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New York Times, Monday, January 9, 2012

Author:
Michael Dewey
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
61/9/201210/5/20160
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0303000
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.73000
Michael Dewey

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 38 Missing: {J} Spans: 1 This is the debut puzzle for Mr. Dewey. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Michael Dewey notes:

This puzzle marks my first successful foray into the competitive world of NYT crossword publication. I am indebted to two other cruciverbalists who supported my puzzle solving and constructing over the years. The first is Molly Jackson, a grandmotherly friend who encouraged my intellectual curiosity as a child and reviewed my weekly attempts at solving the Sunday puzzle. The second is a friend and former colleague, Kristian House, who showed me the ropes of crossword construction, gave me a copy of Patrick Berry's Crossword Puzzle Challenges for Dummies, and patiently critiqued my early clunkers.

Having endured about twenty prior rejection emails, the puzzle represents a "Eureka!" moment for me as a novice constructor. FLYLIKEANEAGLE was the inspiration for the theme (thanks to the Psalms and the Steve Miller Band). SINGLIKEACANARY, a wonderful expression I first heard watching a Bugs Bunny cartoon parody of old gangster films, became the perfect central entry with 15 letters. My dilemma was to find a third entry exactly 14 letters long to offset the first symmetrically on the grid – not easy. There are only so many birds and far fewer "(act) like a(bird)" phrases out there, so unearthing WATCHLIKEAHAWK was a godsend.

Finally, editor Will Shortz taught this bird-brained NEOPHYTE about including more interesting fill words, especially in the longer entries of the grid. This was true in the northwest corner where I replaced some utterly forgettable word with the always interesting SCALAWAG.

In the end, I am both honored and proud as a peacock to have my work appear in the Times.

1
W
2
O
3
E
4
S
5
W
6
A
7
V
8
E
9
A
10
F
11
T
12
E
13
R
14
O
P
E
C
15
E
X
I
T
16
T
R
A
D
E
17
L
A
N
A
18
A
L
S
O
19
T
U
L
I
P
20
F
L
Y
L
21
I
K
E
A
N
22
E
A
G
L
E
23
A
C
E
S
24
T
R
A
25
D
26
A
27
R
W
I
N
28
S
29
H
H
30
L
31
A
32
B
33
S
34
I
S
A
A
C
35
S
P
A
I
36
N
37
D
E
L
38
S
I
N
G
L
39
I
K
E
A
C
A
40
N
A
R
Y
41
C
A
T
42
E
R
I
C
S
43
R
E
P
E
L
44
S
N
O
45
B
46
I
N
K
47
K
N
O
T
T
Y
48
U
49
S
S
50
S
L
I
P
51
W
52
A
T
C
H
53
L
54
I
K
E
A
H
55
A
56
W
57
K
58
Q
A
T
A
R
59
U
T
E
P
60
Y
E
A
R
61
E
C
O
N
O
62
N
E
W
T
63
T
O
R
I
64
D
O
Z
E
D
65
A
M
S
O
66
E
N
D
S
© 2012, The New York TimesNo. 0109 ( 22,707 )

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Across
1
Misfortunes : WOES
5
A surfboard rides it : WAVE
9
"... lived happily ever ___" : AFTER
14
Oil ministers' grp. : OPEC
15
Lighted sign near a stairway : EXIT
16
Swap : TRADE
17
Actress Turner : LANA
18
Too : ALSO
19
Dutch bloom : TULIP
20
Soar : FLYLIKEANEAGLE
23
They're worth 1 or 11 in blackjack : ACES
24
___-la-la : TRA
25
"On the Origin of Species" author : DARWIN
28
"Quiet!" : SHH
30
Science class sessions : LABS
34
Nearly sacrificed son of Abraham : ISAAC
35
Barcelona's land : SPAIN
37
Tierra ___ Fuego : DEL
38
Tell everything to the coppers : SINGLIKEACANARY
41
Lynx or puma : CAT
42
Rockers Clapton and Burdon : ERICS
43
Turn away : REPEL
44
Better-than-you type : SNOB
46
Tattoo fluid : INK
47
Gnarled, as a tree trunk : KNOTTY
48
Navy vessel initials : USS
50
Faux pas : SLIP
51
Carefully guard : WATCHLIKEAHAWK
58
Doha is its capital : QATAR
59
Lone Star State sch. : UTEP
60
Number after a © symbol : YEAR
61
Money-saving brand prefix : ECONO
62
Politico Gingrich : NEWT
63
Doughnut shapes, mathematically speaking : TORI
64
Slept lightly : DOZED
65
"Are not!" playground retort : AMSO
66
Finishes : ENDS
Down
1
"The Three Little Pigs" antagonist : WOLF
2
October birthstone : OPAL
3
"___, meeny, miney, mo" : EENY
4
Rapscallion : SCALAWAG
5
Undermine : WEAKEN
6
Car rods : AXLES
7
MasterCard rival : VISA
8
James Bond's school : ETON
9
Fragrance of roses : ATTAR
10
Penny-pinching : FRUGAL
11
Like Dubai's Burj Khalifa : TALL
12
Emmy winner Falco : EDIE
13
Member of the House: Abbr. : REP
21
One with a freezing point? : ICICLE
22
Moral standard : ETHIC
25
The chocolate parts of Oreos, e.g. : DISCS
26
Like about 60% of the world's population : ASIAN
27
Totaled, as a bill : RANTO
28
Particle : SPECK
29
Actor Lukas of "Witness" : HAAS
31
Evolve (per 25-Across) : ADAPT
32
French cap : BERET
33
With cunning : SLYLY
35
Dermatologist's study : SKIN
36
Fantasy realm of C. S. Lewis : NARNIA
39
Dubliners, e.g. : IRISH
40
Beginner : NEOPHYTE
45
Gas in lighters : BUTANE
47
Thief, in brief : KLEPTO
49
Catch of the day, say, in New England : SCROD
50
Distorts, as data : SKEWS
51
Baylor University's home : WACO
52
The gamut : ATOZ
53
Goddess of the moon : LUNA
54
Thingy : ITEM
55
Very long time : AEON
56
Fend (off) : WARD
57
Kringle or Kristofferson : KRIS
58
Math proof ending : QED

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle.

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