Iberian wine city / SUN 9-22-13 / Spiderwick Chronicles co-author DiTerlizzi / my destiny be Fustian Dickinson poem / Old PC monitor feature / Satirical 1974 espionage film / Material beyond terrestrial plane in medieval science / English landscapist famous for burning of houses of lords commons / Classic sci-fi film billed as horror horde of crawl crush giants / 1960s-70s series starring Efrem Zimbalist Jr
Sunday, September 22, 2013
Constructor: Mike Selinker
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
THEME: "Letterboxes" — "Crosswords Contest! In this special contest crossword, the completed grid conceals a familiar three-word phrase related to the puzzle's theme. 70-Across provides a hint as to where to find it, and you will need to print out the PDF to see some heavy lines that cannot be reproduced here (http://select.nytimes.com/premium/xword/2013/09/22/Sep2213.pdf). When you have the answer, e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Twenty-five correct solvers, chosen at random, whose entries are received by 6 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday, Sept. 24, will receive copies of The New York Times Sunday Crossword Puzzles 2014 Day-to-Day Calendar, courtesy of Andrews McMeel. Only one entry per person, please. The answer will appear here on Wednesday, Sept. 25. The winners' names will be announced on Friday, Sept. 27."
[UPDATE: ANSWERS HERE]
• • •
I'm going to respect the contest. That is, I'm not going to reveal any information here. I don't know why, really. I mean, the stakes are soooooo low that I have a hard time imagining anyone even taking the time to enter. A day-to-day calendar?!? Really?
But I'm going to respect the contest anyway. Call it professional courtesy. Call it laziness. Call it whatever. You're gonna have to come up with your own answers today.
I will say one thing: the reveal, i.e. the meta-puzzle, i.e. the "three-word phrase" mentioned in the contest description (above), is Great. A genuinely fantastic punch line. The fill in this puzzle is not great. Painful and cringe-worthy at times. But there's a reason. Is it a good reason? Well ... I've probably already said too much. Just know that the phrase at the end of the rainbow is not a dud. It may not excuse all the ouchy stuff you had to fill in to get there, but it's not a dud.
OK, that's all. Good night. I would say "don't spoil the puzzle in the comments," but you're grown people (mostly) and you can do whatever the hell you want.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
[UPDATE: ANSWERS HERE]