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New York Times, Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Author:
Byron Walden
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
9311/23/20012/20/201914
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1101292617
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1.59321
Byron Walden

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 16 Words: 75, Blocks: 38 Missing: {JQWZ} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 78 for Mr. Walden. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Byron Walden notes:
Don't throw out your calendars — it is indeed Tuesday. Given the basic nature of the theme, I was shooting for Monday, but I couldn't ... read more

Don't throw out your calendars — it is indeed Tuesday. Given the basic nature of the theme, I was shooting for Monday, but I couldn't resist the siren song of opening up the grid with extra connectivity. Hope you enjoy the result.

Jeff Chen notes:
Could it really be that this is Byron's Tuesday NYT debut? I think of him as one of the few 'five-tool constructors,' with the ability to ... read more

Could it really be that this is Byron's Tuesday NYT debut? I think of him as one of the few "five-tool constructors," with the ability to construct:

  1. 140-word Sundays
  2. Tricky Thursdays with a clever twist
  3. Themeless with both voice and clean execution
  4. Early-week ultra-smoothness
  5. Mid-week intermediate difficulty

I list these in approximate order of difficulty/rarity, so I suppose it's no surprise that Byron hasn't worked much on tool number 5 — not as much of a challenge. I am curious to see if he can hit for the cycle with an ultra-smooth, interesting Monday puzzle.

Don't mind me, just skating along

I was very glad to get a revealer today, GONE FISHING sort of hinting at the theme: four fish starting long entries. I really liked Byron's consistency of starting with a type of fish that has a different meaning, making it past tense, and then adding a preposition to finish it off. FLOUNDERED AROUND seemed like the weakest of the bunch, as I usually think of FLOUNDERED by itself, but I can see the usage. It's impressive to find four fish that work this consistent manner — without repeating a preposition.

Byron has great ability to work in vocabulary that makes me think. I mulled over RICE SEEDS, wondering if rice really starts with seeds? (It does.) I wasn't familiar with SALT DOMES, but they were interesting to read up on. And then to get SIR GALAHAD, KEPT IT REAL, OLD MONEY, TAX DODGES — that's the kind of great stuff I expect out of a Walden. Even BAD PR is a great little entry.

It does come with a price, in gluey bits like IME (partial), GINO (poor guy never went anywhere after his Heisman), ENNE (suffix), APAL (partial). This sort of thing is to be expected when you cram so much good long fill into an already theme-dense puzzle, but I normally don't see quite this much in a Walden puzzle.

I think this trade-off is fine though, as mid-week puzzles can tolerate a little more crossword glue than Monday puzzles (where the gluey stuff might turn off newbies) or most themelesses (where there are so many people making them that the bar is ultra-high).

1
G
2
E
3
A
4
R
5
R
6
A
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C
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K
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B
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E
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T
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C
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H
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A
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U
T
N
E
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I
C
E
E
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A
V
A
L
O
N
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L
C
D
S
19
C
A
R
P
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E
D
A
B
O
U
T
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P
E
R
C
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H
E
D
A
T
O
P
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U
R
I
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S
T
E
A
M
S
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I
N
R
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A
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G
S
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C
A
N
O
E
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I
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S
T
S
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P
I
E
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C
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E
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E
M
I
R
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T
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N
A
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F
37
L
38
O
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U
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N
D
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D
A
R
O
U
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D
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D
E
L
V
E
S
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G
A
S
X
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R
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D
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O
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S
A
L
T
D
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O
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M
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E
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S
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M
A
N
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U
A
L
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O
R
O
M
E
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O
54
E
55
C
O
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S
K
A
57
T
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E
D
A
L
O
N
G
59
G
O
N
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E
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F
I
S
H
I
N
G
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A
P
A
L
63
O
N
E
P
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A
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R
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T
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S
K
Y
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G
67
D
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68
S
P
E
D
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0119 ( 24,178 )
Across
1
Boots, backpack, tent, etc. : GEAR
5
Triangle on a pool table : RACK
9
"You ___" ("Sure thing") : BETCHA
15
___ Reader (alternative digest) : UTNE
16
Maker of Arctic Blast and Java Freeze beverages : ICEE
17
Arthurian island : AVALON
18
Some PC screens : LCDS
19
Criticized nigglingly : CARPEDABOUT
21
Roosted on : PERCHEDATOP
23
Mentalist Geller : URI
24
Ticks off : STEAMS
25
Tattered : INRAGS
28
Travelers with paddles : CANOEISTS
31
Gun, slangily : PIECE
34
Mideast ruler : EMIR
35
Landlord's counterpart : TENANT
36
Struggled to make progress : FLOUNDEREDAROUND
42
Digs deeply (into) : DELVES
43
Beano competitor : GASX
44
Bull session? : RODEO
45
Halite formations that might be oil reservoirs : SALTDOMES
50
How-to book : MANUAL
52
Address of Juliet's balcony? : OROMEO
54
Umberto ___, author of "The Name of the Rose" : ECO
56
Proceeded without trying very hard : SKATEDALONG
59
Classic out-of-office sign ... or what this puzzle's author has done? : GONEFISHING
62
"C'mon, be ___" : APAL
63
Nearest target for a bowler : ONEPIN
64
Fashion designer Klein : ANNE
65
Repetitive means of learning : ROTE
66
Hitting high in the air : SKYING
67
Colors, as Easter eggs : DYES
68
Did 80 on the highway, say : SPED
Down
1
Swallows deeply : GULPS
2
" ... and on and on and on" : ETCETC
3
Newswoman Mitchell : ANDREA
4
Make another image of : RESCAN
5
They get the paddy started : RICESEEDS
6
Part of U.S.C.G.A.: Abbr. : ACAD
7
"Juno" actor Michael : CERA
8
Avoided phoniness : KEPTITREAL
9
Celeb's arrest report, to the celeb, say : BADPR
10
Actress Mendes of "2 Fast 2 Furious" : EVA
11
Neighbor of Caps Lock : TAB
12
Bumbling detective of film : CLOUSEAU
13
"Spring forward, fall back" unit : HOUR
14
One in opposition : ANTI
20
Time immemorial : EONS
22
Aetna offering, briefly : HMO
26
Mimic : APER
27
___ Torretta, 1992 Heisman Trophy winner : GINO
29
"___ Mine" (George Harrison autobiography) : IME
30
Noble knight who found the Holy Grail : SIRGALAHAD
32
Wolf Blitzer's employer : CNN
33
You may be asked to arrive 90 mins. prior to this : ETD
35
Sneaky shelters : TAXDODGES
36
Pres. who recuperated at Warm Springs, Ga. : FDR
37
Sign before Virgo : LEO
38
Aristocratic ancestry : OLDMONEY
39
Eye layer whose name derives from the Latin for "grape" : UVEA
40
Gas in signs : NEON
41
"Spring forward, fall back" inits. : DST
45
Fifth Avenue retailer : SAKS
46
13-Down, in Italian : ORA
47
Grinding teeth : MOLARS
48
Fall Out Boy genre : EMOPOP
49
Where John Kerry and Bob Kerrey served : SENATE
51
On drugs : USING
53
Eyed caddishly : OGLED
54
They benefit from boosters : EGOS
55
Crash, with "out" : CONK
57
Minuscule : TINY
58
Feminine suffix : ENNE
60
Prefix with center : EPI
61
1950s car feature : FIN

Answer summary: 12 unique to this puzzle, 2 debuted here and reused later.

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