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

Thumbnails

18 puzzles by Kyle Mahowald
with constructor comments

TotalDebutLatestCollabs
183/22/20042/10/20171
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
2303262
RebusCircleScrabble
111.60
Kyle Mahowald
Fri 2/10/2017
FLAPJAMASWAB
LENIECOLIMALE
EMITSMALLWORLD
EMMYSETLOGGER
TOUPEESFDRAYE
ONSALEBARDMCS
RBIOVIMEAT
DATASCIENTIST
TINYEATKIN
RADUNDOTRENDS
UPSPBSJOECOOL
SECEDEBETRIGA
TREVORNOAHADEN
MENAGONNAFEAT
EDENWESTTARS

When I first made this puzzle (many months ago), I tried to get MENA out of the grid. Then I heard about a movie called "Mena" starring Tom Cruise and coming out in January 2017. So I left it in there and figured I'd ask Will and Joel to run the puzzle after the movie came out, and I'd be the hippest, most current MENA-cluer in all the land. But now it turns out that the movie isn't coming out until September. And also it won't even be called "Mena." It will instead be called "American Made." Score another one for "Actress Suvari." There's a lesson here somewhere about....something.

The original grid I submitted, unfortunately, had a dupe (EAR/DOGEAR), which I didn't notice until I saw that Will and Joel edited the final grid. The dupe's removal caused CAIRO to become the obscure-ish BOITO and ARI to become the prefix-y OVI. Talking to constructors and solvers, I've noticed that dupes and near dupes are an area where there's a good deal of aesthetic disagreement. I'm personally not so bothered by something like EAR/DOGEAR, where the two entries could be clued totally differently. But I know that sort of dupe can be fingers-on-a-chalkboard-level annoying to some solvers.

Looking back at the grid, I didn't intend for the long answers to all feel like they came from the same cultural universe, but they sort of do: one could imagine a DATA SCIENTIST playing MINECRAFT while watching TREVOR NOAH before going to see a JESSE EISENBERG movie. I prefer the opposite: that the long answers in themeless puzzles come from diverse walks of life. But I wound up liking this particular grid the best and how these answers all fit together. Hope you enjoyed the solve!

Sat 5/7/2016
PONIARDSMACPRO
IMONFIREUPROAR
SIGHTGAGSTARVE
ATOESMELTFOAL
ARMARABTUGS
THREADSLETSSEE
OHENRYTANS
WHATSNEWWITHYOU
HALOCREEPS
MARRYMEREADSTO
AQUAINTOPOW
DUMBCARDSNEMO
RIBBEDAMERICAN
INLIEUCASHSALE
DOESSOINSOMNIA
Wed 2/17/2016
NEIGHSCABENDS
ARNIEALFAVEEP
KOALAYARDAWAY
EDWARDSNOWEDIN
DEEDUHOXEN
JODIEFROSTER
MOTIFSTODDORO
RAHMCHETWIX
SHEAPSEBOUNCY
CURTCHILLING
EVERUNAEPA
BARRYCOLDWATER
POLOGALLHIHAT
ELMOISLEIDOLS
POEMATADMESSY

I started thinking these cold thoughts last winter when New England was covered in many feet of snow. And now here we are again, as the snow piles up in Boston. The first theme entry I thought of was EDWARD SNOWED IN and wanted a way to try to use that. Then I thought of how Dwight D. Ice in Shower inevitably melts into BARRY COLD WATER... and decided I was definitely making this puzzle, if only to inflict that on everyone. Two 12's and two 14's aren't ideal for a breathable grid, but I wound up liking this theme set best.

I've been a Tuesday short of the cycle for many years now and was hoping this could be the Tuesday I've been waiting for. But Wednesday it is.

In the unsolicited, fill-based Netflix recommendation department: besides being "Like a recent transplant," NEW IN TOWN is also the name of a funny John Mulaney standup special.

