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New York Times, Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Author:
Matthew Sewell
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
128/24/201611/27/20192
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
2105121
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.64131
Matthew Sewell

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 74, Blocks: 39 Missing: none – this is a pangram. This is puzzle # 4 for Mr. Sewell. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Matthew Sewell notes:
This became a pangram by accident: I had something different in the bottom-middle, but while writing the clues I noticed a minor ... read more

This became a pangram by accident: I had something different in the bottom-middle, but while writing the clues I noticed a minor duplication with another answer in the grid. Argh! The best fix brought in a Q, and there it was.

I appreciate Will and Joel's improvements to this puzzle, as well as the contributions of the test-solvers and the others involved in producing the final product.

Jeff Chen notes:
I love me some fantasy basketball, so getting a BLOCK to REBOUND to PASS to DRIBBLE to SHOOT to TAKING OFF FROM THE FREE THROW LINE, ... read more

I love me some fantasy basketball, so getting a BLOCK to REBOUND to PASS to DRIBBLE to SHOOT to TAKING OFF FROM THE FREE THROW LINE, LEAPING OVER THREE GUYS AND WINDMILL DUNKING TO SMASH THE BACKBOARD was a great FAST BREAK.

That's how it went in my mind, at least.

I loved DRIBBLE GLASS and SHOOT EM UPS as phrases. The former is especially good, since it's not only a hilarious product (that's my middle-grade sense of humor speaking), but it hides the basketball meaning of DRIBBLE. SHOOT EM UPS does that to a lesser extent, but the term "sharpshooters" is used in bball all the time.

BLOCK HEEL … it does appear to be a real thing, but it didn't do much for me. (Not surprising, given my disinterest in fashion.) REBOUND GUY also didn't hit my ear very well. I suppose I can imagine someone being called that. But it felt off. What other REBOUND phrase is there, though?

I did wonder why there was a REBOUND in the sequence at all, but some research shows that whoever collects the BLOCKed shot does get credit for the rebound. So it does belong in the story after all.

One of the reasons I enjoy working with Matt is his relentless drive to make his fill as colorful and smooth as possible. Six longish themers is rarely easy to work around, but Matt still managed to incorporate PALOOKAS, SIDE ORDER, ANECDOTAL, CABARETS, etc. Considering some puzzles with much less theme only have a single pair of bonus entries, this is a great achievement. I enjoyed hitting all these bonuses during my solve.

There were some ESE, NEG, RELET, ELD, RAHS kinds of crossword glue, but they were all minor for me. I thought the trade-off was well worth it, as I like how much those long bonus entries add to the quality of a solve.

I'm six months out from my Achilles tear from playing bball, so watch out for my FAST BREAK! (Not referring to the Achilles, hopefully.)

1
U
2
P
3
C
4
W
5
E
6
E
7
D
8
S
9
R
10
A
11
H
12
S
13
S
A
O
14
I
T
S
O
N
15
I
N
A
P
16
T
17
B
L
O
18
C
K
H
E
E
L
19
S
E
D
E
R
20
O
L
D
I
E
21
S
E
C
A
D
A
22
E
O
N
S
23
R
24
E
25
B
26
O
U
N
D
G
U
Y
27
X
K
E
28
L
A
H
R
29
O
O
P
S
30
P
A
S
31
S
32
J
33
U
D
G
M
E
34
N
T
35
O
S
S
I
A
N
36
T
E
A
37
C
38
U
39
P
40
D
R
I
41
B
42
B
43
L
E
G
L
A
S
S
44
A
45
C
46
M
E
47
T
A
T
A
48
B
E
A
49
S
H
O
O
50
T
E
M
U
P
51
S
52
C
A
R
T
53
H
A
R
R
I
S
54
U
55
T
U
R
N
56
E
V
A
D
E
57
F
58
A
59
S
T
B
R
E
A
60
K
61
R
E
L
E
T
62
A
K
I
R
A
63
T
M
I
64
Z
E
R
O
65
Q
A
T
A
R
66
S
E
X
© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0118 ( 24,543 )
Across
1
Scanned bars, for short : UPC
4
Roundup targets : WEEDS
9
Cries from bleachers : RAHS
13
Word in Brazilian city names : SAO
14
"Game time!" : ITSON
15
Not suitable : INAPT
17
Platform sandal feature : BLOCKHEEL
19
"Next year in Jerusalem" meal : SEDER
20
Blast from the past : OLDIE
21
Jon with the 1992 hit "Just Another Day" : SECADA
22
Forever and a day : EONS
23
Boyfriend after a breakup, perhaps : REBOUNDGUY
27
Classic Jaguar : XKE
28
Bert who played the Cowardly Lion : LAHR
29
Klutz's utterance : OOPS
30
Render a verdict : PASSJUDGMENT
35
Bard of Gaelic legend : OSSIAN
36
___ Chihuahua (tiny dog) : TEACUP
40
Novelty shop buy : DRIBBLEGLASS
44
High point : ACME
47
Soho send-off : TATA
48
Actress Arthur of "Maude" : BEA
49
Space Invaders and Asteroids, for two : SHOOTEMUPS
52
Airport rental : CART
53
Neil Patrick ___ of "How I Met Your Mother" : HARRIS
54
One-eighty : UTURN
56
Dance around, as an issue : EVADE
57
Dynamic basketball sequence represented by the starts of 17-, 23-, 30-, 40- and 49-Across : FASTBREAK
61
Find new tenants for : RELET
62
"Ran" director Kurosawa : AKIRA
63
Texter's "Didn't need to know that" : TMI
64
Abysmal score : ZERO
65
Persian Gulf emirate : QATAR
66
Census datum : SEX
Down
1
Kind of port for a flash drive : USB
2
Inept boxers, in slang : PALOOKAS
3
Hipster's quality : COOLNESS
4
Collaborative online reference : WIKI
5
Anesthetic of old : ETHER
6
Language suffix : ESE
7
Female caribou : DOE
8
TV show on which "The Chanukah Song" debuted, informally : SNL
9
Like a fully cooked soufflé : RISEN
10
Not based on fact or research : ANECDOTAL
11
Tried one's luck : HADAGO
12
Floored it : SPEDUP
16
Cafeteria stack : TRAYS
18
Components of some I.R.A.s : CDS
21
___ du Québec (police force) : SURETE
22
Comic-Con, e.g. : EXPO
24
Ancient times, in ancient times : ELD
25
Do a job at the checkout aisle : BAG
26
Resistance unit : OHM
31
Fries or slaw, usually : SIDEORDER
32
Musician's tip collector : JAR
33
Joins forces (with) : UNITES
34
Like rarer blood types: Abbr. : NEG
37
Song-and-dance shows : CABARETS
38
POTUS in Twitter's @POTUS, e.g. : USERNAME
39
Exam with a max score of 1520 : PSAT
41
"Ka-POW!" : BAM
42
A/C measure : BTU
43
Place for a grandchild, maybe : LAP
44
One of the 12 tribes of Israel : ASHER
45
Labor organizer Cesar : CHAVEZ
46
A pep talk may boost it : MORALE
50
Connect with : TIETO
51
Kama ___ : SUTRA
52
Ill-tempered mutt : CUR
55
Rope tow alternative : TBAR
57
Website's help section, briefly : FAQ
58
Rap sheet letters : AKA
59
Gather dust : SIT
60
Cereal made with a "puffing gun" : KIX

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle.

Found bugs or have suggestions?