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New York Times, Thursday, January 7, 2016

Author:
Andrew J. Ries
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
178/13/20075/10/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
31111532
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.56020
Andrew Ries

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 34 Missing: {FJQXZ} This is puzzle # 3 for Mr. Ries. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
What a cool triple-stack revealer in DOCTORS / WITHOUT / BORDERS! Three medium-length words chunked cleanly atop each other right in ... read more

What a cool triple-stack revealer in DOCTORS / WITHOUT / BORDERS! Three medium-length words chunked cleanly atop each other right in the middle of the puzzle is pretty darn cool. It would have been even cooler if Andrew could have gotten them exactly atop each other (instead of stairstepping them) but try filling around just the *DWB* pattern, much less the rest of the sets of letters. Awesome, memorable execution of the revealer.

DWB outpost in Darfur

I've seen several of the "letters outside the grid" in the past year, and two friends of mine both made DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS crosswords (independently!), so those factors muted the impact of today's puzzle for me. It also felt a little strange that the doctors are outside the borders, not crossing borders.

But I did really like the way Andrew made the grid look perfectly normal (without those outside letters). It's a simple matter to make a grid with NO, OZ, DRE, and WHO sitting outside the grid, but it's much more difficult to do it so that every interior word looks normal: DROVES looks like ROVES, ROPED looks like OPED, etc. Elegant touch.

I also appreciated Andrew's choice of long fill. It's impressive enough to get TOUCHED ON right through the stack of revealers, but it's a great feat to work in the colorful HOT DIGGETY and POP UP STORE. And then you cross ANDRE GIDE and HUSH MONEY through it all, without using a single gluey entry? That central region is just beautiful.

I'm not a fan of BESTIE, as it has too much of a pre-adolescent, cutesy feel to it. This is just personal opinion — I like TRUE DAT a lot, as I hear it all the time among adults, and I use it myself, but I can see some NYT readers scowling, saying "kids these days!"

You know who's saying that? THE OLDS! (I don't know that when applied to parents, but it is a term I sometimes hear for people who technology has left behind). A lot of subjectivity in what is "good fill."

An incredible middle region of the puzzle, and I might have given this the POW! if it had come out a few years earlier.

Jim Horne notes:

Here's a nice touch; each entry that extends beyond the grid is also a legitimate crossword answer in its truncated form.

1
T
2
R
3
U
4
E
5
D
6
A
7
T
8
P
9
R
10
E
11
D
12
E
13
M
14
W
I
N
S
O
M
E
15
O
E
R
16
U
T
A
17
I
A
S
S
U
M
E
18
P
O
O
19
L
B
O
Y
20
N
A
H
21
B
A
N
22
T
U
23
S
O
L
I
D
24
A
25
T
T
N
26
O
P
27
T
28
G
I
L
A
29
R
30
O
V
E
S
31
H
U
S
H
32
M
O
N
E
Y
33
O
P
E
D
34
D
O
C
T
O
R
S
35
D
E
N
36
W
I
T
H
O
U
T
37
C
38
H
39
E
40
B
O
R
D
E
R
S
41
B
O
O
T
42
A
43
N
44
D
R
E
G
I
D
E
45
B
R
A
N
D
46
L
O
R
I
47
E
G
O
48
S
E
A
T
49
I
V
I
N
50
S
51
G
N
52
A
W
S
53
T
54
K
55
O
56
B
E
N
G
A
57
L
I
58
R
I
T
59
E
A
I
D
60
I
L
K
61
G
E
T
62
A
S
I
N
I
N
E
63
S
S
S
64
A
N
Y
65
T
H
E
O
L
D
S
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0107 ( 24,166 )
Across
1
"Yep, you're right" : TRUEDAT
8
Set opening? : PRE
11
Boxer, e.g., for short : DEM
14
Appealing in appearance : WINSOME
15
Poetic preposition : OER
16
Stage legend Hagen : UTA
17
"It's my understanding that ..." : IASSUME
18
Worker who may skim off the top? : POOLBOY
20
Passing remark? : NAH
21
Zulu, e.g. : BANTU
23
Dense : SOLID
24
Interoffice email abbr. : ATTN
26
Decide (to) : OPT
28
Colorado tributary : GILA
29
Large numbers : DROVES
31
Sum for keeping mum : HUSHMONEY
33
Lassoed : ROPED
34
With 36- and 40-Across, organization whose name hints at some missing letters in this puzzle : DOCTORS
35
Site for a famed garden : EDEN
36
See 34-Across : WITHOUT
37
Think (over) : CHEW
40
See 34-Across : BORDERS
41
Diner option : BOOTH
42
Literature Nobelist between Hermann Hesse and T. S. Eliot : ANDREGIDE
45
1950s sex symbol : BRANDO
46
Actress Singer : LORI
47
I : EGO
48
Banana ___ : SEAT
49
Political commentator Molly : IVINS
51
Eats (at) : GNAWS
53
Boxer's achievement, for short : TKO
56
India's national anthem was originally written in it : BENGALI
58
Walgreens competitor : RITEAID
60
Variety : ILK
61
See the humor in : GET
62
Totally far-fetched : ASININE
63
Draft letters : SSS
64
Unspecified amount : ANY
65
Mom and dad, slangily : THEOLDS
Down
1
King's little cousin : TWIN
2
Pirate-fighting org. : RIAA
3
Bearded : UNSHAVEN
4
Non-P.C. add-on? : ESS
5
Questions : DOUBTS
6
Abdullah I made it a capital city : AMMAN
7
___ idol : TEEN
8
Short-term retail location, nowadays : POPUPSTORE
9
Chocolaty goodie : OREO
10
Round numbers? : ZEROS
11
"Juno and the Paycock" setting : DUBLIN
12
French star : ETOILE
13
Cry for help, or a time for celebration : MAYDAY
19
Apple's apple and others : LOGOS
22
Mentioned : TOUCHEDON
25
Former Alaska politico Stevens : TED
27
Cleveland's bills, for short : THOUS
29
Staff : ROD
30
Expose, in verse : OPE
31
"Hallelujah!" : HOTDIGGITY
32
Star of the short-lived reality show "I Pity the Fool" : MRT
34
Strains with sadness : DIRGE
36
Blue state? : WOE
37
Jacket flap : COATTAIL
38
Sweets alternative : HON
39
Terminal listing, in brief : ETD
40
Come with : BRING
41
Cupped apparel : BRA
42
Stand outs? : ALIBIS
43
Much of a literature class's studies : NOVELS
44
What you might meet someone for : DRINKS
45
Closest friend, informally : BESTIE
48
Result of a perfect shot : SWISH
50
TV host who inspired Neil deGrasse Tyson : SAGAN
52
"How now!" follower in "Hamlet" : ARAT
54
Variety : KIND
55
Wordsmiths' paeans : ODES
57
Longtime leader in late-night : LENO
59
Musician Brian : ENO

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later.

Found bugs or have suggestions?