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New York Times, Monday, January 13, 2014

Author:
Lynn Lempel
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
8512/9/197912/3/20182
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
660132130
ScrabRebusCirclePangramPre‑WS
1.610812
Lynn Lempel

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 74, Blocks: 38 Missing: {JKQX} This is puzzle # 65 for Ms. Lempel. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Lynn Lempel notes:
This was a relatively easy puzzle to do once the idea struck. I do remember regretting the need to scrap MONEYBALL, because I didn't ... read more

This was a relatively easy puzzle to do once the idea struck. I do remember regretting the need to scrap MONEYBALL, because I didn't want to repeat the B-A-L-L of BALLISTIC — and that was too good to part with. Also, the BALL half would have been too similar to CALL and WALL.

With themes like this, I like it when the pronunciation of the key word(s) changes. That was a plus for RHONE VALLEY, which admittedly rates rather low on the "fun" scale.

I see that Will changed quite a few of the clues, generally making them more straightforward. Yes, it's Monday. His clue redo that I especially like is for 33-Across. A number sequence there definitely has more flair than the "Sitcom, say" clue I submitted.

Will Shortz notes:
For someone solving this crossword from top to bottom, the puzzle's structure is like a joke. You wonder where the theme is going and ... read more

For someone solving this crossword from top to bottom, the puzzle's structure is like a joke. You wonder where the theme is going and then … boom! the punchline comes at the end (58A). Very pretty. As always, Lynn's construction is gorgeous, too.

Jeff Chen notes:
An absolutely beauty of a Monday puzzle. It has everything I personally look for: 1.) innovative theme, 2.) spicy long fill and 3.) ... read more

An absolutely beauty of a Monday puzzle. It has everything I personally look for: 1.) innovative theme, 2.) spicy long fill and 3.) fill accessible to the novice (little to no ugly stuff). There's more good stuff coming up this week, but Monday constructions are perhaps the hardest type to pull off well, and Lynn's nailed it.

The theme isn't necessarily ground-breaking, but it contains an added level of complexity which helps makes it more interesting for the experienced solver. We see a lot of puzzles where a certain word is hidden within theme phrases, but having two words hidden helps to distinguish it.

And with five long theme entries, I'd expect to see a lack of good long fill and a lot of short ugly stuff. Lynn has done something unusual, shoving her top two entries into one region of the grid (instead of spreading them out, one to the left and one to the right). That usually creates difficulties in filling such a dense area, but she makes it look easy. Having a five-letter word sandwiched by theme entries (VILLA between PHONE CALL and RHONE VALLEY, and TOMEI between STONEWALLED and ONE AND ALL) often will result in bad fill due to the severe constraints, but she uses a set of cheaters in the very NE and SW to smooth things out. I fully approve — as Patrick Berry has said many a time, he'd always choose to use cheaters if it results in better fill.

The grid arrangement allows Lynn huge flexibility in the NW and SE corners (the theme answers barely constrain her at all in these regions), and look at all the goodness she's packed in there. ON THE GO / FOR A SONG / FLEW SOLO all in parallel, with only ESS as a (very minor) blight? Yes, please! I didn't notice any really bad fill as I solved, nor did I notice anything even with a careful scan afterward. A stonker of a job.

Uber-professional work, a total pleasure to solve; a near-perfect Monday puzzle. Beautiful start to the week.

Jim Horne notes:
That SERIES at 33 Across is, of course, the famous Fibonnaci sequence. Oh, and that GOOSES at 28 Across is from the same constructor ... read more

That SERIES at 33 Across is, of course, the famous Fibonnaci sequence. Oh, and that GOOSES at 28 Across is from the same constructor who famously gave us this controversial answer in 2012.

