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25 puzzles by Michael S. Maurer
with constructor comments

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255/4/19921/10/20183
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1.550006
Michael S. Maurer
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See the 68 answer words debuted by Michael S. Maurer.

Alternate name for this constructor:
M. S. Maurer

19 Shortz Era Daily crosswords by Michael S. Maurer

Wed 1/10/2018
DIALOGWISEASS
IMPALABANKSHOT
LAPSATORNATELY
ALLEYOOPSTEA
TOEDPSASDMZ
ENTGMCWELCOME
SEVAREIDLEAFED
FASTBREAK
ATHENSLINSEEDS
CROWDEDFATMEH
TIOSEALWINO
KGBFREETHROW
ASSUAGESCREATE
FOULLINEHITTER
TOPPLEDOBSESS

MICKEY: I am delighted when my puzzle appears in the New York Times so I always try to maintain three puzzles in the queue to feed that addiction.

Puns and quips are my favorite crossword puzzle themes. We should all know by now that it is difficult to shoot a quip puzzle idea past Will Shortz. I keep trying. Many of my recent puzzles including this collaboration with Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly are themed puns. Some of these puns made me laugh out loud. See 18 across.

It was a pleasure to work with Senator Joe Donnelly. I am not making a political statement here, but I was not surprised to learn that Senator Donnelly was recognized as the 2nd most bipartisan Senator since 1993 by the Lugar Center, McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. He is easy to work with. I had originally intended to hide his name in the puzzle (don, nelly) but those letters didn't mesh well with the theme clues.

We chose a basketball theme for Indiana, a basketball crazy state that produced Oscar Robinson, Larry Bird and George McGinnis. McGinnis was recently enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (2017). You do not need a deep understanding of the game of basketball to enjoy this puzzle. I hope you like our effort.

Wed 7/19/2017
RACESALUDLAT
CLAMALIBICMON
APPOINTEESHARE
TOYOURHEALTH
CASINOSLIFER
ALICESTIRAMISU
REMOARSON
DRINKDRINKDRINK
NONETEMAC
MARKETEDGODIVA
IDEALMONSTER
DOWNTHEHATCH
SNAPOVERWEIGHT
TARASERIEROID
IDIPROSTTOPS

MICKEY: This puzzle is one of a number of collaborations between Pawel Fludzinski and me, both for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and other publications. The idea probably arose at dinner one night. Pawel is a wine consumer. In our research, we found two toasts that I really liked, but they did not fit the theme of the puzzle. They are: "As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never face the wrong way" and "Everybody should believe in something — I believe I'll have another drink."

It is always a great experience to collaborate with Pawel. Although he is relatively new to the game, his constructions are masterful.

PAWEL: Mickey has been a terrific mentor as I entered the world of crossword construction a few years ago. I could not have gotten started without his help, support and encouragement, and what limited success I have enjoyed to date I owe to him. He is a true friend!

Wed 9/23/2015
RAPTBELAESTOS
AREAOMANSHUSH
FIRSTDOWNPARSE
SKEETSSERBIA
SAUSAGEKICKOFF
RCAMARTINISYS
SIDERECAP
DEFENSIVELINE
SNOOPNOVA
BRADELETEDMED
REDZONEUNITARD
INWARDPRESET
GOALSFAIRCATCH
HIREERINGSEER
TRESSORGYEROS

This is my 23rd NYT puzzle dating back to May of 1992. Eugene Maleska preferred quips and so did I. Will Shortz liked them better in his early years — now not so much. Today he prefers word play. I have tried to adapt.

I call this puzzle "Fantasy Football." I had a lot of fun with the theme. Here are some ideas I didn't use:

  • Chaperone? — Pass protection
  • Spicy pekoe? — Kicking tea
  • Like some crusts? — Offsides
  • Play cuer? — Lineman
  • Raise, as a skirt? — Hike
  • Deodorant product? — Right Guard

When I submitted this puzzle last year I was doubtful of its acceptance. I had tried a similar concept a couple of years ago regarding baseball:

  • Kamikaze mission? — Sacrifice fly
  • Pre-dinner phenomena — Plate appearance
  • Genesis? — Fall classic
  • Flashlight bulb? — Battery mate
  • Janus — Double header
  • Purposeful stroll — Intentional walk

For my trouble I received a polite rejection. Shortz is so nice about that. How can you possibly be upset?

