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New York Times, Monday, January 7, 2019

Author:
Andrew Kingsley
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
134/29/20161/7/20192
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0113053
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.55010
Andrew Kingsley

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 39 Missing: {QXZ} This is puzzle # 13 for Mr. Kingsley. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Andrew Kingsley notes:
Vowel runs have been done with some frequency, so I wondered if doing parallel runs would be possible. I first debated between P_T / ... read more

Vowel runs have been done with some frequency, so I wondered if doing parallel runs would be possible. I first debated between P_T / P_P and P_T / N_T, and ultimately found the latter to be more grid-friendly. I even wondered if I could have done a triple vowel run. The answer is yes, with BAT BET BIT BOT BUT, but that would have required a 21x21 grid, and the solvers, I imagine, would tire of the gimmick by the time they got to BITCOIN or BOTFLY.

Jeff Chen notes:
Did you miss what's going on today? We highlighted the theme answers below just in case. Still confused? Andrew turns the ... read more

Did you miss what's going on today? We highlighted the theme answers below just in case.

Still confused? Andrew turns the volume up to 11 (well, actually to 10), with 2x5 vowel progressions. Tough to squeeze so much material into one grid.

You'd think that ten short themers would be much easier to fill around, compared to five grid-spanning ones. Wrong! Two reasons why:

  1. Any time you force a black square into the grid, you take away flexibility. Five black squares (one separating each pair of themers) requires means a ton of constraints.
  2. Short theme answers mean that your fill contains a bunch of long entries — something in a 78-word grid has to be long. It's not easy to weave things like BOTTOM UP and JIMMY DEAN through three themers apiece.

I liked a lot of what Andrew did. Given the high degree of gridwork difficulty, it was great that he worked in CURED HAM, BETA TESTS, TEEN BEAT as bonuses.

No surprise though, that there were necessary trade-offs. The ELSTON / EL ROPO crossing feels like a killer to newer solvers. Along with RUGER, THOTH, NIE (German for "never"), it's not a smooth enough product for an introductory Monday experience.

Overall, the short theme answers didn't stand out enough, and there were too many compromises. Still, I appreciate the effort to take a tried-and-true theme type to another level.

1
C
2
A
3
B
4
O
5
G
6
A
7
B
8
L
9
A
10
B
11
R
12
A
13
T
14
A
L
E
S
15
E
R
A
16
E
N
O
U
G
H
17
P
A
T
R
18
I
L
E
Y
19
N
A
T
G
E
O
20
A
I
M
21
S
O
22
N
G
23
T
E
N
T
24
P
25
E
T
C
A
26
T
27
N
E
T
28
W
O
R
T
H
29
O
N
E
30
C
U
31
R
E
D
H
A
M
32
M
D
S
33
G
E
T
34
F
U
35
J
36
I
37
P
I
T
38
B
39
O
S
S
40
N
41
I
T
P
I
C
42
K
43
T
S
A
R
44
A
I
R
45
M
A
I
46
T
E
47
E
48
N
B
E
A
49
T
50
M
R
T
51
P
52
O
53
T
H
O
L
E
S
54
N
O
55
T
Y
E
T
56
O
V
E
R
57
S
E
E
58
M
59
M
U
D
60
P
U
T
O
61
U
T
62
N
U
63
T
B
R
E
64
A
65
D
66
E
L
R
O
P
O
67
C
S
I
68
B
A
B
Y
69
S
E
A
M
A
N
70
E
S
P
71
O
N
C
E
© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 0107 ( 25,262 )
Across
1. ___ San Lucas (Baja resort city) : CABO
5. Chew the fat : GAB
8. Maze runner in an experiment : LABRAT
14. Brewery products : ALES
15. Pitcher's stat : ERA
16. "Uncle!" : ENOUGH
17. Five-time N.B.A. championship-winning coach with the Lakers and the Heat : PATRILEY
19. Cable channel with many science shows, familiarly : NATGEO
20. "Ready, ___, fire!" : AIM
21. Ballad, e.g. : SONG
23. Circus enclosure : TENT
24. Garfield, to Jon Arbuckle : PETCAT
27. Notable statistic for Jeff Bezos or Bill Gates : NETWORTH
29. Opening number? : ONE
30. Prosciutto, e.g. : CUREDHAM
32. Physicians, for short : MDS
33. Obtain : GET
34. Mountain overlooking Tokyo : FUJI
37. Casino floor V.I.P. : PITBOSS
40. Make tiny criticisms : NITPICK
43. Ruler of old Russia : TSAR
44. Broadcast : AIR
45. ___ tai (cocktail) : MAI
46. Bygone monthly for the 12-to-20 set : TEENBEAT
50. "The A-Team" actor with a mohawk : MRT
51. Road hazards that need filling : POTHOLES
54. "Be patient!" : NOTYET
56. "Your turn," on a walkie-talkie : OVER
57. Appear to be : SEEM
59. Surface of a sty : MUD
60. Peeved : PUTOUT
62. Dessert loaf : NUTBREAD
66. Cheap cigar, slangily : ELROPO
67. CBS forensics franchise : CSI
68. Midwife's delivery : BABY
69. Sailor : SEAMAN
70. "I know what you're thinking" feeling, for short : ESP
71. First word in a fairy tale : ONCE
Down
1. Salary limit : CAP
2. ___ carte : ALA
3. Software trial runs : BETATESTS
4. Duel overseer in "Hamlet" : OSRIC
5. Do stuff? : GEL
6. Warlike Greek god : ARES
7. Musket attachment : BAYONET
8. Width's counterpart : LENGTH
9. Santa ___ winds : ANA
10. Proceeding from low to high : BOTTOMUP
11. America's largest firearm manufacturer : RUGER
12. Secret ___ (007, for one) : AGENT
13. Egyptian god usually pictured with the head of an ibis : THOTH
18. Apple computer : IMAC
22. Neighbor of Homer on "The Simpsons" : NED
24. "___ and Circumstance" : POMP
25. Break off a relationship : ENDIT
26. Yanks (on) : TUGS
28. Drift, as an aroma : WAFT
31. Hi-___ screen : RES
35. Singer with the 1961 hit "Big Bad John" : JIMMYDEAN
36. Comforting words : ICARE
38. Place to shower and brush one's teeth : BATHROOM
39. Cookie with creme in the middle : OREO
40. Never, in Nuremberg : NIE
41. Tehran's land : IRAN
42. Eartha who sang "C'est Si Bon" : KITT
44. Perfect attendance spoiler : ABSENCE
47. Yankees legend ___ Howard : ELSTON
48. Originally named : NEE
49. Egyptian pyramid, e.g. : TOMB
51. John, Paul and John Paul : POPES
52. Undeveloped seed : OVULE
53. Four: Prefix : TETRA
55. High-performance engine : TURBO
58. Dishevel, as the hair : MUSS
61. Work ___ sweat : UPA
63. Extra 15% or so for a waiter : TIP
64. Simple as ___ : ABC
65. Henna, for one : DYE

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

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