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New York Times, Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Author: Josh Radnor and Jeff Chen
Editor: Will Shortz
TotalDebutCollabs
11/31/20181
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0001000
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.51000
Josh Radnor
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
897/5/20109/19/201851
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
2467171988
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.634192
Jeff Chen

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 70, Blocks: 38 Missing: {QWXZ} This is the debut puzzle for Mr. Radnor. This is puzzle # 80 for Mr. Chen. See all the celebrity crosswords. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Notepad: CELEBRITY CROSSWORD
This puzzle is a collaboration by the actor Josh Radnor, the star of the CBS sitcom "How I Met Your Mother," as well as the writer/director of two films (to date), working together with Jeff Chen, a writer in Seattle. This is Jeff's 80th crossword for The Times.
More information about the making of today's puzzle appears in the Times's daily crossword column (nytimes.com/column/wordplay).
Constructor notes: JEFF: Very cool to get a chance to work with Josh! My wife had just listened to a podcast about meditation in which he was ... more
Constructor notes:

JEFF: Very cool to get a chance to work with Josh! My wife had just listened to a podcast about meditation in which he was featured, so that sparked conversation. Somehow, meditation got linked to premeditation — or PRE-meditation — and off we went. OM!

I like one of his quotes: "'How I Met Your Mother' might be my great popular success, I mean, it might be. I hope it's not. I suspect I'll have some other things that will be seen and noticed, [but] I'm just going to keep making things that light me up."

Love that attitude. I'm looking forward to hearing a lot more about Josh's projects in the future.

Jeff Chen notes: Letter(s)-addition puzzles usually have all sorts of themer possibilities, and OM is a pretty common doublet. So it came as a ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Letter(s)-addition puzzles usually have all sorts of themer possibilities, and OM is a pretty common doublet. So it came as a surprise to me that there were so few possibilities. I thought three themers (in addition to PREMEDITATION) would feel thin, so thankfully, there were just enough that worked.

No constructor is dumb enough to use themers of length 12 / 11 / 9 / 11 / 12 (PREMEDITATED had to come last). It's completely inflexible, forces themers to be squished up and causes all sorts of headaches in the middle of your puzzle. No matter how hard we tried though, we couldn't come up with any shorter themers as replacements. Drat!

There were so few possibilities in the layout that I thought the concept might be dead (or necessitate a larger grid). Thankfully, the one you see seemed to work out … although it had a ridiculous number of long slots everywhere in the grid. It felt like there was no way it could all work out, especially given the pesky J within OMITS NO JOKE.

But somehow, it did! There was precisely one possible skeleton — I like to have at least 5-10 to consider — so it was a minor miracle. NET JUDGES isn't something I strive to incorporate usually, but man, did it save our butts.

I didn't intend to make it a low word-count puzzle, but that's what it ended up having to be.

Josh helped figure out what the best options for each corner might be. Fun to do the optometry test — which is more clean and colorful, A, B, or C? Since Josh is doing plays these days, we prioritized getting play-related material in. Glad to work in OFFSTAGE right at 1-A.

1
O
2
F
3
F
4
S
5
T
6
A
7
G
8
E
9
A
10
V
11
I
12
S
13
D
R
O
N
E
S
O
N
14
S
N
I
V
E
15
L
16
S
O
R
O
R
I
T
Y
17
P
I
N
A
T
A
18
O
M
A
H
A
19
M
O
M
E
N
T
S
20
P
21
E
22
R
P
23
B
R
U
S
H
E
S
24
O
M
A
L
25
L
26
E
27
Y
28
C
A
T
S
29
O
R
E
30
M
I
N
I
O
R
E
O
31
N
E
S
S
32
O
M
E
N
V
33
O
34
G
35
U
E
36
E
37
R
38
I
N
39
E
P
I
S
T
40
L
41
E
42
S
43
L
E
N
44
O
45
M
46
I
T
S
N
O
J
O
K
E
47
O
C
T
48
O
P
O
D
49
U
B
E
R
50
P
R
E
M
E
D
I
51
T
52
A
53
T
54
E
D
55
E
U
G
E
N
E
56
E
M
E
R
G
57
E
58
N
59
C
60
S
I
E
G
E
L
61
S
I
M
M
E
R
E
D
62
T
R
A
D
63
T
D
P
A
S
S
E
S
© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0131 ( 24,921 )
Across Down
1. Not seen by the theater audience : OFFSTAGE
9. Company that acquired Zipcar in 2013 : AVIS
13. Emulates the teacher in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" : DRONESON
14. Speak partly through the nose : SNIVEL
16. Women rush to get into it : SORORITY
17. Hit it! : PINATA
18. Some wonderful times in Nebraska? : OMAHAMOMENTS
20. ___ walk : PERP
23. Brief encounters, as with the law : BRUSHES
24. Good name for politico Martin's jazz band? : OMALLEYCATS
29. Extraction target, often : ORE
30. Small version of a popular cookie : MINIOREO
31. Untouchable leader : NESS
32. Portentous fashion magazine? : OMENVOGUE
36. Poetic Ireland : ERIN
39. Letters : EPISTLES
43. Actor Cariou : LEN
44. Makes an unabridged humor book? : OMITSNOJOKE
47. Multi-armed mollusk : OCTOPOD
49. Lead-in to mensch : UBER
50. Calculated ... or a punny hint to 18-, 24-, 32- and 44-Across : PREMEDITATED
55. Pushkin's "___ Onegin" : EUGENE
56. Vitamin brand with a hyphen between its last two letters : EMERGENC
60. "Dirty Harry" director Don : SIEGEL
61. Kept on the down-low? : SIMMERED
62. Like much folk music: Abbr. : TRAD
63. Important stat for QBs : TDPASSES
1. Has too much, for short : ODS
2. To's opposite : FRO
3. A word between the two A's in N.A.A.C.P. : FOR
4. Reggae persona for a noted rapper : SNOOPLION
5. Politician's time : TERM
6. Area traversed by Marco Polo : ASIA
7. Sort of person heavily into eyeliner : GOTH
8. One-named New Age singer : ENYA
9. Personal enmity : ANIMUS
10. Transports for Tarzan : VINES
11. Sir Walter Scott novel : IVANHOE
12. "English" and "Irish" canines : SETTERS
14. Wear : SPORT
15. Lads' loves : LASSES
19. Aid in climbing the corp. ladder : MBA
20. Juice brand with a distinctive bottle : POM
21. Virgin ___ (record label) : EMI
22. Kurosawa's adaptation of "King Lear" : RAN
25. Herbert of the "Pink Panther" movies : LOM
26. Before, in poetry : ERE
27. Itch : YEN
28. Extremely fancy? : COVET
31. Court officials whose jobs have now been replaced by technology : NETJUDGES
33. Special ___ : OPS
34. Spirit once made in bathtubs : GIN
35. Tour grp. : USO
36. Runs off (with) : ELOPES
37. New enlistee : RECRUIT
38. It has no point : INTEGER
40. High ball : LOB
41. Squeeze (out) : EKE
42. Être : French :: ___ : Spanish : SER
44. Had a first night in a theater : OPENED
45. Wear on a runway : MODEL
46. Mean Amin : IDI
48. Symbol for the resistance? : OMEGA
51. Try : TEST
52. In the thick of : AMID
53. Day worker : TEMP
54. Singer Franklin who was Aretha's elder sister : ERMA
57. Lifesaving locales, for short : ERS
58. Word on many a wedding announcement : NEE
59. Bank offerings, for short : CDS

Answer summary: 7 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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