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Amanda Chung author page

13 puzzles by Amanda Chung
with Constructor comments

TotalDebutLatestCollabs
136/17/20184/6/202113
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1154200
CircleScrabDebutFresh
31.616737%
Amanda Chung
View these same grids with comments from:
Constructor (12)Jeff Chen (13)Hide comments

See the 67 answer words debuted by Amanda Chung.

2 collaborators: Erik Agard Karl Ni
Puzzles constructed by Amanda Chung by year
POW Tue 4/6/2021
ARSBARCAREPA
PECLOVATOSOB
HEAVENSTOBETSY
ISPOSEMORASS
DEETSTOTES
GEEZLOUISE
BOOSEATACSIN
FRAGNOSEMAGE
FSTOPSILOS
SOSOONRISERS
DWELLERS
SNAGTOADMAGS
HILOCOWSOVEN
APOLLOPALATE
MAHLEROBLIGE
STAYEDTAYLOR
Tue 11/3/2020
EMUSSENDSOHHEY
TONEIMOUTGEICO
HOWDYDOODYRADON
ISRAELRELIEVE
CHANTEYSIMYALE
SUPDEIPEDWAY
HOUNDEDSUAVE
HUMPTYDUMPTY
SWANNALIMONY
PORKIETANMSG
AWRYGEMSOIHEAR
IDIOTICGUYANA
BISONHANDYDANDY
ADORNATEINTIRE
SONYSNATTYTEAR

When we first got the publication e-mail, we quickly checked which day it would come out, as Amanda's mother's birthday is also this week, and we thought — wouldn't that be a fun coincidence! Turns out today is not that day (Happy early birthday Mom — we love you!), but rather another very important day — Election Day. We hope all who decided to vote safely got their vote in. Thanks as always to the editing team and to all those hard-working folks who support the crossword.

Wed 7/29/2020
ATOMSTEDPACTS
TOWITIPAADIEU
MOOSEAIRSATAN
TWOPERCENTMILK
SPADOES
POTPIERENOEMU
IPHONESEVENPLUS
TIRECSISIRE
ONEMICHELINSTAR
NEWBOLTMOTELS
BANEOPS
STRONGPASSWORD
TRACKPGAEBOOK
OUNCEEEKAISLE
PETERDEATESTY

The idea for this theme came during a visit from Amanda's older brother Art. We were discussing recent news about a large password leak. That got us thinking about all the password requirements — numbers, letters, special characters — and how we could look for normal phrases that met the same requirements. It was a hard search to find these three but we're very happy with them. Many thanks as always to the editing team for adding some great clues, like 46-A!

Thu 6/25/2020
BEAVGUYSODES
ATTICAREALOPE
GAVELWILTSNIT
WORKSLIKEACH
POPSOYAINT
LIONELIOTAIAN
ALLYBLONDEBOZO
SPINYCUDPANAM
MACYWHISTLEBLO
ANEAHOTHAZIER
HALOCAYNAE
GOOUTONALIMB
MARTPONEALIEN
OHSOETTATORSO
SUESDEERCAPN

We're very happy to have our puzzle published today. We're also very grateful to the editorial team and everyone involved in getting these puzzles out. To stay positive and encouraging in this challenging time is truly an admirable feat. A big thank you to you all. We also hope you puzzlers out there are staying safe and healthy.

Some notes:

  • POLICEHORSE was in the original grid but then replaced in a revision to make other parts work better. We were very sad to see it go so we're absolutely delighted it made its way back into the final grid!
  • PLAYMAT is another bit of fun fill and very appropriate as our living room is dominated by a colorful one of these. The clue came to us in one of those lightning bolt moments and we're so glad they kept it and added the "?" for clarity.
  • SOY: We love this clue that the editing team wrote — Impossible burgers are amazing!

If you're an aspiring constructor, do reach out to us via amandakarlxword@gmail.com to talk shop. Working with others is so refreshing and inspiring. Be well everyone!

