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New York Times, Saturday, August 22, 2015

Author: Barry C. Silk
Editor: Will Shortz
Barry C. Silk
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
929/1/20037/8/20166
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
358532741
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.651215

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 70, Blocks: 28 Missing: none – this is a pangram Scrabble average: 1.93 This is puzzle # 88 for Mr. Silk. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Barry C. Silk notes: I constructed this puzzle in March 2014. My seeds for this puzzle were HJ HEINZ and CHANNEL SURF. My goal was to have a ... more
Barry C. Silk notes:

I constructed this puzzle in March 2014. My seeds for this puzzle were HJ HEINZ and CHANNEL SURF.

My goal was to have a themeless puzzle with a high "Scrabble average." Fortunately, I was able to produce a pangram and include a few longer entries making their NYT debut: IRISH JIGS, EVOTE, HJHEINZ, CHANNEL SURF, RUN AGROUND, JAZZ QUARTET and JUNIPER OIL.

Jeff Chen notes: Barry is known for his desire to work in high Scrabble value letters, and he does so in spades today. At least one each of the four ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Barry is known for his desire to work in high Scrabble value letters, and he does so in spades today. At least one each of the four bigs (J Q X Z), and the six Js is amazing. Typically these Scrabbly letters aren't easy to work cleanly into a grid, so it's really impressive that I only hitched a few times during my solve.

The King of Swing, looking almost as dapper as Barry Silk

I especially appreciated how much care Barry took with his shorter fill, only SYS, ENES and SKEDS blips on my radar. Yes, RAYE and IVES are a bit on the older side, but they are definitely famous people. Where I winced slightly was hitting some of the mid-length stuff:

E-VOTE: is this a thing? "e-voting" seems to be legit. E-VOTE … for my money's worth, the jury's still out.

UNREELS: okay, this appears to be fine. It just seemed odd to me.

BOATEL: again, this term (a "boat hotel") is just not in my wheelhouse.

PUNNER or a PUNSTER? Merriam Webster defines PUNNER as "a ramming tool." Huh.

That said, I'd usually take questionable mid-length stuff that I don't see that often over questionable short stuff I see day in, day out. At least it's fun to try to decide if something like BOATEL or PUNNER is legit.

Beautiful entries featuring those Scrabbly letters, JAZZ QUARTET accounting for a J, a Q, and two Zs alone. Barry is smart with his placement of these tough letters, usually dropping them in right at the beginning or ending of a word. Makes his job much easier.

Finally, a great clue: [Not pass the bar?]. I thought about the corner bar first, then the legal bar, and it took me forever to land on a sand bar (thus RUNning AGROUND). A majority of this puzzle's cluing was simply ultra-hard, and it would have been great to get a few more fantastically creative clues like this. I like a solving challenge, but I love me a clever clue.

1
I
2
R
3
I
4
S
5
H
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J
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I
8
G
9
S
10
A
11
C
12
R
13
E
14
S
15
D
A
V
Y
J
O
N
E
S
16
C
H
U
C
K
17
E
Y
E
S
H
A
D
O
W
18
C
A
N
O
E
19
A
E
S
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E
N
E
S
21
D
O
N
A
L
D
22
J
I
N
X
23
L
O
U
N
G
E
S
24
G
25
I
26
J
A
N
E
27
P
U
N
N
E
R
28
A
B
U
Z
Z
29
F
L
I
N
T
L
O
30
C
31
K
32
B
E
N
Z
33
C
E
A
S
E
34
S
U
R
E
35
E
T
I
Q
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U
E
T
T
E
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T
U
N
E
R
38
P
U
N
D
I
T
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B
O
R
D
E
N
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S
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H
E
A
R
E
D
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P
O
O
F
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T
A
R
R
E
D
44
T
E
A
M
45
B
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I
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T
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E
V
O
T
E
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W
H
A
T
A
50
J
O
K
E
51
A
R
I
E
L
52
S
E
R
E
N
A
D
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53
M
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L
T
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54
J
E
L
L
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B
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A
N
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 24,028
Across Down
1. Spring performances? : IRISHJIGS
10. Disney World's 27,000+ : ACRES
15. 1960s pop idol : DAVYJONES
16. Rump alternative : CHUCK
17. Subject for a makeup class : EYESHADOW
18. Vacation rental : CANOE
19. J.F.K.'s U.N. ambassador : AES
20. The Spanish word "nación" has two : ENES
21. "___ Gets Drafted" (Disney short) : DONALD
22. Hoodoo : JINX
23. Chills, so to speak : LOUNGES
24. Female helicopter pilot from Hasbro : GIJANE
27. New York Post headline writer, often : PUNNER
28. Like hives : ABUZZ
29. Shooter with a spark : FLINTLOCK
32. Pioneering automaker : BENZ
33. End : CEASE
34. "What-ev-er you say ..." : SURE
35. What bows were once examples of : ETIQUETTE
37. One fixing flats? : TUNER
38. Sunday talk show guest : PUNDIT
39. Dairy giant : BORDEN
40. Having lost a winter coat? : SHEARED
42. Magician's word : POOF
43. Besmirched : TARRED
44. Flames on ice, e.g. : TEAM
45. Fell for a trick : BIT
48. It doesn't require a paper ballot : EVOTE
49. "Can you believe that?!" : WHATAJOKE
51. To whom Prospero says "Thou liest, malignant thing!" : ARIEL
52. One playing to the balcony? : SERENADER
53. Hot deli orders : MELTS
54. Colorful item in a jar : JELLYBEAN
1. One may get carried out : IDEA
2. Comedian once called the Female Bob Hope : RAYE
3. "A Little Bitty Tear" singer, 1962 : IVES
4. Awacs component: Abbr. : SYS
5. "It's red magic time!" sloganeer, once : HJHEINZ
6. Part of J. K. Rowling's "J. K." : JOANNE
7. Search facilitator : INDEX
8. Bygone compacts : GEOS
9. Hartford-to-New Haven dir. : SSW
10. Eyewitness's offering : ACCOUNT
11. Keep flipping on the couch? : CHANNELSURF
12. Not pass the bar? : RUNAGROUND
13. Place to learn leçons : ECOLE
14. Programs, informally : SKEDS
21. "Stay, O Sweet" writer : DONNE
22. Benny Goodman led one : JAZZQUARTET
23. Rainer of "The Great Ziegfeld" : LUISE
24. Sitcom teacher of Vinnie and Boom Boom : GABE
25. "Fat chance" : IBET
26. Aromatherapy option : JUNIPEROIL
27. Oliver of stage and screen : PLATT
29. Rank : FETID
30. One of the Northwest Territories' official languages : CREE
31. Typeface projection : KERN
33. Turned over : CEDED
36. Is shown, as a film : UNREELS
37. One drink, to a designated driver : TOOMANY
39. Inn in an inlet, say : BOATEL
40. Old-fashioned letter opener : STEAM
41. Le ___, France : HAVRE
42. Fine example : PEARL
44. Final word of "O Canada" : THEE
45. Seem to indicate : BODE
46. Company with "Long live the home" ads : IKEA
47. Arctic ___ : TERN
49. Paper with a "Mansion" section, for short : WSJ
50. Bit of snark : JAB

Answer summary: 7 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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