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New York Times, Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Author:
Erik Agard
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
5011/6/201212/7/201923
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
1056763121
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.62180
Erik Agard

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 34 Missing: {GQX} This is puzzle # 46 for Mr. Agard. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Erik Agard notes:
Periodic reminder: the Crossword Puzzle Collaboration Directory is a resource for puzzlemakers from underrepresented groups. If you're ... read more

Periodic reminder: the Crossword Puzzle Collaboration Directory is a resource for puzzlemakers from underrepresented groups. If you're interested in writing crosswords (or other puzzles) and would like some tips on getting started, someone to critique your work, or someone to collaborate with, give it a look.

Jeff Chen notes:
I am officially cool enough to love this puzzle! See, all you young ‘uns, I never stopped being hip. Let's dab and dap and crunk ... read more

I am officially cool enough to love this puzzle! See, all you young ‘uns, I never stopped being hip. Let's dab and dap and crunk and—

Hey, where are you going? I thought we might go twerk together?

Great theme, OPPOSITES at the ends of solid base phrases. These findings would have been enough to impress me, but I love a punchline. So many OPPOSITES repelling, amirite? Yeah boy!

What? Why are you rolling your eyes at me?

Erik injected so many debut terms into his fill, which gave the puzzle a fresh feeling. It could easily be too fresh for some, entries like AFRO PUFF, ZENDAYA, BEYHIVE lending recency that not many NYT puzzles exhibit. I liked AFRO PUFF best, since even if you don't know the term, you've likely seen an AFRO PUFF before, and it's such a descriptive term.

It's true that if you don't know ZENDAYA, you're a little screwed; a bizarre set of letters that might look so wrong in your finished puzzle. Ah well.

BEYHIVE is somewhere in between. Beyonce is a must-know, and one could argue that an NYT solver ought to be able to figure out the wordplay.

I knew all three of these! Not everyone can Bey as cool as me.

Overall, even if this smooth and well-crafted puzzle doesn't produce that strong of a victory moment for some solvers – people staring at their finished grid, wondering if it could possibly be right — all the crossings are fair enough. Maybe it is too bleeding-edge, but I like that the NYT occasionally errs on that side. It's a great way to attract younger solvers into the fold.

1
R
2
O
3
A
4
M
5
A
6
H
7
A
8
B
9
D
10
E
11
B
12
I
13
T
14
A
N
T
I
15
F
O
I
E
16
S
C
E
N
E
17
W
E
L
L
18
D
R
I
L
L
19
T
R
Y
S
T
20
F
I
A
S
C
O
21
S
I
22
P
23
U
H
U
H
24
I
O
S
25
C
P
26
A
27
Z
O
28
O
29
I
R
E
30
S
T
E
31
W
32
U
N
33
D
E
R
C
34
O
V
E
R
35
H
A
S
H
36
F
D
R
37
T
I
E
R
S
38
O
39
F
F
S
E
40
A
41
S
O
N
42
A
43
Z
44
U
R
E
45
A
U
K
46
K
47
I
48
T
49
T
50
W
E
T
L
A
51
U
52
N
D
R
Y
53
S
T
A
Y
54
A
N
T
55
T
S
O
56
A
H
57
A
58
S
U
P
59
I
D
E
60
S
61
D
J
62
S
63
O
B
64
L
A
T
E
65
T
A
R
P
66
S
67
O
P
68
P
O
S
I
T
E
S
69
E
Y
E
U
P
70
K
O
O
K
71
M
I
N
E
72
D
A
D
D
Y
73
E
T
D
S
74
B
E
S
T
© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 1001 ( 25,529 )

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Across
1
Travel aimlessly : ROAM
5
Melville captain : AHAB
9
Credit alternative : DEBIT
14
___-Defamation League : ANTI
15
___ gras : FOIE
16
Loud public argument : SCENE
17
Device for tapping groundwater : WELLDRILL
19
Lovers' rendezvous : TRYST
20
Debacle : FIASCO
21
Pop hit? : SIP
23
"Nope!" : UHUH
24
What Apple's mobile devices run on : IOS
25
$$$ pro, for short : CPA
27
Hippo campus? : ZOO
29
Vexation : IRE
30
This-and-that dish : STEW
32
In disguise for a mission : UNDERCOVER
35
This-and-that dish : HASH
36
Only four-term prez : FDR
37
Echelons : TIERS
38
Period after a championship : OFFSEASON
42
Sky hue : AZURE
45
Seabird of colder climes : AUK
46
Singer Eartha : KITT
50
What's hung on a clothesline : WETLAUNDRY
53
Don't go : STAY
54
Kitchen counter crawler : ANT
55
General whose orders are sometimes carried out? : TSO
56
"Plot twist!" : AHA
58
"How you livin'?" : SUP
59
Midmonth occasion : IDES
61
Some party hirees, for short : DJS
63
Not perfectly round : OBLATE
65
They may protect diamonds : TARPS
67
They usually attract (not in this puzzle, though) : OPPOSITES
69
Visually assess : EYEUP
70
Weirdo : KOOK
71
"Dibs!" : MINE
72
Papa : DADDY
73
Airport approximations: Abbr. : ETDS
74
Part of BFF : BEST
Down
1
Sashimi, e.g. : RAWFISH
2
The slightest amount : ONEIOTA
3
Map books : ATLASES
4
"Cool" amounts : MILS
5
Updo styled with an elastic band : AFROPUFF
6
___ polloi : HOI
7
Is down with something : AILS
8
Its capital is Belmopan : BELIZE
9
Spring forward/fall back inits. : DST
10
Beigeish shade : ECRU
11
Fans of singer Knowles, collectively : BEYHIVE
12
Actuary's employer : INSURER
13
Holds in place : TETHERS
18
700, in ancient Rome : DCC
22
Word before "favor" or "ejemplo" : POR
26
No ifs, ___ or buts : ANDS
28
Prefix meaning "eight" : OCTO
31
Fingerprint shape : WHORL
33
Really not look forward to : DREAD
34
Sounds from a sty : OINKS
39
Abbr. between two singers' names : FEAT
40
Surrounding glow : AURA
41
Signature shots of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar : SKYHOOKS
42
Looked forward to : AWAITED
43
One-named star of HBO's "Euphoria" : ZENDAYA
44
Said aloud : UTTERED
47
"Dead even!" : ITSATIE
48
Loses slack : TAUTENS
49
Prepare for printing : TYPESET
51
Amer. currency : USD
52
"Seriously!" : NOJOKE
57
Crunches work them : ABS
60
Tater : SPUD
62
Help out, as a bench-presser : SPOT
64
Partner for life : LIMB
66
Do recon : SPY
68
Rocket's escape vessel : POD

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle.

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