THURSDAY PUZZLE — Let me be the first to say that, if you solved this one by Jon Olsen by struggling to get from the perimeter of the grid to the center, you probably had a very typical solving experience.
There is a perfectly logical reason for that, at least for me. I was not expecting this kind of theme, and shame on me. You would think that after nearly a decade of doing this, I would know to expect absolutely anything from the constructors and editors.
And yet here we are. I finished and thought this was a very clever debut by Mr. Olsen, although it took me a while to figure out what to enter for the theme answers. I’ve provided a major hint in the Today’s Theme section for those who are solving online.
20A: The “Place to find a cluster of stars?” could be up in the sky, but in this puzzle, we’re thinking of a V.I.P. ROOM.
23A: Hi, kids! Many years ago, when your parents needed a break from the head banging rock ’n’ roll we listened to (now known as “Classic Rock, Which Is What We Call It When Our Parents Are Around, but Otherwise It Is ‘Music for Olds’”), they wandered off into a genre called New Age music (formerly known as “Music to Get High To”). Listening to New Age music was once thought to be a serious path to spiritual enlightenment and is now also parodied by people like JP Sears. One of the much listened-to artists of New Age was Enya, who has appeared in the New York Times Crossword a total of 118 times, although it feels like much more. Anyway, she recorded an album called “Watermark,” which was released in 1988 with the title song:
There. Don’t you feel more relaxed already?
67A: I had AIR before NEO for “Con opener?” but appreciate the wordplay in this clue.
1D: Lyric writing pro tip: If you use the same word at the end of each verse, such as BRAVE in “The Star-Spangled Banner,” it is much easier to make sure that it rhymes.
3D: It made me happy to see HAPPY FACE make its New York Times Crossword debut. Thank you, Mr. Olsen.
12D: The “Butler of renown” is not a Jeeves-type of butler, but RHETT Butler.
19D: “It’s more than a fling” is not talking about a one-night stand, it’s talking about throwing or “flinging” things. If you throw or fling it even harder, you HEAVE it.
44D: TIL that the word HORST is not just a name, but also a geologic element.
49D: I'm not sure why this surprised me, but it did. JAPAN is the country with the greatest number of McDonald’s restaurants, other than the U.S.
UPDATED: 53D: How did I forget this one? “Neat” is a verbalization, so the answer has to be a verbalization, and the answer is “NOICE.” What does NOICE mean, you ask? Well, if you watch the television series “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” Andy Samberg’s character, Jake, elongates the word “nice” that way and it has made its way into the lexicon. It’s also hilarious, because if you read it as two words, NO ICE, that’s also what a cocktail served “neat" means.
62D: With the question mark, “Bottom line?” is not talking about a business statistic. It’s talking about the HEM of an item of clothing.
Major hint: Use the rebus button, Luke. Trust me on this.
Mr. Olsen suggests that we put on a HAPPY FACE (3D) in his puzzle, and he provides quite a bit of theme material to help bring out our smiles. If you’ve ever sent an email or texted, you are aware of the smiley face EMOTICON (35D), which consists of a COLON and HYPHEN (combined at 18A and symbolizing the EYES and the NOSE of the face), as well as an end PARENTHESIS at 61A, which symbolizes the smiling MOUTH.
At the central Across entry, we have the actual EMOTICON itself, and the elements can also be used to complete the crossing Down entries.
For example, where we have the EYES in the first square of 39A, the answer to the clue “Blot on a landscape” is [EYES]ORE. You can get the rest.
It’s a great honor to make my New York Times crossword debut with a puzzle I had so much fun putting together!
I’m a veterinarian who has been addicted to crossword puzzles for 30 years, ever since I picked up my first issue of GAMES magazine when I was 7. After getting some puzzles published in GAMES in college, I wanted to make a more serious effort to get my work into The New York Times. All of my early rejections thankfully came with some helpful feedback.
Thanks to Will for giving this puzzle a thumbs up; to Dave, Lily and Mom for test solving; and especially to Nancy Salomon for some excellent mentorship during the constructing process.
I decided it would be a novel idea to build a puzzle around an emoticon. I toyed with a few different ideas for working in a smiley face, such as fitting it into a single square rebus-fashion or placing it into a few themed entries to replace the word HAPPY.
In the end, I decided to place the emoticon dead center and use the other theme entries to hint at the gimmick. It worked out nicely that EYES, NOSE, and MOUTH dovetailed into some decent Down rebus entries, and the fact that COLONHYPHEN / PARENTHESIS worked as symmetrical descriptors sealed the deal.
A few of my original clues may have been too iffy for a Thursday, or for the difficulty of their crossings (“Rocky landing?” for PLYMOUTH; “Change for good?” for TIP JAR), and were changed accordingly, so I’ll have to keep that in mind going forward.
Hope this was a fun solve, and I look forward to rolling out more puzzles in the near future!
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.
