Sam Ezersky’s and Victor Fleming’s Wednesday, 1/8/14 NYT crossword puzzle (ed. Will Shortz)


January 8, 2014 by manvspuzzle

conneryTheme: Spongebob Squarepants.  4 theme entries are phrases/words that end, in succession, with -SPONGE, -BOB, -SQUARE, and -PANTS.  There’s also NICKELODEON as a revealer in the middle.

Theme Answers:

  • 18A — Tub accessory : BATH SPONGE
  • 24A — Doohickey : THINGAMABOB
  • 36A — Channel for the character named by the ends of 18-, 24-, 52- and 59-Across : NICKELODEON
  • 52A — New Year’s Eve hot spot : TIMES SQUARE
  • 59A — 2011 Tina Fey autobiography : BOSSYPANTS

What’s Good: Theme Consistency (2 one-word themers, and 2 two-word themers [discounting the revealer], so there’s no “odd man out.”)

© The New York Times

© The New York Times



I’m happy with this.  It didn’t quite feel like a Wednesday puzzle (played on the easy side for me), but I caught onto the theme quickly and had all of the theme entries filled in after my first pass through the Across clues.  It helps that I’m a huge fan of BOSSYPANTS by Tina Fey, and keep a copy next to my exercise equipment to flip through when I’m “working out.”  So yeah, this puzzle was Monday- or Tuesday-fast for me.

Shout out to TORII Hunter on making your NYT puzzle debut!  Though I don’t really appreciate your embarrasingly racist and homophobic media displays, you sure are a great right fielder!  And also, being able to take the word TORII out of the context of “Shinto shrine entrance” is probably a good thing.

Somebody please tell me where the bad fill is in this puzzle.  Maybe it’s ESSA.  Or the less-common spelling of TEPEES.  Do you have a problem with MOTET or OTIC, you jerk?  I don’t.  You just need to learn and know those words.  And I refuse to complain about ETAIL.  It’s a thing — get used to it.

What I’m saying, I guess, is that I liked this puzzle.  Good theme density.  Lots of wide-open space in the corners (n00bs: wide-open space often means things get wacky and fun!).  Great fill, minus just a couple, maybe.

Thanks, Sam and Vic.  By the way guys, if you anagram both of your full names together, you get “A FRECKLE MISGOVERNS MY ZIT.”  Take that for what it’s worth.

See you tomorrow.


3 thoughts on “Sam Ezersky’s and Victor Fleming’s Wednesday, 1/8/14 NYT crossword puzzle (ed. Will Shortz)

  1. Jeffrey K (@XwordJeffrey) says:

    I guess I could whine about Weirdo/NUTJOB to follow up on yesterday’s gripe, but not a serious omplaint today. Nice clean puzzle.

  2. manvspuzzle says:

    @XwordJeffrey I thought about you when I saw those!

  3. Jeff Chen says:

    Somewhere a while back I saw the (var.) tag on TEEPEE. The world stopped making sense at that moment.

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