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New York Times, Monday, June 18, 2018

Author: Ross Trudeau
Editor: Will Shortz
Ross Trudeau
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
72/9/20176/18/20181
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2120200
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.64000

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 40 Missing: {FQVX} This is puzzle # 7 for Mr. Trudeau. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Ross Trudeau notes: The original clues for this puzzle tried to be clever, e.g.: Get London on the line? (PHONE JACK), Raise the set of a parody ... more
Ross Trudeau notes:

The original clues for this puzzle tried to be clever, e.g.: Get London on the line? (PHONE JACK), Raise the set of a parody sitcom? (DIAL SOAP). But looking at it with fresh eyes, I think I like it even more as a straight-ahead Monday. The word count is low for an early week puzzle, but EOS is the only answer that would have given me pause as a novice.

Jeff Chen notes: Good set of synonyms for BUZZ, as in slang for PHONE, DIAL, CALL, RING. The term DIAL amuses me, as generations after my own probably ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Good set of synonyms for BUZZ, as in slang for PHONE, DIAL, CALL, RING. The term DIAL amuses me, as generations after my own probably have no idea how much fun it was to play with a rotary DIAL phone.

Man, I had sucky toys as a kid.

I like it when I can't figure out a Monday theme until the revealer makes everything clear. I suppose I should have gotten it from the PHONE in PHONE JACK, but DIAL SOAP then obfuscated the idea well.

It's a shame that PHONE JACK was the only entry that didn't misdirect away from the, well, PHONE meaning. The leading words in DIAL soap, CALL to order, RING pops have nothing to do with the PHONE. So PHONE JACK sticks out like a sore thumb.

Or a rotary phone.

I couldn't think of a better replacement for PHONE jack, so I think I would have preferred to remove it. Might have felt thin with only four total themers, but overall, it would have made for a better theme set, each of the three synonyms very well hidden.

Ross has such strong gridwork skills. Love the bonuses of MACADAMIA, SNAIL MAIL, CANNED IT, even TEABAG, SCRIBES. Sure, there's an AMAT holding stuff together up top, but thankfully 1.) all the crossings are fair and 2.) it's the lone short offender in the puzzle.

There was a longer offender, UNICOLOR — don't most people say monochrome? It's an interesting word, but Monday puzzles ought to be super newbie-friendly. Best to avoid anything that might turn off the newbs, methinks. Mondays are so tough to construct!

I liked the idea overall, and if it hadn't been for a blip in the theme set and two blips in the grid execution, this could have entered POW! territory.

1
A
2
S
3
A
4
P
5
T
6
A
7
R
8
T
9
C
10
U
11
R
12
B
13
M
A
C
A
14
D
A
M
I
A
15
T
A
N
I
A
16
P
H
O
N
E
J
A
C
K
17
E
M
I
T
S
18
S
A
R
G
E
19
T
E
E
20
M
S
21
C
U
E
22
U
R
N
23
D
I
A
L
24
S
O
A
P
25
P
A
S
26
T
27
I
28
M
29
E
30
P
A
E
L
L
A
31
E
L
I
T
32
E
33
S
34
R
O
S
Y
35
C
A
L
L
T
O
O
36
R
37
D
E
R
38
S
39
W
A
B
40
A
S
S
O
O
N
41
C
A
N
A
42
A
43
N
44
O
N
W
A
45
T
46
C
47
H
48
R
I
N
G
P
O
49
P
50
S
51
E
R
A
52
I
K
E
53
I
S
A
A
54
C
55
A
56
C
H
E
S
57
B
I
D
58
O
N
59
B
U
Z
60
Z
W
O
R
D
S
61
E
K
I
N
G
62
S
N
A
I
L
M
A
I
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63
S
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E
64
T
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65
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E
© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0618 ( 25,059 )
Across Down
1. Letters meaning "Make it snappy!" : ASAP
5. Mouth-puckering : TART
9. Sidewalk's edge : CURB
13. Nut from Australia : MACADAMIA
15. Actress Raymonde of "Lost" : TANIA
16. Wall fixture for a landline : PHONEJACK
17. Gives off, as light : EMITS
18. Beetle Bailey's superior : SARGE
19. Abounds (with) : TEEMS
21. Stage prompt : CUE
22. Cremation vessel : URN
23. Bathroom bar offering so-called "round-the-clock" protection : DIALSOAP
25. Quilting or crossword solving, e.g. : PASTIME
30. Spanish rice dish : PAELLA
31. One-percenters and such : ELITES
34. Reddish : ROSY
35. Start, as a meeting : CALLTOORDER
38. Q-tip, for one : SWAB
40. The "A" and "S" of 1-Across : ASSOON
41. Biblical land : CANAAN
44. Doing sentry duty : ONWATCH
48. Candy suckers in the form of jewelry : RINGPOPS
51. Historical period : ERA
52. "I Like ___" (1950s campaign button) : IKE
53. Science fiction writer Asimov : ISAAC
55. Yearns (for) : ACHES
57. Make an offer for at auction : BIDON
59. Trendy, much-used lingo ... or a hint to the starts of 16-, 23-, 35- and 48-Across : BUZZWORDS
61. Barely making, with "out" : EKING
62. Postal letters, deprecatingly : SNAILMAIL
63. Location : SITE
64. Temporary rain cover : TARP
65. Chip or coin thrown in the pot : ANTE
1. Excites : AMPSUP
2. African desert : SAHARA
3. Squirrel's stash : ACORNS
4. Twinge of guilt : PANG
5. ___ Mahal : TAJ
6. Amo, amas, ___ ... : AMAT
7. Like not-quite-mashed potatoes : RICED
8. George of the original "Star Trek" : TAKEI
9. Filming device, informally : CAM
10. Monochromatic : UNICOLOR
11. Sacred ceremonies : RITUALS
12. Salary before bonuses : BASEPAY
14. Actor Billy ___ Williams : DEE
15. Model 3 electric car maker : TESLA
20. An "X" might "mark the spot" on one : MAP
24. Venus's tennis doubles partner : SERENA
26. Earl Grey pouch on a string : TEABAG
27. Needing medicine, say : ILL
28. Thousand thou : MIL
29. "At Last" singer ___ James : ETTA
32. Goddess of the dawn : EOS
33. Meh : SOSO
35. Stopped all that yapping : CANNEDIT
36. Presidential son Reagan : RON
37. ___ Jones industrial average : DOW
38. Old-fashioned writers : SCRIBES
39. Hawaiian surfing mecca : WAIKIKI
42. Mimicking : APING
43. Rejections : NOS
45. Capital of Iran : TEHRAN
46. College degree unit : CREDIT
47. Big inconvenience : HASSLE
49. Blue Ribbon brewery : PABST
50. Place to sweat it out : SAUNA
54. Ruler until 1917 : CZAR
55. Hole-making tool : AWL
56. Result of a serious head injury : COMA
58. ___ Direction (boy band) : ONE
60. Nada : ZIP

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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