黄大仙提供【第】【八】【百】【七】【十】【二】【章】【铁】【甲】【重】【骑】 【许】【是】【早】【已】【见】【惯】【了】【这】【人】【世】【间】【的】【种】【种】【离】【别】，【也】【看】【透】【了】【是】【是】【非】【非】。【丹】【增】【上】【师】【口】【里】【的】【话】【音】【刚】【刚】【一】【落】，【这】【位】【老】**【竟】【然】【就】【这】【么】【直】【接】【朝】【前】【与】【赵】【祯】【轻】【轻】【的】【擦】【肩】【而】【过】，【一】【路】【悠】【悠】【然】【的】【走】【出】【了】【这】【一】【座】【小】【院】【儿】。 【言】【犹】【在】【耳】，【却】【终】【是】【再】【没】【有】【回】【头】！！ 【的】【确】，【密】【教】【的】【修】【行】【虽】【然】【神】【秘】【莫】【测】，【充】【满】【了】【种】【种】【不】【可】【思】【议】
【清】【流】【一】【品】【的】【办】【公】【地】【点】【在】【东】【城】【金】【爵】【帝】【标】【二】【十】【四】【楼】。 【邹】【胜】【出】【电】【梯】【门】【就】【见】【通】【道】【上】【有】【硕】【大】【的】【广】【告】【牌】，【写】【着】【清】【流】【一】【品】【建】【筑】【表】【现】【设】【计】【公】【司】【欢】【迎】【你】！【邹】【胜】【拐】【出】【通】【道】，【只】【见】【右】【边】【又】【有】【标】【志】【指】【示】，【顺】【着】【前】【行】【十】【米】，【就】【来】【到】【了】【门】【前】。【因】【为】【提】【前】【预】【约】，【大】【门】【是】【开】【着】【的】，【邹】【胜】【直】【接】【推】【开】，【入】【眼】【就】【是】【一】【排】【电】【脑】，【有】【数】【人】【正】【坐】【着】【做】【事】。 【邹】【胜】【喊】【道】
【顺】【利】【接】【回】【了】【女】【警】【齐】【琳】，【乘】【坐】【着】【宇】【宙】【母】【船】【战】【舰】【的】**【海】【和】【她】【一】【次】【空】【间】【跳】【跃】，【传】【送】【水】【晶】【包】【裹】【住】【战】【船】【直】【接】【进】【了】【墨】【家】**。 【对】【于】【他】【能】【回】【返】，【墨】【家】【的】【一】【众】【女】【子】【自】【然】【是】【满】【心】【欢】【喜】【的】。【不】【过】【看】【见】【齐】【琳】【和】【他】【一】【起】【回】【来】【的】【那】【一】【刻】，【脸】【庞】【上】【面】【都】【写】【满】【了】【一】【丝】【不】【快】。 “【你】【怎】【么】【这】【样】【快】【就】【回】【去】【了】？【之】【前】【不】【是】【和】【我】【一】【起】【对】【付】【鳄】【祖】【的】【吗】？”
【这】【是】【我】【完】【本】【的】【第】【一】【本】【书】，【虽】【然】【有】【诸】【多】【遗】【憾】，【但】【终】【究】【是】【完】【成】【了】【一】【个】【结】【局】，【写】【完】【了】【一】【个】【故】【事】。 【这】【本】【书】【预】【计】【是】【百】【万】【字】，【但】【是】【成】【绩】【嘛】，【太】【差】【劲】【了】【啊】，【首】【订】【那】【天】【五】【十】，【写】【完】【吞】【噬】【星】【空】【之】【后】，【每】【天】【每】【章】【的】【订】【阅】【数】，【更】【是】【十】【几】、【二】【十】。 【所】【以】，【我】【从】【一】【步】【步】【走】，【变】【成】【了】【每】【一】【步】【都】【是】【立】【定】【跳】【远】，【以】【光】【速】【完】【结】【了】【这】【本】【书】。【预】【计】【百】【万】【字】，
【锦】【州】【城】【中】，【祖】【大】【寿】【也】【已】【经】【得】【到】【了】【金】【国】【凤】【战】【死】，【清】【军】【大】【举】【围】【困】【西】【平】【堡】【的】【消】【息】。 【锦】【州】【城】【极】【为】【重】【要】，【祖】【大】【寿】【不】【敢】【轻】【易】【出】【兵】【援】【救】，【毕】【竟】【这】【打】【仗】【不】【是】【闹】【着】【玩】【的】，【更】【不】【是】【人】【情】【来】【往】，【一】【旦】【出】【了】【问】【题】【是】【要】【负】【责】【任】【的】，【也】【是】【要】【掉】【脑】【袋】【的】。 【祖】【大】【寿】【出】【身】【辽】【西】【望】【族】，【身】【系】【家】【族】【兴】【衰】，【他】【宁】【可】【不】【立】【功】，【也】【不】【会】【轻】【易】【冒】【险】。 