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New York Times, Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Author:
Peter A. Collins
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1085/2/20064/7/201912
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
612253614105
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.565313
Peter A. Collins

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 36 Missing: {JQZ} This is puzzle # 98 for Mr. Collins. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Peter A. Collins notes:
I'm sure a few people out there will look at my D-N-As winding down the grid and say 'Hey, that's a single helix, not a ... read more

I'm sure a few people out there will look at my D-N-As winding down the grid and say "Hey, that's a single helix, not a DOUBLE/HELIX!". To them, I'd like to respond with a quote from The Dude in "The Big Lebowski".

"Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man."

My defense is that the two sides of the squares containing the Ds, Ns, and As form the double helix. Convinced? Yeah, I didn't think so.

Actually, a few years ago Joe Krozel and I tried to build a grid with intertwining D-N-As working their way down the grid, but soon gave up. If I recall correctly, the fill around that column got way too tortured.

A belated Happy New Year to one and all!

Jeff Chen notes:
The DOUBLE / HELIX is so ripe for crossword brainstorming. One of Liz Gorski's a while back was particularly memorable, as was one of ... read more

The DOUBLE / HELIX is so ripe for crossword brainstorming. One of Liz Gorski's a while back was particularly memorable, as was one of Joel Fagliano's. Today, Pete gives us something similar but goes with the letters D N A filling out the more-single-than-double-looking (sorry, Pete!) helix.

Nice find that WATSON / CRICK / DOUBLE / HELIX exhibit crossword symmetry!

I did find it inelegant to have to jump across the grid to connect the word pairs, and it was weird to get CRICK before WATSON. Using mirror symmetry would have helped this — both WATSON and DOUBLE could have been in the top half of the puzzle, with CRICK and HELIX at the bottom. (Back to the bottom where you belong, CRICK!)

Some nice bonuses in the grid, ARACHNID and ON THE GO my favorites. NOT A SOUL and FOOTSTEP = good stuff too. Much appreciated to get the extras, given that the puzzle felt a bit theme-thin.

Oh! As a macro econ junkie, I loved seeing REAL GDP in the grid. Except that it was REAL GNP! (Domestic vs. National, don't ask me what the difference is. My macro prof is now rolling in her grave.) That crossing with BRINDISI was a killer. Perhaps a case can be made that it's fair since the Appian Way is very famous, but that didn't stop me from grumbling.

It's so tough to work through that center of the puzzle, with so many D N A letters fixed into place. So the gluey results of INRI, SANI, ENDO, BANOS … not unexpected. And having a theme word fixed into place in each of the four corners, getting more ACOP, TASS, MDLI, ROIS, LIBBER, ERO … again, it's not unexpected, but it doesn't make for an elegant, smooth solve.

Finally, as a biochem junkie, I would have loved to see base pairings of A-T and G-C (adenine-thymine and guanine-cytosine), reflecting the actual building blocks of DNA. But I can only imagine thousands of solvers wondering why there were so many of these four letters in the grid. And other thousands in an outcry yelling BUT THAT AT-GC-GC-GC-AT-AT-GC SERIES IS NOT AN ACTUAL GENE SEQUENCE! Can't make everyone happy.

1
R
2
O
3
N
4
C
5
O
6
D
7
E
8
E
9
P
10
M
11
D
12
L
13
I
14
A
D
O
R
N
15
I
N
R
I
16
R
O
I
S
17
G
O
T
I
T
18
V
I
A
L
19
C
U
B
A
20
A
R
A
C
H
21
N
I
D
22
S
23
T
U
B
B
Y
24
S
K
E
I
N
25
E
N
A
B
L
E
S
26
A
27
G
O
28
G
L
E
29
A
N
E
R
30
E
R
O
31
P
L
U
32
T
O
33
C
D
R
O
34
M
35
P
O
L
O
36
B
37
A
N
O
S
38
A
39
F
40
E
41
W
42
M
43
C
R
A
E
44
D
R
O
N
E
45
B
46
T
47
W
48
A
I
R
D
49
A
50
T
E
51
O
D
D
52
R
E
A
53
L
G
N
P
54
N
A
C
55
H
T
56
U
N
T
I
E
D
57
A
G
R
E
E
S
58
T
59
O
60
T
A
S
S
61
I
62
D
O
L
63
A
L
T
O
N
64
A
C
O
P
65
S
A
N
I
66
S
I
E
G
E
67
L
E
N
S
68
I
D
E
A
69
E
X
P
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S
© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0111 ( 24,536 )

