New York Times, Saturday, November 2, 2013

Author: Tom Heilman
Editor: Will Shortz
Thomas Heilman
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
78/21/200711/2/20130
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0110014
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.65000

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 27 Missing: {FZ} This is puzzle # 7 for Mr. Heilman. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Thomas Heilman notes: I don't often work on themeless grids that contain blocks of 8 and 7 letter entries. I usually like to drop in rows of 9s or 10s ... more
Thomas Heilman notes: I don't often work on themeless grids that contain blocks of 8 and 7 letter entries. I usually like to drop in rows of 9s or 10s and then a few longer entries that intersect quadrants, but the combination of SQUABBLE and QUIBBLE took hold of me, and I decided to run with this grid.

I did manage a couple of longer entries, and I was particularly pleased to include WUNDERBAR. I like to fill the bottom SE quadrant entry early in the process, and I thought PET PEEVE was a lovely entry there. I like two word entries, and all of those Es serving as nice solid endings for the Down entries in that quadrant came in very handy. Other entries that pleased me were STUCK-UP and KIDULT, that last entry being particularly appropriate for me at age 58 since I am looking forward to upgrading to a PS4 and Xbox One soon.

Will Shortz notes: Some of the entries I like here are SQUABBLE, JAMCAM, TIP SHEET, KIDULT, WUNDERBAR, EXQUISITE, K RATIONS, UTTER ROT, NOOGIE, EAT IT ... more
Will Shortz notes: Some of the entries I like here are SQUABBLE, JAMCAM, TIP SHEET, KIDULT, WUNDERBAR, EXQUISITE, K RATIONS, UTTER ROT, NOOGIE, EAT IT UP, COULD BE, ALL-STAR, ONE MORE and TO TASTE. And there's almost nothing that's bad. That's fancy puzzle-making.
Jeff Chen notes: You had me at 'Result of knuckling down' = NOOGIE. As a writer of middle grade fiction (for ages 8-12), any reference including but ... more
Jeff Chen notes: You had me at "Result of knuckling down" = NOOGIE. As a writer of middle grade fiction (for ages 8-12), any reference including but not limited to wedgies, spitwads, atomic wedgies, noogies, or wet willies tickles me (much to the chagrin of my poor wife).

Some very nice clues today, "Sniffing a lot" for STUCK UP being my second favorite, and "'As you like it' phrase" a devilishly clever clue. It took me the longest time to realize that it was "As you like it", not "As You Like It" (capitalized). Very well done.

A observation regarding ECARTE: note the preponderance of high-frequency letters, just the C being a touch out of the realm of common. This makes it ideal to use as a piece of fill, something that helps glue a part of the grid together. I personally would love to see less of it though, given that ECARTE is about as common (I think) as the other outdated xw card game staple, ONE-O-CAT. I love cards (contract bridge being one of my favorite pastimes outside of xws), but as crosswords evolve, I'd like to see constructors use these two only in the tightest of pinches.

Themeless constructors face so many trade-offs within a single puzzle. SQUABBLE over EUPHORIA over TIP SHEET is such a nice triplet. I'm sure glad all the crossings were fair for BOHM though, as he doesn't quite feel gridworthy to me. Just one person's opinion, of course (and that of a person who giggles at a NOOGIE).

Some nice debut words today, JAMCAM being new to me but a term I've decided I really like. TIP SHEET is another great one. As a reminder, entries never before seen in the NYT Shortz era appear in red below. It's fun to be the first person to introduce a fresh, snappy answer, especially when it's the seed entry to a themeless.

