Crossword Treasures in the NYT Archive

This is primarily of benefit to NY Times Online puzzle subscribers, i.e. to people who can access the NY Times Archives on their puzzle site.  There are some wonderful puzzles out there. There used to be a site that organized them by author, but it seems to have been disabled. But anyway, some of these older puzzles are terrific. I’ve often enjoyed Manny Nosowsky’s puzzles. I’ll be starting to list them as I find one’s that I really like. My criteria:

1.  Hard, not something you zip through so quickly you barely notice it.

2.  Some of the questions are things you’d like to know. For example: “Pet name for José.” That’s something I feel I should know, some I’m curious what the correct answer will turn out to be. “Pépé,” I wonder.

3. Some of the questions are obviously a specific way of saying something. You understand the clue perfectly and know what it means, but it has a multiword answer and you don’t know what it is. Again, your curiosity is peaked: What will it turn out to be?

4. Some of the answers have multiple reasonable possibilities for the same length word. Which meaning is the puzzle author using, you wonder? Is there some other meaning of the question that I haven’t thought of?

5. You begin to feel some satisfaction as the puzzle starts to come together, a feeling you figured something out.

So if you’re a NYT online puzzle subscriber, you’ll see the following (at least currently) underneath the “Variety Puzzles Section.” There’s a clickable text in the upper right corner of the “Free From the Archives” section, that points to the repository of a vast array of puzzles. (I may be repeating ones I did ten years ago, but I rarely feel like it’s a deja vu, I’ve been here before experience.) Here’s a snapshot:

Screen shot of location on NYT site of NYT archive

Screen shot of location on NYT site of NYT archive



Here’s the first one I’ve found that fits all these criteria. As it happens, it’s a Nosowsky from 1999 The format of the archive is categorized by year, in the format Day of week followed by month, so I’ll use that sequence here.):

Year: 1999

    Friday, November 19

and another excellent one that I didn’t realize was a Nosowsky creation until after I decided it was a really good one:

Year: 1994

     Saturday, March 19