NYT Crossword Answers: Rodomontade – The New York Times
THURSDAY PUZZLE – The last time we had a puzzle from Lewis Rothlein, he and his collaborator, Jeff Chen, were bend and twist their theme entries inside the grid.
In this puzzle, Mr. Rothlein – once again accompanied by Mr. Chen – bends and twists the theme entries inside the grid. I think I see a trend emerging here.
Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Mr. Rothlein, who is also a popular commentator on Wordplay, is a yoga instructor and therefore has a habit of bending and twisting. Or, more likely, maybe it has something to do with a hobby he and Mr. Chen have in common, as noted in their comments below.
Either way, I think you’ll agree that this crossword puzzle has the requisite amount of trickery for a Thursday puzzle.
10A. “Round houses? are not round houses; these are places where someone can buy you a ride, or PUBS.
22A. This one made me laugh – once I got it. A show-stopper is usually a song or performance that brings the house down, but in this puzzle we’re looking for something that actually stops a show. It would be a REMOTE CONTROL.
6D. I find it amusing that the French word APRÈS – which means “after” – can be used as a prefix for “ski” or “midi”.
35D. Yes, this song was popular over 50 years ago, but you know that. Shirley Ellis’ 1965 hit “The NAME GAME” is still sung everywhere at holiday camps.
36D. Having only flown first class once — as someone’s guest — many years ago, I can only suppose that it has LEG RESTS.
43D. Very nice index. “Something well placed” does not refer to finding the right place for a vase, but something that is placed in a well. It would be an oil rig.
If you’re just wading into Puzzle Thursday territory, you may not have seen this type of theme before. First, let me assure you that your puzzle isn’t broken and you don’t need to write a strongly worded letter to The New York Times.
Then you’ve probably already realized that theme entries aren’t displaying properly in their slots. The entry at 17A, for example, should be written as NOW WHERE WE, in response to the clue “Question after digression”.
Oops, looks like we forgot the word “were” to make the phrase NOW WHERE WE ARE. Where do we have?
We have not forgotten it. It’s in there, if you know where to look.
In sheet music, the signs 𝄆 and 𝄇 are used to indicate that the notes they contain should be repeated.
Let’s put the repeat signs in their place and see what happens.
If you read the sentence up to the third W – which begins the word WE – and then repeat the letters inside the repeat signs (EREW) after that W, you get the correct sentence, NOW WHERE WERE WE.
I’ll wait here while you send all the heavily worded letters.
Seriously, it’s a tight, mind-boggling theme that’s difficult if you don’t know what the repeat signs mean. I haven’t worked with sheet music for a long time, and at first I wasn’t sure what the lines and dots meant.
We have the developer at 47D. It’s a sneaky one, however, because it’s not clear that the clue and the entry even are telltales, which usually have more than one connection to theme entries. All we have is the clue “What two sets of dots in double lines mean, in musical scores”, and the answer, which is REPEAT. And it’s just sitting there, hissing innocently like an ordinary clue.
Namaste, Mr. Rothlein and Mr. Chen.
If you want more help with the rest of the theme, click on any of the hints below to see the answers.
Lewis Rothlein: I don’t know how Jeff does it. He’s the supervisor of XwordInfo.com, writes a review of every New York Times puzzle there, writes novels that get published, and has two young children — enough to keep anyone more than stuck in time — but d somehow managed to exchange 130 emails with me in the last two months of 2019. It’s been a very rewarding back and forth as we brainstorm, build and polish this puzzle . Brainstorming took two-thirds of our time because we started with a completely different theme idea. Although this idea failed, it had a germ that eventually turned into this puzzle.
For today’s puzzle, the additional thematic responses we considered were C𝄆ARDBO𝄇XES, PR𝄆IMET𝄇V, MATCHE𝄆SWIT𝄇H, and I𝄆STHI𝄇NGON.
I recently solved this puzzle because the publishers wanted our approval of their index changes. Two points:
1. The editors who polish the clues are real artists. They are invisible heroes whose good work often goes unrecognized. Many of our clues have remained intact, but sometimes editors have kept the intent of a clue but reworded it, and each time they have improved the clue. And they put an excellent one: “Something well placed?” for oil platform. High accessories, editors!
2. After two years of not seeing this puzzle, solving it felt like doing a puzzle I had never seen before – and I loved it! I wish everyone the same reaction!
Jeff Chen: Lewis and I are musicians, so I loved his idea of presenting these repeating strings of letters as if they were in repeated bars of a score. Choosing ones that are four letters – to mirror four quarter notes in 4/4 – seemed perfect!
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The tipping point
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