WEDNESDAY PUZZLE — Stu Ockman is back, and he has definitely caught crossword editor Will Shortz’s attention with this puzzle.
It’s commonly known that Mr. Shortz has another passion beside puzzles, but if I discussed that in the lede, it would be a big old spoiler. That’s why I didn’t use the revealer clue as the headline for this column. Instead, I thought I would highlight my favorite clue, “Ones making writers write right?: Abbr." and, at the same time, promote The Times’s extremely well-written and edited FX television show, “The Weekly,” which debuts on June 2. Because I am nothing if not efficient.
10A: Look! It’s a noun! It’s a verb! It’s “Butts,” which might seem as if we are talking about derrières on the surface, but in this puzzle, the entry is a verb and hints at the word RAMS.
14A: “Start to do well?” sounds as if it’s hinting at someone who is doing better than before, but we’re really looking for a word that can precede “do well.” The answer is NE’ER, as in NE’ER-do-well.
24A: Read this clue carefully. “They’re nuts for dessert” should be read as “These are nuts typically eaten as dessert,” and they would be PECANS. Most people think of pie when they think of pecans, but if you want to bring a dessert to a barbecue, these Pecan Pie Truffles are amazing and will disappear fast.
28A: That’s “Fir coat?,” not “fur coat.” The substance that “coats” or surrounds a fir tree is its BARK.
52A: “Ones making writers write right?: Abbr.” are EDS, short for editors, and they make the world go ’round. Special shoutout to all the copy editors who have made me look smart over the years. You do the Lord’s work.
9D: Hi, kids! You know that show “America’s Next Top Model”? Well, back before Tyra Banks was even born, model Cheryl Tiegs was strutting it on the runways and enjoying life as a poster on many pubescent boys’ walls. She is considered to be the first supermodel.
27D: I had a tough time with this one, but the answer is VARIANT. “An ay for an aye, e.g.” is clever wordplay for the idiom “An eye for an eye,” but is “ay” really a VARIANT or substitute for “aye”? To me, “ay” is a Spanish word, albeit one without a direct translation. The closest is when it is doubled, “Ay, ay,” which is a sort of acknowledgment of someone else’s misfortune. “Aye” is a sailor’s affirmative answer to a superior.
31D: It sounds silly to think that a liquid (ALE) could be sold by a measure of distance (“Drink sold by the yard”), but a yard is a very tall glass that is said to hold between two and a half and three and a half or four pints. As Miss Piggy once said, “Never eat anything you can’t lift.”
48D: TIL that ELSTON Howard became the first African-American player on the Yankees in 1955.
As I hinted at above, and as Stu Ockman mentions in his notes below, Mr. Shortz plays TABLE TENNIS. A lot. In fact, he not only built a table tennis club in the town where he lives, but also, as of this writing on May 7, he has played for 2,407 consecutive days straight. Now that’s dedication.
So, Mr. Ockman thought, “What kind of puzzle can I make that has to get Will’s attention?” Mr. Ockman bet on a theme that includes the revealer TABLE TENNIS as the table, NET as, well, the net (It’s a Down entry that perfectly bisects the revealer), a ball that bounces across the table in a BACKSPIN SERVE (denoted by the circled squares) and a final salute to the game by placing its more common name, PING-PONG, in the bottom Across entries in the southwest and southeast. The only thing we’re missing are the players, although I’m assuming those stairstep black square islands on each side of the grid are standing in for them.
That’s a lot of theme material for one puzzle, especially since it covers much of the grid. This must have been a bear to fill reasonably well, and in some ways, the fill was sacrificed for the sake of the theme.
There’s nothing new in this puzzle, which, on its own, is not a bad thing. A constructor does not have to debut dozens of entries in a puzzle to make it good. It’s just that the fill that’s there seems overused and dated (Hi, NAPSTER! Looking good, Cheryl TIEGS!). There are partials (ON A, as well as NOT I and DO I, which I know are complete sentences, but they still feel like partials). There is crosswordese (ULNA). I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of a bus driver referred to as a BUSMAN, unless he was on holiday. And I’m not a huge fan of words where -ER is added on for no good reason, like SOBERER. I would just say “more sober than,” if I had the chance to say it. SOBERER sounds like something a person might say if they weren’t quite … well, sober.
What gives Mr. Ockman’s puzzle a boost, other than the cuteness of the theme, is the cluing, which tries to take somewhat mundane fill and give it a solid backspin. I liked “Start to do well?” for NE’ER, “Fir coat?” for BARK and “Ones making writers write right?: Abbr.” for EDS (short for “editors”).
The toughest challenge for any constructor is to come up with a theme that is going to excite Mr. Shortz. Three years ago, when I started on this grid, I thought to myself, “Aha! I know this theme will excite Will. Can I pull it off?”
