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New York Times, Thursday, January 7, 2016

Author:
Andrew J. Ries
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
118/13/20079/23/20180
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
21111221
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.57010
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.

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