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New York Times, Friday, January 9, 2015

Author: Patrick Berry
Editor: Will Shortz
Patrick Berry
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
2207/11/19993/3/20172
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
711241673512
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.54980
Puzzle of the Week

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 66, Blocks: 28 Missing: {JQ} This is puzzle # 193 for Mr. Berry. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick NYT links: Across Lite PDF

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Jeff Chen notes: I don't know how he does it. Stacks of 12/13/12 are hard enough to accomplish in one direction. But to do it in both the horizontal ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

I don't know how he does it. Stacks of 12/13/12 are hard enough to accomplish in one direction. But to do it in both the horizontal and vertical directions, crossing each other? It's an impressive visual feast, executed with both smoothness and lively fill.

Space Invaders screen shot

How is this possible? Maybe Patrick leans heavily on the RSTLN E common letters, as he has sometimes done in the past? (Not that there's anything really wrong with that, as he always picks out colorful entries.) Well, no. There's a V in the marquee SPACE INVADERS, making it both a semi-Scrabbly and a lively entry.

Another trick constructors employ is to section off tricky areas in order to work more easily with them. Nope, that's not it – check out how much real estate floats around the middle. The flow is not choked off at all, and that middle is chock full of five-letter words, not a four or a three serving as a crutch.

Black magic is the only remaining answer.

And he doesn't stop there — each of the four quadrants is packed with almost the same level of goodness as any normal person's themeless corners. EYE COLOR and SEAN PENN make a great pairing in the SE. And STORY ARC and PANIC BAR are such lively answers. Even the potentially neutral ODOMETER turns into an asset with its colorful clue, related to the "clocking" crime.

Sure, there is a bit of wastage in the long slots, entries like DRESSES and … well, STATION HOUSES is a little dry. (Plus it feels somewhat duplicative of the HOMES in STARTER HOMES.) But overall, there's a double-digit count of snappy entries, a visual wow factor in the middle of the grid, and super-smooth fill. I resolved to spread around the POWs a bit more this year, but I couldn't help myself with this one.

1
F
2
L
3
O
4
T
5
S
6
A
7
M
8
C
9
H
10
E
11
O
12
P
13
S
14
R
A
R
A
A
V
I
15
S
16
H
E
L
D
I
N
17
I
N
E
X
P
E
R
T
18
E
L
M
O
R
E
19
S
K
I
E
S
20
R
A
21
H
A
L
22
M
A
E
23
K
E
D
S
24
G
O
T
A
T
25
B
E
N
Z
26
S
R
A
27
P
E
R
I
L
28
B
A
T
H
E
29
B
A
L
M
O
F
30
G
I
L
E
A
D
31
S
32
P
A
C
E
I
N
V
A
D
E
R
S
33
S
T
A
R
T
E
R
H
O
M
E
S
34
T
O
N
E
S
35
R
O
L
E
S
36
N
37
I
38
L
39
A
R
I
D
40
F
O
U
L
S
41
C
A
P
E
42
N
Y
C
43
C
U
R
S
E
44
A
L
P
H
A
45
Z
A
B
46
A
R
S
47
E
Y
48
E
C
O
L
O
R
49
A
R
A
R
A
T
50
S
E
A
N
P
E
N
N
51
S
C
R
E
W
Y
52
D
R
E
S
S
E
S
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 23,803
Across Down
1. Refuse on the surface : FLOTSAM
8. The Great Pyramid was his tomb : CHEOPS
14. Singular find : RARAAVIS
16. Constrained : HELDIN
17. Amateurish : INEXPERT
18. ___ James, the so-called "King of the Slide Guitar" : ELMORE
19. They're "friendly" in an ad campaign : SKIES
20. Indy 500 winner Bobby : RAHAL
22. Ginnie ___ (home loan source) : MAE
23. Footwear brand since 1916 : KEDS
24. Intimated : GOTAT
25. Auto engine pioneer : BENZ
26. Mrs., abroad : SRA
27. Cause for alarm : PERIL
28. Immerse oneself : BATHE
29. Resin-yielding tree whose name comes from the Bible : BALMOFGILEAD
31. 1978 arcade classic from Japan : SPACEINVADERS
33. Inaugural addresses? : STARTERHOMES
34. Mutes, with "down" : TONES
35. "Inside the Actors Studio" topics : ROLES
36. Zippo : NIL
39. Unimaginative : ARID
40. Court no-nos : FOULS
41. Elvis impersonator's accessory : CAPE
42. Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge locale, for short : NYC
43. Give a damn? : CURSE
44. Angular acceleration symbol : ALPHA
45. Famous Manhattan deli : ZABARS
47. Driver's license info : EYECOLOR
49. Dormant Turkish volcano : ARARAT
50. "Milk" man : SEANPENN
51. Haywire : SCREWY
52. Department store window display : DRESSES
1. Checks for heat, say : FRISKS
2. Not so filled out : LANKER
3. Maker of Pixie Crinkles : OREIDA
4. "What we pay for civilized society," per Oliver Wendell Holmes : TAXES
5. Lunkheads : SAPS
6. Long-ago greeting : AVE
7. 2012 film adaptation of "Snow White" : MIRRORMIRROR
8. Deviate from Hoyle : CHEAT
9. Fire place? : HELL
10. Slippery ___ (herbal remedy source) : ELM
11. What's manipulated in the crime known as "clocking" : ODOMETER
12. Hunting school? : PIRANHAS
13. Brought blessings upon oneself? : SNEEZED
15. Law offices? : STATIONHOUSES
21. Made a speedy return? : HALFVOLLEYED
24. Aspic ___ (savory French dish) : GELEE
25. Rolls in a field : BALES
27. Diplomatic triumphs : PACTS
28. Waits : BIDES
29. Made fully visible : BARED
30. Hearts and spades, e.g. : GAMES
31. Thread in a series : STORYARC
32. Emergency exit feature : PANICBAR
33. They make up poetry : STANZAS
36. Kingdom of the Two Sicilies capital : NAPLES
37. Product introduced with the line "And now, we're going to bring multi-touch to the market" : IPHONE
38. Gathers nuggets : LEARNS
40. Rigidly old-fashioned : FUSTY
41. Bridle path sounds : CLOPS
43. Esophageal pouch : CRAW
44. Marks of adolescence : ACNE
46. "Blessed ___ ..." (1971 Joan Baez album) : ARE
48. Where to find Darwin's tubercle : EAR

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later, 4 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?

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