TUESDAY PUZZLE — Surprise! And before you grouse to one another “what’s she doing here,” take another look at who made your puzzle today. Two big names! It’s a very propitious Tuesday.
Natasha Lyonne, teamed with our own Deb Amlen, makes her very stylish debut today, a scant four months since she debuted as an entry. This may be inspirational to a number of modern luminaries — we’ll see. You may know Ms. Lyonne in other contexts, from the current puzzly and complex thriller “Russian Doll” or the juggernaut “Orange Is the New Black” franchise. Please note that we were unable to locate a trailer for “Russian Doll” that we could run in this space, but they’re available. Also, there’s kind of a spoiler in this interview just in case you’re a stickler for that stuff.
I remember Ms. Lyonne from “Pee Wee’s Playhouse,” when she was teeny, and I knew she was going to be a star.
Please read the constructors’ notes today for color commentary on the making of this puzzle and suggestions for two sweet charities. There’s a definite vibe that this could be the beginning of a beautiful partnership
There wasn’t much vanilla fill to speak of today, and the jubilant aura around the cluing for this puzzle makes me think that the writers’ room must have been a riot. I struggled most with the long theme entries, but the whole puzzle was chewy in a very delectable way, like fudge or caviar that you linger on for taste’s sake. Lots of umami.
I really adored the puns de nom today, like AMY and her Poehler vortex, and ELIAS (“Howe” he advanced the craft of sewing, right?). The non-punny noms that might slow you down were probably MAHRE and THANG.
1A: This is a pretty common entry from the Shakespearean realm, but the clue was new and difficult. The character behind this line, “Speak, hands, for me!” is CASCA, and he says it right before he and the rest of the conspirators stab Julius Caesar.
33A: What has golden locks, but is neither a he nor a she? That “It” was key for me in figuring out DOOR. Would such a door be golden, too? The misdirection in this clue was splendid.
43A: Just in case you didn’t get the dog-loving gene on the same chromosome as the yoga gene as so many of us apparently have, “Downward-facing Dog” is a YOGA POSE. There’s an “Upward-facing Dog” as well and between them you get a pretty good stretch. Next time your dog rises and shines you can watch the whole sequence.
57A: If your “Parting words” aren’t sweet and sorrowful, they can be pretty terse: I QUIT fits the bill.
63A: You can get down from a horse or a camel, but that’s not going to help you stuff your duvet. For that, you get down from an EIDER, a large sea duck with very soft inner feathers (not large enough to saddle, however).
3D: I can’t make myself learn enough about this act to confirm whether it still exists or not, so I’m going to call this a “Hey, kids!” moment in homage to one of our constructors. Back in the day, you could watch a SEAL, with a ball, in a circus ring.
37D: Professional puzzle-makers use words like this as heavy beams in a grid’s architecture. Our constructors today, playing fast and loose, just toss in TZATZIKI like they’re running a restaurant. Opa!
38D: I scratched my head over this entry, since it’s more ordinarily clued as a “lame excuse,” but it makes perfect sense — those “rationalizations” you give yourself for skipping the gym and eating the doughnuts? Those are COPOUTS.
50D: Boo! I mean, ouch. These days “ghost” is often used as a verb, and it’s never good, least of all when you’re ready to wed and get the JILT instead.
Come on, babe! Woven into the snappy repartee in this grid there are three theme answers, at 19-, 36-, and 50-Across, with a revealer at 65- and 66-Across.
Not one of those three theme clues, all phrases, is a walk in the park. If you were able to pick up the rhythm of the puzzle, then the top and the bottom might have snapped into place for you — otherwise, the still-clever-but-a-bit-broader down clues were your friends today.
At 19-Across, I was amused and bemused by the notion of “a hundred-dollar millionaire” — I learned the expression “All hat, no cattle” and not ALL FLASH NO CASH. The option here is infinitely more appealing and timely, dontcha think? And pretty fun to say out loud.
