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New York Times, Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Author: James Tuttle
Editor: Will Shortz
James Tuttle
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
71/10/20115/12/20160
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0320200
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.52020

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 38 Missing: {QXZ} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 6 for Mr. Tuttle. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
James Tuttle notes: I'm pretty sure that my inspiration for this puzzle was the 11/12/2012 offering by Randall J. Hartman. If you see him around, ... more
James Tuttle notes:

I'm pretty sure that my inspiration for this puzzle was the 11/12/2012 offering by Randall J. Hartman. If you see him around, could you tell him that I NODDED in appreciation towards his work? His contribution to crosswords MERITS at least that much.

There's no doubt that there were many a CELEB to choose from for the "-MONROE" entry. Despite the fact that gentlemen prefer BLONDEs, I naturally found the ultimate choice to have a better ring to it than MARILYN. (Confession: I just now noticed the DUMB BLONDE crossing. No offense intended.)

Probably had the most trouble with the "–ROT" entry. Every attempt to make ROSS PEROT a possible candidate was met with resistance left and right. For motivation, I turned to the musings of a wise, French philosopher: "There are things I can't force. I must adjust." In the end, DENIS DIDEROT won by a landslide.

And so with that, painful as it is, I must take my LEAVE. Parting is… hard to do. Hope to see you all again soon.

Jeff Chen notes: Row, row, row (row, row) your themers today, row rhymers all with different spellings. Finding five of them must have been quite the ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Row, row, row (row, row) your themers today, row rhymers all with different spellings. Finding five of them must have been quite the challenge.

President Monroe is feeling good, perhaps about his delightful wig

I like James' appropriate choice of JAMES Monroe. Gave me good feelings to see the man who presided over the Era of Good Feelings. Plus, the theme density is already so high – 11/12/15/12/11 creates high demands upon a 15x puzzle – that having MARILYN MONROE's awkward 13-letter length would have likely required a lot more gluey bits that we see now.

I love a clever wordplay clue, and I find it even better when it doesn't need a question mark. So to have one on a themer is pretty much ideal. [Group you can rely on when it counts] is brilliant for CENSUS BUREAU. Plus, it reminds me of one of the best SNL sketches ever.

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F
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© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0127 ( 23,821 )
Across Down
1. White-tie event : FORMAL
7. Half-baked : DUMB
11. Home of the Bulls, informally : CHI
14. Lead zeppelins? : AVIATE
15. Track shape : OVAL
16. Darling : HON
17. Africa's highest peak : KILIMANJARO
19. One who gives a hoot? : OWL
20. Starting point? : EDEN
21. Son of Kanga : ROO
22. Reason to wear earplugs : NOISE
24. Noted French encyclopedist : DENISDIDEROT
28. Scouts earn them : MERITS
31. Like a 911 call: Abbr. : EMER
32. Girl in a "Paint Your Wagon" song : ELISA
33. Part of a televised movie review : CLIP
35. Letters after old dates : BCE
38. Parting, to Juliet : SUCHSWEETSORROW
42. Hoppy brew : ALE
43. Maker of the face cream Regenerist : OLAY
44. "Begone!" : LEAVE
45. German W.W. I admiral : SPEE
47. Hunting dog : SETTER
48. Group you can rely on when it counts : CENSUSBUREAU
53. Unearthly : ALIEN
54. California's Big ___ : SUR
55. Not thought through : RASH
59. Recyclables container : BIN
60. President who lived at Oak Hill : JAMESMONROE
64. Polish airline : LOT
65. Food thickener : AGAR
66. Playwright Eugene : ONEILL
67. Ordinal suffix : ETH
68. Hospital capacity : BEDS
69. Silently assented : NODDED
1. Like knockoff goods : FAKE
2. Golden Age poet : OVID
3. Tick off : RILE
4. Entree : MAINDISH
5. Cash cache : ATM
6. Gets the hang of : LEARNS
7. Karate schools : DOJOS
8. Cavaliers of the N.C.A.A. : UVA
9. Vandalize, e.g. : MAR
10. Mae West or Cheryl Tiegs : BLONDE
11. Preaching to the ___ : CHOIR
12. "In what way?" : HOWSO
13. Puget Sound, e.g. : INLET
18. "___ didn't!" : NOI
23. Anthem contraction : OER
25. O'Hare info, for short : ETAS
26. Saturn or Mercury : DEITY
27. Babysitters' challenges : IMPS
28. Arizona's third-largest city : MESA
29. Hebrew month : ELUL
30. It might be wild or dirty : RICE
33. A-lister : CELEB
34. Open field : LEA
35. Babysitter's challenge : BRAT
36. Place to moor a boat : COVE
37. Fancy pitcher : EWER
39. Trials and tribulations : WOES
40. Olive genus : OLEA
41. Like a bad check : RETURNED
45. Opposite of NNW : SSE
46. Indian state whose name means "five rivers" : PUNJAB
47. Church address : SERMON
48. Not broadcast : CABLE
49. Poet who wrote "This is the way the world ends / Not with a bang but a whimper" : ELIOT
50. Inning for closers : NINTH
51. Consumers : USERS
52. St. Petersburg's home: Abbr. : RUS
56. Like Death Valley : ARID
57. One and only : SOLE
58. Detained : HELD
61. Digital ___ : AGE
62. Magazine written by "the usual gang of idiots" : MAD
63. John Lennon's middle name : ONO

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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