1
S
2
Q
3
U
4
A
5
B
6
B
7
L
8
E
9
J
10
A
11
M
12
C
13
A
14
M
15
E
U
P
H
O
R
I
A
16
O
R
I
O
L
E
17
T
I
P
S
H
E
E
T
18
K
I
D
U
L
T
19
B
B
S
20
M
A
L
I
21
C
E
22
E
L
S
E
23
A
B
A
24
S
25
K
O
T
O
26
H
A
D
T
O
27
I
L
L
I
28
N
29
W
U
N
30
D
E
R
B
A
R
31
L
E
A
N
O
32
N
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P
I
E
R
34
E
R
S
35
S
O
U
36
P
37
C
L
O
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P
39
S
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E
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A
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G
T
O
43
S
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L
I
T
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O
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U
47
T
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E
X
Q
49
U
I
S
I
T
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E
51
C
A
N
S
O
52
A
T
U
N
E
53
S
U
C
54
H
55
S
E
T
T
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G
R
I
P
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D
E
C
A
Y
58
S
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M
I
A
60
R
E
V
I
61
S
E
62
K
R
A
T
63
I
O
N
S
64
A
M
E
L
I
E
65
U
T
T
E
R
R
O
T
66
M
E
R
E
S
T
67
P
E
T
P
E
E
V
E
© 2013, The New York TimesNo. 23,370
Across Down
1. Insignificant row : SQUABBLE
9. Traffic reporter's aid : JAMCAM
15. Big rush, maybe : EUPHORIA
16. Twin's rival : ORIOLE
17. Offerer of stock advice : TIPSHEET
18. Grown-up who's not quite grown up : KIDULT
19. No big shot? : BBS
20. Nasty intentions : MALICE
22. Threatening word : ELSE
23. Overseas rebellion cry : ABAS
25. One may be played by a geisha : KOTO
26. Wasn't given a choice : HADTO
27. "You Be ___" (1986 hip-hop hit) : ILLIN
29. Super German? : WUNDERBAR
31. Pressure : LEANON
33. Launch site : PIER
34. Where many airways are cleared, briefly : ERS
35. Antithesis of 32-Down : SOUP
37. Common sound in Amish country : CLOP
39. Large amount : SEA
42. Classics with 389 engines : GTOS
44. Scrammed : LITOUT
48. Like Fabergé eggs : EXQUISITE
51. Schoolyard retort : CANSO
52. Carry ___ : ATUNE
53. So great : SUCH
55. Paving block : SETT
56. Golf lesson topic : GRIP
57. Goes downhill : DECAYS
59. Troubling post-engagement status, briefly : MIA
60. Doctor : REVISE
62. They were labeled "Breakfast," "Dinner" and "Supper" : KRATIONS
64. 2002 César winner for Best Film : AMELIE
65. Real rubbish : UTTERROT
66. Least significant : MEREST
67. It really gets under your skin : PETPEEVE
1. Determine the value of freedom? : SETBAIL
2. Carp : QUIBBLE
3. Scandinavia's oldest university : UPPSALA
4. Sneeze lead-ins : AHS
5. Austrian conductor Karl : BOHM
6. Recess : BREAK
7. Be quiet, say : LIELOW
8. Savor the flattery : EATITUP
9. It's bad when nobody gets it : JOKE
10. "The Guilt Trip" actress Graynor : ARI
11. Like some cartilage piercings : MIDEAR
12. "Possibly" : COULDBE
13. Dream team member : ALLSTAR
14. Planet threateners : METEORS
21. Like a top : CONIC
24. Stain producers : SINS
26. Gallant : HEROIC
28. Result of knuckling down? : NOOGIE
30. Hollow : DELL
32. Antithesis of 35-Across : NUTS
36. Pageant judging criterion : POISE
38. Ed supporters : PTAS
39. Park Avenue's ___ Building : SEAGRAM
40. Radical : EXTREME
41. Shaking : AQUIVER
43. Sniffing a lot : STUCKUP
45. What a slightly shy person may request : ONEMORE
46. 1967 Emmy winner for playing Socrates : USTINOV
47. "As you like it" phrase : TOTASTE
49. What a bunch of footballers might do : UNPILE
50. Game in which the lowest card is 7 : ECARTE
54. Marriott rival : HYATT
57. Preventer of many bites : DEET
58. Bit of action : STEP
61. Household name? : SIS
63. Soreness : IRE

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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