Shortz accepted this puzzle but was not pleased with the construction in the lower left corner because it included: The ____ closed (BAR IS). He improved on that, changed a few clues as he is wont to do and the final result is what you see. The release date was timed for the opening of the 2015 NFL football season; a nice touch. Hope you liked it.

Wed 11/26/2014
ISLEBSAALTARS
SPITBALLCARNEY
MASHUNITAVAILS
TABITHAADMIT
ADENSHORELEAVE
RANSHYELILEM
FRUITOSIER
PRESENTARMS
SPLATENACT
ABAIORITSLAD
FIRINGLINESETS
GRADSSOFTENS
HEROICWARGAMES
AMANDAANAGRAMS
NETTEDSTSKNOW

Sitting in class my third year in law school, I noticed the friend next to me solving a crossword puzzle, and I was envious. We were both bored with the lecture, but he had something else to do — something interesting, challenging and fun. I remember my mother used to work the daily puzzle from The Indianapolis Star, and I would assist her on occasion, but I really didn't get hooked until that spring morning in Bloomington, Indiana. Since that time, I have worked one puzzle a day with rare exceptions. I am addicted.

Many years ago, after completing a New York Times daily puzzle I found to be inane, I decided to create one and send it to The New York Times for publication. After waiting two weeks to receive notice of the acceptance of my masterpiece, the bad news came from former crossword puzzle editor, Eugene Maleska. My puzzle was a hopeless case. He said, "… the entries contain a plethora of esoterica. Frankly, I doubt that any crossword puzzle editor would accept such an amateurish creation." I don't know whether I was more let down by the blunt rejection letter or the fact that I had to look up the words "plethora" and "esoterica."

Eventually, I was accepted for publication in The New York Times. I loved the days when my puzzle appeared in the paper. I had to have more. I stepped up submissions to once a month. The addiction grew.

Maleska and I became friends until his death. When Will Shortz became the editor, he bundled up and returned to me six puzzles that had already been approved by Maleska for publication. I began to experience distress and dismay — withdrawal symptoms. Happily, I was able to adjust to the Shortz style and have been a regular, but not prolific contributor. It's great to be back in the Times after an absence of a few years.

Today's puzzle has a military theme. Construction was not difficult but I do regret not having room for more theme entries — "Arf" = CHOW LINE and "Bear hug" = ARMED FORCES, for example.

By the way, I lectured to a law school class a few years ago and I noticed one of the students working a crossword puzzle. Nothing's changed.

