For example, the first topic entry is A BATTLE OF WIT IS (âWhat Intellectual Rivals Doâ), in which the first three letters of IT’S A fall at the end of the entry and the last A is rotated forward (as highlighted by the circles in the grid). In the second topic entry, SARGENT PORTRAIT (âTheodore Rooseveltâ or âRobert Louis Stevensonâ), the IT comes to the end and the SA winds forward. The last topic entry uses the last iteration of this pattern, where just the I falls at the end of the entry and the TSA moves forward.
That’s a pretty silly topic – IT’S A WRAP (“With 66-Across, Director’s Cry … or hint to 20-, 37- and 58-Across”) is a funny, unexpected sentence on which to build a topic – but it is high. In fact, the silliness of the subject is so exaggerated that it only adds to the charm of this puzzle. I certainly had no idea what was happening to the subject, even to the circles, until I filled in the revealer. So the surprise when the topic clicked into place was utterly delightful.
Congratulations to Mr. Koski on this original debut puzzle. We hope to see more of you soon!
Notes to the designer
I’m very excited to be making my New York Times debut.
There are only three ways to break IT’S A into “wrap,” and I was glad the puzzle included every method. Though I’ve found there are surprisingly few entry-level candidates that work. I guess you’d expect few ways to get started with TSA, but the other IT’S A combinations are pretty limited as well. For the entry that starts A and ends ITS, my first entry was a bit tedious. It was Joel Fagliano, of the Times Crosswords team, who suggested we improve it with A BATTLE OF WITS.
I was glad 14A (“Hookup that may get kinky?”) Made the cut. Hopefully there was a giggle, or at least a moan. The editors wrote several notes, including the clever 28A and 33A.
Thanks to the editorial team for sharing the puzzle and making it better.
About me: I am an attorney with the Securities and Exchange Commission in Boston. I owe my interest in crossword puzzles to my father. He always made the Sunday puzzle a family affair by shouting clues to us children. He died in 2008, but I’m sure he is still clearing up out there.
I hope you enjoy the puzzle – especially when you shout out clues.
Would you like to submit crosswords to the New York Times?
The New York Times Crossword has an open submission system and you can submit your puzzles online.
For tips to get you started, see our How to Do a Crossword Puzzle series.
The turning point
Almost finished, but I need one bit more help? We’ll cover you.
Warning: Spoilers will follow, but subscribers can take a look at the response key.
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