As someone with no hand-eye coordination, I’ve seen Will play, and he is really amazing.
Anyway, back to crosswords.
Today, my question is finally answered: “Yes!” When I began this journey, I was amazed to find that TABLE TENNIS is bisected by the T in NET (a serendipitous discovery indeed). I was equally amazed to find that BOUNCING BALL is bisected by the N in NET (not quite as serendipitous). A year later, I received this response to my third submission: “We thought the visual worked really well, though the BLANK [between BOUNCING and BALL] felt like too big of a curveball to throw at solvers. We’re not sure how you’d fix this, though, so we figured it was best to say no.” Such is the life of a crossword constructor.
Exactly an hour and a half later, I get the following directly from Will in a response to a question on a completely different grid: “I still like your PING-PONG 15x, which I hope you can make work.” Well, we made it work after only 11 more tries. Here is Will’s response to the penultimate submission: “The PING-PONG one is my favorite of the trio — and not just because I play every day! The puzzle is cute and well-made.”
I hope it got you excited, too!
Almost finished solving but need a bit more help? We’ve got you covered.
Warning: There be spoilers ahead, but subscribers can take a peek at the answer key.
Trying to get back to the puzzle page? Right here.
彩票开奖查询 公告吗6【阳】【光】【透】【过】【轻】【薄】【的】【窗】【纱】，【洒】【在】【略】【显】【凌】【乱】【的】【床】【铺】【上】，【披】【散】【着】【黑】【色】【长】【发】【的】【女】【子】【睡】【在】【床】【的】【右】【侧】，【她】【不】【适】【地】【皱】【皱】【眉】，【显】【然】【这】【惹】【人】【的】【阳】【光】【扰】【了】【她】【的】【清】【梦】，【她】【烦】【躁】【地】【翻】【翻】【身】，【将】【背】【对】【着】【窗】，【还】【伸】【出】【光】【滑】【的】【手】【臂】【向】【上】【扯】【了】【扯】【被】【褥】，【直】【至】【盖】【过】【自】【己】【的】【脑】【袋】。 【只】【安】【分】【了】【片】【刻】，【那】【女】【子】【便】【伸】【出】【手】【像】【背】【后】【摸】【索】【着】【什】【么】，【只】【不】【过】【她】【什】【么】【也】【没】【摸】【着】。
【当】【陈】【康】【走】【进】【这】【万】【事】【通】【侦】【探】【所】【的】【时】【候】，【第】【一】【眼】【看】【上】【去】【就】【是】【杂】【乱】【无】【章】。 【万】【事】【通】【侦】【探】【所】【之】【内】【到】【处】【都】【是】【一】【片】【的】【狼】【藉】，【各】【种】【各】【样】【的】【灯】【柜】【子】【被】【打】【开】，【里】【面】【的】【文】【件】【都】【散】【落】【到】【了】【一】【地】，【甚】【至】【就】【连】【一】【些】【其】【他】【的】【东】【西】【都】【被】【砸】【到】【了】【地】【上】 【很】【显】【然】【像】【是】【被】【狂】【风】【暴】【雨】【一】【般】【进】【行】【过】【大】【清】【理】。 “【这】【万】【事】【通】【侦】【探】【事】【务】【所】【还】【真】【的】【是】【一】【片】【的】【狼】【藉】，【看】【来】
