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New York Times, Friday, January 11, 2019

Author:
Jim Horne and Jeff Chen
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
27/13/20121/11/20192
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0000020
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.61000
Jim Horne
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
947/5/20101/22/201956
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
2468172298
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.636202
Jeff Chen

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 32 Missing: {JX} This is puzzle # 2 for Mr. Horne. This is puzzle # 93 for Mr. Chen. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
I love working with Jim. He's thoughtful, brilliant, talented in so many arenas (check out his Hamilton cover band!), and best of all, ... read more

I love working with Jim. He's thoughtful, brilliant, talented in so many arenas (check out his Hamilton cover band!), and best of all, funny. While we were working on this puzzle, I was endlessly amused by one of his clue suggestions for ARCHIMEDES: [One of his inventions really screwed things up].

His more risqué version: [The guy who invented screwing].

This particular themeless was borne out of a curiosity: what new 10-letter entries from our XWord Info Word List would make for great themeless seeds? (When it comes to themelesses, 8-10 letter entries are the easiest to build around, and there's a larger quantity of 10-letter entries compared to 8s and 9s.)

For several weeks, we culled out a sub-list, adding only entries that

  1. were strong in their own right, and
  2. had the potential for a clever clue (i.e., didn't require a straightforward definition).

I thought we'd be able to incorporate at least three seeds into this standard-ish sort of themeless grid, but only MARS LANDER and MBA STUDENT (go UW Huskies, class of 2002!) made it in. As we flowed the fill from right to left, it became apparent that we'd get more colorful / cleaner fill if we didn't fix anything further in place. So we didn't push it.

Hopefully, more seed entries from our list will show up soon! Jim and I are always working on something fun.

Jim Horne notes:
Will Shortz or one of his minions came up with the clue [Contents of some childproof containers, for short] for MEDS. This is ... read more

Will Shortz or one of his minions came up with the clue [Contents of some childproof containers, for short] for MEDS.

This is clever clue-writing. Instead of a simple definition or a sneaky pun, the clue takes a side-step away from the obvious to build a tiny story that points indirectly at the answer. This kind of once-removed creativity is something I struggle with. I suspect Will, with his decades of experience, does this naturally.

Today marks Jeff Chen's 55th collaboration puzzle in the NYT, more than half his total count. Only Nancy Salomon has more. Well, a lot more; she has 116. Here's the list of NYT constructors sorted by the number of collaborations.

And what about that clue for APOSTROPHE? Not ours either, but awesome.

1
C
2
A
3
M
4
E
5
R
6
A
7
S
8
H
9
Y
10
S
11
P
12
A
13
M
14
T
A
L
E
S
O
F
W
O
E
15
C
U
R
B
16
O
P
E
D
C
O
L
U
M
N
17
O
R
C
A
18
T
O
S
S
19
T
O
M
E
20
S
O
P
H
S
21
B
O
A
22
S
23
P
O
T
L
I
T
24
D
25
I
26
S
27
T
A
N
T
28
P
E
W
29
E
M
U
30
I
N
P
U
T
31
Q
U
E
N
32
C
H
E
D
33
S
N
O
B
34
P
35
F
U
N
K
36
L
A
D
E
37
P
A
R
A
38
N
O
I
A
39
D
O
Z
E
N
40
E
M
T
41
O
U
R
42
D
43
N
A
T
E
S
T
44
R
E
S
45
P
I
T
E
46
R
E
D
47
S
O
B
E
R
48
O
49
D
E
S
50
G
51
U
52
S
53
H
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I
N
R
E
55
A
P
O
S
T
56
R
O
P
H
E
57
O
L
A
V
58
M
A
R
S
L
A
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59
N
Y
S
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60
P
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D
G
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D
© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 0111 ( 25,266 )
Across
1. Afraid of getting shot : CAMERASHY
10. Send a bunch of messages to, say : SPAM
14. Sob stories : TALESOFWOE
15. Keep in check : CURB
16. Slanted writing : OPEDCOLUMN
17. Creature with a 17-month gestation period : ORCA
18. Eject : TOSS
19. "The way I see it ..." : TOME
20. Many P.S.A.T. takers, for short : SOPHS
21. That's a wrap! : BOA
22. Drew attention to : SPOTLIT
24. Aloof : DISTANT
28. Something shared by churchgoers : PEW
29. Layer of dark green eggs : EMU
30. It gets typed : INPUT
31. Rapidly cooled, as metal : QUENCHED
33. One quick to pass judgment : SNOB
34. Music style associated with George Clinton, informally : PFUNK
36. Put on : LADE
37. "There is no literature and art without ___": Thomas Pynchon : PARANOIA
39. Dirty or daily follower : DOZEN
40. Checker of vitals, for short : EMT
41. ___ Lady (Virgin Mary's title) : OUR
42. 23andMe service : DNATEST
44. Breather : RESPITE
46. Like Chianti : RED
47. Clearheaded : SOBER
48. Works toward one's passion? : ODES
50. Effuse : GUSH
54. About : INRE
55. Character in "All's Well That Ends Well" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream" : APOSTROPHE
57. Viking king of note : OLAV
58. NASA's InSight probe, for one : MARSLANDER
59. Org. that rings a bell : NYSE
60. Acted omnipotent : PLAYEDGOD
Down
1. Crime boss : CAPO
2. Public house options : ALES
3. Contents of some childproof containers, for short : MEDS
4. "Exit full screen" button : ESC
5. Cheer for : ROOTON
6. Financially O.K. : AFLOAT
7. Like some Olympic races : SWUM
8. Folksy : HOMESPUN
9. Kyoto cash : YEN
10. Skedaddle : SCOOT
11. #2 on Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time" : PURPLEHAZE
12. Pioneer in hydrostatics : ARCHIMEDES
13. Many an aspiring exec, academically : MBASTUDENT
14. Young 'un : TOT
20. Planted : SOWN
21. Card holding? : BAT
23. Something you shouldn't do around Christmas : PEEK
24. Scattering of things : DISPERSION
25. Theoretically, but not actually : INNAMEONLY
26. Supports for some athletes : SPORTSBRAS
27. Big brass : TUBA
31. Acting as : QUA
32. Curdle : CLOT
34. Something you shouldn't do around Christmas : POUT
35. Brilliantly colored gemstone : FIREOPAL
38. Film ___ : NOIR
39. Stereotypical teller of a groan-worthy joke : DAD
42. Black-tie : DRESSY
43. Company that makes Coffee-mate : NESTLE
45. Cause of irritation : PEEVE
49. Cartoon pal of the monkey Boots : DORA
50. Bit of percussion : GONG
51. Prom coif : UPDO
52. Take off : SHED
53. "I'm with ___" : HER
55. Product from Fender : AMP
56. "Sick, dude!" : RAD

Answer summary: 6 unique to this puzzle.

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