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New York Times, Saturday, January 11, 2020

Author:
Andrew J. Ries
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
238/13/20071/11/20200
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
31111763
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.57020
Andrew Ries

This puzzle:

Rows: 16, Columns: 15 Words: 71, Blocks: 34 Missing: {QX} This is puzzle # 21 for Mr. Ries. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
Most of the time, Andrew produces triple stair-stacks – three long answers atop each other, shifted over in a stair-like ... read more

Most of the time, Andrew produces triple stair-stacks – three long answers atop each other, shifted over in a stair-like pattern. Today he went double or nothing, using six of them in an extra-tall grid. I call it a winner! From PVC PIPING to ORANGEADE, each of the six answers is somewhere between solid and juicy. I wasn't aware of the BEER LEAGUE slang, but it makes sense. I'm hoping the sports in said BEER LEAGUEs are more of the cup stacking variety, not so much drunken flag football. I'm pre-calling the E.R. …

A football-shaped middle is hard enough to pull off, but to run two fantastic entries through it? SECRET RECIPES is snazzy, and the clue's misdirection toward a Tupperware lid makes it even better. IN-APP PURCHASE has that crazy string of three Ps.

Any constructor would be immensely proud of that central creation. To do it all with just minor EUR and YRS is jaw-dropping.

I wanted to give Andrew another POW! on the merit of the middle alone, as exciting as the Marshawn Beast Quake. I stutter-stepped too many times to do it, though:

  • I didn't know BEER LEAGUE, and that's fine. It's two words I recognize, and it makes sense as a whole. Toss in EPICURES (isn't it "epicureans" usually?), though, plus old-timey STENOG and TARPONS, and I got a vibe of weirdness.
  • ADEPTS AGARS OMEGAS, pluralizations that felt inelegant.
  • I enjoy a good BEAR CLAW. I also enjoy a great Saturday wordplay clue. But do bears have fingers? Aren't they toes? As much as I enjoy trivia, this clue generated more confusion than devilish head-slapping.

Don't get me wrong; it's still a fantastic puzzle. If Andrew hadn't already won so many POW!s, I'd probably give him this one. I love when constructors stretch themselves, and going from three to six stair-stacked answers certainly qualifies.

1
R
2
U
3
B
4
Y
5
T
6
I
7
N
8
A
9
D
10
E
11
P
12
T
13
S
14
O
N
E
O
15
N
O
N
E
16
R
O
A
R
A
T
17
A
D
S
L
O
G
A
N
18
R
E
V
E
R
E
19
D
E
M
O
T
A
P
E
20
S
21
E
S
P
N
22
M
R
E
23
E
S
P
24
E
25
U
26
R
27
T
O
O
28
A
G
A
29
R
S
30
P
31
V
C
P
I
32
P
I
N
G
33
P
O
R
E
34
G
U
A
R
D
D
O
G
S
35
B
36
E
E
R
L
E
A
G
U
E
37
B
O
L
T
C
U
T
T
E
R
38
W
E
R
E
T
H
E
R
E
39
E
40
G
41
A
42
D
43
O
R
A
N
G
E
A
D
E
44
A
D
O
B
E
45
M
I
R
46
Y
R
S
47
C
48
A
L
49
F
I
B
50
E
T
C
51
H
52
E
53
M
I
L
E
54
Z
O
L
A
55
G
E
L
A
56
T
57
O
58
E
P
I
C
U
R
E
S
59
A
M
A
J
O
R
60
N
E
C
K
L
I
N
E
61
S
E
W
I
N
G
62
U
S
E
63
U
T
E
S
© 2020, The New York TimesNo. 0111 ( 25,631 )
Across
1
Shade of red : RUBY
5
Food drive donation : TIN
8
Highly skilled sorts : ADEPTS
14
Like most job interviews : ONEONONE
16
Heartily enjoy, as a joke : ROARAT
17
End of a plug, often : ADSLOGAN
18
Greatly respect : REVERE
19
Record executive's stack : DEMOTAPES
21
___ Daily, popular podcast for armchair athletes : ESPN
22
Packaged ration, for short : MRE
23
Number six in a group of five : ESP
24
Lux. locale : EUR
27
"___ true" : TOO
28
Ice cream thickeners : AGARS
30
Makeup of some waste lines : PVCPIPING
33
Place for a bead : PORE
34
Dobermans and mastiffs, traditionally : GUARDDOGS
35
Recreational sports association for adults : BEERLEAGUE
37
Tool used on a padlock : BOLTCUTTER
38
Couple's enthusiastic R.S.V.P. : WERETHERE
39
"Jiminy Christmas!" : EGAD
43
Beverage option at early McDonald's restaurants : ORANGEADE
44
Acrobat's platform : ADOBE
45
Literally, "peace" : MIR
46
Info next to alumni names, maybe: Abbr. : YRS
47
___-Mex (cuisine) : CAL
49
"This tastes delicious!," maybe : FIB
50
Cut deeply : ETCH
52
Nominee for the first two Nobel Prizes in Literature (1901-02), but never won : EMILEZOLA
55
Treat commonly eaten with a wooden utensil : GELATO
58
Foodies : EPICURES
59
Key of Beethoven's Seventh : AMAJOR
60
V formation? : NECKLINE
61
Bee activity : SEWING
62
___ tax : USE
63
Conference foes of the Buffaloes : UTES
Down
1
It shows the way : ROADMAP
2
Experience : UNDERGO
3
Dirty, in a way : BESMEAR
4
Rationale for a dumb stunt, in modern slang : YOLO
5
The emperor's old clothes? : TOGAS
6
Smartphone payment that unlocks premium content : INAPPPURCHASE
7
Double birdie? : NENE
8
In time?: Abbr. : ARR
9
Sow : pig :: ___ : koala : DOE
10
Projecting edge : EAVE
11
Grand standing : PRESTIGE
12
Atlantic game fish : TARPONS
13
Pro with a pad : STENOG
15
So and so? : NOTES
20
Things that might be kept covered in a kitchen : SECRETRECIPES
25
Reason for a restart : UPDATE
26
Top of a chain, maybe : RIDGE
29
Like an evangelical Christian : REBORN
31
Dear : VALUED
32
Came down hard (on) : POURED
34
Attention ___ : GETTER
36
John Milton's "Lycidas" is one : ELEGY
37
Finger food at a pastry shop? : BEARCLAW
38
Pen pal's request : WRITEME
40
"Be my guest" : GOFORIT
41
Eisenhower's boyhood home : ABILENE
42
Adulterates : DEBASES
43
Series finales : OMEGAS
44
Smart ___ : ALECK
48
"Still ___" (2014 drama that earned a Best Actress Oscar) : ALICE
51
Mecca trekker : HAJI
53
List of choices : MENU
54
Origin of some lyrics sung in "The Lion King" : ZULU
56
Host : TON
57
Ending of many a web address : ORG

Answer summary: 7 unique to this puzzle.

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