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New York Times, Saturday, January 14, 2017

Author:
Andrew Kingsley
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
164/29/20169/15/20193
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1213054
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.55020
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
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 ... read more

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 ... read more

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!

1
R
2
E
3
T
4
R
5
O
6
C
7
H
8
I
9
C
10
G
11
R
12
I
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P
14
A
L
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A
C
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15
B
R
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N
E
16
W
E
E
D
E
A
T
E
R
17
L
A
T
H
E
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M
C
S
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S
P
R
A
T
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U
S
U
A
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E
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C
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H
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S
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X
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R
E
S
A
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E
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A
R
O
A
26
R
27
D
E
28
M
I
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S
L
E
D
30
T
O
R
R
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31
D
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S
A
D
33
A
T
34
N
E
E
D
E
35
D
36
N
O
C
A
37
R
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B
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B
E
R
E
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T
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F
R
I
A
R
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S
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B
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A
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R
R
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B
A
H
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T
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E
N
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O
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I
M
E
A
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S
Y
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E
O
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S
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S
E
M
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O
P
C
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S
P
A
T
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E
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F
A
N
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G
E
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N
A
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N
O
T
A
L
60
K
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G
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A
R
D
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N
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O
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S
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64
W
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K
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D
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© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0114 ( 24,539 )
Across
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
Down
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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