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New York Times, Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Author:
Timothy Polin
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
5012/11/20118/8/20192
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
74962202
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.626140
Timothy Polin

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 40 Missing: {JQVZ} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 32 for Mr. Polin. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
WANKEN OBI has to be the most hilariously awkward phrase I've ever seen in crosswords. Ahem. Hopefully no geishas are doing the puzzle ... read more

WANKEN OBI has to be the most hilariously awkward phrase I've ever seen in crosswords. Ahem. Hopefully no geishas are doing the puzzle today.

Ah, CARRIE / FISHER. STAR WARS was the first movie I ever saw on the big screen, so PRINCESS LEIA is forever burned into my mind. The image of a strong woman kicking ass and taking names, awkwardly kissing her brother, those CINNAMON BUNS … she's the source of much of my therapy needs.

And it's neat how outspoken and don't-give-a-damn she was toward the end of her life. I'll miss her.

Some neat elements in this tribute. I liked the idea of the ST/AR W/A/R/S "opening crawl" (the prologue disappearing off to a vanishing point), although it sure would have been nice to get more than just STAR WARS in this format. (Unlike George Lucas's terrible opening crawls in Episodes I, II, and III, where I would have been much happier with just the title, no explanations of the senate deadlock and the galactic trade barriers and economic STOOOOOOOP!)

As much as I like STAR WARS quotes, breaking HELP ME OBI / WAN KENOBI / YOURE MY ONLY HOPE was odd. There doesn't appear to be any other way to break it up though, and this was one of LEIA's iconic quotes. Hmm. Maybe if mirror symmetry had been used, at least HELP ME OBI and WANKEN OBI (oops, I did it again!) could have been in the top half of the puzzle (going vertically), with YOURE MY ONLY HOPE at the bottom. That would have avoided the jump all the way to the bottom, then back to the middle.

I did like that CARRIE / FISHER was interlocked into that quote. Neat to see how fortuitously FISHER and PRINCESS LEIA linked together. That did force some inflexibility in the lower right corner, with the odd ALLEE, but I thought it was worth it. Carrie FISHER probably didn't like being called PRINCESS LEIA her entire life, but the two were eternally connected, no doubt.

Some neat ideas. They didn't all mesh together, but I appreciated the tribute.

1
A
2
C
3
T
4
I
5
I
6
B
7
O
8
A
9
R
10
I
11
D
12
L
13
E
14
F
A
I
N
T
15
A
L
D
A
16
C
R
U
X
17
F
R
E
T
S
18
H
E
L
P
19
M
E
O
B
I
20
E
R
I
E
21
A
I
D
A
22
P
E
T
23
C
I
N
N
24
A
25
M
26
O
N
B
U
N
27
S
28
T
E
S
T
L
A
B
29
O
N
A
30
R
31
U
32
N
33
P
I
E
34
T
35
A
36
S
O
M
E
37
Y
38
O
39
U
40
R
E
M
Y
O
N
41
L
42
Y
H
O
P
E
43
A
U
R
A
44
S
O
D
O
I
45
W
I
N
S
46
A
47
T
48
R
I
P
49
O
50
F
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F
52
S
53
P
R
I
54
N
55
C
E
S
S
L
E
I
A
56
O
57
H
58
O
59
S
L
A
Y
60
E
T
S
Y
61
W
A
N
62
K
E
N
O
B
63
I
64
M
O
T
H
Y
65
L
U
T
E
66
O
M
E
N
67
A
L
L
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E
68
S
L
O
G
69
W
I
R
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70
P
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S
© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0117 ( 24,542 )
Across
1
When Polonius says "Brevity is the soul of wit" : ACTII
6
Tusked beast : BOAR
10
Kind of threat : IDLE
14
Swoon : FAINT
15
Alan who played Captain Pierce : ALDA
16
Essential point : CRUX
17
Agonizes (over) : FRETS
18
With 61- and 37-Across, famous line by 53-Across in [see circled letters] : HELPMEOBI
20
The "E" in HOMES : ERIE
21
Nubian heroine of opera : AIDA
22
Family member who was probably adopted : PET
23
Hairstyle for 53-Across, colloquially : CINNAMONBUNS
28
Place where trials are conducted : TESTLAB
29
Hitting blackjack after blackjack, say : ONARUN
33
Michelangelo masterpiece : PIETA
36
A few : SOME
37
See 18-Across : YOUREMYONLYHOPE
43
Ambience : AURA
44
"Same here!" : SODOI
45
Is victorious in : WINSAT
48
Swindles : RIPOFFS
53
Iconic role for 2-/51-Down : PRINCESSLEIA
56
"What have we here?!" : OHO
59
Knock 'em dead : SLAY
60
Online crafts seller : ETSY
61
See 18-Across : WANKENOBI
64
Like old, neglected sweaters, maybe : MOTHY
65
Renaissance Faire instrument : LUTE
66
Sign of things to come : OMEN
67
Tree-lined walkway, in France : ALLEE
68
Make slo-o-o-ow progress : SLOG
69
Concealed mike : WIRE
70
Entitled sorts? : PEERS
Down
1
Influence : AFFECT
2
With 51-Down, late, beloved actress : CARRIE
3
Certain marketing gimmicks : TIEINS
4
Hell-bent (on) : INTENT
5
"___ a trap!" : ITS
6
"Harrumph!" : BAH
7
Brand of artificial fat : OLEAN
8
Deal with a broken teleprompter, say : ADLIB
9
Rae Sremmurd, e.g. : RAPDUO
10
Makeup of the planet Hoth : ICE
11
Nosedive : DROP
12
Squeak stopper : LUBE
13
Turnoff for drivers : EXIT
19
"Doctor Faustus" novelist Thomas : MANN
24
Mont Blanc, e.g., to locals : ALPE
25
Cripple : MAIM
26
Heeds : OBEYS
27
Merit badge displayer : SASH
30
Figure on an Aussie Xing sign, perhaps : ROO
31
World Series official : UMP
32
Formerly named : NEE
34
"___ late!" : TOO
35
Tennis champ Agassi : ANDRE
37
Deviate during flight, as a rocket : YAW
38
Non's opposite : OUI
39
Coffee container : URN
40
Speak with a gravelly voice : RASP
41
Amy Adams's "Man of Steel" role : LOIS
42
Puppy sounds : YIPS
46
British derrière : ARSE
47
So far, informally : TILNOW
49
Chant after a fútbol goal : OLEOLE
50
In fine ___ (healthy) : FETTLE
51
See 2-Down : FISHER
52
Agree to a proposal : SAYYES
54
Country singer Judd : NAOMI
55
Modern lead-in to space or security : CYBER
56
Real head-turners? : OWLS
57
Drag : HAUL
58
Not deceived by : ONTO
62
Beer barrel : KEG
63
Having four sharps : INE
64
Reference in "Treasure Island" : MAP

Answer summary: 6 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later.

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