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New York Times, Saturday, November 23, 2013

Author: Frederick J. Healy
Editor: Will Shortz
Frederick J. Healy
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
135/24/20045/28/20160
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0100039
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.58000

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 27 Missing: {QWY} This is puzzle # 10 for Mr. Healy. NYT links: Across Lite PDF

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Will Shortz notes: My favorite entries here are JUJITSU, JAZZ AGE, TAKE AIM, NEAT IDEA, HANG TIME, GUESS SO, FAST CAR, BLITZEN, and ZANZIBAR. That's a ... more
Will Shortz notes: My favorite entries here are JUJITSU, JAZZ AGE, TAKE AIM, NEAT IDEA, HANG TIME, GUESS SO, FAST CAR, BLITZEN, and ZANZIBAR. That's a lot of great stuff. There are some minuses, too (the obscurish PIAS, the variant TABUS, and RESHOES). But overall, very handsome. The constructor, one of many Canadians who contribute crosswords to The Times, hails from Port Coquitlam, B.C.
Jeff Chen notes: Excellent use of snazzy 7's today. When I was a kid, the letter J fascinated me, and anyone named Jeff was immediately interesting. ... more
Jeff Chen notes: Excellent use of snazzy 7's today. When I was a kid, the letter J fascinated me, and anyone named Jeff was immediately interesting. Since there was no President named Jeff (just you wait until I get elected though*) Thomas Jefferson became my go-to favorite. So uncovering JUJITSU and JAZZ AGE across the top gave me a great first impression.

I personally find it difficult to construct themeless grids loaded with mid-length answers (length = 5-7) because it's so much easier for me to come up with strong 8's, 9's, and 10's. Multiple-word answers are often much better to my ear than single-word answers, and longer length facilitates that. Don't get me wrong, I like CEZANNE for its Scrabbly goodness and the impressions he makes (groaner pun intended) and JAKARTA / ZANZIBAR make for a great geographic pair. But I prefer more of the FAST CAR, ATE DIRT, GUESS SO kind of stuff over RANKLES, ELATION, EPSTEIN. Poor Arnold Horshack and Vinnie Barbarino, they get no respect compared to the common-lettered EPSTEIN.

Definite bonus points for the Scrabbly goodness all over. That double-J combination in the NW really constrains things, and Frederick does well to fill that corner relatively cleanly. ULALUME is probably much more crossword-famous than famous-famous, but that's okay. Any Poe work ought to be fair game for the NYT crossword.

As I tell my friends who say that they can't do crosswords, a lot of it is just putting in time and practice (don't forget enjoying it while you do!). Even a year ago I would have had a blind guess at the SPICA/LITA crossing, but something in the back of my head tingled, telling me that SPICA was "more of a word" than SPACA, SPECA or SPOCA. Call it crossword intuition, call it spidey-sense, or call it itchy head, but I call it the sweet scratch of success.

*I promise to break every law of physics during my administration

1
J
2
U
3
J
4
I
5
T
6
S
7
U
8
J
9
A
10
Z
11
Z
12
A
13
G
14
E
15
E
L
A
T
I
O
N
16
S
H
O
O
T
U
P
17
T
A
K
E
A
I
M
18
B
O
O
T
E
E
S
19
S
L
A
M
S
20
A
21
L
A
R
M
22
D
S
T
23
F
U
R
S
24
S
P
I
C
A
25
V
I
S
E
26
A
M
T
27
D
E
P
T
H
28
F
A
R
S
I
29
N
E
A
30
T
I
D
E
A
31
S
A
L
T
O
N
32
A
C
E
D
33
Z
A
N
E
34
F
35
I
36
B
B
E
R
37
H
A
N
G
T
38
I
39
M
40
E
41
A
P
L
U
S
42
P
A
N
T
S
43
C
O
X
44
S
A
I
S
45
L
A
N
Z
A
46
B
A
R
T
47
T
N
T
48
A
U
S
S
I
49
P
E
N
T
E
50
C
E
Z
51
A
N
N
E
52
B
53
U
I
L
T
I
N
54
A
M
E
R
I
G
O
55
A
T
A
C
O
S
T
56
R
A
N
K
L
E
S
57
R
E
S
H
O
E
S
© 2013, The New York TimesNo. 23,391
Across Down
1. It includes pinning and throwing : JUJITSU
8. "Chicago" setting : JAZZAGE
15. Rapture : ELATION
16. Skyrocket : SHOOTUP
17. Prepare to pull the trigger : TAKEAIM
18. Couple seen at a baby shower : BOOTEES
19. Hard knocks : SLAMS
20. It might hold up a holdup : ALARM
22. Reason for a semiannual shift: Abbr. : DST
23. Skunk and such : FURS
24. Star in Virgo : SPICA
25. Aid in getting a grip : VISE
26. Check spec. : AMT
27. Abyss : DEPTH
28. Modern Persian : FARSI
29. "That's clever!" : NEATIDEA
31. California's ___ Sea (rift lake) : SALTON
32. Got a 41-Across on : ACED
33. Billy who played the Phantom in "The Phantom" : ZANE
34. Person with small inventions : FIBBER
37. Slam dunk stat : HANGTIME
41. Benchmark mark : APLUS
42. They have seats : PANTS
43. Crew's director : COX
44. "Que ___-je?" ("What do I know?": Fr.) : SAIS
45. "The Great Caruso" title role player : LANZA
46. Perpetual 10-year-old of TV : BART
47. Wile E. Coyote buy : TNT
48. Too, to Thérèse : AUSSI
49. Board game with black and white stones : PENTE
50. Pupil of Pissarro : CEZANNE
52. Like many laptop cameras : BUILTIN
54. First name among Italian explorers : AMERIGO
55. With ramifications : ATACOST
56. Galls : RANKLES
57. Does some farrier's work on : RESHOES
1. One feeling 15-Across after Super Bowl III : JETSFAN
2. Title name written "on the door of this legended tomb," in poetry : ULALUME
3. Home of Southeast Asia's largest mosque : JAKARTA
4. News briefs : ITEMS
5. Colombian kinfolk : TIAS
6. "___ see" : SOI
7. Like the human genome, before the 1990s : UNMAPPED
8. "St. John Passion" composer : JSBACH
9. Now, to Nicolás : AHORA
10. Choice for a long shot : ZOOM
11. Sound in the comic "B.C." : ZOT
12. Groveled : ATEDIRT
13. Tepid consent : GUESSSO
14. Sitcom pal of Barbarino and Horshack : EPSTEIN
21. Grammy-nominated Ford : LITA
24. No-yeast feast : SEDER
25. Parking meeter? : VALET
27. Cuts up : DICES
28. Adder's defense : FANGS
30. They're off-limits: Var. : TABUS
31. Pole star? : SANTA
33. Its main island is Unguja : ZANZIBAR
34. Asset in a drag contest : FASTCAR
35. Whence a girl who's "like a samba," in song : IPANEMA
36. Member of 31-Down's team : BLITZEN
37. Geiger of Geiger counter fame : HANS
38. "You're not the only one!" : ICANTOO
39. Recess for a joint : MORTISE
40. Reaches : EXTENTS
42. Leisurely strolls : PASEOS
45. It's often parried : LUNGE
46. Impolite interruption : BELCH
48. Indigo source : ANIL
49. Spinal cord surrounders : PIAS
51. Rescue vessel? : ARK
53. Relative of Aztec : UTE

Answer summary: 1 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later.

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