T. L. Hinman, March 2, 2008. upon winning first place at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, photo by Donald -----------------
Saturday, June 21, 2008 Puzzle by Tyler Lewis Hinman, edited by Will Shortz I suppose there is really no way around it -- one needs to mention the author of this crossword puzzle. After all, the diagram has his initials emblazoned in black squares so huge that the puzzle resembles the beginning of an eye chart. Additionally, it appears to be a FIRST IMPRESSION (44A. Something given at a meeting), or a PRIMARY ELECTION (22A. One may have many runners); with LEADING ARTICLES (9D. Front-of-magazine pieces); and TWO MINUTE DRILLS (3D. Fourth-quarter strategies) -- all indications of beginnings of sorts -- I must assume that this crossword is likely the author’s first in the New York Times, and that it is a self-celebration, and certainly, a great deal of talent is on display; however the ham-handed carving of the author’s initials renders this effort to become a grade school exercise, or a personal greeting card. Hopefully, the pendulum will swing back to the days of anonymous authors. SOME PEOPLE (19A. “The nerve!”), MISS THE CUT (51A. Not make it), ENEMY LINES (13D. Moles go behind them) and TOILET SEAT (24D. Can opener?) are the other long entries in this ego trip. Two eight-letter entries, CARCRASH (23D. Ending of many a chase), PACKTENT (20D. Portable shelter) follow with seven-letter entries include ARROYOS (4D. Washes); DEEPENS (5D. Gets more interesting, say); DWELLON (6D. Not get over); CAMILLE (37D. Title role for Greta Garbo); UPPSALA (38D. Swedish home of Scandinavia’s oldest university); BURSTIN (Enter suddenly).
There are really a lot of interesting entries and clues in the puzzle, none of which relate to the black-square gimmick foisted upon the solver -- a black eye upon an otherwise agreeable crossword.Other across clues: 1. Midwest farmers work later on it: Abbr.; 4. Line on an appl. form; 8. Group whose logo has a clock set at 11:00; 12. E. S. LOWE, game company that popularized Yahtzee and Scribbage; 14. “AREWE having fun yet?”; 15. Collect, as benefits; 16. Like “Beowulf,” in brief; 17. Fuss, in a way; 18. Six-Day War battleground; 25. It contains M.S.G.; 26. John Lennon’s adopted middle name; 27. AON Center, second-tallest building in Chicago; 28. Filler for a gun; 30. Line on an appl. form; 31. Planet system in several “Star Trek” episodes; 34. “Let’s go!”; 35. Santa CLARA, Calif.; 36. Girl who’s the “you” in the lyric “I’ll see you in my dreams”; 37. See 41-Across; 40. Printed over; 41. 37-Across’s birthplace; 42. Cartoon character who fathered octuplets; 43. Old N.Y.S.E. ticker symbol that’s now just “T”; 50. Numerical prefix; 52. Pioneering agriculturist Jethro; 54. La PLATA, capital of Buenos Aires province; 55. ALTE Oder (German river); 56. German-occupied capital in W.W. II; 57. Psychologist Havelock; 58. “Bill & TEDS Bogus Journey,” 1991 comedy; 59. Love NEST; 60. Skin-and-bones; 61. Rummy. Down: 1. Hook’s place; 2. O, often; 7. Actress O’Connor TV’s “Xena”; 8. 100 Nan joules; 10. Buzz producer; 11. Produce; 14. Copier; 28. Delta Tau CHI (“Animal House” house); 29. Voice; 32. Its end is often observed; 33. Iberia : Spain :: LAN : Chile; 44. Crash pad?; 45. Locked, as a lavatory; 46. Encourage; 47. Weather may affect them: Abbr.; 48. Beat; 49. Late 1940s even, in headlines; 53. Load.
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