25
L
Y
26
S
K
I
N
27
N
Y
D
I
P
28
A
S
29
P
30
S
O
S
A
31
A
32
S
33
T
I
34
O
35
P
36
A
37
Q
U
E
38
T
39
O
40
M
41
L
O
W
R
42
I
S
E
B
U
I
L
43
D
I
N
G
44
I
W
O
45
S
T
R
E
E
T
46
I
T
E
M
47
H
48
U
L
A
49
E
50
W
E
51
F
52
L
A
R
E
G
53
U
54
N
55
S
56
O
U
57
I
58
J
59
A
60
R
A
N
G
61
E
N
E
S
62
C
O
63
T
E
N
64
E
N
D
I
65
T
66
C
U
T
O
F
67
F
S
A
W
68
S
C
E
N
E
69
A
R
A
L
70
L
U
N
A
71
H
E
D
G
E
72
P
O
R
T
73
U
S
S
R
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0905 ( 24,408 )

Support XWord Info today

Pay now and get access for a year.

1. Select account level
2. Choose how to pay
Across
1
Apparel : GARB
5
Installs, as a lawn : SODS
9
Prilosec and Prozac : DRUGS
14
Double-reed woodwind : OBOE
15
Drive-___ window : THRU
16
Bus station : DEPOT
17
Facial sign of sleep deprivation : BAGGYEYES
19
Roof material : SLATE
20
Decorate, as a cake : ICE
21
Actor Don of "Trading Places" : AMECHE
23
Pony up, in poker : ANTE
24
Like outfits with ruffles and lace : GIRLY
26
Bathe in the buff : SKINNYDIP
28
Symbol of royalty in ancient Egypt : ASP
30
Baseball's Slammin' Sammy : SOSA
31
Sparkling Italian wine : ASTI
34
Hard to see through : OPAQUE
38
Male turkey : TOM
41
It has only a few stories : LOWRISEBUILDING
44
Battle of ___ Jima : IWO
45
Springsteen's E ___ Band : STREET
46
Thing : ITEM
47
Luau dance : HULA
49
Lamb's mother : EWE
51
Distress signal producers : FLAREGUNS
56
Board for a séance : OUIJA
60
Telephoned : RANG
61
Romanian composer Georges : ENESCO
63
Number of lords a-leaping : TEN
64
Break off a relationship : ENDIT
66
Tool for severing a steel cable, maybe : CUTOFFSAW
68
"And ... ___!" (director's cry) : SCENE
69
Asia's diminishing ___ Sea : ARAL
70
Moth whose name is Latin for "moon" : LUNA
71
Not give a definitive answer : HEDGE
72
City with piers : PORT
73
America's Cold War foe, for short : USSR
Down
1
Shoot for the stars : GOBIG
2
Counting devices : ABACI
3
"I read you," in radio lingo : ROGER
4
Plead : BEG
5
Thorn's site on a rose : STEM
6
"I totally agree!" : OHYES
7
Worthless stuff : DRECK
8
Japanese food : SUSHI
9
Orthodontist's deg. : DDS
10
Pass-the-baton track events : RELAYS
11
Energetically starting one's day : UPANDATIT
12
Mobster John : GOTTI
13
Descriptive of some bills or hills : STEEP
18
Celebratory cheers : YAYS
22
Connected, as a bath to a bedroom : ENSUITE
25
Den : LAIR
27
Yule tune : NOEL
29
Mailing charge : POSTAGE
31
Late, great boxing champ : ALI
32
"You reap what you ___" : SOW
33
Like some tennis grips : TWOHANDED
35
The "p" of r.p.m. : PER
36
He's next to Teddy on Mount Rushmore : ABE
37
"___ pasa?" : QUE
39
Bill with Washington's face : ONE
40
"The Wizard of Oz" studio : MGM
42
Castaway's spot : ISLE
43
"Mon ___!" : DIEU
48
Insistence : URGING
50
Dog's bark : WOOF
51
Scoring high on Rotten Tomatoes : FRESH
52
Jouster's weapon : LANCE
53
Open, as a toothpaste tube : UNCAP
54
Prefix with transmitter : NEURO
55
Celestial cool red giant : SSTAR
57
Couple's answer to "Who's there?" : ITSUS
58
Article of apparel with styles found at the starts of 17- 26-, 41-, 51- and 66-Across : JEANS
59
Egypt's Sadat : ANWAR
62
Male foal : COLT
65
Jockey purchase, informally : TEE
67
It might give you the chills : FLU

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?