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New York Times, Thursday, January 16, 2014

Author: Elizabeth A. Long
Editor: Will Shortz
Elizabeth A. Long
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
137/16/20072/18/20180
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1422310
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.58130

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 42 Missing: {QX} This is puzzle # 11 for Ms. Long. NYT links: Across Lite PDF

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Will Shortz notes: The thing I like most about this puzzle is that every one of the six I's in the grid has D-O-T immediately over it. In other words, there are no I's left "undotted."
Jeff Chen notes: What an enjoyable solve from Elizabeth today. Not a huge amount of overt theme material, so it felt more like a themeless as I was ... more
Jeff Chen notes: What an enjoyable solve from Elizabeth today. Not a huge amount of overt theme material, so it felt more like a themeless as I was going. But what a nice surprise when I sat back to figure out what was really going on. At first I thought it was simply a O representing a dot over each I, but no, it's a full DOT. Very cool!

I personally tried a similar idea a year ago, but I just used Os to "dot" every I. I also wanted to pull off zero extraneous Is or Os (no dot-like Os floating around the grid), so during my solve today I was slightly put off by what felt like me to be superfluous Os — they seemed like orphaned "dots" that didn't belong to any Is. That's my own issue, though.

And the more I thought about my own (failed) experience, I liked the trade-off here. I still think there's a certain inelegance in having an O where there is no matching I (yes, I know, I can be super picky), but I really appreciated the cleanliness of Elizabeth's grid. And Will brings up a good point, that no I is left unDOTted.

That brings us to the revealer. DOTTED I is a brief touch, right to the point. I think DOTTED THE IS (11) or DOTTED ALL THE IS (14, maybe using a 14 x 16 grid) would have been more elegant an entry, but adding more theme material will almost always make the construction harder. Plus, a seven-letter entry like DOTTED I can go right in the middle without causing construction problems. Notice how HOE and REA (instead of banks of black squares) flank DOTTED I? That means the sides of the grid can be broken up in many, many different ways. A 9 or 11 or 13-letter revealer in the dead center makes construction more difficult, because it places a few black squares automatically

The fill is nice and smooth, although more marquee long fill would have been nice. Almost all the longest answers (all eight letters long) are single words, and aren't super snazzy. "Speaker's aid" helps to make ANECDOTE a better answer, and "Passed on, in a way" does the same for REPEATED — that sort of misdirection could have helped spice up the other eight-letter fill too.

And saving the best for last: "What some waiters never see?" as in "Waiting for GODOT"; that's absolutely brilliant cluing. More of that, please!

1
H
2
O
3
G
4
A
5
D
6
A
7
M
8
L
9
A
10
R
11
S
12
O
13
N
14
A
N
E
15
C
D
O
T
E
16
A
M
A
N
D
A
17
C
A
N
O
E
I
S
T
18
D
O
T
E
O
N
19
K
N
E
W
20
T
E
E
21
D
I
C
E
R
S
22
R
E
23
F
24
A
R
25
F
26
H
R
S
27
S
28
T
A
R
E
29
S
30
L
31
A
32
C
E
S
33
C
A
T
S
U
P
34
G
O
D
O
T
35
H
O
E
36
D
O
37
T
T
E
D
I
38
R
39
E
40
A
41
P
A
I
R
S
42
U
N
43
B
E
L
T
44
B
E
L
L
A
45
P
E
O
P
L
E
46
V
A
N
47
P
48
J
49
S
50
D
R
E
51
D
O
T
A
52
G
53
E
54
A
T
55
M
56
Z
A
57
H
58
N
59
A
I
M
L
O
W
60
Y
O
U
61
D
O
T
O
O
62
P
L
A
T
T
E
63
N
U
T
R
I
E
N
T
64
S
A
N
Y
O
S
65
E
T
T
U
66
D
E
E
© 2014, The New York TimesNo. 0116 ( 23,445 )
Across Down
1. Harley, e.g. : HOG
4. First of all : ADAM
8. Cartoonist who said "I don't read or watch TV to get ideas. My work is basically sitting down at the drawing table and getting silly" : LARSON
14. Speaker's aid : ANECDOTE
16. "The Glass Menagerie" woman : AMANDA
17. Paddle pusher : CANOEIST
18. Indulge : DOTEON
19. Grasped : KNEW
20. Ball holder : TEE
21. Kitchen gizmos : DICERS
22. Bartlett's, e.g. : REF
24. Pet saying? : ARF
26. Coll. units : HRS
27. What a public scene may elicit : STARES
30. Gets ready to play, say, with "up" : LACES
33. Hunt's production : CATSUP
34. What some waiters never see? : GODOT
35. Prepare to plant, perhaps : HOE
36. Lowercase letter illustrated six times in this puzzle? : DOTTEDI
38. Actor Stephen : REA
41. Shoes and socks, typically : PAIRS
42. Start to take off one's pants, say : UNBELT
44. Girl's name meaning "beautiful" : BELLA
45. Constituency : PEOPLE
46. Lead : VAN
47. Slumber party togs : PJS
50. Rap's Dr. ___ : DRE
51. Senility : DOTAGE
54. ___ card : ATM
56. Newswoman Paula : ZAHN
59. Not shoot for the stars, to put it mildly : AIMLOW
60. "I'm not the only one!" : YOUDOTOO
62. River to the Missouri : PLATTE
63. Vitamin, e.g. : NUTRIENT
64. Some plasma TVs and digital cameras : SANYOS
65. Roman rebuke : ETTU
66. Poor grade : DEE
1. Break (into) : HACK
2. ___ incline (tilted) : ONAN
3. Produce : GENERATE
4. Suffix with orange : ADE
5. "Go ahead!" : DOIT
6. Flummoxed : ATSEA
7. Thing that might have a needle : METER
8. "Charlie's Angels" actress : LADD
9. French mine? : AMOI
10. Wheel with sloped teeth : RATCHET
11. Contemptuous responses : SNEERS
12. They may be picked up in a locker room : ODORS
13. Indian breads : NANS
15. Crouches in fear : COWERS
23. Like England in the Middle Ages : FEUDAL
25. Arctic ice : FLOE
27. Tech, e.g.: Abbr. : SCH
28. Subject of meditation : TAO
29. Turn : SPOIL
31. Make sense : ADDUP
32. Made up : COINED
34. Some sports cars : GTS
37. Part of a drain : TRAP
38. Passed on, in a way : REPEATED
39. Bracket shape : ELL
40. Had : ATE
41. It's an imposition : PENALTY
43. Russian wolfhound : BORZOI
44. For whom Alfred Pennyworth is a butler : BATMAN
46. "Behold!" : VOILA
48. Old-time actress Meadows : JAYNE
49. Corpulent : STOUT
51. Fist-bumps : DAPS
52. Attend : GOTO
53. Female Cotswolds : EWES
55. Kennel club reject, no doubt : MUTT
57. Sharpen : HONE
58. ___ to self : NOTE
61. "___ Hill," 1996 platinum album : DRU

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later.

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