Alchemist’s Quest – The New York Times

Tricky Clues

■ 12A: Wordplay alert! In this clue, we’re not thinking about feeling emotionally detached. Today, a person in a “detached state” would be an ALASKAN.

■ 13A: Jordan Peele, formerly of the comedy team of Key and Peele, made his directorial debut in 2017 with the excellent movie “GET OUT,” which sort of turns the 1967 film “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?” into a horror flick.

■ 15A/25D: As I said, Americans who are not Harry Potter obsessives may be thinking of the first book and movie as “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” However, the actual legendary object is referred to as the Philosopher’s Stone.

Constructor Notes

I noticed that June 26 is the 20th anniversary of the release of the first Harry Potter book and decided to have a go at using it as a theme for my first daily New York Times puzzle. I have previously done three cryptic puzzles as the Variety Sunday Magazine puzzle.

With a great deal of patient help from Will Shortz, I managed to do it. Richard Rogan, current crossword editor of The Times of London, then accommodated my request to have a cryptic Harry Potter-related puzzle in The Times on the same day.

It was bad luck that the day in question was a Monday, in that Will simplified a lot of the clues, in line with The New York Times’s policy of an easy start to the week (of which I approve). My original clue for 62A was: “Today’s bottom line in movies.”

Hands Across the Water Puzzle-Solving

As part of the 20th anniversary celebration, The New York Times and The Times of London will be solving each other’s puzzles.

On Monday at 9 a.m. Eastern, the Puzzles Editor of The Times & The Sunday Times, David Parfitt, will be solving Mr. Greer’s New York Times crossword on The Times of London’s Facebook page. If you are not currently a New York Times Crossword subscriber but would like to try your hand at solving the Monday puzzle, the puzzle will be free to the public for two weeks. A link to the…

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