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New York Times, Monday, January 9, 2017

Author:
Neville Fogarty
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
95/3/201210/25/20183
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1131210
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.64020
Neville Fogarty

This puzzle:

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

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 ... read more

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.

1
A
2
I
3
R
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S
5
S
6
T
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A
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N
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G
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A
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N
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T
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N
O
A
A
15
H
E
R
A
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O
L
D
E
R
17
T
W
I
N
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P
E
A
K
S
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A
K
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S
A
N
D
E
D
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A
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E
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C
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D
A
P
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F
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U
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H
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O
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S
E
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S
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K
E
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T
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N
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L
E
D
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A
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H
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P
R
E
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S
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E
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T
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A
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B
E
D
H
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E
A
D
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P
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B
O
Y
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T
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O
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F
O
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I
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47
R
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T
A
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Q
50
U
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E
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N
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A
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U
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A
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F
Y
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A
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E
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T
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A
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K
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N
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C
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B
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64
C
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P
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K
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F
A
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K
Y
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I
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S
69
F
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E
T
© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0109 ( 24,534 )

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Across
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
Down
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: 1 unique to this puzzle, 3 debuted here and reused later.

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