XW Info

Saturday, November 16, 2013
by David Steinberg
Sat 11/16/2013
© 2013, The New York Times
Jeff Chen notes: Amusing how one of David's least favorite entries, ALEYARD, was something I quite liked. Perhaps it brings back the days of drinking many an ALEYARD out of a gigantic glass boot in college. (Don't ask because I don't remember.)

Some strong entries today, my favorite being FORCE QUIT on top of BAD ADVICE. It's tough to include three strong entries in a 9-letter stack, and it's too bad INSPECTOR is a bit of pedestrian fill in that corner. But a neat clue, "Case worker", misdirecting toward a social worker, added a lot of life. And I didn't know ZAP COMIX but what a cool name. R. Crumb was such a pioneer in his time, I wish ZAP COMIX had gotten a bigger following. It was also fun to uncover OH BABY and HAYSEEDS in the puzzle; very amusing.

For those of you wondering, the APPLE CARE clue refers to Apple's service program for their MacBook Air and new iPad Air products. I'm a little embarrassed at how long I had APPLE CORE in there, having convinced myself that the apple's core somehow improves air quality. I convince myself of many stupid things.

As David mentioned, DREW U isn't great, as it only gets less than 100K hits on a Google search (when put in quotes). I don't imagine alums call it DREW U, but I could be wrong about that. And the fact that it crosses DER and RELOAN and is adjacent to AERO makes that region a little unsightly, but as with most themeless puzzles, there will be trade-offs. It's very, very hard to keep all the PRS and ALER kind of things out of a grid.

I really enjoying seeing fresh, new entries introduced into the NYT xw. Keep 'em coming, David! Amazing to think that he probably has twice as many years ahead of him in his crossword construction career than I do.

Will Shortz notes: David Steinberg continues to amaze me. I accepted this puzzle last year, when David was still only 15. On top of that, how does he even know the things that are in his puzzles? For example, I'M TOO SEXY, which is making its debut today, came out four years before David was even born. The grid is packed with good stuff, including DOUBLE BED, FORCE-QUIT, BAD ADVICE, ZAP COMIX, and OH BABY. I did have to be careful editing the lower-left corner, which has a pile-up of proper names at 23D, 35D, 36D, and 37D. So I tried to clue the crossing answers more helpfully than I usually would on a Saturday. You're welcome.
1.Air protection program? : APPLECARE
10.Italian alternative : RANCH
15.Tight squeeze for a couple? : DOUBLEBED
16.Where Union Pacific is headquartered : OMAHA
17.1992 chart-topper that mentions "my little turn on the catwalk" : IMTOOSEXY
18.Tar : MATEY
19.65-Across's title: Abbr. : DET
20.Evian competitor : NAYA
21.Gun shows? : OATERS
22.A or O, but not B : ALER
24.First name in fashion : RALPH
26.One going for the big bucks : DOE
27.___ Fund Management (investment company) : SOROS
29.Strike-monitoring org. : NLRB
30.Contact on Facebook : POKE
31.Time reversal? : STET
33.Tore to shreds : SAVAGED
35.Diehard sort : ZEALOT
38.Dangerous things to go on : BINGES
39.Long, slender glass for drinking beer : ALEYARD
41.River to the North Sea : TYNE
42.Lowly one : PEON
43.Quarterly magazine published by Boeing : AERO
45.Norwegian Romanticist : GRIEG
49.Anti : CON
50.Sch. in Madison, N.J. : DREWU
52.___ Gunn, "Breaking Bad" co-star : ANNA
53.Killing it : ONFIRE
56.Make a touchdown : LAND
58.Star opening? : TRI
59.Turning blue, maybe : MOLDY
60.Prevent a crash, say : FORCEQUIT
62.Triumphant cry : IRULE
63."Buy high and sell low," e.g. : BADADVICE
64.Baselines? : XAXES
65.Case worker : INSPECTOR
1.Springblade producer : ADIDAS
2.Marmalade fruit : POMELO
3.Green piece : PUTTER
4.Wall Street inits. : LBO
5.___ Musk, co-founder of Tesla Motors and PayPal : ELON
6.Millan who's known as "the Dog Whisperer" : CESAR
7.Temporarily inactive : ABEYANT
8.___ Place (Edmonton Oilers' arena) : REXALL
9.Frozen food aisle eponym : EDY
10.See 11-Down : ROMA
11.She loves, in 10-Down : AMAT
12."G-Funk Classics" rapper : NATEDOGG
13.Iroquoian tongue : CHEROKEE
14.Provincials : HAYSEEDS
21."Holy smokes!" : OHBABY
23.Long Island Rail Road station : ROSLYN
25.Old phone trio : PRS
28.Spartan gathering place : STOA
30.Bakery/cafe chain : PANERA
32.Schwab rival : ETRADE
34.Rhames of "Mission: Impossible" : VING
35.Pioneering underground publication of the 1960s : ZAPCOMIX
36.Early tragedienne Duse : ELEONORA
37.1990s sci-fi series : AEONFLUX
40.Alternative to die : DER
41.In the direction of : TOWARDS
44.Make further advances? : RELOAN
46.Sense : INTUIT
47.Italian P.M. Letta : ENRICO
48.Boot covering : GAITER
51.Open, in a way : UNCAP
54.Kind of threat : IDLE
55.Certain spirits : RYES
57.Frankie Avalon's "___ Dinah" : DEDE
60.Org. with a top 10 list : FBI
61.Shopper's choice : QVC

© 2017, Jim Horne