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New York Times, Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Author: Timothy Polin
Editor: Will Shortz
Timothy Polin
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
3212/11/20111/17/20172
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
42531602
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.62470

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 40 Missing: {JQVZ} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 32 for Mr. Polin. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes: WANKEN OBI has to be the most hilariously awkward phrase I've ever seen in crosswords. Ahem. Hopefully no geishas are doing the ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

WANKEN OBI has to be the most hilariously awkward phrase I've ever seen in crosswords. Ahem. Hopefully no geishas are doing the puzzle today.

Ah, CARRIE / FISHER. STAR WARS was the first movie I ever saw on the big screen, so PRINCESS LEIA is forever burned into my mind. The image of a strong woman kicking ass and taking names, awkwardly kissing her brother, those CINNAMON BUNS … she's the source of much of my therapy needs.

And it's neat how outspoken and don't-give-a-damn she was toward the end of her life. I'll miss her.

Some neat elements in this tribute. I liked the idea of the ST/AR W/A/R/S "opening crawl" (the prologue disappearing off to a vanishing point), although it sure would have been nice to get more than just STAR WARS in this format. (Unlike George Lucas's terrible opening crawls in Episodes I, II, and III, where I would have been much happier with just the title, no explanations of the senate deadlock and the galactic trade barriers and economic STOOOOOOOP!)

As much as I like STAR WARS quotes, breaking HELP ME OBI / WAN KENOBI / YOURE MY ONLY HOPE was odd. There doesn't appear to be any other way to break it up though, and this was one of LEIA's iconic quotes. Hmm. Maybe if mirror symmetry had been used, at least HELP ME OBI and WANKEN OBI (oops, I did it again!) could have been in the top half of the puzzle (going vertically), with YOURE MY ONLY HOPE at the bottom. That would have avoided the jump all the way to the bottom, then back to the middle.

I did like that CARRIE / FISHER was interlocked into that quote. Neat to see how fortuitously FISHER and PRINCESS LEIA linked together. That did force some inflexibility in the lower right corner, with the odd ALLEE, but I thought it was worth it. Carrie FISHER probably didn't like being called PRINCESS LEIA her entire life, but the two were eternally connected, no doubt.

Some neat ideas. They didn't all mesh together, but I appreciated the tribute.

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© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 24,542
Across Down
1. When Polonius says "Brevity is the soul of wit" : ACTII
6. Tusked beast : BOAR
10. Kind of threat : IDLE
14. Swoon : FAINT
15. Alan who played Captain Pierce : ALDA
16. Essential point : CRUX
17. Agonizes (over) : FRETS
18. With 61- and 37-Across, famous line by 53-Across in [see circled letters] : HELPMEOBI
20. The "E" in HOMES : ERIE
21. Nubian heroine of opera : AIDA
22. Family member who was probably adopted : PET
23. Hairstyle for 53-Across, colloquially : CINNAMONBUNS
28. Place where trials are conducted : TESTLAB
29. Hitting blackjack after blackjack, say : ONARUN
33. Michelangelo masterpiece : PIETA
36. A few : SOME
37. See 18-Across : YOUREMYONLYHOPE
43. Ambience : AURA
44. "Same here!" : SODOI
45. Is victorious in : WINSAT
48. Swindles : RIPOFFS
53. Iconic role for 2-/51-Down : PRINCESSLEIA
56. "What have we here?!" : OHO
59. Knock 'em dead : SLAY
60. Online crafts seller : ETSY
61. See 18-Across : WANKENOBI
64. Like old, neglected sweaters, maybe : MOTHY
65. Renaissance Faire instrument : LUTE
66. Sign of things to come : OMEN
67. Tree-lined walkway, in France : ALLEE
68. Make slo-o-o-ow progress : SLOG
69. Concealed mike : WIRE
70. Entitled sorts? : PEERS
1. Influence : AFFECT
2. With 51-Down, late, beloved actress : CARRIE
3. Certain marketing gimmicks : TIEINS
4. Hell-bent (on) : INTENT
5. "___ a trap!" : ITS
6. "Harrumph!" : BAH
7. Brand of artificial fat : OLEAN
8. Deal with a broken teleprompter, say : ADLIB
9. Rae Sremmurd, e.g. : RAPDUO
10. Makeup of the planet Hoth : ICE
11. Nosedive : DROP
12. Squeak stopper : LUBE
13. Turnoff for drivers : EXIT
19. "Doctor Faustus" novelist Thomas : MANN
24. Mont Blanc, e.g., to locals : ALPE
25. Cripple : MAIM
26. Heeds : OBEYS
27. Merit badge displayer : SASH
30. Figure on an Aussie Xing sign, perhaps : ROO
31. World Series official : UMP
32. Formerly named : NEE
34. "___ late!" : TOO
35. Tennis champ Agassi : ANDRE
37. Deviate during flight, as a rocket : YAW
38. Non's opposite : OUI
39. Coffee container : URN
40. Speak with a gravelly voice : RASP
41. Amy Adams's "Man of Steel" role : LOIS
42. Puppy sounds : YIPS
46. British derrière : ARSE
47. So far, informally : TILNOW
49. Chant after a fútbol goal : OLEOLE
50. In fine ___ (healthy) : FETTLE
51. See 2-Down : FISHER
52. Agree to a proposal : SAYYES
54. Country singer Judd : NAOMI
55. Modern lead-in to space or security : CYBER
56. Real head-turners? : OWLS
57. Drag : HAUL
58. Not deceived by : ONTO
62. Beer barrel : KEG
63. Having four sharps : INE
64. Reference in "Treasure Island" : MAP

Answer summary: 7 unique to this puzzle.

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