Fri 2/6/2015
LOOKATTHATBETS
EXHILARATEEXEC
DOGLICENSENEER
ROCKEDTEMPO
PROBESJSHAPED
AIWAPALETTES
YOURETOOMUCH
STPPANGAEAMAO
THISOLDTHING
SCOURGESISNO
AIRBOATHATRED
LTGENFLECHE
ERATSPEARHEADS
MONOITSDOORDIE
SNAPEASYDOESIT

I'm sort of amazed to realize it's been over 6 years since my last NY Times crossword. Apparently grad school can have that effect — I just hadn't been constructing much for a while. I'm tempted to reminisce about the now mystical past (c. 2006 when I was an intern with Will) when people gathered on the Forum, the New York Sun was still shining, and there was a plentiful supply of unlitzed pre-Shortzian puzzles. But instead I'll focus on this puzzle, which I made in the less mystical past (c. the end of 2013).

Who knew? (Apparently she did!)

I started in the middle with THIS OLD THING and YOU'RE TOO MUCH. I'm a fan of in-the-language phrases that it's funny to imagine the puzzle saying to you if it could talk (which it can't). I think those two fit the bill, as does OH GROW UP. I felt a little rusty since this was the first grid I had made in a few years. So, looking back, I apologize for any FLECHE or DII-related unpleasantness in the fill.

On the clue front, I was happy to see that Will kept some of my longish trivia clues, including the one about Nora EPHRON knowing the identity of Deep Throat and the one about the U.S.'s first LT. GEN. being Geo. Washington (which is pronounced "Geology Washington"). As a native Floridian, I was also happy to see the two Everglades clues stick around.

Anyway, I very much hope it won't be another 6 years until my next puzzle and, to that end, am working on some grids. Hope it was a good solve for you!

