Joust in Time for a Happy New Year!

by Martin Ashwood-Smith

This "late-week level" themeless puzzle (16x15), featuring an amazing quadruple stack in the middle, was released on New Year's Eve, 2013. It marks the debut on our pages of legendary constructor Martin Ashwood-Smith, who has been pushing the envelope of this genre for as long as I can remember trying to solve the New York Times puzzle on a regular basis. This puzzle was languishing on Martin's unpublished pile because Will Shortz had concerns about 40-Across for an American solving audience. After completing the puzzle (spoiler), click here and here and try to read between the lines to explain both the origins of the phrase in question as well as our title for Martin's puzzle.

Click here to view or download the puzzle in PDF format; here to download it as a puz file; here to download it as an ipuz file [requires the free Puzzazz app to solve]; here to solve the puzzle interactively (thanks to Jim Horne); here for the solution. A few members of our Barany and Friends Crosswords team [Marcia Brott, Michael Hanko, Brent Hartzell, Martin Herbach, and your host] scrambled to test solve the puzzle and make some of Martin's fiendishly difficult clues just a bit easier for science nerds.

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