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New York Times, Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Author:
Samuel A. Donaldson
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
3310/2/20088/21/20199
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
7257516
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.63130
Samuel A. Donaldson

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 74, Blocks: 34 Missing: {FJQV} This is puzzle # 30 for Mr. Donaldson. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
I miss Sam. He used to live not that far away from Jim and me, but he moved about five years ago after getting married. Doing his ... read more

I miss Sam. He used to live not that far away from Jim and me, but he moved about five years ago after getting married. Doing his puzzles always reminds me of how hilarious and interesting he is. Always makes me smile.

Speaking of smiling, how can you not like people buying you drinks? We see ON ME as a piece of crossword fill all the time, and I always think it sounds like a partial. (ITS) ON ME, right? Or DRINKS ON ME! I wonder if being a crossword constructor, using ON ME, subconsciously gave Sam the idea for the theme. Amusing to get the insider's nod.

Long bonuses in the fill are a big reason why "good" crosswords stand out from the "bad." (Think about that crappy crossword in your local paper that's probably generated by a computer.) The puzzle would have given me joy because of WIZARD HAT alone.

I liked LOCUTION, too. Not an everyday word, but one that's gettable from the more common "elocution." The word nerd in me approves.

IT COUPLE and ANY LUCK were nice, too. But they weren't worth the price of ATOY, NCC, UPIN. It would have been a different story if the rest of the puzzle had been perfectly clean, but NETH NGO ORO RAHS SOO ...

I would have preferred using black squares to split ANY LUCK at the L, and SNIDEST at the D. This would have created more 3-letter words, verging on a choppy solve, but it would have allowed for both more smoothness and color. ORIENTAL doesn't do much for me – perfectly fine as the Monopoly property, but I've had enough of being called Oriental – so something as strong as WIZARD HAT or NOODGES could have been made possible in the NE by adding the black squares.

Solid theme, but I could have used a bit more refinement in the gridwork.

1
C
2
R
3
U
4
S
5
H
6
B
7
A
8
S
9
E
10
M
11
O
12
H
13
S
14
H
E
N
I
E
15
O
X
E
N
16
I
R
A
N
17
I
T
S
M
Y
18
T
R
E
A
T
19
C
I
T
I
20
C
A
N
I
S
E
E
21
T
R
E
E
D
22
O
P
A
L
23
D
R
24
I
25
N
26
K
S
O
N
M
E
27
S
E
G
A
28
L
29
S
N
E
A
K
30
T
A
S
31
R
O
32
N
33
S
T
L
34
W
A
I
T
35
I
36
L
L
G
E
37
T
T
H
E
38
B
I
L
L
39
A
T
O
Y
40
W
R
Y
41
L
I
Z
42
N
C
C
43
I
D
O
L
44
S
45
C
A
46
S
47
C
48
A
49
Y
O
U
50
R
M
O
N
E
Y
51
S
52
R
A
H
S
53
L
U
T
E
S
54
N
O
55
O
D
G
E
S
56
U
P
I
N
57
N
58
O
59
G
O
O
D
H
E
R
E
60
C
L
O
D
61
G
R
A
D
62
D
A
L
I
S
63
K
E
N
S
64
O
O
P
S
65
S
T
Y
E
S
© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 0115 ( 25,270 )

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Across
1
Object of puppy love : CRUSH
6
Acid's opposite : BASE
10
Eponymous scale inventor : MOHS
14
Skating gold medalist Sonja : HENIE
15
Big farm workers : OXEN
16
Country whose name can also be a full sentence : IRAN
17
Welcome comment at a bar #1 : ITSMYTREAT
19
Lead-in to bank : CITI
20
"Ooh, ooh, let me look!" : CANISEE
21
Cornered, as during a fox hunt : TREED
22
Milky birthstone : OPAL
23
Welcome comment at a bar #2 : DRINKSONME
27
Actor George of TV's "The Goldbergs" : SEGAL
29
Underhanded sort : SNEAK
30
Some univ. instructors : TAS
31
Friend of Harry in the Harry Potter books : RON
33
The Cardinals, on scoreboards : STL
34
"Hang on!" : WAIT
35
Welcome comment at a bar #3 : ILLGETTHEBILL
39
"This is not ___" (warning to kids) : ATOY
40
Cleverly and ironically humorous : WRY
41
Tina Fey's "30 Rock" role : LIZ
42
___-1701 (U.S.S. Enterprise registry) : NCC
43
Often-forbidden things to worship : IDOLS
45
Caesar's first stabber : CASCA
49
With 57-Across, welcome comment at a bar #4 : YOURMONEYS
52
Sounds of support : RAHS
53
Cousins of mandolins : LUTES
54
Pestering people : NOODGES
56
Words before "smoke" or "the air" : UPIN
57
See 49-Across : NOGOODHERE
60
Dirt ball : CLOD
61
One coming to homecoming, maybe : GRAD
62
"The Burning Giraffe" and "The Persistence of Memory" : DALIS
63
Boy dolls : KENS
64
"Beg pardon!" : OOPS
65
They might make lids difficult to close : STYES
Down
1
Women's clothing chain since 1983 : CHICOS
2
Do again, as a radio bit : RETAPE
3
Let off the hook? : UNSNAG
4
Likewise : SIMILARLY
5
Casual greetings : HEYS
6
Termites and drills : BORERS
7
Pink-slip : AXE
8
Maritime milieu : SEA
9
Tolkien tree being : ENT
10
Tiny opening? : MICRO
11
Avenue between Reading Railroad and Chance : ORIENTAL
12
Poison-pen letters : HATEMAIL
13
Most sarcastic : SNIDEST
18
___ Talks : TED
21
"Shame!" : TSK
24
Fashionable : INSTYLE
25
Home of The Hague: Abbr. : NETH
26
Superman's birth name : KALEL
28
Wood in a fireplace : LOG
32
Change of locks? : NEWDO
34
Pointed headgear often pictured with stars and moons : WIZARDHAT
35
Tabloid twosome : ITCOUPLE
36
Manner of speaking : LOCUTION
37
1982 film inspired by Pong : TRON
38
Big lighter brand : BIC
39
"Were you successful at all?" : ANYLUCK
43
Some digital chats, informally : IMS
44
Holy councils : SYNODS
46
How Solomon spoke : SAGELY
47
French sweetheart : CHERIE
48
Make a judgment of : ASSESS
50
Rips to pieces : RENDS
51
The Great Lakes' ___ Locks : SOO
55
3:2 or 10:1, e.g. : ODDS
57
Independent charity, for short : NGO
58
Spanish gold : ORO
59
Clothing chain since 1969 : GAP

Answer summary: 8 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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