Thu 2/13/2020
CCSHERBSTAGE
HAIEAVEOCELOT
ORGINSERVIDAYS
OWNEDFIEFNAY
SAUCISHPRIMA
EXPOEINEBELAY
AUDINOIDEA
REVERSECTIONARY
GRATISEINK
SALTSFRETEPIC
HATHASHAVEDE
ETAOATHLETIN
ROLLTHEDICEADS
MALALATROULIU
ADAGEVESTSTS

We're so excited to be back in the New York Times after what feels like forever! We kept busy during that time with our now 16-month-old son, Clark, and trying to think of fun puzzle ideas.

As is often the case, constructors think alike and David Steinberg's great Sunday puzzle last year employed a similar theme concept with balls vs dice in ours. It looked like David had beaten us to the punch for this particular "trick" and so we were very pleasantly surprised that our puzzle was accepted as well.

Some memorable things about this puzzle:

  1. When we couldn't find enough theme entries in our word list, we did it the "old-fashioned" way by searching the good ol' world wide web, which resulted in a few debut entries.
  2. It worked out nicely that the DICE entries rotated in a progression (though that was probably more luck than skill.
  3. Given the theme density and the fixed placement of the DICE, we're happy that not too much crosswordese was needed.
  4. Karl's thrilled his Star Trek shout-out at 31-A survived.
  5. Amanda prefers the editing team's clue at 24-D — parenthood has given new meaning to Seuss-isms (and Mr. Rogers).

To any aspiring constructor, feel free to contact us at amandakarlxword@gmail.com. We'd be happy to talk shop.

Tue 4/23/2019
ECHOTWIXFIONA
THARHIKEALVIN
HOMEOWNERCLEAT
ALSORANSMEAR
NETCROCUPSHOT
ORESTWOOFAKIND
LARASROTITES
TATTOOINK
ICKSWANTOOTH
THISSIDEUPACRO
TINTINTSAROIL
GONERESIGNED
ONTOEPETSOUNDS
DRUGSGRABSOTO
DATESSEXYTRON

One of Amanda's friends frequently posts silly, punny riddles such as "If April showers bring May flowers, then what do Mayflowers bring?" HOME OWNER was the answer to one such riddle (though the actual riddle has since been forgotten) and became the seed entry for this puzzle.

TWO OF A KIND and THIS SIDE UP were found pretty quickly, but we struggled to get that last entry. CHOO CHOO TRAIN was a contender but it didn't seem like owls were really pets outside of the Harry Potter books. And ZOINKS seemed a bit too short. TATTOO INK saves the day!

DANDRUFF and SPURRED ON were among the others we thought about, though they didn't span a couple of words. The Beach Boys have such great music - PET SOUNDS immediately jumped to mind as the revealer. Our original clue for 3-Down paid homage to the hamsterdance song of our college years, but the new clue is a lot more fun. Thanks as always to the editorial team!

Wed 3/20/2019
TRIPCLOTHAVA
RAVEDONHOTSAR
ICANTSLEEPAWINK
BENTOIBCCAF
ERAKITCHENSIN
VENAAXECAP
FRANCEMTJADE
POURHOTPIAREA
ARMYAKANEWER
CURBOAACTS
MAKESYOUTHPDT
IREDVDALLAY
DISAPPEARINGINK
DRIBEATENBENE
SANGREYSTSOS

AMANDA and KARL:

This is our first puzzle ever accepted by the New York Times after Erik jump-started our construction efforts. We received the news when we were in Oregon, watching the total solar eclipse. Amanda still remembers the e-mail with Will Shortz closing with "Welcome Aboard!" Among the clues, we can appreciate the couple of nods to California along with the lead into one of Karl's favorite poems, "Jabberwocky."

ERIK:

Of the clues not written by us, my favorite is 31-Across. Wish I thought of that! I'm unsure about 1-Down — I fear that "making" implies that those groups had more agency in the historical creation of that system than they did, or that the "?"-ness of it all is a bit too flippant for the subject matter. I hope I'm wrong. Thanks to Amanda and Karl for helping turn an okay idea into a great idea, as they always do.

