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New York Times, Thursday, January 31, 2019

Author:
Peter A. Collins
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1095/2/20069/14/201912
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
612253614106
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.565313
Peter A. Collins

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 16 Words: 81, Blocks: 34 Missing: {JQ} Spans: 3 This is puzzle # 106 for Mr. Collins. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Peter A. Collins notes:
Well, that was a surprise. The last I knew, this puzzle was going to run on February 12 of next year (a Wednesday). Anyway, here it is. The ... read more

Well, that was a surprise.

The last I knew, this puzzle was going to run on February 12 of next year (a Wednesday). Anyway, here it is. The editors and I went through about six iterations before we arrived at this version. There was a bit of tinkering with the fill in the lower right corner. Also, I originally had the second and third digits of 212 as rebus words inside of longer Across entries [C(ONE)STOGA and A(TWO)OD]. It was Joel's idea to go with them in digital form [A1 SAUCE and W2S]. It made the fill a lot cleaner down there, and I like the consistency of all three digits being digits both Across and Down.

I appreciate Will and Joel's patience and advice throughout the process.

Jeff Chen notes:
I have to admire how kooky this idea is. I'd never have thought to ask myself what the digits 2 1 2 could represent. Boiling point of water (in ... read more

I have to admire how kooky this idea is. I'd never have thought to ask myself what the digits 2 1 2 could represent. Boiling point of water (in Fahrenheit), yes. With a slash (as in 2/12), LINCOLNS BIRTHDAY? How interesting! And (212), New York City's area code? I'm impressed by the leaping mental connections Pete made to assemble this theme.

With those big NW / SE corners, you might think Pete tried to go for a low word count; themelessesque. Running into OSIS RECTO AMI ONS OSS SEI TIO reinforced that impression for me.

Not so! Shows you what I know! I was surprised to see it at 81 words.

This is partly because of the lower left corner — note how Pete had to section it off so he could fill (mostly) cleanly around A1 SAUCE. But he also spent a lot of black squares in the middle of his grid to separate his themers. This is generally a good practice, but it means that he didn't have many black squares left to use to break up those big NW / SE corners.

I'd have preferred a rejiggerment — moving some of the black squares in the middle toward the NE / SW, which could have smoothed a few things out. It's so tough to "turn the corner," i.e., have three long across answers intersect with three long(ish) down answers.

It's not quite a "dictionary definitions" puzzle. It's not strictly playing on using numbers instead of letters. It's even got a touch of parsing (using the slash in 2/12). It's a unique idea.

I like unique.

Jim Horne notes:

In print, the clue for 57-Down looks like this:

1
C
2
O
3
H
4
E
5
R
6
E
7
N
8
T
9
E
10
K
11
G
12
T
13
E
14
A
15
A
P
O
L
O
G
I
A
16
Z
E
R
17
O
I
N
G
18
N
E
W
Y
O
R
K
S
19
A
R
E
A
C
O
D
E
20
A
N
I
21
S
E
I
22
P
A
N
I
C
23
D
E
E
24
D
25
T
T
26
O
P
27
L
U
28
C
29
A
30
S
31
A
D
M
I
32
T
33
A
L
L
34
A
35
N
36
R
O
S
E
37
A
S
O
38
F
39
D
E
M
O
40
S
41
N
I
X
42
L
43
I
N
C
O
L
44
N
S
B
I
R
T
45
H
D
A
Y
46
O
D
D
47
N
I
E
C
E
48
M
E
M
O
49
K
I
E
50
V
51
T
E
H
E
52
E
53
W
O
M
54
B
55
S
56
I
D
L
E
57
R
58
O
S
I
59
S
60
S
I
R
E
61
R
E
62
C
63
T
O
64
S
I
65
S
66
N
A
P
67
H
68
2
69
O
S
B
O
I
L
70
I
N
G
P
71
O
I
N
T
72
A
1
S
A
U
C
E
73
S
E
M
I
N
U
D
E
74
W
2
S
75
S
A
D
76
T
R
A
N
S
M
I
T
© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 0131 ( 25,286 )
Across
1
Intelligible : COHERENT
9
Ticker test, for short : EKG
12
Leaves after dinner? : TEA
15
Formal defense : APOLOGIA
16
Homing (in on) : ZEROING
18
68-Down : NEWYORKSAREACODE
20
Tropical black bird : ANI
21
Number between cinque and sette : SEI
22
Economic crisis : PANIC
23
Exploit : DEED
25
Sporty auto feature : TTOP
27
Commercial lead-in to film : LUCAS
31
Let in or let on : ADMIT
33
Novelty singer/songwriter ___ Sherman : ALLAN
36
Symbol in the logo of the Democratic Socialists of America : ROSE
37
Starting : ASOF
39
Pile for a record company exec : DEMOS
41
Cancel : NIX
42
68-Down with a slash inside it : LINCOLNSBIRTHDAY
46
Like 2001 : ODD
47
Relative whose name sounds like a city in France : NIECE
48
"Didn't you get the ___?" : MEMO
49
Capital on the Dnieper : KIEV
51
Giggly outburst : TEHEE
53
Development sites : WOMBS
56
One loitering : IDLER
58
Suffix with psych- : OSIS
60
Term of address in "The Wizard of Id" : SIRE
61
Right-hand page : RECTO
64
Palindromic relative : SIS
66
Carpet quality : NAP
67
68-Down with a degree sign after it : H2OSBOILINGPOINT
72
Steak accompanier : A1SAUCE
73
Like many classical statues : SEMINUDE
74
Some I.R.S. forms : W2S
75
Dispirited : SAD
76
Send : TRANSMIT
Down
1
Powerhouse in curling : CANADA
2
Went on first : OPENED
3
Game show host with a shaved head : HOWIEMANDEL
4
Cambridgeshire cathedral city : ELY
5
Bush critters : ROOS
6
Old plume source : EGRET
7
1986 Elton John love song : NIKITA
8
Lab instructors, often : TAS
9
Book after II Chronicles : EZRA
10
Sharp : KEEN
11
Holy ___ : GRAIL
12
Quinceañera attendee, perhaps : TIO
13
Expire : END
14
At least 35, for a U.S. president : AGE
17
Transpire : OCCUR
19
Alternative to TGI Fridays : APPLEBEES
24
CD part : DISC
26
Traditional : OLDSCHOOL
28
Timeshare unit, often : CONDOMINIUM
29
Section of The Economist : ASIA
30
Fetching : SEXY
32
Bugs Bunny or Jessica Rabbit : TOON
34
Self-reflective question : AMI
35
Standard : NORM
38
Move like a moth : FLIT
40
Mishmash : STEW
42
Aesir trickster : LOKI
43
Terse admission : IDID
44
Once named : NEE
45
Med. insurance groups : HMOS
50
Vice ___ : VERSA
52
Former Disney exec Michael : EISNER
54
Soccer star Chastain : BRANDI
55
Snow White's housemates, for instance : SEPTET
57
Teaser that may include pluses and minuses : REBUS
59
Summation symbol, in math : SIGMA
62
Part of a white script on a red can : COCA
63
Not up or down : TIED
65
Short drive : SPIN
67
Hem's partner : HAW
68
Palindromic number : 212
69
Predecessor of the C.I.A. : OSS
70
German 101 verb : IST
71
Carry-___ (some luggage) : ONS

Answer summary: 8 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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