At 36-Across, one of those “conversation” entries we see now and then. Picture yourself, scratching your head after you open the fridge to find the glasses that you’ve been looking for all day. THAT CAN’T BE RIGHT.
And, at 50-Across, a great open clue for a tricky phrase, one that I got only because of its particular first word, which is so integral to the theme and fortunately comprised two of our most unusual letters (which reminds me, our constructors were one “X” short of a pangram today). I hear this entry in the voice of a very elegant great-aunt of mine, whom I doubt any of you knew, but in my mind she’s looking disdainfully at my drab décor and suggesting that I JAZZ UP THE PLACE.
You could have solved those first three entries none the wiser, especially if you’re not drawn to the neon lights, to the drama, to the biz, or maybe you just found yourself distracted by the sharp cluing. Did something click by now?
This puzzle is all about the choreographer Bob Fosse, and the film ALL THAT JAZZ. I confess that the song was playing in my head the entire time I worked on this, but seeing a few minutes of the movie brought its craziness back to mind instantly.Constructor Notes
Natasha Lyonne: Working with Deb Amlen to create this puzzle has quite literally been a lifetime highlight for me.
I thought I had peaked at being a clue in a New York Times crossword puzzle, so having this opportunity to become a constructor is a clear sign I have crossed over and am writing to you from the afterlife.
I have become someone who thinks in clues, who jokes in puzzles and who lives for the answers. Most days of the week.
Deb is a puzzler extraordinaire. Working alongside her has stimulated parts of my brains that I hope will remain aglow for years to come. She is definitely the person I would most recommend being blindfolded in a labyrinth with. Should it come up. She was the key that led me to safety and it was a privilege to get to construct under her tutelage. Much like a young, fumbling Richard Dreyfuss in the oft forgotten film, “The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz,” I was able to bask in her golden glow and try to make a name for myself amid endless stabs at mastering puzzle making. There was so much to learn, but Deb was patient with my endless enthusiasm and heartbreak at the herculean task. I was like one of those eager puppies you see get lost during a dog show who just keeps running around the obstacle course, having forgotten the rhyme or reason or lessons of their master. But the point is — they’re show dogs! What has my dog done lately other than nap on my lap as I fill out more crosswords? She’s done nothing, that’s what.
I have a true obsession with the crossword. I spend the bulk of my downtime doing them. They’re my happy place. Where I can hear the click. The white noise sound I’m always looking for that feels closest to self soothing. They’re my personal spa day and I would live in a puzzle if I could.
There were points where I thought to myself, “Is the crossword a case of ‘Never meet your idols’?” But once we nailed the Fosse-esque ALL THAT JAZZ theme, things really began cooking. Our shared love of the film kept us going. Seeing BOB FOSSE marry Dr. Dre with 26-Down’s “Nothing but a G THANG” really hits me in all my happy reference places. The film “All That Jazz” occupies about as much space in my psyche and in “Russian Doll” as the crossword puzzle itself, so it felt very satisfying to see all the worlds I love so much collide.
I plan to buy an awkward amount of copies of this issue to drape myself in on any dark days to come. I welcome you to do the same and hope very much you enjoy the puzzle!
Thank you, New York Times, and by proxy, to my personal and wildly intimidating hero, Will Shortz, for allowing this highest of lifetime achievements to benefit two charities incredibly near to my heart, the Lower Eastside Girls Club and the Women’s Prison Association.
Deb Amlen: Natasha is a joy to work with, and her creativity, energy and passion for crossword puzzles were incredibly inspiring. She even bought the Crossfire software program, so she could learn how to construct and put in her share of the work.
The really strange thing about this collaboration was that, even though we had never met before or discussed it, we both had exactly the same initial idea for a theme. I think that freaked us both out a bit, but it also gave us common ground on which to work.
We both love the film “All That Jazz” — a semi-autobiographical take on choreographer BOB FOSSE’s life — which happens to celebrate its 40th anniversary this year. The interesting thing (to me, at least) is that we liked it for different reasons. Natasha is an amazingly well-read philosopher who adored the movie’s take on the main character moving between life and death. I liked it because I am the sister of a former dancer and have always loved the visual impact of Bob Fosse’s choreography.
