NYT Crossword Answers: Director Kurosawa

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It’s a nice and simple theme, suitable for an easy Monday puzzle. Mr. Pall identified four sentences that follow the ___ IT OR ___ IT pattern that fit symmetrically into the grid (i.e. if you were to rotate the grid 180 degrees, you would end up with entries theme in the same places you currently have theme entries).

The first and last of these are each a grid spanning 15 letters long, which is always fun to see, especially at the start of the week. The first of these, titled “This is my final offer”, is TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT. The other 15 letter entry, in the opposite rotating position, is MAKE IT OR BREAK IT. I love TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT, and while I think MAKE IT OR BREAK IT is more commonly thought of as “make or break”, which has seven times the number of hits on Google, it’s absolutely still a phrase that people use.

The other two thematic entries are equally fun phrases that take up almost as much space in the grid – 14 letters instead of 15 – which surely made completing this puzzle (adding the non-thematic words) a significant challenge. Congratulations to Mr. Pall for achieving this!

I am delighted to return to the pages of The Times after nine years apart. A lot can change in nine years. In 2012, I was a high school student writing puzzles between homework and college applications. Today, I am a 26 year old software developer who writes puzzles while waiting for the code to be built.

Like me, crosswords have also grown over the past decade. More types of people do and enjoy crossword puzzles than ever before, there has been an explosion of unrelated crossword content, and the subject matter of the puzzles themselves has improved to stay in tune with today’s culture. ‘hui. It is an honor to make my contribution to this new and improved era of crossword puzzles.

Today’s puzzle journey started when I was brainstorming simple Monday themes to work my building muscles. My mind wandered over one of the starting sentences in the puzzle, and I wrote as many as I could that followed the pattern. I’m never happy with a theme if it’s too large – my rule is that if I can think of 50 percent more candidate theme entries than I need, I probably need to narrow it down by one. little or add an extra hook. To my surprise, there weren’t a ton of ___ IT OR ___ IT sentences. From there, it was a matter of eliminating duplicate words and finding matching pairs. I especially liked that although the sentence structure was quite rigid, I was able to write clues that didn’t sound stereotypical and show each topic entry in its own light.

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.

Almost done solving but need a bit more help? We have what you need.

Warning: There will be spoilers ahead, but subscribers can take a look at the fix.

Trying to get back to the puzzle page? Here.

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