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New York Times, Thursday, January 1, 2015

Author: Jill Denny and Jeff Chen
Editor: Will Shortz
Jill Denny
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
57/5/20107/4/20165
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0200300
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.68200
Jeff Chen
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
787/5/201012/24/201746
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
2367111768
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.634172

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 39 Missing: {JQXZ} Spans: 2 This is puzzle # 4 for Ms. Denny. This is puzzle # 35 for Mr. Chen. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Constructor notes: Jill: One of my most glaring puzzle-solving weaknesses is total ignorance of anything related to baseball. After Jeff tired of my ... more
Constructor notes:

Jill: One of my most glaring puzzle-solving weaknesses is total ignorance of anything related to baseball. After Jeff tired of my repeated grousing about baseball clues, we started brainstorming about how to incorporate non-baseball sports into a grid. How we landed on golf, I no longer recall, as I am even more stymied by golf than by baseball. The over/under PAR idea seemed like a tidy theme that nodded to the game without requiring any knowledge of golfers or other trivia. As for the themers, I love free-associating with words, so it's fun to come up with phrases in a puzzle like this — feels like a game of Taboo.

We are honored to have the first puzzle of 2015, and we hope you like it!

Jeff Chen notes: The grid to the right is what happened when I tried to do this one on my own. (I felt there had to be a progression from BOGEY to PAR ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Original gridThe grid to the right is what happened when I tried to do this one on my own. (I felt there had to be a progression from BOGEY to PAR to BIRDIE to EAGLE.) I didn't really like the themers. The fill. The layout. The solving experience. The author. But I proudly showed it to Jill.

"Hmm," was her reaction.

She's very considerate of my feelings. Canadian-esque, I might say.

Thankfully, I had the wisdom (dare I say, genius) to bring her on board so we could tear it down and create something a whole lot better. Sometimes I wonder how my wife's brain works. Normally when someone says "I need a seventeen-letter phrase incorporating the word EAGLE," you don't expect people to respond. Ever. (Then again, people often ignore me. For good reason, I'll admit.) But Jill blurted out THE EAGLE HAS LANDED within roughly 16 microseconds. I did some puffing out of my chest and blurting out things like "well, that one's kind of obvious, isn't it?" But I deigned to go with it. So generous am I.

The gridwork was a bear. Stacking PAR above or below each of the themers proved incredibly challenging. There was no intention to purposefully have POOL PARTY and WATER PARK be such long answers — short answers like PART and PARDON failed miserably in roughly a thousand-billion different ways, none of them quite working. Finding this particular arrangement was just a stroke of luck, one of those things where if you try a thousand different things, one might actually work.

Hope you enjoy! (And for those still confused by the theme, EAGLE, BIRDIE, and BOGEY are golf terms for two under par, one under par, and one over par.)

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© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0101 ( 23,795 )
Across Down
1. Person close to 100? : ASTUDENT
9. Kind of game or line : PICKUP
15. Belt and hose : CARPARTS
16. Poker declaration : IRAISE
17. Neil Armstrong declaration : THEEAGLEHASLANDED
19. Film critic Jeffrey : LYONS
20. Part of a dovetail joint : TENON
21. Sub : HERO
23. Seizure sensors, for short : EEGS
26. What a parent might warn a child to watch out for : THEBOGEYMAN
31. Deviate from one's path : YAW
32. Bash with a splash : POOLPARTY
33. "___ inglés?" : HABLA
35. Noir alternative : AULAIT
36. Part of a Spanish explorer's name : DELEON
37. "Funny Girl" composer : STYNE
38. Chutes and ladders locale : WATERPARK
41. Ho Chi Minh City festival : TET
42. 1961 Tony winner for Best Musical : BYEBYEBIRDIE
43. Sistine Chapel painting setting : EDEN
45. Antennae, so to speak : EARS
46. Charged : RANAT
48. Butterfly, but not a caterpillar : IMAGO
53. Average ... or a literal hint to 17-, 26- and 42-Across : PARFORTHECOURSE
58. Cave : GROTTO
59. Trump : OVERRULE
60. Duke's transportation? : ATRAIN
61. Game for which it's helpful to have hands-on experience? : PEEKABOO
1. House work? : ACT
2. Comedian Mort : SAHL
3. Deuce follower : TREY
4. Until : UPTO
5. Beginning : DAWN
6. "Now ___ shakes my soul": Sappho : EROS
7. Highest power? : NTH
8. Traveler's checks, for short? : TSA
9. Not let up in criticism : PILEON
10. Site of a 1953 C.I.A.-directed coup : IRAN
11. Paddle around : CANOE
12. Organlike legume : KIDNEYBEAN
13. Function : USE
14. Taxi eschewer, for short : PED
18. Animal shelter animal : STRAY
21. 2013 Joaquin Phoenix film : HER
22. Chest compressor, for short : EMT
24. In abundance : GALORE
25. Ritzy : SWANK
26. Promoted : TOUTED
27. Real imp : HOLYTERROR
28. Brio : ELAN
29. Big name in morning radio : OPIE
30. "The Confessions of ___ Turner" (1967 Pulitzer winner) : NAT
32. Wallop : PASTE
33. "___, boy!" : HERE
34. Canned food made by Nestlé : ALPO
36. "L.A. Law" actress : DEY
38. Peter Fonda's role in "Easy Rider" : WYATT
39. ___ Lingus : AER
40. TV channel with the slogan "Very Funny" : TBS
42. Concern : BEARON
44. Clinton-backed pact : NAFTA
47. "Don't blame me!" : NOTI
48. Brain-freezing treat : ICEE
49. Sitcom character who curses by shouting "Shazbot!" : MORK
50. Special quality : AURA
51. Eats : GRUB
52. "Hedda Gabler" setting : OSLO
53. Org. that's most likely to appreciate this puzzle? : PGA
54. Sketches, e.g. : ART
55. Short flight : HOP
56. New Year's ___ : EVE
57. Job ad abbr. : EEO

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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