Natasha and I focused on filling the grid with as little junk as possible. The only part that was tough to really polish, even after ripping that section apart multiple times, was the eastern part of the grid where Phil MAHRE resides. Sorry, Phil, but if I could have put something else in your slot I would have. Even so, I think we’re both happy that we could debut some nice theme entries.
And I’m thrilled that Will and the editorial team kept many of our clues. I’m particularly proud of “Ghost at the altar?” and “It might have golden locks.” I had forgotten how much fun it is to write a really twisted clue.
So thanks, Will, for hauling me out of retirement for this wonderful experience. I hope everyone enjoys our puzzle.
To keep our mojo working, Natasha and I have decided to donate part of our fee to two charities, the Lower Eastside Girls Club and the Women’s Prison Association.
Also don’t miss Natasha’s extraordinary turn as the co-creator, star, writer and director of Netflix’s “Russian Doll.” You will love it.
And as far as that “golden glow” that Natasha mentioned, only my hairdresser knows for sure. (Hi, kids!)
Subscribers can take a peek at the answer key.
Trying to get back to the puzzle page? Right here.
What did you think?B:
【苏】【景】【没】【好】【气】【的】【瞪】【了】【这】【个】【没】【正】【形】【的】【景】【霄】【一】【眼】，【无】【奈】【道】：“【我】【坑】【你】【做】【什】【么】？【如】【今】【我】【人】【族】【已】【经】【沦】【落】【于】【水】【深】【火】~【热】【之】【中】，【一】【个】【不】【慎】，【恐】【怕】【便】【要】【爆】【发】【世】【界】【级】【的】【灾】【难】……【这】【种】【时】【候】，【你】【还】【想】【着】【洁】【身】【自】【好】【么】？” 【他】【的】【意】【思】【很】【明】【显】。 【虽】【然】【离】【洛】【汇】【聚】【千】【里】【生】【机】【与】【那】【异】【魔】【之】【王】【决】【一】【死】【战】！ 【但】【胜】【负】【如】【何】…… 【恐】【怕】【还】【未】【开】【始】【的】【时】【候】
【扬】【天】【深】【吸】【了】【口】【气】，【抛】【去】【心】【中】【所】【有】【想】【法】，【双】【目】【中】【变】【得】【冷】【静】【专】【注】【起】【来】，【丝】【毫】【看】【不】【出】【其】【他】【东】【西】【出】【来】。 【按】【照】【小】【猪】【的】【方】【法】，【扬】【天】【是】【第】【一】【次】【尝】【试】，【他】【不】【知】【道】【体】【内】【黑】【洞】【是】【否】【能】【成】【功】【牵】【引】【毒】【素】，【毕】【竟】【他】【心】【里】【也】【没】【底】。 【双】【手】【掌】【心】【落】【在】【了】【苏】【柔】【上】，【扬】【天】【明】【显】【的】【感】【觉】【到】【苏】【柔】【身】【体】【在】【刚】【刚】【强】【烈】【的】【颤】【抖】【了】【一】【下】，【如】【电】【流】【划】【过】【一】【般】。 【掌】【心】【中】
