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New York Times, Thursday, January 11, 2018

Author:
Sam Trabucco
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1910/29/20153/9/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
3101356
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.68150
Sam Trabucco

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 38 Missing: {X} Spans: 3 This is puzzle # 9 for Mr. Trabucco. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Sam Trabucco notes:
I had the idea to do a play on line breaks a while ago, but the extent of that was pretty much 'line break puzzle?' in my Notes app. ... read more

I had the idea to do a play on line breaks a while ago, but the extent of that was pretty much "line break puzzle?" in my Notes app. Then one day I was sifting through said Notes app (which is just a bunch of half-baked theme ideas and things I want to add to my word list) and thought some more about it, eventually arriving at the idea of repurposing the hyphen from the line break as part of the crossing downs. Then I thought, hey, all the broken lines should be things you say when you're interrupted! Then I thought, hey, the remnants of the broken lines should still form valid entries! Then I thought, hey, no way in hell that'll work. But sometimes you just get lucky (though the brainstorm on this one was long).

I've really gotta stop making puzzles with crossing theme entries because they force a lot of constraints on the grid. In addition, this puzzle has six theme entries of length 3-5, which probably don't seem like they'd be tough to incorporate, but they do force specific black squares, as well as demanding longer entries in the fill. It took a while to put together, but I am happy with the end product (absent ABLUSH). Otherwise, I'm just happy to have gotten wordplay dependent on both fixed income products and the term "body shot" into the same crossword; I'm easy to please like that.

Jeff Chen notes:
Lines from someone who was interrupted … and the lines themselves are interrupted! Novel idea, using hyphens for line breaks. ... read more

Lines from someone who was interrupted … and the lines themselves are interrupted! Novel idea, using hyphens for line breaks. PLEASE LET ME FIN-ISH was perfect, as it's so apt to the theme, and ISH ends up being a perfectly fine crossword entry in its own right.

DO I LOOK LIKE I'M D-ONE didn't feel as strong, as the phrase didn't hit my ear very well, and it felt odd to hyphenate a single-syllable word.

QUIET I WAS SPEAK-ING was somewhere in the middle for me — I liked the more natural hyphenation, but the QUIET at the front felt added on for bulk.

Strong choices in the crossing hyphenated words. HI-C, A-Z, NO-NO all solid. I would have liked some longer ones, but due to the layout of the theme — three (almost!) grid-spanning themers, that wouldn't have been possible.

Would have also been nice to get a fourth themer, but again, that's not possible since the crossing entries have to be in the far right column.

Given that there could only be three long themers, Sam did well to use his freedom and flexibility to incorporate a ton of great fill. THE BIBLE, JELLY ROLLS, TALKS TRASH, OPEN A TAB, CAL POLY, MRI SCAN = fantastic work. When you're forced to keep theme density low, this type of great snazziness in fill is what you should be aiming at.

And to do it with just a bit of HWY, SQIN was great. Great attention to detail left me with a feeling of elegance in craftsmanship.

Fun concept. If all the themers had worked as perfectly for me as PLEASE LET ME FIN-ISH, this would have been the POW!

