This web browser is not supported. Use Chrome, Edge, Safari, or Firefox for best results.

Thumbnails

3 puzzles by Anna Shechtman
with constructor comments

TotalDebutLatestCollabs
35/26/20105/29/20140
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0001200
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.52100
Anna Shechtman
Thu 5/29/2014
DAZEEPEESGWEN
UNITPAULOAHSO
ETNAINREMYETI
TICTACTOEBOARD
SANSERNE
ORBNEUERATIOS
POUNDSIGNSHTUP
RUBESTYESESTO
ASBIGSPACEMARK
HELLNOTRENTEE
ESAUSNOW
TWITTERHASHTAG
FORMPRIORIONA
ISAOUTERIFONZ
ESPNTELEOFLEE

In the past nine months I've worked as Will Shortz's assistant. One of the job's perks is getting to discuss theme ideas with Will, often over lunch. Will sanctioned this puzzle — whose theme is a pun on a symbol (#), as opposed to a word — in February.

I still construct by hand, so this 72-word grid took many late nights to fill cleanly. So many nights, actually, that I may finally be convinced to construct using software. It's a long time coming: when I learned in January that Bernice Gordon, the Times' only centenarian cruciverbalist, uses software, my graph paper and pencil technique seemed not so much retro as retrograde.

Ultimately, though, I'm happy with this puzzle's fill (with the exception of a couple unfortunate partial phrases). The only word that gave Will real pause was SHTUP, which he and I debated at length. I suggested that if Rachel Maddow can say it on msnbc, and my dad can say it at Passover, it had evolved beyond its crude Yiddish origins (from the German stopfen "to stuff"). Here's hoping most solvers agree.

I so regret leaving Will next month, but I'm giddy to start graduate school in English and film studies in the fall. It's been a total joy working with him — from fact-checking to cluing to debating the vulgarity of SHTUP. #dreamjob #thanksWill

Thu 3/17/2011
ONESUTAHTRAMP
ROVENORAIONIA
ABETSONGSBWARD
SINAISUSANS
ESTEEMSLUMDAB
GADEDOETE
LAUDLOGINAFOG
ITSALLGREEKTOME
STUDIOOWNFEST
PEAGMCECO
SNLHAREENLIST
STRINGCANTI
WHOOPSTREETCAR
KORANIRISHOME
SPORKSENTEPPS
Wed 5/26/2010
TWITGLOVERBOA
RENORENAMEANN
ATTNONTIMEDRY
GOESOUTONALIMA
INNRPISOME
CEDEDLAMACHOPS
TELNAVYDST
VERAENDINGS
SRILIEUSTE
HONEYCOMAHELGA
HUESLAIORE
GRADEINFLATION
CHIELTOROOTOE
HIPELEVENLEVI
ATEREMADEDRED