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New York Times, Saturday, January 14, 2017

Author: Andrew Kingsley
Editor: Will Shortz
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124/29/20168/8/20182
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0013053
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1.55010
Andrew Kingsley

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 70, Blocks: 31 Missing: {JQVZ} This is puzzle # 6 for Mr. Kingsley. NYT links: Across Lite PDF

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Andrew Kingsley notes: My partner introduced me to the term WEEKENDER when I mistakenly called his bag a satchel. My error and/or his sartorial ... more
Andrew Kingsley notes:

My partner introduced me to the term WEEKENDER when I mistakenly called his bag a satchel. My error and/or his sartorial expertise led to the puzzle you see before you. Well, that and RETROCHIC, a word that has fascinated me ever since Muffy from the kid's show "Arthur" told her friend her shoes were "fabulously retro-chic." My pre-adolescent mind was already collecting 1-acrosses, I suppose.

My early grid architectures had been a bit haphazard, so I decided to go for a tried-and-true style, one used extensively by my teacher, David Quarfoot. It fell into place quickly and wasn't as constrained in the NW and SE as I had anticipated. No wonder David had such luck with them. The other two corners, unfortunately, feel thin by comparison, but so be it. The clue for SEX was enough to leave me smiling.

Jeff Chen notes: What a fantastic NW corner! It's hard to intersect triple-stacks together like that. Sure, one triple-stack is easy to do, but when ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

What a fantastic NW corner! It's hard to intersect triple-stacks together like that. Sure, one triple-stack is easy to do, but when you run another one right through it, there's almost always some compromise necessary. Maybe you have to settle for a meh long entry; maybe you have to glue it all together with a couple of ugly short answers.

But I count six nice answers, and nary a dab of crossword glue. RETRO-CHIC and RAW MEAT make such a great 1-A / 1-D combination. (Was Lady Gaga's RAW MEAT dress RETRO-CHIC?) TIE SCORE isn't as zippy to me, but it's still good. And some might wince at AROAR as one of those A+(something) entries, but it's a perfectly fine word I see all the time in books. All in all, this is one of the best examples of intersecting triple-stacks that I can remember.

The lower right isn't quite as good, showing some of the signs of stress I mentioned above. SLINGER feels partialish, as does OPEN SINCE. RARE FIND makes me cock my head a bit, as does WEEKENDER. The latter does show up a lot in newspapers, so it's possible that it's just not in my bailiwick. The overall effect ... this corner doesn't strike me nearly as powerfully as the upper left. Nothing STANK, except the weird one-L ENROL, but not nearly as much stood out, either.

With this type of grid, it can be tough to work in much of anything else. So I like Andrew's efforts to integrate HARE-BRAINED, GRASS STAINS, and even the shorter IM EASY, NO CARB, THE POPE, BIOGAS, and ICE AXES. All good stuff.

All of this, with very little crossword glue — ENROL being the only sticking point I saw. That's nice execution.

If only the bottom right corner had been as spectacular as the upper left. Especially given the level of construction difficulty of intersecting triple-stacks, that would have made the puzzle an easy POW!

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© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0114 ( 24,539 )
Across Down
1. Back in : RETROCHIC
10. Golf or tennis lesson topic : GRIP
14. Time Lords, e.g. : ALIENRACE
15. Kimchi solution : BRINE
16. Something that may help control the border? : WEEDEATER
17. Shop item : LATHE
18. Roast figures : MCS
19. Anchovy or sand eel : SPRAT
20. Same old : USUAL
21. Fix permanently : ETCH
23. X factor? : SEX
24. House flip, e.g. : RESALE
25. Very loud : AROAR
27. Celebrity ex of Bruce and Ashton : DEMI
29. With 26-Down, bit of winter fun : SLED
30. Really hot : TORRID
32. 1978 Nobel sharer : SADAT
34. Requisite : NEEDED
36. Like some extreme diets : NOCARB
39. Part of a Guardian Angel's attire : BERET
41. Roast figures : FRIARS
43. Comic who was the 2012 presidential nominee of the Peace and Freedom Party : BARR
46. Bangkok banknotes : BAHT
48. Join the club, in Canterbury : ENROL
49. "Either way works for me" : IMEASY
51. Mother of the wind gods : EOS
53. One of two in a tournament : SEMI
54. Cousin of ibid. : OPCIT
55. Run : SPATE
57. Follower : FAN
58. Davis of "The Accidental Tourist" : GEENA
59. "Shh!" : NOTALKING
61. Mock wedding setting in Shakespeare : ARDEN
62. Words before a business's date of establishment : OPENSINCE
63. Bracket position : SEED
64. Person on a quick vacation, maybe : WEEKENDER
1. Carpaccio, e.g. : RAWMEAT
2. Tiny orbiter : ELECTRON
3. 50-50, e.g. : TIESCORE
4. Like the lower half of Haiti's flag : RED
5. Georges : ONES
6. Game with an official called a stickman : CRAPS
7. It "paralyzes life," per Martin Luther King Jr. : HATRED
8. Tools descended from alpenstocks : ICEAXES
9. Warrant, e.g.: Abbr. : CERT
10. They often turn knees green : GRASSSTAINS
11. Initiation, e.g. : RITUAL
12. Yoga class directive : INHALE
13. Like bananas in banana splits : PEELED
15. Like the upper half of Haiti's flag : BLUE
22. Cockamamie : HAREBRAINED
24. Free from : RIDOF
26. See 29-Across : RIDE
28. "Wowser!" : MAN
31. Topper for Chaplin's Tramp : DERBY
33. Parcel portion : ACRE
35. Org. concerned with some labs : DEA
37. Thrill during an excavation : RAREFIND
38. Bond seen in "Wayne's World" : BROMANCE
40. Obviously Catholic person, in a snarky rhetorical question : THEPOPE
42. Ending with gun or mud : SLINGER
43. Manure byproduct : BIOGAS
44. Coulomb per second : AMPERE
45. What coastlines may do : RECEDE
47. Perfectly : TOATEE
50. N.B.A. coach Van Gundy : STAN
52. Was lousy : STANK
55. Put one over on : SNOW
56. Instead : ELSE
60. Blood group? : KIN

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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