1
A
2
B
3
R
4
A
5
B
6
O
7
P
8
I
9
T
10
N
11
T
12
H
13
S
A
U
L
14
J
E
W
I
S
H
15
O
U
I
16
P
L
E
A
17
S
E
L
E
T
M
E
18
F
I
N
HYPHEN
19
I
S
H
20
C
L
A
S
H
21
B
A
S
I
C
22
C
A
L
23
P
O
L
Y
24
T
I
D
E
S
25
H
W
Y
26
A
27
R
A
B
S
28
A
29
N
30
T
I
31
R
32
E
T
E
L
L
33
B
34
A
35
A
36
D
O
I
L
37
O
O
K
L
I
K
E
38
I
M
D
HYPHEN
39
O
N
E
40
P
L
E
A
D
S
41
D
I
A
Z
42
M
E
L
D
S
43
T
44
W
O
45
M
46
A
I
N
S
47
M
R
I
S
48
C
49
A
50
N
51
S
A
L
M
A
52
A
53
T
E
A
M
54
R
I
O
55
Q
U
I
E
T
56
I
W
A
S
S
P
57
E
A
K
HYPHEN
58
I
N
G
59
A
B
L
U
S
H
60
E
V
E
N
61
N
A
N
62
B
O
S
S
Y
63
K
E
N
O
© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0111 ( 24,901 )
Across
1
Start of a magic incantation : ABRA
5
Hasbro toy that involves pulling and twisting : BOPIT
10
Degree in abstract mathematics : NTH
13
AMC's "Better Call ___" : SAUL
14
Celebrating Hanukkah, say : JEWISH
15
Opposite of 29-Down : OUI
16
Line from someone who's been interrupted : PLEASELETMEFIN-
19
Kinda ... or a continuation of 16-Across : ISH
20
Bump heads : CLASH
21
Like a course labeled "101" : BASIC
22
School in San Luis Obispo : CALPOLY
24
Some almanac info : TIDES
25
What may take its toll?: Abbr. : HWY
26
Most hajjis : ARABS
28
Cousin of contra- : ANTI
31
Pass on, as lore : RETELL
33
Ewe can do it! : BAA
36
Line from someone who's been interrupted : DOILOOKLIKEIMD-
39
Joined ... or a continuation of 36-Across : ONE
40
Is appealing : PLEADS
41
Hollywood's Cameron : DIAZ
42
Some canasta plays : MELDS
43
Square figure? : TWO
45
Big pipes : MAINS
47
Body shot? : MRISCAN
51
Actress Hayek of "Frida" : SALMA
52
Elite group : ATEAM
54
Hit 2011 animated film : RIO
55
Line from someone who's been interrupted : QUIETIWASSPEAK-
58
Beethoven's "Minuet ___" ... or a continuation of 55-Across : ING
59
Visibly embarrassed : ABLUSH
60
"I can't ___" : EVEN
61
Photographer Goldin : NAN
62
Giving orders : BOSSY
63
Bingo relative : KENO
Down
1
Jiggly dish : ASPIC
2
Makings of a model? : BALSA
3
Oscar winner Mercedes : RUEHL
4
Imitating : ALA
5
Stop, at sea : BELAY
6
Sees red? : OWES
7
Crux : PITH
8
School of thought : ISM
9
Co-written best seller : THEBIBLE
10
Wham or bam : NOISE
11
City near ancient Carthage : TUNIS
12
Fruity drink brand : HI-C
14
Fruity filled cakes : JELLYROLLS
17
Clumsy boat : SCOW
18
Man buns and the Mannequin Challenge, once : FADS
23
Dr. ___ : PHIL
24
Engages in some pregame banter : TALKSTRASH
26
Provider of global support? : ATLAS
27
Tara of "American Pie" : REID
28
Bustle : ADO
29
Only spoken word (by Marcel Marceau) in Mel Brooks's "Silent Movie" : NON
30
50-50, e.g. : TIE
32
Just made (out) : EKED
33
Obesity meas. : BMI
34
Computing pioneer Lovelace : ADA
35
The whole shebang : A-Z
37
Plan to pay later, say : OPENATAB
38
Exchanged bonds? : IDOS
42
Marcel Marceau, e.g. : MIME
44
Weakling : WIMP
45
Hawaii's ___ Loa : MAUNA
46
Ally (with) : ALIGN
47
Stylike : MESSY
48
Really, really want : CRAVE
49
George ___, Vermont senator for 34 years : AIKEN
50
It's taboo : NO-NO
51
Ad space meas. : SQIN
52
Leatherworkers' tools : AWLS
53
T-shaped crosses : TAUS
56
Nigerian tribe : IBO
57
Quaint cry : EEK

Answer summary: 10 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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