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6D. Perhaps it’s this entry’s resemblance to “asteroids,” at its beginning and end, but this was a toughie for me. “Galaxies, e.g.,” solves to ANDROIDS; this is brand trivia, involving a line of Samsung smartphones that uses the operating system in question.

25D. I needed every letter from a crossing entry on this, “Rafael ______,” All-Star third baseman for the Red Sox. It’s not my expertise, and this is the first time Rafael DEVERS has been in the Times puzzle, although he’s been a major league player since 2017.

35D. “Untruthfully?” solves to a lovely, memorable pun: ON A DARE. (Talk about Pavlovian! I thought of the game “Truth or Dare” at summer camp, which I attended in a past century, though I have no idea whether anyone plays it in 2024.)

I’m so excited to be back in The New York Times! Thanks to everyone who test-solved this puzzle and made it possible.

This puzzle, like my last, was built around the crossing spanners 1-Down and 15-Across. The phrase at 1D was my primary seed entry, which I thought of one day last summer and felt would be particularly grid-worthy. I decided to try diagonal symmetry for fun, and I’m really happy with how it turned out.

Of my clues that made it into the final puzzle, my favorites were 41A, 25D and 48D, which I was so glad the editors kept in. Of the clues they changed, I most like 19A and particularly 10D, which I thought was clever.

On a personal note, I’m turning 21 in just over a week, so I see this puzzle as an early birthday present to myself. Thanks for solving, and I hope to be back soon!

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 series, “How to Make a Crossword Puzzle.”

Subscribers can take a peek at the answer key.

Trying to get back to the puzzle page? Right here.

What did you think?



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