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New York Times, Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Author: Zhouqin Burnikel
Editor: Will Shortz
Zhouqin Burnikel
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
3811/13/20121/30/201715
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51495311
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.56261
Puzzle of the Week

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 34 Missing: {JQUX} Spans: 3 This is puzzle # 30 for Ms. Burnikel. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Zhouqin Burnikel notes: I normally avoid 3/6/4 edge breakup, but the theme intersection in this grid made the design necessary. It gave me the smoothest fill.
Jeff Chen notes: This one triggered a smile in my heart, as one of my very first puzzles used a similar pronunciation twist. I liked C.C.'s ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

This one triggered a smile in my heart, as one of my very first puzzles used a similar pronunciation twist. I liked C.C.'s interpretation, FORESEES describing the four letter Cs in ANTARCTIC CIRCLE, FORTIES = four Ts in THAT'S A MOOT POINT, and FORAYS = four As in FANTASY BASEBALL. Nice touch to have each "descriptor" cross its theme answer.

The OORT cloud

C.C. does a very nice job today with her grid. Not easy to work with crossing theme pairs, and to use three sets is tricky. FORESEES is particularly challenging, since it's so long. Good work in incorporating FORESEES, so it crosses both ANTARCTIC CIRCLE and THAT'S A MOOT POINT.

Even with those constraints, C.C. still worked in some bonuses. STRIKE TWO and STREET ROD were much appreciated bonuses during my solve.

I've noticed that C.C. has really been cleaning up her grids. It used to be that I'd notice a good handful of gluey bits here and there, but today's grid is very nice. Not even much minor SRS or TOR kind of stuff — well done. Some might balk at the OORT cloud, but it's a huge "object" in astronomy, and the crossings are fair.

Well, KESHA / VEDA and AVA / VONAGE might be tough for some. Even I've heard of KESHA (not that I could tell you if she's an actress, singer, or dancer), but I paused for a long moment before typing in that V of AVA / VONAGE. I wonder if VONAGE is more ubiquitous in other regions of the country.

And I did wonder why these particular theme phrases. There are a ton of phrases containing exactly four Cs in no particular order, same with T and A. It would have been nice to get more tightness, like if there were two words with pairs of Cs, or phrases with four Cs spaced every other letter apart, or something.

But it was really fun to see how a different constructor started with the same seed idea, and took it in such a different and interesting direction. This puzzle is my favorite of the week, so congrats to C.C. for her fifth POW!

1
A
2
V
3
A
4
F
5
A
6
M
7
I
8
N
9
E
10
S
11
A
12
M
13
E
14
M
O
C
15
O
C
E
L
O
T
16
T
R
A
Y
17
A
N
T
18
A
R
C
T
I
C
C
19
I
R
C
L
E
20
Z
A
I
R
E
21
H
A
H
22
R
E
S
T
S
23
E
G
O
I
S
24
M
25
D
E
26
F
O
E
27
D
E
N
28
E
E
29
L
30
O
N
T
31
A
32
P
33
E
34
S
E
N
A
35
T
36
O
R
37
R
H
E
A
38
T
39
H
40
A
T
S
A
M
O
O
T
41
P
O
I
N
T
42
H
A
I
R
43
C
A
R
R
I
E
D
44
E
N
D
I
45
V
E
46
T
E
N
47
F
48
A
49
T
50
K
E
S
51
H
52
A
53
S
I
54
M
O
N
E
55
I
56
R
57
K
E
D
58
O
R
59
E
60
T
O
R
T
S
61
F
A
N
T
A
62
S
Y
B
A
63
S
E
B
A
L
L
64
S
N
O
W
65
P
A
Y
S
I
N
66
Y
E
A
67
O
T
T
O
68
A
S
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69
S
R
S
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 24,298
Across Down
1. DuVernay who directed "Selma" : AVA
4. Cause of 1840s-'50s emigration from Ireland : FAMINE
10. "___ difference!" : SAME
14. Comfy shoe : MOC
15. Spotted wildcat : OCELOT
16. Airline seat part : TRAY
17. Where the midnight sun can be observed : ANTARCTICCIRCLE
20. African nation renamed in 1997 : ZAIRE
21. "As if!" : HAH
22. Chills out : RESTS
23. Diva's problem : EGOISM
25. Daniel who created Friday : DEFOE
27. Place for a trophy case : DEN
28. ___ pie (old British dish) : EEL
30. Like early audiobooks : ONTAPE
34. One out of 100 : SENATOR
37. Actress Seehorn of "Better Call Saul" : RHEA
38. "No need to discuss it" : THATSAMOOTPOINT
42. It may be put in a bun : HAIR
43. Won, as a voting demographic : CARRIED
44. Bitter salad green : ENDIVE
46. Decimal base : TEN
47. "___ chance!" : FAT
50. Singer with the #1 hit "TiK ToK" : KESHA
53. Nina of jazz : SIMONE
55. Ticked off : IRKED
58. Great Lakes freighter load, perhaps : ORE
60. Grounds for lawsuits : TORTS
61. Rotisserie League game : FANTASYBASEBALL
64. Pre-cable TV problem : SNOW
65. Contributes, as to a pool : PAYSIN
66. Roll call vote : YEA
67. "The Simpsons" bus driver : OTTO
68. State confidently : ASSERT
69. Most univ. applicants : SRS
1. Bowled over : AMAZED
2. Internet-based phone provider : VONAGE
3. Kung fu movie genre : ACTION
4. What 17-Across has, phonetically : FORESEES
5. Georgia Tech's athletic org. : ACC
6. Crystal ___ : METH
7. Tale of Troy : ILIAD
8. Night, in Nicaragua : NOCHE
9. And more, briefly : ETC
10. Souped-up vintage auto : STREETROD
11. Jump shot paths : ARCS
12. Brewer's ingredient : MALT
13. Some glass prostheses : EYES
18. Singer Grande, to fans : ARI
19. Pitching wedge, for one : IRON
24. Poses a danger to : MENACES
26. What 38-Across has, phonetically : FORTIES
29. Mantra-chanting priest : LAMA
31. Tuna at sushi bars : AHI
32. Word with pig or play : PEN
33. Absorb, as a loss : EAT
34. Worrisome call at home : STRIKETWO
35. Only non-U.S. M.L.B. team, on scoreboards : TOR
36. ___ cloud (source of comets) : OORT
38. Article with no equivalent in Russian : THE
39. Chinese dynasty after the Qin : HAN
40. Rescuer's offering : AID
41. Showing sorrow : PENITENT
45. Hindu sacred writing : VEDA
47. What 61-Across has, phonetically : FORAYS
48. Half a rack, to a hunter : ANTLER
49. Cars since 2006 : TESLAS
51. Georgetown athletes : HOYAS
52. "We have the meats" fast-food chain : ARBYS
54. Unruly bunch : MOB
55. "In that case ..." : IFSO
56. Go on a tirade : RANT
57. Macramé feature : KNOT
59. Stress-free state : EASE
62. Place to wear a wrap : SPA
63. Elton John title : SIR

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later, 4 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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