20 thoughts on “1228-17 NY Times Crossword Answers 28 Dec 2017, Thursday”

  1. 12:44, no errors. Pretty easy for a Thursday, though it took me a little while to understand the gimmick and I made one stupid misstep in the lower right due to misreading a clue.

  2. 22:04. Thanks to a puzzle from a few days ago, I knew UOMO off the top of my head, then UP THE ANTE came to me as did the theme very early. Took a bit to see how they’d work it, however. Never before put 2 and 2 together to realize that SLACKS is derived from being loose fitting….

    Best –

  3. 12:58, 2 errors: UOTO/LET ME. Realized that letters were missing from some entries, eventually seeing that the letters were ANTE, did not see that the missing letters were present, vertically. Clever.

  4. No errors. Count me as one who did not see the ANTE going up in the spaces above. I only saw the need to cram the N,T,andE into the horizontal space in order to make it work. Overall, pretty easy for a Thursday.

  5. 16:06, and 5 errors; I “saw” DISSARAY but couldn’t figure out how to make it work with the “ANTES” rebus of DANTES’ INFERNO in the way. But, I had ETA for ETD, and figured AN S for the Mississippi cheerleader’s requested letter. Again, the rebus clue complicated and obscured my efforts. Or, said another way, I fell into the setters traps.

    Still not “seeing” any “up” in the rebus squares at all. None of them work with the downward crossing clues, and the rebus squares aren’t even represented in the solution graphic above. So…. I don’t get it.

    Another really forced, pained, s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d bit of self-indulgence masquerading as cleverness. To be expected on a Thursday, I suppose, but never gets anything close to satisfying.

    1. @Allen … There are no “rebus squares”. Look at the letters in the grid squares above the “A” of 20A (“WADPOSTER”). In order (going up), you will find an “N”, a “T”, and an “E”, which are the letters needed to make “WANTED POSTER”. The same gimmick is found in two other places.

      1. I see it now. But then, how do you explain the W at the top of the ante string for on 28 down? The P at the top of 15 down? Do we just conveniently ignore them? No, I’m not buying it.

        1. Ignore them. The setter gets to make the rules. The solver’s job is to understand the rules. You are free to hate the gimmick, but it is well to understand it first … ?

        2. A couple more comments …

          I would imagine that, in this case, the setter was searching for a theme and thought of the phrase “up the ante”. How to express that concept in a puzzle? Well, you find a number of long phrases that contain an embedded ANTE and you move the NTE from its normal position to a stacked position on top of the A (so the eye has to go UP THE ANTE). But, of course, each of the now-vertical (and reversed) ANTE’s has to be a logical part of some “down” entry and you’re going to need some extra letters to make that work (the “W” and the “P”, among others).

          Also, you might ask, “Why is it well to understand a gimmick before criticizing it?” One obvious answer is that you are thereby more likely to be taken seriously … and less likely to be dismissed as just indulging in sour grapes: “I don’t understand this, and therefore I hate it!”

          We all have blind spots. Last week, I completed a Matt Jones puzzle correctly, but was left scratching my head over certain aspects of the puzzle. So I posted a plea for help over on Bill’s LAT blog and Glenn came to my rescue with an explanation. (And I hate to admit it, but there’s one element that I kind of think should have been omitted, but I’m afraid that perhaps this is because I still don’t fully understand that element … ?.)

          Sorry for the long post …

          1. However long, your post is a poor excuse for the extra letters being there. The fact that they ARE there means the gag doesn’t work. So now we pretend they “just aren’t there”? How *convenient*. How about, the setter’s challenge becomes to find two or three different clues for ANTE and bury them in the grid **without** any “bonus letters”? He did it in 2D, so why not in other places? Nope, still not buying it. (But then again, I don’t buy the whole rebus concept anyway: ONE LETTER PER SQUARE oughta be a hard and fast RULE.)

            I certainly can (and do) admit when a puzzle is too much for me; I have no problem with that. But I can also point out when some of these “clever ploys” are just not. This is definitely one of those.

          2. Well, all I can say is that the theme is what it is. The additional rules that you would like to see imposed on the setters and the editor (and on other solvers, for that matter) are unlikely to be adopted, so you are destined to be unhappy with a significant fraction of the NYT puzzles. C’est la vie (or perhaps I should say “la guerre”?) … ?

    2. Keep solving you will get there. It takes time. And quit trying to solve as fast as Bill or Dave, unless you plan on being competitive. FromRoger

    1. @June—-When Trump uses the single word, SAD, at the end of a tweet, he is lamenting some particular situation. He is giving his opinion that something is sad.

  6. Very easy. Especially if you solve bottom up. I got UPTHEANTE and I was off. Fastest Thursday ever for me.

  7. 23 minutes, 1 error (the obvious from the other posts). Pretty smooth grid, overall.

    @Dave
    There’s a certain exoticness (and difficulty) to these puzzles that a large number of people will never appreciate. Of course, as I point out with the market that Dell and PennyPress has (along with USA Today/others), that number is pretty high.

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