New York Times, Saturday, February 15, 2014

Author: Julian Lim
Editor: Will Shortz
Julian Lim
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This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 70, Blocks: 30 Missing: {JQ} This is puzzle # 14 for Mr. Lim. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Julian Lim notes: I constructed this puzzle almost 3 years ago, and my main memory of it is having a titanic struggle completing the southwest and ... more
Julian Lim notes: I constructed this puzzle almost 3 years ago, and my main memory of it is having a titanic struggle completing the southwest and northeast corners after starting to fill the grid from the center. As a result, I think there's more ugly short stuff than I'd like in a themeless I'd construct today, particularly the yukky AN ILL. C'est la vie. I am happy that KAMA SUTRA made it into print with my original clue, which still kind of amuses me. (Or maybe I'm just easily amused.)

The eagle-eyed may have noticed that both this themeless and my last one have drug names debuted in them (CIALIS and now PAXIL) — I'm not shilling for any drug companies though, honest! On the other hand, I am generally plugging any graphic novelists/novels that find their way into my grids, so if you haven't read anything by ALAN MOORE, please do so immediately.

Jeff Chen notes: Some beautiful entries today, my favorite being the SOUP NAZI from Seinfeld. Kind of a surprise it's taken this long to show its ... more
Jeff Chen notes: Some beautiful entries today, my favorite being the SOUP NAZI from Seinfeld. Kind of a surprise it's taken this long to show its face. What a nice exercise to rack my memory, going through all my favorites: MR MOVIEFONE, NEWMAN, BANYA, FESTIVUS POLE, STEINBRENNER. Love it when a crossword brings a little bit of joy into my life.

It's not often that I get surprised by a seven-letter entry, because it's hard to find debut stuff in the shorter lengths. But HOUSE MD got me with its bizarre ???SEMD ending. Really nice moment when it came to me that HOUSE wasn't just HOUSE at all.

Some beautiful clues today. I've come to love Saturday puzzles (even though I can't always finish them without a little help) because they more often than not are loaded with tricky wordplay clues. "Position papers?" is such a great clue for KAMA SUTRA, and we get another one right below in "Vanity case?" for EGOMANIAC. And then we get my favorite, "Members of a joint task force?" for NARCS, with "joint" in the "doobie" meaning. Really fun.

As with most themelesses, we get a smattering of "glue" type entries. ENOTES has such friendly letters, and Julian/Will do well to try to rescue it with a term actually used by a few internet companies. Still, it doesn't quite hold up to my understanding of modern usage. ETAIL is perfectly fine with me, perhaps because I see that term all the time in the NYT and WSJ, but ENOTES... I'm still not convinced.

The name pile-up in the SW corner is going to get some people, too. It's good that MELLON, CEE-LO, ESSEN, NELLE, and ST BONIFACE are all drawn from different areas, but it's not ideal. A very tough corner to fill though, given the big chunk of white space with FORELIMBS running through it.

Why has NO SOUP FOR YOU never been in a NYT themeless? A travesty! NO SOUP FOR YOU CONSTRUCTORS!

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© 2014, The New York TimesNo. 23,475
Across Down
1. Position papers? : KAMASUTRA
10. Joneses : LONGS
15. Vanity case? : EGOMANIAC
16. When Epifanía is celebrated : ENERO
17. Picayune : PENNYANTE
18. Not barred : LEGAL
19. Low prime, in Paris : TROIS
20. Newfoundland, in Naples and Nogales : TERRANOVA
22. Grp. that suspended Honduras from 2009 to '11 : OAS
24. Messages using Stickies, say : ENOTES
25. Certain guy "ISO" someone : SWM
28. Emmy-nominated show every year from 2006 to '09 : HOUSEMD
32. Suffix with 18-Across : IST
33. Just-once link : THIS
35. Beta testers, e.g. : USERS
36. Steely Dan's title liar : KATY
37. One blowing up a lottery machine? : BALL
38. Prozac alternative : PAXIL
39. Winnebago relative : OTOE
40. Odds and ends : OLIO
41. Clan female : NIECE
42. Mexican president Enrique ___ Nieto : PENA
43. Clear : NET
44. Crane settings : MARSHES
46. Van follower, often : DER
47. Japanese guitar brand : IBANEZ
49. Toy type, for short : POM
51. Flippers, e.g. : FORELIMBS
55. Members of a joint task force? : NARCS
59. "It's ___ wind ..." : ANILL
60. Dole : RATIONOUT
62. Green with five Grammys : CEELO
63. Writer of the graphic novel "Watchmen" : ALANMOORE
64. Home to the Villa Hügel : ESSEN
65. Outdoor contemplation location : ZENGARDEN
1. Didn't spoil : KEPT
2. Sun or stress : AGER
3. MSG ingredient? : MONO
4. Certain DNA test : AMNIO
5. Follows a physical request? : SAYSAH
6. ___ vez más (over again: Sp.) : UNA
7. Photoshop addition : TINT
8. Mention on Yelp, say : RATE
9. Aspire PC maker : ACER
10. Tycoon Stanford : LELAND
11. Bridge opening option, briefly : ONENO
12. Managed to get through : NEGOTIATED
13. Where to read a plot summary? : GRAVESTONE
14. Totally out : SOLASTYEAR
21. Overnight activity : REMSLEEP
23. Iconic "Seinfeld" role : SOUPNAZI
25. Eighth-century Apostle of Germany : STBONIFACE
26. Old collar stiffeners : WHALEBONES
27. Engagement parties? : MILITARIES
29. Company that added four letters to its name in 1997 : USAIR
30. Sides in a classic battle : SEXES
31. Longtime Cincinnati Pops conductor Kunzel : ERICH
34. Pavement caution : SLO
36. One of a silent force? : KOP
44. Longtime name in banking : MELLON
45. Its seat is Santa Rosa : SONOMA
48. Lawyer on "Ally McBeal" : NELLE
50. No modest abode : MANOR
52. 2009 Grammy winner for "Make It Mine" : MRAZ
53. Farm block : BALE
54. "Mr. Mom" director Dragoti : STAN
56. Cross : ROOD
57. Purpose of many a shot : CURE
58. Old carbine : STEN
61. End to end? : ING

Answer summary: 10 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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