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New York Times, Saturday, October 14, 2017

Author:
Sam Ezersky
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
337/28/20123/10/20199
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
311334117
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.71210
Sam Ezersky

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 70, Blocks: 34 Missing: {V} Scrabble average: 1.87 This is puzzle # 15 for Mr. Ezersky. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Sam Ezersky notes:
While it may not necessarily be my magnum opus, this is my favorite puzzle I've ever created. That's because the puzzle is me*. ... read more

While it may not necessarily be my magnum opus, this is my favorite puzzle I've ever created.

That's because the puzzle is me*. I'll shamelessly admit that I've listened to "TRAP QUEEN" at least 1,738 times. I'm equally obsessed with Pink Floyd, and "US AND THEM" is a classic. I graduated from UVA's engineering school this past May, though I was an ECON MAJOR as well. CHOCO TACO as a crossword entry feels animated yet quirky, and that about sums me up. LEFT BRAIN? My right brain doesn't exist. LOGARITHM? I'm a numbers guy. ATTIC DOOR? Eh, I'm weird and have my flaws, I suppose.

I could go on and on about how much I enjoyed making this thing, but like talking about myself, it just feels awkward. I guess it's worth noting that on top of everything else, this is my first true crossword publication since I became the Times' new assistant puzzles editor!

Thanks to Will for letting me edit this with him, to Joel for checking this out over a text conversation two years ago, to you solvers for dealing with me in grid form...and to just everybody in general for giving me a shot.

*With the exception of EGOMANIAC, I hope! Also prefer a mojito to a PINA COLADA any day.

Jeff Chen notes:
Nice work from Sam today. He starts with typical triple-stacks in the NW / SE, but I like how he sort of stacks a fourth long answer ... read more

Nice work from Sam today. He starts with typical triple-stacks in the NW / SE, but I like how he sort of stacks a fourth long answer in NAME BRANDS on the top and PINA COLADA on the bottom. Offsetting a fourth long answer like this makes the stack much easier to build around (compared to putting four long answers atop each other), but it gives a similar feeling of jam-packed goodness. LEFT BRAIN / UGLY BETTY / TRAP QUEEN / NAME BRANDS = huge impact!

Well, huge impact for Fetty Wap fans. But even for us music idiots, at least TRAP and QUEEN are recognizable words, if not a recognizable song.

Also loved the featured SUMO MATCH and LOGARITHM in the other corners. I imagine there isn't that much overlap between Fetty Wap fans, Yokozuna enthusiasts, and math dorks, so it's nice to get something for everyone. Great to get those fantastic entries spread around the grid, giving an overall feel of being chock full of goodies.

TYRA BANKS and her term, "smizing" ... so impressive that she made it big in the modeling business, then parlayed that into business moguldom, and now a new word that actually feels interesting? Standing O for her!

A couple of blips in the short fill, A TEST the most notable. I feel like A BOMB or H BOMB is in the language, but A TEST (with all its constructor-friendly letters) … REUNES is a similar story. It is in the dictionary, but I'd feel silly saying I'm reuning with my MBA class this Friday (15th-year reune!).

XWORD I don't mind, although it felt a bit too insider-y. But mixing it up with the old NYNEX and BWAY = hmm. Maybe if these shortenings had been spread out, this trio wouldn't have jumped out as me so much.

Overall, enough great material to keep me satisfied.

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© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 1014 ( 24,812 )
Across
1
Place where analysis is done : LEFTBRAIN
10
Impolite sound : SLURP
15
Hit TV series based on a Colombian telenovela : UGLYBETTY
16
Source of the line "They have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind" : HOSEA
17
2015 #2 hit for rapper Fetty Wap : TRAPQUEEN
18
Over : AGAIN
19
Farmhand in "The Wizard of Oz" : ZEKE
20
They're not generic : NAMEBRANDS
22
China assembly : TEASET
24
What you're solving, informally : XWORD
25
Eponym of a North Carolina city : ASHE
27
With 33-Across, husky-voiced singer known as the Jezebel of Jazz : ANITA
29
Unnerving boom, of sorts : ATEST
33
See 27-Across : ODAY
35
Tough : THUG
37
Sorcerer : MAGUS
38
Crossed : MET
39
With 39-Down, question after an interruption : WHERE
40
Senior moment? : PROM
41
Like a paper clip : BENT
42
World capital once known as Philadelphia : AMMAN
43
Onetime competitor of Gulf : AMOCO
45
Some kin : SIBS
47
Knock over : AMAZE
49
Shins : CLIMBS
53
Tropical bar offering : PINACOLADA
56
One of 70 in a Shakespearean sonnet : IAMB
58
Mrs. Woodrow Wilson : EDITH
59
Many a B-school applicant : ECONMAJOR
61
"See ya!" : PEACE
62
Crunchy Klondike product : CHOCOTACO
63
Samuel ___, investment banking firm co-founder : SACHS
64
Model who popularized the term "smizing" : TYRABANKS
Down
1
Spin out on the ice? : LUTZ
2
Symbol of the National Audubon Society : EGRET
3
Abandon plans, in modern slang : FLAKE
4
Ambitious and high-energy : TYPEA
5
Pit-y party? : BBQ
6
Gets together after 10 or 20 years, say : REUNES
7
Didn't go out to dinner : ATEATHOME
8
Hot ___ : ITEM
9
Half of a 1997 telecom merger : NYNEX
10
P.M. between Barak and Olmert : SHARON
11
What turns 1,000 into 3, in base 10 : LOGARITHM
12
Longest song on Pink Floyd's "The Dark Side of the Moon" : USANDTHEM
13
Britt ___, real name of the Green Hornet : REID
14
Slams : PANS
21
Tony's place, for short? : BWAY
23
Topics for Kaplan : SATS
26
Blissful locales : EDENS
28
Atmosphere : AURA
29
Fire (up) : AMP
30
Neighbor of Twelve Oaks, in fiction : TARA
31
Emperor Nero, by all accounts : EGOMANIAC
32
Popular Tokyo entertainment : SUMOMATCH
34
One way to the top : ATTICDOOR
36
Next ___ (emerging group of young leaders, informally) : GEN
39
See 39-Across : WASI
41
Dum-dum : BOZO
44
Browsers' aids : CACHES
46
Like snow en Argentina : BLANCA
48
Give a seat : ELECT
50
Spider alternative : MIATA
51
Person from Barbados, informally : BAJAN
52
Lab wear : SMOCK
53
Fires (up) : PEPS
54
It's just in your head : IDEA
55
Fluish, perhaps : ACHY
57
Warner ___ : BROS
60
Idol group : MOB

Answer summary: 6 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later.

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