NYT Crossword Answers: Charles Who Helped Invent The Mechanical Computer


34D. I like the “Fitness Center” index for CORE; your CORE is the center of your body that you could use in a fitness class for exercises such as sit-ups or planks.

43D. The “?” indicates a pun, so you should read the “Pop-up business?” clue. With an eye on the wrong direction. As a phrase, “pop-up business” generally refers to a business that is only open briefly (or “pop-up”). In this case, however, an entity in the pop-up ad business could be an ADVERTISING SITE.

As I mentioned above, this was one of those themes that you almost certainly needed the revealer to spot. Long Across entries, which usually contain thematic entries, include LONG STORY (17A. “This could be short”) and SAVE TIME (24A. “Shortcuts”). You might think that there is no obvious common thread joining these two entries, except perhaps that a TIME SAVING would be to cut short a LONG HISTORY.

But you would be wrong (as I was when solving). The is a theme to this puzzle, and it is revealed at 54A: “The great beyond… or where every word in 17-, 24-, 35- and 45-Across could be found?” This entry is AFTERLIFE (“the great beyond”), which could also be analyzed as AFTER LIFE, as in, each word of the theme could follow the word “life” to make a common sentence.

For example, consider the two themes above. Adding “life” before LONG and HISTORY gives “life” or “life story”, two common expressions. Likewise, adding “life” to “TIME-SAVERS” creates the composite words “lifetime” and “lifesavers”.

See Dan’s notes below for the many other entries he found that might match this theme – it’s an impressive set. Commentators, do not hesitate to give your opinion!

I have a draft of this puzzle lying around since 2015, and while I was locked up at home last year, I decided to dust it off. With a fresh look, I was able to find a more solid grid that was more open and supported more interesting infill. The theme is pretty basic, but I appreciate that every element of every theme entry is really part of the theme. It was also fun playing around with all of the potential theme entries and the permutations of the words they contain – LONGBOAT, STORYLINE, STORY TIME, STYLE COACH, TIMELINE, TIME MAGAZINE and TIMESPAN have all been taken into account along the way.

I have loved puzzles of all kinds since I was a kid and have been aspiring to build crosswords for The New York Times for almost as long, so it’s a pleasure to publish my first puzzle!

The New York Times Crossword has an open submission system, and you can submit your puzzles online.

For tips on how to get started, read our “How to Create a Crossword Puzzle” series.


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