Dan Schoenholz’s Sunday, 4/13/14 NYT crossword puzzle (ed. Will Shortz)


April 13, 2014 by manvspuzzle



Theme: Hilarious Tax Things.  7 theme answers are common phrases reimagined as tax-related terms.  APRIL also shows up somewhere in there.

Theme Answers:

  • 25A — Agreement for an amount to be taken from one’s salary? : WITHHOLDING CONSENT
  • 33A — What C.P.A.’s wish for their clients? : MANY HAPPY RETURNS
  • 49A — C.P.A.’s advice for lowering future-year liabilities? : ROLL THE CREDITS
  • 67A — Chart used to calculate a married couple’s taxes? : TABLE FOR TWO
  • 81A — I.R.S. update? :  SCHEDULE CHANGE
  • 93A — Last-minute way to reduce tax for a desperate filer? :  EMERGENCY SHELTER
  • 104A — C.P.A.’s masterstroke? : BRILLIANT DEDUCTION
  • 100A — Deadline time appropriate to this puzzle : APRIL

Something Good: The Theme.  I have a lot to complain about today, but the theme is just fine.  Timely, dense, and basically fun.  About as fun as taxes can get.

4 13 14

Bonk.  Not my wavelength.

Let me be clear: I have no issue with this theme.  Theme’s fine.  Whatever.  Pretty averagely good.  Maybe even better than that.  Sparkly stuff, the more I look at it.  So yeah, decent theme.

But the fill is crazonkus.  It felt like everywhere I turned I found something that was…I dunno…not to my taste.  HAMAN crossing HEW may as well have been BAMAN/BEW or QAMAN/QEW for all I knew.  Naticky.  ART GLASS, EAT ALONE, THE AS and SAFE AREA  all seemed basically made up (maybe they are and maybe they aren’t — that’s just what it seemed like to *this* solver).  EBANKS is just asking for E-haters to get cranky.  Probably the worst E-answer I’ve seen lately, if not ever.  It’s certainly not helping the E-movement.

If you’re not a regular solver, ELHI crossing PALAIS probably won’t fall for you.  ILLY is just silly!  Same with LENITY crossing YOWLSHAG, as clued (Retrieve and throw back, in baseball practice), could be lost on non-sports people, making the crossing (AAR) possibly impossible.  TABU/APODREG/ANNEAL.  Probably other stuff too.

Just a lot of weirdness and unfair crossings.  Too much for this solver to feel very good about the puzzle in general.  I’m no expert, but it seems like a lot of this could have been avoided by bringing the longer themers in closer to the middle and pushing a pair of shorter ones to the 3rd (and 19th) rows, rather than the 4th/18th we’re seeing here.  A little more leeway if that had happened, I think.

So I hate to be a complainer, but this one didn’t feel very good.  You can’t love them all.  Hopefully lots of readers disagree with me and had a great time.

I will say I *loved* the clue for PANT (71A — Have a series of sudden inspirations?).  Probably the highlight of my solve. 

See ya.





9 thoughts on “Dan Schoenholz’s Sunday, 4/13/14 NYT crossword puzzle (ed. Will Shortz)

  1. Hi Sean. This will be a good test of the influence and impact of your blog. If your readers want a different taxing puzzle, try “Schedule C is for Crossword” (http://tinyurl.com/schedulecpuz) which we wrote a year ago, when there was a centennial at play. The puzzle takes some liberties with crossword rules, but that’s the price for theme density, and solvers may come away having learned something. Enjoy! GB

  2. tom pepper says:

    For starters, thanks for providing my first out-loud laugh today with your opening line: “Hilarious Tax Things.”

    If you’re going to go with CPA references in half your theme clues, why not all of them?

    I DNF in the east because I had boW (for HEW) and primATE (for IMITATE). Even after cheating to get IMITATE, I ended up with asSURED. HAMAs looks better to me than HAMAN. I think PILa is a better description of “reactor” than PILE is.

    And why wouldn’t you go with ANNUAL/DRUG over ANNEAL/DREG?

    Did not like THEAS crossing EDS crossing EBANKS (which should never cross anything) crossing KCAR.

    I guess I’m cranky today. Maybe it’s because I have a cold. Maybe it’s because I’m a CPA and I still haven’t finished doing my own taxes. I should know better. UGHS! (UGHS? Really?)

  3. Z says:

    If I had a million dollars this might have been a fun puzzle.

  4. manvspuzzle says:

    My over/under for the first video NYT clue is 7 years. Seriously. Notepad will read: “Although this puzzle can be solved in the newspaper, there are elements in the electronic version that cannot be duplicated in print. We recommend using Across Lite for the best solving experience.”

    The universe will then explode.

    • tom pepper says:

      When the indies take over the xworld, video clues will become standard fare. I wonder which comes first. Btw, I heard the universe already exploded a long, long time ago.

  5. tom pepper says:

    I enjoyed your 4/14 LAT puzzle–congrats! How cool for all those in your class to be published! Hope you mention it in tomorrow’s post.

    I had another C vs. K moment–looked good both across and down.

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