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New York Times, Monday, January 7, 2019

Author:
Andrew Kingsley
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
154/29/20164/29/20193
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0213054
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.55020
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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