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New York Times, Thursday, July 2, 2015

Author: Timothy Polin
Editor: Will Shortz
Timothy Polin
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3312/11/20112/21/20172
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1.61470
Puzzle of the Week

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 16 Words: 79, Blocks: 34 Missing: {JQX} This is puzzle # 15 for Mr. Polin. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes: I love me some Thursday trickery, forcing me to work for my a-ha moment. Tim does just that with INVISIBLE INK making the -INK letters ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

I love me some Thursday trickery, forcing me to work for my a-ha moment. Tim does just that with INVISIBLE INK making the -INK letters disappear in clues, leaving only single letters. [P] baffles, but when you add in the (invisible) INK, PINK indeed hints at MEDIUM RARE.

Are we SURE his first name doesn't start with G? Granklin, maybe?

I like that Tim chose NOT to use all possible "?INK" words — MINK and RINK are missing — getting a complete set would have been tempting, but would have likely forced many rough spots to fill. Seven themers is a huge task as it is.

I wouldn't expect much colorful fill given the difficulty of packing in seven themers, but I love Tim's arrangement, leaving the upper right and lower left corners ripe for good material. I didn't know DR. MARIO but it's fun. Along with REAR END and I HEAR YA, that's a lot of bonus material in just the two corners.

Tim also did well in selecting themers colorful enough that I'd expect to see them in themelesses. SPLIT SECOND, MEDIUM RARE, and STOOL PIGEON are all beautiful. FOUNDER and CONNECT didn't do a lot for me, but FOUNDER gave me a real head-scratching moment as GO UNDER felt much more fitting to the [S(INK)] clue.

Are we SURE there wasn't a President with initials = GDR?

No doubt, there are compromises. Between STOOL PIGEON and INVISIBLE INK is one obvious place I'd expect some glue, as there are so many answers that need to cross both themers. I never like seeing the odd ENROL, as I only see it as ENROLL outside crosswords. ORISON crossing IVES will likely cause some trouble too.

And in the symmetrical position, DARE ME sounds a bit made up. YOU DARE ME? sure. DARE ME, not so much. Generally though, I think Tim did a good job of navigating the trade-offs, using a whole lot of themers and keeping the gluey bits to a reasonable number considering the constraints.

Most of all, I appreciated the innovation and clever thinking behind the trick today. Hooray for tricksy Thursdays!

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© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 23,977
Across Down
1. Father of Erebus and Nyx, in Greek myth : CHAOS
6. Depression common during childhood : DIMPLE
12. New Deal prez : FDR
15. Tropical vine : LIANA
16. Mountain overlooking Yerevan : ARARAT
17. Buried treasure? : ORE
18. K : ECCENTRICITY
20. Actress Thurman : UMA
21. Buddy : ACE
22. Bit of derring-do : DEED
23. Advanced course : SEMINAR
25. Invalid : NULL
27. Protein constituent, informally : AMINO
29. "My Dinner With ___" (1981 film) : ANDRE
30. W : SPLITSECOND
33. Frank refusal? : NEIN
34. Endeavor : ESSAY
35. Studio fee : RENT
37. Part of a fasces : ROD
38. P : MEDIUMRARE
43. Word after open or hot : MIC
46. Overnight, say : SEND
47. Postgraduate ordeals : ORALS
51. "I'm dead" : UHOH
53. F : STOOLPIGEON
57. Trivial Pursuit edition : GENUS
59. Opposite of drop out : ENROL
60. Ectoplasm, e.g. : OOZE
61. Family feud? : GANGWAR
63. James Merritt ___, pioneering lithographer : IVES
65. Setting for a grassy knoll : LEA
66. Choler : IRE
67. What six of this puzzle's clues have been written with? : INVISIBLEINK
70. Where DeWitt Clinton was mayor: Abbr. : NYC
71. Easily attachable : SNAPON
72. Semblance : IMAGE
73. Roscoe : GAT
74. "Arrivederci!" : SOLONG
75. Professional pitch man? : TUNER
1. Detox, e.g. : CLEANSE
2. Affliction with many folk remedies : HICCUPS
3. Needs for many digital cameras : AACELLS
4. United : ONE
5. Beach blanket? : SAND
6. Cocksure challenge : DAREME
7. Containing element #77 : IRIDIC
8. Buddy : MAC
9. Kidnappee, e.g. : PRISONER
10. Partner of great : LATE
11. Root words : ETYMA
12. S : FOUNDER
13. Classic Nintendo game similar to Tetris : DRMARIO
14. Hit back? : REAREND
19. Society affairs : TEAS
24. Caravansary : INN
26. Novelist O'Flaherty : LIAM
28. What par isn't for most golfers : NORM
31. Sailors' ropes : TYES
32. Code material : DNA
36. Onetime lover of Riker on "Star Trek: T.N.G." : TROI
39. Some of the French? : DES
40. Octave, for one : INTERVAL
41. Soba alternative : UDON
42. By that logic : ERGO
43. Slice of ham? : MUGGING
44. "Tell me about it!" : IHEARYA
45. L : CONNECT
48. Wind-blown : AEOLIAN
49. Tough pill to swallow? : LOZENGE
50. Puma, e.g. : SNEAKER
52. Bear ___ : HUG
54. Devout supplication : ORISON
55. Enamored with : LOVING
56. Proletarian : PLEB
58. Deli selection : SWISS
62. Word on a headstone : ANNO
64. Use a scalpel on : SLIT
68. Corp. milestone : IPO
69. Big bird : EMU

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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