【然】【而】【辽】【东】【巡】黄大仙提供【曹】【凡】【本】【就】【对】【禹】【真】【子】【十】【分】【不】【爽】，【眼】【见】【对】【方】【居】【然】【再】【次】【挑】【衅】，【便】【立】【即】【反】【击】【道】：“【我】【之】【前】【说】【你】【无】【知】，【你】【还】【别】【不】【服】【气】。【珂】【维】【与】【向】【冥】【光】【仇】【怨】【的】【前】【因】【后】【果】，【洛】【宗】【主】【早】【已】【知】【晓】，【甚】【至】【不】【惜】【杀】【掉】【离】【尘】【仙】【宗】【的】【人】【也】【要】【保】【住】【他】，【足】【可】【见】【珂】【维】【对】【于】【楚】【江】【仙】【门】【的】【重】【要】【意】【义】。 【人】【人】【都】【知】【道】【珂】【维】【是】【楚】【江】【仙】【门】【再】【次】【崛】【起】【的】【基】【石】，【你】【却】【屡】【次】【三】【番】【想】【要】【把】【他】【赶】
“【走】【吧】，【按】【照】【计】【划】，【即】【便】【是】【最】【近】【的】【前】【往】【半】【人】【马】【座】【星】【系】【的】【宇】【宙】【飞】【船】，【它】【也】【至】【少】【需】【要】50【年】【左】【右】【的】【时】【间】【才】【能】【够】【抵】【达】【半】【人】【马】【座】【星】【系】，【星】【际】【宇】【宙】【实】【在】【是】【太】【浩】【瀚】【了】。” “【以】【我】【们】【现】【在】【的】【技】【术】【来】【谈】【星】【际】【殖】【民】【的】【话】，【还】【是】【显】【得】【有】【些】【太】【过】【勉】【强】【了】，【最】【好】【还】【是】【能】【够】【将】【曲】【速】【引】【擎】【技】【术】【给】【研】【究】【出】【来】。” 【看】【着】8【艘】【宇】【宙】【飞】【船】【消】【失】【在】【视】【野】【之】【中】
【两】【女】【对】【视】【许】【久】，【都】【不】【说】【话】。 【直】【到】【很】【晚】【的】【时】【候】，【喧】【闹】【声】【才】【不】【断】【响】【起】。 【直】【到】【过】【了】【一】【会】，【终】**【次】【听】【到】【王】【剑】【的】【声】【音】，【不】【过】【却】【是】【断】【断】【续】【续】。 【不】【过】，【吕】【青】【衣】【却】【忽】【然】【调】【笑】【道】：“【你】【这】【一】【招】，【用】【来】【监】【视】【男】【人】【倒】【真】【是】【不】【错】【呢】。” 【龙】【亦】【菲】【说】【道】：“【这】【是】【用】【于】【军】【事】【和】【警】【务】【的】。” 【不】【得】【不】【说】，【吕】【青】【衣】【说】【的】【不】【错】。 【对】【于】【太】
【可】【是】【谁】【知】【道】【小】【丫】【头】【自】【从】【会】【说】【话】【之】【后】，【基】【本】【是】【从】【早】【说】【到】【晚】，【没】【人】【理】【她】，【她】【也】【不】【计】【较】，【完】【全】【可】【以】【通】【过】【一】【个】【人】【自】【娱】【自】【乐】，【快】【乐】【分】【值】【一】【点】【都】【不】【少】。 【她】【已】【经】【无】【数】【次】【感】【叹】，【要】【把】【他】【们】【两】【个】【综】【合】【一】【下】，【可】【是】【每】【次】【看】【到】【他】【们】，【只】【能】【沉】【默】【的】【期】【盼】【着】【这】【奇】【迹】【的】【发】【生】。 【相】【比】【她】，【莫】【修】【染】【倒】【觉】【得】【这】【样】【挺】【好】，【男】【孩】【子】【就】【应】【该】【话】【少】【点】，【事】【多】【做】【点】
【扯】【了】【那】【么】【多】【有】【的】【没】【的】，【最】【重】【要】【的】【还】【是】【要】【先】【搞】【定】【眼】【前】【这】【只】「【牛】【头】【人】【战】【士】」。 “【嗷】【嗷】……” 【伴】【随】【着】【一】【阵】【悠】【长】【的】【惨】【叫】【声】，【牛】【头】【人】【战】【士】【那】【巨】【大】【的】【身】【体】【轰】【然】【倒】【地】，【掉】【落】【了】【一】【堆】【金】【币】。 【这】【些】【都】【是】【钱】【啊】！ 【李】【如】【风】【眼】【疾】【手】【快】【的】【捡】【起】【了】【金】【币】，【然】【后】【交】【易】【给】【林】【妙】【竹】：“【喏】，【小】【骗】【子】，【你】【的】【金】【币】！” 【林】【妙】【竹】：“【唔】……”