Wed 1/23/2019
CRABARCSHOTEL
LITEPERPAWAKE
OVALSTARNIXED
DELIVERYADDER
STLEOAONEELK
FLYINGBUTTER
SSSENSSAUTE
CATNAPSATECROW
ADREPCNNNNE
BLOWUPMATTER
SYNHEREMAGMA
GENDERNEUTRAL
LEMMEMANXTITO
AWAITACAIAMEN
VENTSWESTNYSE

AMANDA: I was inspired by Ross Trudeau's note last week (and similar ones from other constructors I admire) to offer any assistance I can to those from underrepresented groups that are interested in crossword constructing. You can e-mail me at rosesmirror@gmail.com. I look forward to meeting you. Now on to the notes.

The female version of something often has the suffix "-ess," e.g., waiter and waitress, lion and lioness. With the recent movement to use more GENDER NEUTRAL words, e.g., "actor" for everyone across the board, it was a fun challenge to find words that ended in "-ess" that were NOT the female version of something, and then make them a "gender neutral" something.

Originally each of the theme entries was clued as a person or animal, like [Winged creature known for ramming objects with its head?] for FLYINGBUTTER, but the image of a piece of butter flying across the cafeteria is pretty funny. Many thanks to the editing team for improving the SW corner.

This theme idea came about two Thanksgivings ago in an eclectic Airbnb in Los Angeles with bunk beds and jazz posters a few blocks from a kosher grocery store. Not sure how or why that lead to this, but a change in scenery never hurts the creative process.

POW Tue 12/11/2018
POOFPOPBYBAS
JONIATRIAPIPE
SHELLSHOCKAREA
EASEDMIDST
PROCTORPEELOUT
CARLINHURTNIL
STEENSARINATE
GROUNDSCREW
AMOKFATEAGILE
PANTOGOAZARIA
PITBOSSSLOWEST
ENRONAUDRA
AMALCOMPOSTBIN
RAIDADIEUTIVO
SNLPEERSSTEW

Looking at the various ways to develop a theme, this seems to be a popular one — that is, the starting words of specific across entries are all tied together with a revealer entry. We deliberately chose phrases where that starting word had a different meaning than that hinted to by the revealer, to try for that nice A-HA! moment. We like that the grid came out pretty clean and had some fun bonus fill.

Hope you enjoy our homage to the compost bin, it's out there doing great things for the environment!

Mon 10/15/2018
INCUBUSAKITA
MOONINGSIDEBET
APRICOTANATOLE
CENSEINDMIA
OPTICALFIBER
SCANUTEYAM
PUGSTAGEKIOSK
AREYOUKIDDINGME
SEDANEAGERROY
RICNAVBEGS
JOHNCOLTRANE
ACENYSYEAST
WHATAMIELMTREE
SODACANREPLIES
YOUNGATHEART

It's cute that different animal young have different names. And the phrase "young at heart" is such a lovely sentiment. We were very pleased to find fun phrases where the "young" was exactly in the middle, and also that they all had the hard "c" sound. Thanks as always to the editorial team for their help!

Wed 9/5/2018
JUTSDANETITANS
ASHESTANOCELOT
CHEERLEADTENETS
OEDOMANTAUT
BRONCOSDOLPHINS
EGODEMONSIVAN
DAFOEORAKNEEL
TEAMBUILDING
SPEWSENTANION
ODIEGETOUTNTH
PATRIOTSBENGALS
TWOSRULEPGA
BATHOSLUNISOLAR
URBANEATTNRAMI
GIANTSSHUEONES

TEAMBUILDING as a revealer came about as we brainstormed for a different puzzle. The last Super Bowl must have been on Amanda's mind because PAT-RIOTS jumped out immediately as a funny way to say PATRIOTS. Turns out a lot of team names can be broken down into other words! We went about making a list and, with the theme set selected, moved onto the grid.

Erik has an amazing knack of connecting theme entries (4 in this case) and he built the majority of the grid. We had originally clued the theme entries to both be people (in some way or another) to stick with the TEAMBUILDING concept, but this works too!