Thu 2/1/2007
WARACETOGETHER
OCELOTONETOONE
RCCOLAVACATION
KEENESTTKT
IDIEOHIOASIA
NEVFSTOPEXACT
GREATENFRIGHT
OXYMORONS
ENTREERENETCM
FOUNDMEETSROI
SINERODSDIMS
MISESCAPES
ESTIMATEARIOSI
REUNITESROLLIN
SPECIALSSPYING
Sun 7/8/2001WALL STREET
CORPSEPOLLCACAOFADES
OPIATEOBEYORALSEXIST
PENCILSLOSEPOINTSRIATA
UNSERAYESELENAPULPER
LEERALPSDEITYSELLERS
ADDELIBURSTAPPEAR
KNIVESUPSHARPLYSAC
SALADARETEARASGUSH
EDITOROTTSHOTMENSA
TAGFEATHERSDOWNCANCAN
ASHEWWISHEENAONEHIT
TABASCOOTBYESHIVA
GASSERZADORASTEANTS
REWELDBANANASSPLITGOA
AGIRLCORNPARRACERS
PITSCOOKRELICWIDTH
ESCHORSESBUCKTREND
HABITSCHESTAMYDAM
OVERATECHUTESOFTPOLE
SISALSALISTEMITTROLL
ADOBELEADHEAVILYTRADED
KAFIRBORNEBITEOUTAGE
ALFASSNEADSLEDWEEDED
Tue 3/13/2001
SOUSAOTISCASH
EASELDADAOTTO
WREAKOXENULAN
MARRIAGESARE
STELLAVISES
MADEINHEAVEN
AMISSIRVINCBS
REFSGROANBOAT
TRYLOESSTENSE
SOARETHUNDER
ISAACORIOLE
ANDLIGHTNING
MOOTLYREUNTIL
BOREIDESPLATE
SPEDBEETSYNOD
Wed 12/27/2000
SPEARACNEAFAR
POACHNAILVASE
ALTHOUGHTIMEISA
NOSELUNEANTED
MASMIGHTY
APPIANSPINE
RAIDSSCARFSAG
GREATHEALERITSA
ODDEARLSAVAIL
DRYADAMEBAE
SPEAKSCUE
ERNIECLANALDO
LOUSYBEAUTICIAN
MEREIDOLREPLY
AMESDESKESSEX
Sun 11/5/2000PARTNERS
STARHOSPICETRADING
HABITENTITLERETINAE
ALAMOFEATHERILOSTIT
VOTERSASHENGAINELI
ENETETCHYCHILEERST
TOASTKHANVIM
HOMEICEAWNEDMENORAH
ALONSODRIEDREDSTART
REDSEARIDESETPERMS
ESSESPADEDTARADAY
STAGEALIGN
HIRESOSMUNICHGINA
TONICCUTANDSEARNED
MARVELATPROEMTHIEVE
CREEDALFOSSESTANZAS
REVWASHGEOID
PINSABORTWARMERGEM
ONOCLANPAINESCURRY
PARBOILFOREVERUSERS
UNTAMEDANILINETABOO
PEELERSNEEDLESFERN
Wed 5/17/2000
BAWDSSIDESTAB
ABOUTUSERLAVA
LEONEELBAAXIS
ITSBETTERTOGIVE
ANAIOU
MUIRKATSTAMIL
INNSETHALNICO
THANTOLENDANDIT
TINPANMEOWGNU
SPERMBAWLBEGS
POIPRE
COSTSYOUTHESAME
ABLEETCHCIDER
SEARRILEADDER
HYMNSCANPESTS
Wed 9/23/1998
WADEECOLEAFAR
ALEEGOMERBOCA
IFCLEOPATRASAID
FAOLIENSGELDS
ITSCON
YESTOMARCANTONY
OAKENBOOBYRIA
GRAMFOULSMACH
ATTBLINILITHO
SHEWOULDCEASETO
AWEVIC
AMATIAVIANFAS
BEQUEENOFDENILE
ECUSANISEAJAX
THAITODOSTINY
Wed 4/15/1998
ALIBILAMBQAID
MILANONEAUNTO
AMENSBOAZEKES
TAXATIONLAWSARE
LEGACT
AMAALAARTAFL
BASEDUPONSUPPLY
ENIDIWOIRAS
ANDDEMANDTHEIRS
MAEVANERALEA
BANENE
DEMANDSWESUPPLY
ARABALANKOREA
RICETODDAXIOM
KEELEWESHYMNS
Wed 12/17/1997
AHABSTOICEAST
TOGATRACEPLEA
THESNEAKYSPIDER
NODICETACOMA
CARBCAYS
PHDAAAOSOELS
RAIDGNAWFAGIN
INVITEDTHEFLYTO
COATIBLIPAPER
KINPRODISTRE
APEXETTE
ABUSEDHABEAS
VISITITSWEBSITE
EKEDAWAITERIE
CEDELAWNSNETS
Sun 8/24/1997Clothes Call
ABCSGATHERODDBESTS
HAREAREOLASOWUSAGE
ALITTLESOFTSHOESCRIP
BIBLEBELTEARLYSHIFT
OCALABARSTATE
CHAOSGUSTSLORRES
HAUSFREUDIANSLIPAXE
ETTEIOLAANTEPICA
SHOCLAIMJUMPERALLEN
SAMEHEREELATEMARLS
USERSMUNRONGAIO
SIFTSTODAYTUESDAYS
ASFATMOVIESHORTSDEL
HULSGALEURSAATNO
IZEYELLOWJACKETNITA
BURGOONOVAKPAEAN
RURALNSAEASEL
BOXINGRINGSALARYCAP
AMONGCLASSACTIONSUIT
ROUGEHTSSTAMENETNA
MOTORYSLSERENESSTS
Wed 3/5/1997
ASAPFADEANDGO
DAVEILEXSIRED
SCARLOBESTYNE
JAMESSTEWART
ABDULIRISES
GEORGECSCOTT
ARTYSHEASAMS
ILESINCEHAP
NEROLOTSLARA
FREDRICMARCH
ESSAISADDON
SPENCERTRACY
TORAHAEONBATS
OSAGECASTUHOH
PALERKLEEGAMY
Wed 11/20/1996
IANSBATORACHE
OMITADAGESUIT
WATERWORLDWREN
ASTRALPEAITSA
SINKERSCARF
LEDONTILLED
COPYTUMORODE
UPIADORERSONE
RAPFIRSTADAM
BLEARSEARLS
BLOTSLEAKEY
BOOMAAHSTARED
ELMOFLUSHINGNY
ALBSFOLIOCOTE
MASTSNAREETAS
Thu 10/24/1996
BETAPANGAFROS
ERICOBIEDAUNT
ARCHITECTVINCE
EMTENGINEER
GEEPEROAST
UNSHADEDMESSRS
IMPELARAMEEL
LEONARDODAVINCI
ESSISLEINDUE
SHASTALEARNERS
PENDMSGEST
SCULPTORTIS
OLLIESCIENTIST
DANTEEMIRABEE
AMASSSPINTOWN
Thu 12/7/1995
AREAPAWNSANTA
BANGALAICLEON
ADENPELTHIVED
COMEBACKSHANE
ANYWAYOVERDO
NAILERSMAD
LISTSIBSLONE
FAMOUSLASTWORDS
ISMSPANEHUEY
SSEROMANIA
HOLIERDROPIT
THATSALLFOLKS
ARIELAMIENANA
BANALVEERATOR
ANGRYENDSSEWS
Fri 5/19/1995
FAIREBEARD
BULLETSCUTBAIT
ALLEGROINCENSE
LSTSEVENTHKEA
SOINLEENEAR
AMMOALLDROSSY
MEETFISHETTE
HALFOMIT
RAIDTOBEOBIS
MARNERFORBANC
ALEGELFESSO
GEOSCISSORTEN
MILHOUSORIFICE
AGAINSTBALLOTS
HEDGELEANS

