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New York Times, Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Author: Samuel A. Donaldson
Editor: Will Shortz
Samuel A. Donaldson
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
2810/2/200810/21/20176
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6136516
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1.64120

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 74, Blocks: 38 Missing: {JQVX} Spans: 2 This is puzzle # 27 for Mr. Donaldson. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes: I still managed to enjoy this one even after my years of dentist-aversion therapy. (Not surprisingly, it hasn't worked out well for ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

I still managed to enjoy this one even after my years of dentist-aversion therapy. (Not surprisingly, it hasn't worked out well for my teeth.) I admit it; I'm an anti-dentite! But I enjoyed the dentist making a good FIRST IMPRESSION (ha ha, remember when the dentist got my nightguard mold stuck in my mouth?), offering a BRIDGE LOAN (and when another charged me for extra procedures I didn't ask for!), and everyone's favorite … YOU KNOW THE (shudder) DRILL!

I'm sure Mark Diehl is shaking his head at me. Sorry Mark, I'm sure you're tons better than all the terrible dentists I've gone through.

BRUSH PILES … what's a brush pile? Apparently, it's … wait for it … a pile of brush! It seems that birds are attracted to them. I have no idea how this works, but now I'm eager to go try it out. With wood-type brush, that is, not dentist-type brushes.

Unique black square pattern, those chunks in the middle odd-looking. They did allow Sam to work in some very nice seven-letter bonus entries, PASSKEY, AIRCREW, WHISKAS, and … RESLIDE. Sam, really?! Sam often takes the "go big or go home" approach, and I don't mind seeing a bit of OYEZ and PLAT to get some very nice CRACK UP, AGILITY, GO KAPUT, OPUS DEI. It's just such a shame to fill a precious seven-letter slot with a baserunner going back to first and trying to RESLIDE back into second. Or something like that.

With some AGRI, ERST, LEK, MUS, TRE in there too, it was too much crossword glue for me overall. But I do like how much snazzy bonus material Sam jammed in. Not sure why WHISKAS makes me CRACK UP, but it does.

Love the SOFA clue — [Loose change "collector"] feels Donaldson-esque. Nice to get a little of a constructor's personality in his/her puzzle.

I still have a long way to go in getting over my anti-dentite ways, and Sam's inspired me to try harder. I know the drill …

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© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0104 ( 24,529 )
Across Down
1. Bee ball? : SWARM
6. Somewhat : ATAD
10. Historian's focus : PAST
14. Sarcastic "Amazing!" : OHGEE
15. Hedonistic sort : ROUE
16. Janis's spouse in the comics : ARLO
17. The new dentist wanted to make a good ... : FIRSTIMPRESSION
20. Gymnast's asset : AGILITY
21. Secret group in "The Da Vinci Code" : OPUSDEI
22. Important contacts : INS
23. Kind of cross or yogurt : GREEK
24. The dentist helped the patient afford the visit with a ... : BRIDGELOAN
28. Previously, previously : ERST
32. Mystical character : RUNE
33. Albanian currency : LEK
34. Info on a wine label : YEAR
35. Target of crunches : ABS
36. Heads for the bar? : FOAMS
39. Org. that prohibits traveling : NBA
40. Dispatched, as a dragon : SLEW
42. Young sea lion : PUP
43. Big D.C. lobby : AARP
44. Rogen of "Sausage Party" : SETH
45. The dentist sorted all the bristled instruments into ... : BRUSHPILES
48. "Too rich for my blood" : IMOUT
50. Flub : ERR
51. Super 8 alternative : DAYSINN
54. Burst out laughing : CRACKUP
58. When it was time for the filling, the dentist asked for, well, ... : YOUKNOWTHEDRILL
60. "Diana" singer Paul : ANKA
61. Like Mother Hubbard's cupboard : BARE
62. Insurance giant : AETNA
63. Capone's nemesis : NESS
64. Call in court : OYEZ
65. A workout works one up : SWEAT
1. Loose change "collector" : SOFA
2. Fillmore's party : WHIG
3. Prefix with cultural : AGRI
4. Decline again : RESLIDE
5. Parceling (out) : METING
6. ___ ant : ARMY
7. Word after carrot or muffin : TOP
8. Night light up north : AURORA
9. Intensify : DEEPEN
10. It'll open many doors : PASSKEY
11. Like much of Arizona : ARID
12. Plum used to flavor gin : SLOE
13. Singer Tennille : TONI
18. By ___ (alone) : ITSELF
19. Good name for a plaintiff? : SUE
23. Die : GOKAPUT
24. Pentagon V.I.P.s : BRASS
25. Belarussian money : RUBLE
26. Atlas extra : INSET
27. Barack Obama, astrologically : LEO
29. Kidney-related : RENAL
30. Buffalo pro : SABRE
31. Bunkers : TRAPS
37. M M M : MUS
38. Shape of the world : SPHERE
41. Friskies rival : WHISKAS
43. All plane attendants in attendance : AIRCREW
45. Congo ape : BONOBO
46. Where fashions debut : RUNWAY
47. Some luxury bags : PRADAS
49. Short amount of time? : MIN
51. Cannon on screen : DYAN
52. Best of the best : AONE
53. Big laughs : YUKS
54. Word in some French restaurant names : CHEZ
55. Franklin's flier : KITE
56. What's got the upper hand? : ULNA
57. Surveyor's map : PLAT
59. Numero after due : TRE

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later.

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