POW Tue 7/17/2018
GUACHIMSCHEME
ITSYEPICOINED
REDBARONUMPIRE
DROOLSAMFMDEN
SOIRSPREFAB
GOLDENSNITCH
ABCOATSDETOO
FLYINGCOLORS
OUTDOBEAUPET
GREENLANTERN
ADORNSIOWAN
SSNAUTOALTHEA
CATNIPBLUEBIRD
OKSURELINALII
WEBBYSEDTDEER

AMANDA: We'd submitted quite a few puzzles before this one being accepted. The themes ranged from too silly to too familiar. There was always feedback though, from Will, Joel, and Sam, and it was very insightful and encouraging (even for puzzles that now make me wince!) Every "no" helped make the next puzzle just a little better and we kept learning how to make better puzzles. I'd bounce theme ideas off of Karl and he'd often have something fresh that I hadn't thought of yet.

But this puzzle actually started in the opposite fashion, with Karl having an idea and me doing the fine-tuning. I remember wanting entries that fitted the FLYINGCOLORS theme, but weren't just generic flying things. BLUEBIRD was a slight concession, but it also being a "symbol of happiness" helped justify it.

I do love the song at 32-A, and the editorial team's cluing for it! I feel like we've come a long way together and am very excited for our first solo effort to appear here.

KARL: This, our first theme as a couple, was especially fun to work with, snowballing from a morning conversation. With airplanes in my dreams, I groggily mumbled to Amanda something about her being a BLUEANGEL pilot. We bore out a theme with a potential next color-flyer pair: REDROBIN, and from there, we didn't look back. We put a bit of ourselves into the entries, from kicking off with our favorite farm-fresh CA dish in 1-A, to some fun Jackson 5 songs. Thanks to Amanda for being a wonderful and positive partner. We hope you enjoy the puzzle!

Sun 6/17/2018 TRICKY TRIOS
STALLSUTESCAPBRASS
OOHOOHNOSHADOROUTE
SNAPCRACKLEANDPOLDIE
ASSKILORCAUNCLIPS
TENORTIEDLIAISE
PASSKUKLAFRANANDE
HUMPTYOOFCREEALA
IRAIDTAGSCLIOSWNYC
SALDIANECLASPVENOM
HELSINKIBRINIMALONE
WYNKENBLYNKENANDD
AMONGSTLUPELIMESODA
MERCSOVERTZOOMSMIC
AWLSSTEWSHENNASICU
LSDHEHEFATRADNER
PETERPAULANDYRIDA
MOOLAHHURLARGUE
WAITITIANIYALLLAO
AFLACLASTONESTANDING
SIEGELIESAGANASCAR
HADESSLRAHOYDELETE

AMANDA AND KARL: We are from the San Francisco Bay Area and enjoy many shared hobbies, one of which is crossword puzzles. Amanda renewed her interest in crosswords a few years ago and introduced them to Karl when we first met. After a few attempts at constructing, we got more serious last year after a chance encounter with Erik Agard at ACPT 2017. Erik mentored and guided us as aspiring constructors through several puzzles and is a constant inspiration for us. We are delighted to have one of our collaborations with Erik as our debut NY Times puzzle. We would also like to express gratitude to Will, Sam, Joel, and the rest of the NY Times team for their kind encouragement and invaluable advice.

ERIK: With crossword tournaments, it's more about the people than the puzzles. The 2017 ACPT was fairly painful for me on the competitive front, but I met these two, so on balance, it was a fantastic weekend. I'm grateful to A & K for regularly blowing my mind with fresh ideas, fills, and clues, and for allowing me to be the third banana in this cruciverbal trio.

AMANDA AND KARL: We originally had LASTMANSTANDING as the revealer but realized after brainstorming that there were trios we liked with a non-"man" as the last one listed. Erik came up with LASTONESTANDING which nicely solved this problem. While creating the grid, we struggled with how many theme entries to include and how to "hide" the "standing" names. After many iterations, we decided to go with quality over quantity, and this turned out to be a very good decision, as it made for an open grid that lent itself to better fill for the "standing" names. Erik did an incredible job finding those long downs that cross three(!) theme entries. We shared the rest of the fill and cluing duties and are very happy with the result.

Working with a collaborator like Erik is a joy, with both sides being open-minded and motivated to make the best puzzle we can.

We are also very pleased to be debuting WAITITI and FURIOSA!

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