“【回】【禀】【天】【家】，【全】【都】【已】【然】【预】【备】【妥】【当】。”【肖】【齐】【恭】【谨】【的】【回】【禀】。 “【那】【样】【亦】【便】【是】【讲】，【唯】【有】【嫁】【妆】【册】【子】【还】【未】【来】【的】【及】【更】【是】【新】？” “【是】。” “【既】【然】【这】【般】，【那】【中】【宫】【便】【随】【寡】【人】【亲】【自】【去】【瞧】【瞧】，【定】【陶】【与】【宁】【青】【俩】【丫】【环】【亦】【亲】【自】【过】【过】【眼】。” 【肖】【齐】【紧】【忙】【起】【身】【恭】【谨】【的】【跟】【随】【着】【尉】【迟】【青】【仓】【向】【内】【务】【司】【步】【去】。 【申】【傲】【嬛】【眼】【睛】【中】【笑】【容】【闪】【动】【过】，【怪】【不】【的】【前】【几】
【可】【她】【不】【知】【道】【的】【是】，【她】【正】【一】【步】【步】【走】【进】【知】【识】【系】【统】【的】【阴】【谋】【之】【中】。 【事】【情】【要】【追】【溯】【到】【几】【天】【前】【林】【凡】【刚】【回】【来】【那】【会】【儿】，【他】【的】【后】【代】【回】【去】【他】【们】【自】【己】【星】【际】【的】【时】【候】，【在】【空】【间】【通】【道】【中】【的】【争】【吵】【凑】【巧】【被】【知】【识】【系】【统】【的】【意】【识】【听】【到】【了】。 “【快】【点】，【我】【们】【要】【快】【点】【把】【医】【生】【带】【过】【来】。” “【可】【是】【叔】【叔】，【祖】【先】【他】【的】【伤】，【真】【的】【还】【有】【可】【能】【救】【回】【来】【吗】？”【另】【一】【个】【稍】【微】【有】【些】【年】
【李】【若】【初】【自】【李】【锦】【的】【书】【房】【出】【来】【之】【后】，【便】【径】【直】【回】【了】【溯】【洄】【阁】【等】【消】【息】。 【夜】【色】【已】【深】，【四】【月】【已】【经】【添】【了】【好】【几】【回】【炭】【了】，【李】【若】【初】【却】【丝】【毫】【没】【有】【睡】【意】。 【一】【旁】【的】【四】【月】【靠】【在】【椅】【子】【上】【哈】【欠】【连】【天】，【李】【若】【初】【催】【她】【去】【睡】，【可】【四】【月】【却】【说】【什】【么】【也】【不】【肯】。 【小】【姐】【都】【没】【睡】，【她】【这】【个】【做】【下】【人】【的】【哪】【里】【能】【比】【小】【姐】【先】【睡】。 【李】【若】【初】【催】【了】【两】【回】，【可】【拗】【不】【过】【四】【月】【的】【坚】【持】，【便】彩票开奖查询 公告吗6【莉】【莲】·【阿】【普】【斯】【特】【小】【姐】【躺】【在】【地】【上】。【她】【已】【经】【感】【受】【不】【到】【致】【命】【伤】【口】【的】【剧】【痛】，【只】【觉】【得】【身】【体】【似】【乎】【越】【来】【越】【冷】。【她】【的】【双】【目】【开】【始】【涣】【散】，【仰】【头】【看】【着】【夜】【空】。【因】【为】【烈】【火】，【因】【为】【浓】【烟】，【因】【为】【导】【力】【和】【魔】【力】【的】【光】【纹】，【还】【因】【为】【那】【个】【悬】【挂】【于】【天】【际】【的】【庞】【大】【要】【塞】，【她】【已】【经】【看】【不】【到】【星】【空】【和】【明】【月】【了】。 【她】【聆】【听】【着】【脚】【步】【声】【向】【自】【己】【接】【近】，【挤】【出】【来】【了】【一】【个】【讥】【讽】【的】【笑】【容】。 “
【张】【绣】【和】【张】【辽】【接】【到】【命】【令】【之】【后】，【毫】【不】【犹】【豫】，【立】【刻】【动】【手】。【他】【们】【渡】【过】【虖】【沱】【河】，【绕】【过】【房】【山】，【以】【迅】【雷】【不】【及】【掩】【耳】【之】【势】，【攻】【下】【了】【灵】【寿】。 【然】【后】【又】【以】【灵】【寿】【为】【据】【点】，【攻】【打】【蒲】【吾】、【井】【陉】。【兵】【至】【绵】【曼】【的】【时】【候】，【却】【是】【惊】【动】【了】【常】【山】【一】【个】【蛰】【伏】【的】【英】【雄】。 【初】【平】【二】【年】，【天】【下】【大】【乱】，【赵】【云】【受】【常】【山】【国】【推】【举】，【率】【国】【中】【义】【从】【吏】【兵】，【赴】【幽】【州】【投】【奔】【公】【孙】【瓒】。【当】【时】【袁】【绍】【自】
“【哇】，【终】【于】【放】【假】【了】！”【秦】【淮】【安】【看】【着】【老】【师】【走】【出】【教】【室】【的】【背】【影】，【忍】【不】【住】【心】【中】【的】【喜】【悦】，【感】【叹】【出】【声】。 “【是】【啊】，【可】【以】【回】【家】【了】。”【季】【晗】【昕】【转】【过】【身】【来】，【同】【样】【的】【忍】【不】【住】【高】【兴】，【两】【人】【这】【会】【儿】【甚】【至】【已】【经】【开】【始】【讨】【论】【寒】【假】【要】【去】【哪】【里】【玩】【了】！ 【一】【旁】【的】【沈】【沐】【白】【笑】【着】【摇】【了】【摇】【头】，【收】【拾】【好】【自】【己】【东】【西】【后】，【看】【着】【聊】【的】【正】【欢】【的】【秦】【淮】【安】，【只】【得】【默】【默】【的】【帮】【秦】【淮】【安】【也】【收】