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Across
1
Infomercial pioneer : RONCO
6
Tough to grasp : DEEP
10
Mid-16th-century year : MDLI
14
Add bling to : ADORN
15
Cross initials : INRI
16
18 Louises : ROIS
17
"Enough said!" : GOTIT
18
Apothecary container : VIAL
19
Historic 2016 Obama destination : CUBA
20
Scorpion, for one : ARACHNID
22
Short and thick : STUBBY
24
Ball of yarn : SKEIN
25
Turns on, as notifications on a smartphone : ENABLES
26
In the past : AGO
28
Farmworker in a Millet painting : GLEANER
30
Suffix with ranch : ERO
31
Mickey Mouse's dog : PLUTO
33
PC drive insert : CDROM
35
Lacoste product : POLO
36
Spanish baths : BANOS
38
Three or four : AFEW
42
Jazz singer Carmen : MCRAE
44
___ strike : DRONE
45
Cousin of FWIW : BTW
48
Broadcast time : AIRDATE
51
Like all primes except 2 : ODD
52
Inflation-adjusted econ. stat : REALGNP
54
"Gute ___" (German bedtime words) : NACHT
56
Not in a knot, say : UNTIED
57
Accepts : AGREESTO
60
Moscow news source : TASS
61
Object of admiration : IDOL
63
Food Network host Brown : ALTON
64
Rent-___ (security guard) : ACOP
65
Clean, in product names : SANI
66
Attack on a walled city, maybe : SIEGE
67
Light beam bender : LENS
68
"I had no ___!" : IDEA
69
First Canadian M.L.B. team : EXPOS
Down
1
Music often heard in Bollywood films : RAGA
2
Concern regarding a litter box : ODOR
3
Absolutely nobody : NOTASOUL
4
Co-discoverer of the contents of the circled letters : CRICK
5
Constantly moving : ONTHEGO
6
What "to forgive" is : DIVINE
7
Children's author Blyton : ENID
8
Baseball's dead-ball ___ : ERA
9
Pale lagers : PILSNERS
10
Ernie Banks, to fans : MRCUB
11
With 55-Down, form of the contents of the circled letters : DOUBLE
12
Ad-___ : LIBBER
13
Close of a parental veto : ISAYSO
21
Zilch : NIL
23
Poi base : TARO
25
Prefix with -morphic : ENDO
26
Smartphone download : APP
27
Mop & ___ : GLO
29
Spotted at the prom, perhaps? : ACNED
32
Lead-in to boy or girl : TOM
34
Spray-paint, say : MAR
36
Port city at one terminus of the Appian Way : BRINDISI
37
Org. whose magazine was once called Modern Maturity : AARP
39
Fitbit datum : FOOTSTEP
40
One may be bitter : END
41
Enter an altared state? : WED
43
Pet store purchase : CAGE
44
Death : DECEASE
45
Like winters in Antarctica : BRUTAL
46
Highish bridge combo : TENACE
47
Co-discoverer of the contents of the circled letters : WATSON
49
East ___ (Norfolk and Suffolk's locale) : ANGLIA
50
Cigarette stat : TAR
53
Talks like Sylvester : LISPS
55
See 11-Down : HELIX
57
Top-shelf : AONE
58
Deli option : TOGO
59
___ place : ONES
62
Junior's senior : DAD

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle, 4 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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