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New York Times, Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Author: Jules P. Markey
Editor: Will Shortz
Jules P. Markey
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
155/10/201210/25/20170
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0144600
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.57351

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 42 Missing: {QVW} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 11 for Mr. Markey. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jules P. Markey notes: What do you get when you cross the crossword-friendly OED with itself? You get a puzzle theme, that's what. In choosing the ... more
Jules P. Markey notes:

What do you get when you cross the crossword-friendly OED with itself? You get a puzzle theme, that's what.

In choosing the theme entries I came up with two good long vertical themers which crossed CROSSREFERENCES serendipitously, so then I needed the two intersecting long horizontals. There was not a very large pool to choose from, ZEROEDIN worked nicely in the NW, but I originally had the so-not-in-the-language THEHOEDOWN in the SE which Will rightly rejected.

After coming up empty for a replacement, I decided to split the entry and look for two shorter words that would work when combined. After much trial and error I thought RADIO and EDITS might fit together, and lo and behold that was confirmed when I got back a gazillion google results for it. After acceptance, RADIOEDIT appeared in a 2014 NY Times puzzle. The themers in the NE and SW corners took a bit of finagling but they too fell into place, using a few cheaters to make it all come together.

I hope it was an enjoyable solve.

Jeff Chen notes: CROSS REFERENCES = OED crossing OED (Oxford English Dictionary). I liked Jules' long themers — OEDIPUS REX is such a great ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

CROSS REFERENCES = OED crossing OED (Oxford English Dictionary). I liked Jules' long themers — OEDIPUS REX is such a great entry! And RADIO EDITS crossing PIGEON TOED was really nice too. Normally I don't care much about themers interlocking when the letter patterns make for high flexibility, but OEDIPUS REX crossing CROSS REFERENCES is fun.

BROCA's area, in red

It would have been great to have variety in the "references" (ROGETS, maybe?) — once I uncovered the first set of shaded squares, it was too easy to fill in the others. That did help me as JOE DON gave me a tough time (do his friends call him Joe Don? If not, it feels like a long partial, a la HAYLEY JOEL or JENNIFER LOVE), but filling in all those OEDs made the puzzle too easy for my taste.

Well, except for TEAC and BROCA. I thought I had all the Japanese electronics manufacturers down — SANYO, SONY, even NCR — but TEAC I hadn't heard of. (It originally stood for the Tokyo Electro Acoustic Company, and they make high-end audio equipment.) I like major brands in my crossword, as they make them feel more real-life, but I'm not sure TEAC qualifies (I'm not even sure how to judge this). That ???C pattern is usually tough to fill, as there are relatively few four-letter words ending in C.

BROCA seems more crossworthy to me, as there's part of the brain called "Broca's Area," after the French Dr. BROCA. But the OTOE/BROCA crossing is going to be rough for some. Whether or not you consider it to be fair (I lean toward yes, since midweek solvers likely have seen OTOE many times), I think crosswords should strive to set the solver up for a win (or at least feel like he/she should have won). I don't think this crossing does that.

It's tough to fill smoothly around crossing themers. Note how there's at least one little gluey bit near each crossing — ENERO in the NW, CHRON in the NE, etc. This arrangement can be done totally cleanly especially if there's flexibility in themers, but it's very difficult to accomplish.

Great clue for the BRONX, Ogden Nash rhyming it with "no thonx." More clever poetry, please!

JimH notes: Solving crosswords is such a personal experience. Your own background hugely affects your enjoyment of each one. For this long-time audio guy, TEAC is a great entry. Oh, and Broca's Brain is a fascinating book.
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© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0106 ( 24,165 )
Across Down
1. Facebook entry : POST
5. Something left hanging in an election? : CHAD
9. Lounger's wear, for short : PJS
12. Summer month in Buenos Aires : ENERO
14. Go underground : HIDE
15. China's ___ En-lai : CHOU
16. Pinpointed : ZEROEDINON
18. Did groundbreaking work? : HOED
19. Automaker whose name means "listen" in Latin : AUDI
20. Like some wines : DRY
21. Some wines : REDS
22. Identify on Facebook : TAG
24. Permeate, as with dye : IMBUE
26. New Orleans sandwich : POBOY
27. Solar or lunar event : ECLIPSE
29. Hope chest filler : LINEN
30. Quintet that sometimes adds a sixth member : AEIOU
31. Stalin-era labor camp : GULAG
34. "See also" notations ... or what can be found in the shaded squares in this puzzle? : CROSSREFERENCES
40. Whirlybird feature : ROTOR
41. Chilling : ONICE
42. Expressed disapproval : TSKED
45. Jazz saxophonist Coleman : ORNETTE
47. Name that Ogden Nash once rhymed with "No thonx" : BRONX
48. Dummkopf : IDIOT
50. Over there, to a bard : YON
51. Tick off : RILE
52. Latin conjugation start : AMO
53. Be hopping mad : BOIL
55. Great Plains tribe : OTOE
56. Tunes shortened for airplay : RADIOEDITS
60. Like Colgate University, since 1970 : COED
61. Sikorsky of aviation : IGOR
62. Slow on the uptake : DENSE
63. So-so connection? : AND
64. Foreign ___ : DESK
65. Spot in Congress : SEAT
1. Dispenser candy : PEZ
2. Maximum value of sine : ONE
3. Sultan's palace : SERAGLIO
4. Pants, slangily : TROU
5. Life force, in Taoism : CHI
6. Worshiper of Brahma : HINDU
7. Love to pieces : ADORE
8. Refuse to grant : DENY
9. Moon of Saturn : PHOEBE
10. "Walking Tall" actor ___ Baker : JOEDON
11. Like a bubble bath : SUDSY
13. Sophocles tragedy : OEDIPUSREX
15. Time: Prefix : CHRON
17. Loses luster : DIMS
22. Japanese audio equipment maker : TEAC
23. Taiwanese PC maker : ACER
25. Sire, biblically : BEGET
26. With feet turned inward : PIGEONTOED
28. Apple's mobile devices run on it : IOS
29. ___ gibbon (zoo primate) : LAR
32. Eerie sky sighting : UFO
33. "Vive ___!" (old French cry) : LEROI
35. Discipline, figuratively : ROD
36. 22.5°, on a compass: Abbr. : NNE
37. Place for a "Welcome to" sign : CITYLINE
38. Prefix with -plasm : ECTO
39. On TV, say : SEEN
42. Moon of Neptune : TRITON
43. Went it alone : SOLOED
44. Hit below the belt, perhaps : KNEED
46. Slangy prefix meaning "mechanical" : ROBO
47. Sagan wrote about his brain : BROCA
48. P.R. concern : IMAGE
49. Dummkopfs : DODOS
52. Like a cactus's climate : ARID
54. Fateful day in the Senate : IDES
57. Tick off : IRK
58. Body scanner org. : TSA
59. Collector's goal : SET

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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