【接】【下】【来】【就】【是】【符】【尊】，【符】【尊】【的】【事】【情】【有】【点】【麻】【烦】，【他】【已】【经】【失】【忆】【了】【不】【认】【识】【旧】【人】，【但】【是】【羽】【秋】【还】【是】【抱】【着】【微】【弱】【的】【期】【望】【把】【他】【送】【到】【家】【人】【的】【身】【边】，【符】【尊】【走】【到】【门】【口】【的】【时】【候】，【屋】【里】【无】【比】【憔】【悴】【的】【妇】【人】【正】【在】【教】【小】【孩】【写】【作】【业】，【小】【孩】【不】【喜】【欢】【写】【作】【业】，【变】【总】【是】【左】【看】【右】【看】，【看】【到】【门】【口】【时】【候】，【他】【惊】【讶】【地】【喊】【了】【一】【声】：“【爸】【爸】！” 【憔】【悴】【的】【妇】【人】【好】【像】【如】【梦】【惊】【喜】，【连】【忙】【跟】【着】马会今晚开码吗【尾】【声】 【机】【场】…… “【陆】【书】【奕】？”**【推】【着】【行】【旅】【箱】，【疑】【惑】【地】【问】【道】。 【陆】【书】【奕】【转】【过】【了】【身】，【笑】【了】【笑】，“**，【好】【久】【不】【见】，【听】【说】【你】，【已】【经】【结】【婚】【了】。” **【回】【头】【看】【了】【一】【眼】【身】【旁】【的】【官】【梓】【恒】，【笑】【了】【笑】，“【梓】【恒】，【我】【和】【他】【说】【句】【话】【可】【以】【吗】？” 【官】【梓】【恒】【点】【了】【点】【头】，“【没】【有】【关】【系】，【都】【是】【同】【学】。” **【点】【了】【点】【头】，【走】【向】【了】【陆】【书】【奕】
“【是】【我】【小】【看】【你】【了】。”【天】【道】【那】【冷】【漠】【的】【声】【音】【响】【起】“【但】【这】【只】【是】【个】【开】【始】，【如】【果】【你】【现】【在】【同】【意】【还】【来】【得】【及】，【否】【则】【我】【只】【好】【把】【你】【带】【回】【去】【了】。” 【见】【天】【道】【再】【次】【发】【出】【招】【揽】，【春】【野】【樱】【扭】【了】【扭】【脖】【子】【手】【指】【掰】【的】【啪】【啪】【响】，【一】【副】【轻】【蔑】【神】【态】【道】“【现】【在】【是】【我】【要】【留】【下】【你】。” “【是】【么】”【天】【道】【顿】【了】【顿】【道】“【那】【就】【没】【什】【么】【好】【说】【的】【了】” 【霎】【那】【间】，【春】【野】【樱】
【接】【下】【来】【几】【天】，【颜】【陌】【白】【天】【都】【是】【忙】【着】【上】【课】，【而】【江】【亦】【年】【是】【忙】【着】【工】【作】。 【两】【个】【人】【都】【很】【忙】，【所】【以】【只】【有】【晚】【上】【的】【时】【候】【才】【会】【聊】【天】。 【而】“【烟】【火】【满】【长】【安】”【这】【几】【天】【一】【直】【没】【有】【再】【找】【过】【颜】【陌】，【但】【颜】【陌】【却】【还】【是】【一】【直】【期】【待】【着】【和】【他】【见】【面】【的】【那】【一】【天】。 【陆】【庭】【之】【这】【两】【天】【似】【乎】【生】【病】【了】，【不】【过】【他】【还】【是】【照】【常】【上】【学】【和】【去】【酒】【吧】【打】【工】。 【杜】【月】【笙】【表】【示】【很】【担】【心】【陆】【庭】【之】，
【临】【时】【工】【房】【中】，【四】【郎】【穿】【着】【一】【身】【白】【袍】，【左】【手】【支】【在】【胸】【前】，【撑】【着】【摸】【着】【下】【巴】【的】【右】【手】，【静】【静】【的】【看】【着】【眼】【前】【桌】【子】【上】【的】【一】【个】【罐】【子】。 【其】【中】，【某】【种】【从】【尾】【兽】【查】【克】【拉】【中】【提】【取】【的】【特】【殊】【物】【质】【正】【和】【四】【郎】【无】【法】【感】【知】【到】【自】【然】【能】【量】【不】【断】【的】【交】【汇】，【当】【然】，【交】【汇】【这】【个】【过】【程】【是】【学】【会】【了】【仙】【术】【的】【灰】【蛇】【向】【他】【描】【述】【的】。 【四】【郎】【所】【能】【看】【到】【的】，【只】【有】【那】【个】【特】【殊】【物】【质】【的】【变】【化】，【他】【基】【本】