New York Times, Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Author: Victor Fleming
Editor: Will Shortz
Victor Fleming
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433/29/20053/13/201521
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73106656
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1.55023

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15, Words: 78, Blocks: 36 Missing: {QXZ} This is puzzle # 29 for Mr. Fleming. NYT links: Across Lite PDF

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Victor Fleming notes: This puzzle demonstrates how using 100% of available theme units can overcome a theme's low-excitement factor. I wanted to come up with seven ILSAs (in-the-language stand-alones), preferably all phrases (vs. hyphenated or compound words), each having as its first unit a different subject pronoun. I wanted to cross theme answers in each of two corners. The one iffy entry was SHE DEVILS, which seems to have etymologically evolved into a hyphenated word. However, if you glance through IMDb, you can find this word going both ways in movie titles over a 50-year period.

I submitted the puzzle to Will by mail in April or May of 2010. I had a cross-country road trip planned for late June, with stops in Williamsburg VA and Southbridge MA, en route to a golf weekend in Killington VT. I routed myself through Will's home town and invited him to dinner. He accepted. Before dinner, he gave me a tour of his puzzle factory, showing me his collection of old puzzles, and then pulled out an envelope with this puzzle in it. He critiqued it on the spot, accepting the puzzle, but asking for revisions in a few places. It's the only puzzle as to which I can claim an acceptance in person. (He also rejected three puzzles that afternoon, but let's not go there!) We had dinner at the Pleasantville Diner. I dropped him back at his house and then drove on to Southbridge.

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© 2011, The New York Times
Across Down
1. Some jazz : BOP
4. Opposite of alta : BAJA
8. Involuntary jerks : SPASMS
14. Singer with a negative-sounding name : ONO
15. Bunches : ALOT
16. Been-there-done-that : OLDHAT
17. Shout upon reaching a destination : WEMADEIT
19. Fix : REMEDY
20. Foot of verse : IAMB
21. Salon sound : SNIP
23. Give a hand : AID
24. Vote in : ELECT
26. "Wouldn't that be nice" : ICANDREAM
30. Exact look-alike : TWIN
32. Backs up another time, as computer data : RESAVES
33. Kind of duty or center : CIVIC
35. Basketball's Alcindor : LEW
36. Line to Penn Sta. : LIRR
37. Sandwich shop staple, in brief : BLT
38. Intro to many an adage : THEYSAY
41. "Don't gimme no ___!" : LIP
42. Fayetteville campus, briefly : UOFA
44. Suffix with brom- : IDE
45. "Duck, duck" follower : GOOSE
47. Taking potshots (at) : SNIPING
49. "The King and I" actress : KERR
50. 1998 Spike Lee joint : HEGOTGAME
52. When doubled, displaying affection, informally : KISSY
56. Trojan's sch. : USC
57. South African money : RAND
59. "Can't help ya!" : NOPE
60. Popular daytime talk show : MARTHA
63. "Well, look who's back!" : YOUAGAIN
65. Powered : FUELED
66. Follow : OBEY
67. Election Day no. : PCT
68. Size up : ASSESS
69. Baby naming, e.g. : RITE
70. "___, though I walk ..." : YEA
1. David who sang "Let's Dance" : BOWIE
2. Either "Paper Moon" co-star : ONEAL
3. French apple : POMME
4. Scolding word to a dog : BAD
5. Drinks for Chaucer's Miller : ALES
6. Add one's voice to others : JOININ
7. Dusty room, often : ATTIC
8. Frat. counterpart : SOR
9. Files a complaint, say : PLEADS
10. Four- or five-star officer : ADMIRAL
11. Wicked women : SHEDEVILS
12. Foaming at the mouth : MAD
13. Pig's place : STY
18. "Dancing With the Stars" airer : ABCTV
22. Whittles (down) : PARES
25. Knucklehead : TWIT
27. Like Enya's music : NEWAGE
28. Where eagles dare? : AERIE
29. Sticker inits. : MSRP
31. Ancient Chinese divination book : ICHING
33. Exact look-alike : CLONE
34. "Just my luck" : ITFIGURES
35. Caustic substance : LYE
37. Outback : BUSH
39. "J. ___," 2011 film : EDGAR
40. Part of N.Y.S.E. : YORK
43. One of 12 in the New Testament : APOSTLE
46. Circular gasket : ORING
48. Yens : ITCHES
49. Obi-Wan ___ : KENOBI
51. One called "hizzoner" : MAYOR
53. Covered with suds : SOAPY
54. Flavor enhancer : SPICE
55. Dirt spreader : YENTA
58. Piece played by a pair : DUET
60. Painter's deg. : MFA
61. Switz. neighbor : AUS
62. Side jobs for actors : ADS
64. Agreement with the captain : AYE

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