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Scott Hogan author page

3 puzzles by Scott Hogan
with Constructor comments

TotalDebutLatestCollabs
37/10/20222/25/20243
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Scott Hogan
Puzzles constructed by Scott Hogan by year
Sun 2/25/2024 Special Treatment
ASKSWETCCTVHEAVES
CHIASINEOREOUMPIRE
DIDNTMISSABEATHORNED
CADDIEUSEACEDJENNA
MADEARASHDECISION
CICEROREINERSEW
SOSOVOILANORISK
KNOWTHEDRILLELISHA
ASSERTYAPEEYORETON
CRIMPSONEONDWELT
EPEELOSTMYTOUCHIPAS
MOLDSSEOULGEODES
IREPREYONADASONOMA
LESSEEGAVEMETHENOD
TWOCARVALETRIND
KIAROTATECOPSTO
SAWRIGHTTHROUGHME
CRASSNEARCNNBRAISE
AMNIOSSTANDCORRECTED
RINGUPTACOAMIEHEAD
SCANTYSTEMPEGEMMY
Sun 4/23/2023 Punctuation Matters
OFTSPATBARONHABLA
PLEARAGUALOHAAPLUS
AIRGUITARPLAYSATRICK
HRREPTINTORAREINKS
STANDSINTHEWAYCOLD
TOOINSTLENSCAP
JERKSAROUNDMIDUSE
ABUKERRSCAMAORTA
DOSEDFALLSOUTOFFAVOR
EYELEVELAWARELITER
ACERLWORDLOEB
CSPANDAFOEGOPLACES
BATSFIVEHUNDREDDRAWL
FREESEARLNAESMAE
FORHENBEARSINMIND
SNIFTERGLAMROE
LOCSPLANTSEVIDENCE
SMIZESHOTSOMEUTAHN
PUZZLESOVERDARKHUMOR
ONEILSTENOAIDAPESO
TIDESNODTOSLITDEN

KATIE: I know I say this about all my puzzles, but this one really is my favorite. I love when a theme falls into place like this while you work through other ideas and end up on a tangent that becomes a great set. Scott is really fun to work with since we have a similar sense of humor. He is so good at exhausting the possibilities of a theme, and he doesn't hold back, on the theory that even crazy ideas can spark something that could end up working. We tend to communicate on our shared docs through comments on each other's entry ideas, and quite often, I just leave a "lol" or an "omg, Scott!"

He took the lead on writing the clues here because I kept letting the word "is" slip in, which we really needed to avoid for it to work. He made them all quotes which gave them a nice consistency, and I think it enhanced the humor significantly.

SCOTT: I'm so excited to have joined forces with Katie Hale on this puzzle! Our mutual mentor (and crossword rockstar) Christina Iverson introduced us by email at some point during her meteoric rise to the NYT editing staff. Having our acceptance email penned by Christina was undeniably cool.

Katie is hilarious to work with. I found the inclusion of DARK HUMOR as one of the longer non-theme entries particularly appropriate because we share a twisted sense of humor — sometimes to our detriment, I think. Our first ever NYT (REJECTED!) submission used funny "bad behavior" phrases like LIFT A FINGERPAINTING [Steal artwork from a kindergarten classroom?]. Another (REJECTED!) submission followed a heckling wine snob at a tasting party and ended with a glass of wine tossed in his face by the up-until-that-moment tolerant host.

Today's theme is largely Katie's brainchild and started with dropping an "S" from words ending in "SS" to make possessives — DRESS CODE became DRE'S CODE [Hip-hop Dr.'s ethos?]. Then, Katie suggested using verb phrases with S-ending verbs in which "apostrophes matter," which I thought was a brilliant parallel to the famous "Let's eat, grandma" example of how commas matter.

You see? Even this puzzle has its roots in a bit of DARK HUMOR.

Sun 7/10/2022 Movin' On Up
ROFLAWEDTREATTEMPT
OURSCALERASTAANAIS
STUDFARMSAZTECBRINK
ARILIMITSEEOOLONGS
OTHOURIAHREBRAND
BASPANICBADRIP
TEARSATEDAMBROUHAHA
ARTDECODENIMOCTAGON
DOORSTOPSOLEMNELOPE
SSNSNUGNATOCRONES
STURIBNOTHIS
CATNAPGARBOHHIWAS
ARIALSENIORSENDHELP
RESPECTTAXEDAURELIA
LATESHOWRITARAILCAR
ASHIRANIGHTFLO
EVILEYEGENUSTOMB
HASIDICAWLAMUSEEAU
OREOSOHGEEBARCRAWLS
SCALAUBERSINGACASE
ESSAYPORESTEEDEGAD

CHRISTINA: I am SO excited for Scott to be making his NYT debut! Scott and I have made several puzzles together, and this is one of my favorites. We initially made this as a 15x15 puzzle. The entries on the bottom were mostly the same as these, but instead of having longer phrases on top, we had 4 and 5 letter words that became other words with an ON. "TONY" was clued as "Ty, after Movin' on up," etc. The NYT team liked our long entries but felt the gimmick was a little too one-note. I suggested reworking the idea as a Sunday, and this is what we ended up with.

Scott did most of the grunt work on this one — sorting through a long list of words that are other words with/without "ON," and compiling a list of any that were potentially promising in a 4-page document. He has a knack for wacky clue writing, and most of these were his. He has what it takes to be a great constructor: patience, a good sense of humor, the ability to internalize feedback, and a willingness to work hard. We have more puzzles coming out in other outlets, including the LA Times and The Atlantic, so keep an eye out for his byline :)

SCOTT: The old TV sitcom theme song this puzzle is based on has long had a special place in my heart. It's a tribute to hard work and perseverance and a reminder to occasionally take a moment to celebrate the fruits of your labor, like the Jeffersons do in the opening credits of the show. All while never forgetting that you didn't get there alone. That's not to mention the uplifting gospel choir rendition of the song — I dare you to listen to it and not tap your foot!

I love the cluing stage of puzzle-making, and I admittedly (much too often) think I'm pretty clever with clues. But Christina's clue for ‘TIS THE SEAS is one of my all-time favorites. I still grin every time I read it… pirate voices start jabbering in my head!

Christina showers me with accolades in her notes, but we both know this puzzle would have never gotten off the ground without her magic touch. Only one of us is a crossword rockstar (hint: not me). As noted, hard work alone isn't always enough… we all need the support of others to succeed. So, thanks, Christina, for bringing me "up in the big leagues" with you!

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