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New York Times, Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Author:
Emily Carroll
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
108/22/201612/8/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
2113210
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.53130
Emily Carroll

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 32 Missing: {JQXZ} This is puzzle # 6 for Ms. Carroll. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Emily Carroll notes:
The idea for this puzzle came to me this past summer after seeing banana split on the menu while taking my wife on her first ever trip ... read more

The idea for this puzzle came to me this past summer after seeing banana split on the menu while taking my wife on her first ever trip to, our country's greatest culinary national treasure, Dairy Queen. How anyone could have survived 30 years on this earth without trying a Blizzard is beyond me. Luckily those dark ages are now behind us.

My original submission had BANANA SPLIT, ORANGE PEELS, GRAPE LEAVES, and LEMON DROP all as long answers; however, this ran into some consistency issues in terms of plurality and tense, so the editing team had the solution of separating BANANA/SPLITS and LEMON/DROPS in order to address this problem but still maintain symmetry. Never would have occurred to me to try that, so many thanks for the advice and patience as this went through a few rounds of revisions.

Jeff Chen notes:
I likely would have made this the POW! if I had understood it. Sadly, I convinced myself that the theme was 'items with a fruit in ... read more

I likely would have made this the POW! if I had understood it.

Sadly, I convinced myself that the theme was "items with a fruit in their name that ironically don't actually contain said fruit." LEMON DROPS don't contain any actual lemon, etc. I chalked it up to being an iffy theme and moved on.

Jeff, Jeff, Jeff.

I know! What a moron! How is it possible to be so oblivious?

Thankfully I asked Jim about it, and he explained the idea. Ah! The puzzle is FRUITLESS because the BANANA SPLIT, the ORANGE PEELS (out), the LEMON DROPS, the GRAPE LEAVES! This becomes a MUCH more interesting idea, one I wouldn't have thought possible. Incredible to discover so many (fruit) + (synonym for leave) phrases.

Perhaps a headline approach would have better overcome my obliviosity:

[SMALL PURPLE WINE INGREDIENT FLIES THE COOP!]

[TART OVAL GOES MISSING!]

The grid felt a little rough around the edges — not surprising given the theme density. Seven (!) slots means a ton of constraints to work around. Sure, some of them like LEMON are short, but that doesn't make the execution that much easier.

AREPAS, wow that's a toughie. LA PLATA too. With some ADM MES OCT ROI RPI TIAS, it didn't feel like a polished product. I might have tried adding a black square at the T or P of TSTRAP – or at both locations – which would have made filling the north and south regions much easier.

A shame that this one went over my head – if I wasn't blogging, I'd have dismissed the cleverosity completely. The longer I think about it, the more I like it.

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© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 0130 ( 25,285 )

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Across
1
"Aladdin" prince : ALI
4
Sandal feature : TSTRAP
10
Flat-bottomed boat : SCOW
14
Scoundrel : CAD
15
Beekeeper's locale : APIARY
16
Sharpen, as one's skills : HONE
17
N.Y. engineering sch. : RPI
18
*They get stuffed at Greek restaurants : GRAPELEAVES
20
Enemies from way back : OLDFOES
22
Consider carefully : PONDER
23
*With 50-Across, classic ice cream treats : BANANA
24
Judge's seat : BANC
25
Louis, par exemple : ROI
27
Something divided in W.W. II : ATOM
28
Stand for a speaker : DAIS
30
*With 44-Across, sour candies : LEMON
32
Body image, briefly : TAT
33
Ages and ages : EONS
34
Tribal emblems : TOTEMS
35
Unproductive ... or, literally, a hint to the answers to this puzzle's starred clues : FRUITLESS
37
Not yet bankrupt : AFLOAT
40
Goal for an actor : ROLE
41
Maidenform garment : BRA
44
*See 30-Across : DROPS
45
Noted 1970s-'80s Gang leader? : KOOL
46
Revolutions can divide them : ERAS
47
Dallas hoopster, for short : MAV
48
Wedding gown designer Di Santo : INES
50
*See 23-Across : SPLITS
52
___ Beanies (bygone toys) : TEENIE
54
Super conductor? : MAESTRO
55
*Garnishes for old-fashioneds : ORANGEPEELS
57
Subway unit : CAR
58
Cargo's place : HOLD
59
Keep tabs on tabbies, say : CATSIT
60
Breast Cancer Awareness mo. : OCT
61
Murder : crows :: parliament : ___ : OWLS
62
Carves : ETCHES
63
French possessive : MES
Down
1
One going head over heels? : ACROBAT
2
Seaport near Buenos Aires : LAPLATA
3
Emphatic denial : IDIDNOT
4
Add, as an extra : TAGON
5
Dispersed : SPREADOUT
6
Madres' sisters : TIAS
7
Kendrick Lamar's genre : RAP
8
South American corn cakes : AREPAS
9
Air race marker : PYLON
10
Roe source : SHAD
11
Soldier's request before entering a firefight : COVERME
12
Like quaint schoolhouses : ONEROOM
13
Anderson who directed "Isle of Dogs" : WES
19
Wall off : ENCLOSE
21
Relatives, casually : FAM
24
Paris eateries : BISTROS
26
Connections : INS
29
Indie artist DiFranco : ANI
31
U.F.O. occupants : ETS
33
Blackboard chore : ERASING
34
Emulates Pinocchio : TELLSALIE
35
One dressed to impress : FOP
36
British bathroom : LOO
37
Naval bigwig: Abbr. : ADM
38
Home to many Greeks, informally : FRATROW
39
Score at the start of a set : LOVEALL
41
The original "The Office," e.g. : BRITCOM
42
Wearying routine : RATRACE
43
Puts in order : ASSORTS
45
Not give up on : KEEPAT
46
They loop the Loop : ELS
49
One crying "Uncle!," perhaps : NIECE
51
Raid targets : PESTS
53
Partner of odds : ENDS
54
Fit together well : MESH
55
"What have we here?!" : OHO
56
Abbr. sometimes written twice in a row : ETC

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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