6 pre-Shortz crosswords by Michael S. Maurer

Tue 10/12/1993
ABETSABERCIAO
JOKEALIVELOLA
ANEXAMINATIONOF
XEDDUADVASES
SUEEPIC
ADRILLSERGEANTS
MEANTAREASOAK
OUTRANRBI
NCOPLATOISTLE
GENESSHOWEDTHEY
PADSNAE
STAHLMICHABE
WEREMADETOORDER
ARABSALADAZAN
MIMIADDLEGERE
Mon 7/19/1993
ABORTACCTBADE
LOVERCOHOAMAN
DIANAAPINNERD
ALLDINNERGUESTS
ETAPAR
LAHRBAASGALES
ESEOBIEROSE
OFARABEMIRSMUST
NAVESENOSEA
ERECTCENTSYNE
ODECOT
ORDERALLAHCARTE
PARKULANTROOP
ALEENARDERATO
LEWDTRAYTYROS
Tue 7/13/1993
BETAAGAPEBOCA
ALARDELAYEPOS
TICKERTAPEFLASH
HATLIANAALLAY
ELAILO
TARZANQUITSWALL
OMARSANNIEDIE
METAMICASALMA
ENERODINALAIN
STREETSAYINGITS
ATESEA
CAPRABLAHSJET
AJUNGLEOUTTHERE
LACEBERRASENT
FREDSPEARTREE
Tue 12/1/1992
BEAMREPSSLAT
ACTICEASETACO
ATTNATTAREDEN
LOUISPASTEUR
MARISNAP
INHUMANENDEAVOR
SEAMVEEROTO
AIRDENIALSCAY
AGRINSTAESC
CHANCEFAVORSTHE
SHOEANOA
PREPAREDMIND
ASIALATINIRAE
MIDIKITEDLIME
ASINERASEDER
Tue 9/8/1992
BEAMREPSSLAT
ACTICEASETACO
ATTNATTAREDEN
LOUISPASTEUR
MARISNAP
INHUMANENDEAVOR
SOUSVEEROTO
ARRDENIALSCAY
AARINSTAESC
CHANCEFAVORSTHE
SHOEANNA
PREPAREDMIND
ASIALATINIRAE
HIFIKITEDLIME
ASINERASEDER
Mon 5/4/1992
SALEPALSDROSS
EVILAHOTEARTH
METELADEALLEY
IREMEMBERREOS
STRIVEEST
ORCATHECAR
HECKALTATALI
MOTHERSDAYMAYIO
IOTAUSERELSE
ADAPTSROMA
ESSINSECT
SCARWHISTLERS
GOOSEAINTAREA
ALOSSTREETIER
MESTASEEREELS