Fri 10/10/2008
SPFSHAMMNICAD
HEAPALAROSAGE
ARMESTRIPPOKER
QUICKFIXLANES
LIEUINUIT
LAYMENSIRNOSIR
ADREPIMEANANA
MOONSETCLOSING
PROAGAVEGENIE
SEMINOLEPARTED
NEILSLIED
TREYSSCANNERS
JETSETTERSANAT
ARESOALUMDIME
RISENUSDAESPN
Wed 8/30/2006
FINNFEMMELISA
BRIEALARMUNIX
IALWAYSTHOUGHTI
SNEEZYNEATO
HAPPYODEDLEM
ONLEASEELOPER
PEERENTNEA
WASINDECISIVE
OSEDONDEAD
MENACEGOKARTS
HEXYALEAVAST
ADIOSALUMNI
BUTNOWIMNOTSURE
ISEEONEILIZOD
TADANERVETIES
Fri 7/21/2006
STOMACHACHESTE
TEXASHOLDEMORR
INCINERATEDRAN
NSAOARSASCII
GERMTIKISCENE
SRTASDARKHORSE
DUBNEEREEL
GLEEFULDESERTS
OONARAGPUP
DVDBURNERMADAM
SEGERDRIPDRNO
GRATAMFRSOKS
IBMNATALIECOLE
FOEUPONESALLEY
TYSSTRESSTESTS
Thu 1/12/2006
ROMSTITMATT
VINYIANEALOHA
ATANSPIETIGLIG
NIJASGNATEKE
ETAHOWERARAL
SIGIITHERAIAGO
FETALSTAN
BALESMACSEEIG
YSERIARUT
HITITHEBEGINIG
EATSRAICAABE
AMIIAGORAMON
RIGADIGDIGNEXT
TOGAELENITIES
ROARESSOETS
Sun 10/9/2005E - I.E., IO
MOPEDONESECGIRLMRI
OCULIRECALLADIAYEN
BALLETBARRIOPLAYGOLF
INLETSTUGSWEETIEPIE
LATSHRETEEANTICS
EDAZIONMASTERSTOAST
ABSORBELKSALOOF
TOTEBAGAHABFLAP
SLAMROLAIDSBERMUDA
SPATGTOROTERAYGUN
CURIOFORTHECOMMONCOLD
ARIOSOSEANBANASTA
LOANERSSTEPDADPSIS
ANTICPASLORELEI
STEELREELFANOUT
ANGLOCAMERALIONSSOT
MORAYSODEARDSHAH
EVENSTEVENFOGRATEDR
LEADROLEOLDGRAYMARIO
INTUNITSAILEDALIEN
AASSEASEXCEEDTENSE
Fri 9/9/2005
CRAGTOJOINAWE
HORASTARCESAR
EARSKRZYZEWSKI
FROMATOZSCENES
WARSAGARS
SCHICKGAZETTES
ARENTMENSAEDU
DOASIDOGAMBLED
ANDCERTSSALMA
TESTCASENORMAN
HIREDEDGE
DESERTDISARMED
ANTICHRISTAONE
SNARLBELLPROP
HESSEISEEHELP
Wed 8/17/2005
ATTNAMAZEGRIP
THEOREMITREAR
TENTERATOOLDE
AWNWAITINGGAME
CHICESTASTIN
HOSEDSLAPSITE
LGEALLAVID
TELEVISIONSET
YOYOIRETEA
ERECLARKAMASS
STERNEATINTO
MIXANDMATCHYAW
ALANEARTHLOCH
ALMAEMILEANKA
MASTDAZEDBEST
Fri 7/29/2005
LAPUPCAMSABAS
ELENASMUTBALL
ASTIRPOSEERLE
DONTSTARTWITHME
SRAEENSEROAT
TAMESTREDAPPLE
ONESRHEENOSED
TRAINTRIP
THREELEVIPISA
SEAEAGLECHANTS
HARTOSSKIDJS
IVEHADITWITHYOU
REBAIDEAMOCHA
THINVERBABANG
SOTSASISNORSE
Thu 12/30/2004
LOANSOHMSNARC
OWNUPLEADALEE
LETTERDAYSVEES
NYPDSERBS
LOBSTERSKELTON
ALOPOSCARSKA
SELECTHULAS
HOTCHILIPEPPERS
SOPORSEAGAL
OTBPINTANAVE
HERRINGBLOODED
STEINCAAN
URALEYESPECIAL
RISEGENEAINGE
ESTSOATSMAKES
Mon 12/20/2004
AMORAVIDEJECT
ROLEDINOVALOR
ITSDEJAVUEZINE
ATESTLOBEZANY
SONTAGLLAMA
ALLOVERAGAIN
TSARAWETSETSE
ELIDSLSHHOAT
RADIUSETDINNS
ITSDEJAVUALL
CLAROYALIES
MEGAWILDVERVE
EXERTOVERAGAIN
SPADESEEDATAD
HORSEODDSLENS
Sat 11/6/2004
XAMOUNTWHIZKID
GRAPPLEHAVEONE
ACCUSERIRONORE
MARSRENTERLAP
EDAISSUESCANE
SEMISAMOALIGN
SENORBUSRIDES
SPARETIRE
SCHOONERMENSA
AHOLDLOSSTARR
NATELANCETRTE
JRSPIPERSMASC
OLEMISSITSALIE
SEATTLEPEEWEES
ESTATESTEASERS
Sun 9/19/2004I.E., NOT I
RASTASBASHEDBREAKUP
ALLOUTILLINIREDTAPE
GLINDAGMINORIMEANIT
GENEINABOTTLEBINDS
ELKSLENSEXADD
DEYSOUNDBARRERCASIO
FIRMAWAREPASCAL
BADEGGSSCANSILLWILL
ALIENSSTOICARAFAT
TONTOPEINTHESKYNYPD
CNNRERUNAHEADCHE
HEELJUSTMARREDETHAN
RAVENSOPALSBAREST
SEARACECRAZYCARAFES
WINGITBRACERUMP
ARDENSOILEDSUEMETSE
PEALIPTNTDATA
MADAMBEDTIMESTORES
IHOPESOAREOLAHUNGRY
CAVEMENLOCALSATHENA
EYESORETSKTSKQUOTAS
Mon 8/23/2004
BEECHSALTISAK
ADLAIOREOACRE
YUMMYYUMMYGRAD
PAARSCRUBS
ACTSNODSHEMS
THAIKNEEDEEP
RUSTSSTYETIA
INTEARSHEROINE
AGEHAHASNOUT
STAGEMOMTURN
AGARASIAASEA
AORTASLAIR
GLEEMMMMMMGOOD
REAROBOEPEDRO
ARTSGAINSTEER
Mon 3/22/2004
LILIEWERDWARF
EDENVICEONCUE
GONEWITHTHEWIND
OLDPALORESDTS
TITOOATS
BAMTWASTIMBER
ALOEISEEMOOLA
SINGININTHERAIN
EVERTSOHOETTA
DETESTROTHSET
TAILSWAP
AOLDEEMAGENDA
THEPERFECTSTORM
TIARATAPETREE
YODELSLURYAWN