1
O
2
F
3
F
4
E
5
R
6
P
7
L
8
U
9
S
10
C
11
O
12
P
13
N
O
L
T
E
14
E
O
N
S
15
E
R
O
16
S
17
T
R
E
A
T
18
P
H
O
N
19
E
C
A
L
L
20
H
A
W
21
I
22
O
T
A
23
V
I
L
L
A
24
E
S
S
25
R
H
O
N
26
E
27
V
A
L
L
E
Y
28
G
O
O
29
S
E
S
30
A
I
D
31
Y
D
S
32
O
N
L
Y
33
S
34
E
R
I
E
35
S
36
G
O
N
37
E
38
B
A
L
L
I
S
T
39
I
40
C
41
C
A
L
M
L
Y
42
E
R
A
43
S
44
F
45
A
46
R
47
S
O
B
48
F
49
A
M
I
N
E
50
S
T
O
51
N
E
W
A
52
L
53
L
E
D
54
S
I
P
55
T
O
M
E
I
56
O
U
Z
O
57
H
S
T
58
O
N
E
A
N
59
D
60
A
L
L
61
P
62
A
S
T
E
63
P
A
R
T
64
A
C
L
U
65
T
W
E
E
T
66
L
O
O
67
B
E
S
S
68
S
E
A
R
S
© 2014, The New York TimesNo. 0113 ( 23,442 )

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Students & seniors
Across
1
Bid : OFFER
6
+ : PLUS
10
Police officer : COP
13
Actor Nick : NOLTE
14
Countless centuries : EONS
15
Arrow-shooting Greek god : EROS
17
Buy a meal for : TREAT
18
An operator may help place one : PHONECALL
20
Hem and ___ : HAW
21
Letter after theta : IOTA
23
Luxurious country house : VILLA
24
Suffix with shepherd : ESS
25
Wine-producing area of SE France : RHONEVALLEY
28
Pokes in the rear : GOOSES
30
Assistance : AID
31
Fabric amts. : YDS
32
Exclusively : ONLY
33
1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34 ..., e.g. : SERIES
36
Flown into a rage : GONEBALLISTIC
41
In a composed manner : CALMLY
42
Historical periods : ERAS
44
Distant : FAR
47
Cry loudly : SOB
48
Widespread food shortage : FAMINE
50
Refused to cooperate : STONEWALLED
54
Savor, as fine wine : SIP
55
Marisa of "Anger Management" : TOMEI
56
Anise-flavored liqueur : OUZO
57
President before D.D.E. : HST
58
Everybody ... or part of the contents of 18-, 25-, 36- and 50-Across : ONEANDALL
61
Adhesive : PASTE
63
Go separate ways : PART
64
Rights group, for short : ACLU
65
Message in 140 or fewer characters : TWEET
66
British bathroom : LOO
67
"Porgy and ___" : BESS
68
___, Roebuck and Co. : SEARS
Down
1
Always rushing, rushing, rushing : ONTHEGO
2
Very inexpensively : FORASONG
3
Went without a copilot : FLEWSOLO
4
When a plane is due in, for short : ETA
5
Stop working at 65, say : RETIRE
6
___-Bismol : PEPTO
7
"Freaky Friday" actress Lindsay : LOHAN
8
First numero : UNO
9
Nine-digit fig. : SSN
10
Filmmaker ___ B. DeMille : CECIL
11
Through word of mouth : ORALLY
12
Surveyed, as before an election : POLLED
16
Leaves rolling in the aisles : SLAYS
19
Avoids, as capture : EVADES
22
Noncommittal replies : OHS
26
Late's opposite : EARLY
27
Britain's last King Henry : VIII
29
In ___ (working harmoniously) : SYNC
33
Rio carnival dance : SAMBA
34
Building wing : ELL
35
Flower's support : STEM
37
Enter gently : EASEIN
38
Hard hit : BLOW
39
Isle of Man's locale : IRISHSEA
40
Flour or sugar container : CANISTER
43
Groups like Disney's dwarfs : SEPTETS
44
Camera setting : FSTOP
45
Lacking a key, musically : ATONAL
46
Cesar who played the Joker : ROMERO
48
Turkish topper : FEZ
49
Accepts formally, as a resolution : ADOPTS
51
"Cool!" : NEATO
52
Lies languidly : LOLLS
53
Real doozies : LULUS
59
Apply lightly, with "on" : DAB
60
Snoopy, in his dreams : ACE
62
Stupefaction : AWE

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle.

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