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New York Times, Monday, January 9, 2017

Author: Neville Fogarty
Editor: Will Shortz
Neville Fogarty
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
65/3/20125/30/20171
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0131100
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.64020

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 36 Missing: {JMVXZ} This is puzzle # 5 for Mr. Fogarty. NYT links: Across Lite PDF

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Neville Fogarty notes: When I set out to write a themed crossword, I'll often start with the revealer entry, like this puzzle's BED HEAD. But somehow, ... more
Neville Fogarty notes:

When I set out to write a themed crossword, I'll often start with the revealer entry, like this puzzle's BED HEAD. But somehow, that was the last bit of the theme that came together for me. When I finally came up with it, I was especially happy to cross it in the center with UNSHORN, playing off of the idea of an unruly mop-top in the morning.

Here's an extra puzzler: an earlier draft of this puzzle featured the clue [Supporter of women's athletics?], but its corresponding answer was changed ever so slightly to improve the grid's fill. Can you figure out the answer to this "cutting room floor" clue and the answer it turned into?

Jeff Chen notes: Bed sizes ranging from TWIN PEAKS to FULL HOUSE to QUEEN ANNE to KING COBRA, all tied together with BED HEAD as a revealer. Tidy ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Bed sizes ranging from TWIN PEAKS to FULL HOUSE to QUEEN ANNE to KING COBRA, all tied together with BED HEAD as a revealer. Tidy little theme! (Unlike our bed when I'm the last to get up, much to my wife's chagrin.)

Perfect consistency — each themer has two words, none hyphenated — and an excellent selection of strong phrases. A few years ago, I went out to where they filmed "Twin Peaks," out in the Middle of Nowhere, WA. Eerily creepy place.

Some great bonuses, too. THEY SAY … is awfully fun, as in a conspiratorial whisper. RAIN DELAY and BORN FREE are welcome as well, especially that soaring feeling I get when I belt out BORN FREEEEEEEE! (People in this coffee shop are staring at me, but I don't care.)

Smooth, too. AKIRA and KYRIE are both interesting to me — Kurosawa is someone every educated solver ought to know. KYRIE Irving might not have been crossworthy a few years ago, but after his performance in the NBA Finals last year — helping the Cavs bring home their first championship in forever — heck yeah, he's crossworthy. Still important to make all the crossings fair, and Neville does just that.

One notable blip, though. AIT … I took five years of high school French, but given 100 guesses, I doubt I would have come up with this verb form of AVOIR. (I barely remember what AVOIR means, so maybe it's me that's the problem.) Not sure I'd ever allow AIT into one of my puzzles, even if the crossings were perfectly fair (they are). It did allow for the nice GOATHERD, but I'LL PASS on AIT, especially when it might rankle novice solvers in a Monday puzzle.

Solid Monday fare, with a generally well-executed theme and grid.

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© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0109 ( 24,534 )
Across Down
1. Puts on TV or radio : AIRS
5. Ending on several central Asian country names : STAN
9. Meanie in "Jack and the Beanstalk" : GIANT
14. U.S. weather agcy. : NOAA
15. Zeus' wife : HERA
16. ___ and wiser : OLDER
17. 1990s TV series about a murder in a town in Washington : TWINPEAKS
19. Film director Kurosawa : AKIRA
20. Made smooth, as wood : SANDED
21. Part of the conjugation of the French "avoir" : AIT
23. And others, for short : ETC
24. Bump fists : DAP
25. K-K-K-5-5, e.g., in poker : FULLHOUSE
28. Exhibit in an anatomy class : SKELETON
31. Guided : LED
32. Is sick : AILS
33. Four-baggers: Abbr. : HRS
34. Like favorite stations on a car radio : PRESET
38. Pie ___ mode : ALA
39. Result of failure to comb the hair after sleep, maybe ... or a feature of 17-, 25-, 49- or 61-Across? : BEDHEAD
41. School grp. : PTA
42. Young male viewed as a sex object : BOYTOY
44. Black ___ (covert doings) : OPS
45. ___ Ticonderoga : FORT
46. Apr. 15 mail addressee : IRS
47. Place to pull over on an interstate : RESTAREA
49. English monarch with a "lace" named after her : QUEENANNE
53. ___-rock (music genre) : ALT
54. Land between Can. and Mex. : USA
55. Inits. at the start of a memo : FYI
56. "You ready?" : ALLSET
59. Drilling tool : AUGER
61. Hooded snake : KINGCOBRA
64. Thin pancake : CREPE
65. Place for the banjo in "Oh! Susanna" : KNEE
66. Exposition : FAIR
67. N.B.A. star ___ Irving : KYRIE
68. Freezes, with "over" : ICES
69. Worry : FRET
1. Picnic pests : ANTS
2. State that produces the most corn : IOWA
3. Weather-related stoppage in baseball : RAINDELAY
4. Beach footwear : SANDALS
5. Tool building : SHED
6. Lipton offering : TEA
7. Genesis vessel : ARK
8. Word before congestion or spray : NASAL
9. Job that might involve watching the kids? : GOATHERD
10. Variety : ILK
11. French farewell : ADIEU
12. "Rats!" : NERTS
13. Use a stencil on : TRACE
18. Amorous cartoon skunk : PEPE
22. "No thanks" : ILLPASS
25. President after Nixon : FORD
26. Like a sheep with all its wool : UNSHORN
27. Praiseful poem : ODE
28. Onetime Volvo competitor : SAAB
29. K, in the NATO alphabet : KILO
30. "According to conventional wisdom ..." : THEYSAY
35. Place to drink lined with TVs : SPORTSBAR
36. French "to be" : ETRE
37. "So long!" : TATA
39. Joy Adamson book about Elsa the lioness : BORNFREE
40. Fencing sword : EPEE
43. Coat and ___ : TIE
45. Decrease : FALLOFF
48. Soft mineral : TALC
49. Phony doc : QUACK
50. Unscrupulous moneylending : USURY
51. Rarin' to go : EAGER
52. Republican pol Haley from South Carolina : NIKKI
56. Gets 16-Across : AGES
57. Buffalo's lake : ERIE
58. Sour : TART
60. Prefix with dermis : EPI
62. "Monsters, ___" (2001 movie) : INC
63. Word before a maiden name : NEE

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later.

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