NYT Crossword Answers for July 1, 2024

5D. Many American cities may have streets called [Park place?]But you can spot the wrong direction of the clue by the use of the lower case letter “place”. The answer is garage, i.e. a place where someone parks.

13D. This [Mark of literary distinction] It's secretly disguised as a common noun. It refers to Mark Twain, the prolific author of “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.” What a shame for us that he died more than 100 years ago – we'll never meet Twain.

55d. I can't keep up with the language of Generation Alpha, and I fear there will come a day when it will confuse me with crossword clues. For now, I can continue to be ridiculed by teenagers for using FTW, which means [“Victory is mine!,” in text shorthand] — it's short for “for the win.” Old texting shorthand FTW!

I inherited my love of crosswords from my mother, Ruthie, and have been solving them for most of my adult life. I am retired and solve a variety of puzzles every morning to make sure I am still in my senses. In January 2023, I asked myself, “Who creates these puzzles?” This question led me on a journey into the world of crossword creation, and I found a wonderful community of creators and online resources.

My first puzzles were terrible, filled with bad sentences and entries that lacked “surface sense” (i.e., obvious meaning on first reading). I had no idea of ​​the intricacies of crossword construction: themes, consistency, grid design, fills, clues. I had to learn through research, trial and error, rejections and lots of solving, solving four or five puzzles a day from the Times crossword archives. I initially got boilerplate rejections, but then editors started giving me specific criticism and advice that led to publication and relationships with some wonderful mentors: Patty Varol and Katy Hale at the Los Angeles Times; David Steinberg and Jared Goudsmit at Universal Crosswords; and the remarkable Jeff Chen, who worked with me through multiple drafts to improve my fills for this puzzle. It’s incredible to have the opportunity to work with the best in the field; their generosity cannot be underestimated. Having a puzzle published in The New York Times is something I aimed for from the very beginning, so having my first one today is a dream come true.

What is the moral of my story? It's never too late to discover a new passion and dive in to learning. Good luck to all you newbie builders out there – keep learning, keep trying and enjoy the journey!

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Work your way through our guide, “How to Solve the New York Times Crossword.” It has explanations of most types of clues you'll find in the puzzles and a practice mini at the end of each section.

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