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New York Times, Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Author: David Poole
Editor: Will Shortz
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98/9/20101/10/20171
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0213300
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1.59101
David Poole

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 36 Missing: {JQVXZ} This is puzzle # 6 for Mr. Poole. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
David Poole notes: Not surprisingly, the seed entry was the revealer at 56-Across. CHUCK BERRY just struck me as a directive — the other theme ... more
David Poole notes: Not surprisingly, the seed entry was the revealer at 56-Across. CHUCK BERRY just struck me as a directive — the other theme entries came quickly after that.

Will liked the puzzle but wanted a few changes in the grid. I think we went through two more iterations before he was happy with the grid you see today. The clues for the theme entries at 17-, 33- and 56-Across are Will's; my original clues were perhaps a little too easy. To my delight, Will left almost all of my remaining clues alone — this very seldom happens!

I hope people enjoy solving this one!

Will Shortz notes: I don't usually run puzzles in which the mutilated theme answers don't themselves make sense. But the reveal to this one was so charming, and the mutilations so clear, I made an exception.
Jeff Chen notes: CHUCK BERRY stars in today's grid, both as an entry and an instruction, to chuck BERRY out of four theme answers. These types of ... more
Jeff Chen notes: CHUCK BERRY stars in today's grid, both as an entry and an instruction, to chuck BERRY out of four theme answers. These types of puzzles can be a little hit or miss since the results neither makes sense nor get kooky interpretations. It's a nice change of pace though, especially when something like HUCKLEFINN can't get much of a wacky clue.

A 72-word themed puzzle is tricky to pull off. Doing that with a central 11-letter entry is even more audacious. Giant white spaces loom in each of the four corners, each one a difficult task to fill colorfully and smoothly. I really like what David's accomplished with the left side of the grid. Neither the NW nor the SW corners have ultra-snazzy entries, but they also don't have much glue required. And entries like TOUCH UP, BIKINI, TYPESETS are pretty darn good. Not themeless-quality material in my book, but sometimes smoothness beats snazziness.

Bolero jacket

And the right side of the grid turned out pretty well, too. The old ELOI are lurking up in the NE, and after I looked a few things up, I thought the SE turned out well too. I didn't realize that ANODYNE was now a general term for pain-reliever, and my total lack of fashion sense made BOLEROS a head-scratcher, but they were both interesting to learn.

Where I might have made different decisions: in the north and south. I never heard SONE at all in my time as a mechanical engineer (although I didn't get too deep into acoustics), and this region has many different options. The south is harder since the beautiful RED HOT make the area less flexible, so that's a more subjective area in my book. Does HONEY / OTOES produce a better result, for example? That does include OTOES and CEE — is that pair better or worse than OTROS and UKR? I think so, but my Ukranian friends would likely disagree. Subjective decision there.

Wide-open puzzle with a themeless count, making for a tough but interesting solve. I was so happy to realize I actually knew a theme answer, Prince's "Raspberry Parade." D'oh!

1
S
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A
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K
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© 2014, The New York TimesNo. 1015 ( 23,717 )
Across Down
1. Attempt : STAB
5. Places longshoremen work : DOCKS
10. Pickle flavoring : DILL
14. Mozart's "___ Fan Tutte" : COSI
15. Internet giant that purchased Flickr in 2005 : YAHOO
16. "The Time Machine" vegetarians : ELOI
17. *Drifter of literature : HUCKLEFINN
19. Flow stopper : CLOT
20. Sorrowful 1954 Patti Page hit : ICRIED
21. Pragmatic person : REALIST
23. Swiss/Austrian border river : RHINE
24. Degree for many a 58-Down : MBA
26. One-third of a triptych : PANEL
27. Cube creator : RUBIK
28. *Potent potable in "Arsenic and Old Lace" : ELDERWINE
30. Parrot : APE
31. It can take your breath away : BOA
32. Big ___ (hallux) : TOE
33. *Nicole Kidman, hairwise : STRAWBLONDE
38. Brynner of "The King and I" : YUL
39. ___ Savage, player of the boy on "Boy Meets World" : BEN
40. Dr. J's league, once, for short : ABA
43. *1985 Prince hit : RASPBERET
47. Screenwriter Sorkin : AARON
49. Pop singer Mann : AIMEE
50. Story assigners, in brief : EDS
51. "You had me at ___" ("Jerry Maguire" line) : HELLO
52. Like preserved flowers and writers under deadline : PRESSED
54. Surrendered to gravity : SAGGED
55. Man or Mull : ISLE
56. One of the original Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, whose name is a hint to the answers to the four starred clues : CHUCKBERRY
59. Shoulder muscle, to a gym rat : DELT
60. Cornball : HOKEY
61. Forever and a day : AEON
62. Comes out with : SAYS
63. Spanish "others" : OTROS
64. Where Citigroup is C, for short : NYSE
1. Astronaut Wally, the first person to go into space three times : SCHIRRA
2. Airbrush, e.g. : TOUCHUP
3. Attributes : ASCRIBES
4. Two-piece suit : BIKINI
5. Brunette no more, say : DYED
6. Bumbler : OAF
7. Tai ___ : CHI
8. German chancellor Adenauer : KONRAD
9. Unit of loudness : SONE
10. Rendered harmless, in a way : DECLAWED
11. "Fighting" Big Ten team : ILLINI
12. Relax : LOOSEN
13. Lilliputian : LITTLE
18. Vichyssoise vegetable : LEEK
22. Plane's parking place : APRON
24. Request for milk, maybe : MEOW
25. Spilled the beans : BLABBED
29. View from Windsor Castle : ETON
31. Christian in Hollywood : BALE
34. Prepares for proofing : TYPESETS
35. Hayseeds : RUBES
36. Court replays : LETS
37. Tea choice for TV's Frasier Crane : EARLGREY
41. Short jackets worn open in front : BOLEROS
42. Pain reliever : ANODYNE
43. Canoeist's challenge : RAPIDS
44. Like some rescues : AIRSEA
45. Ripe : SMELLY
46. Flying off the shelves : REDHOT
47. Starbuck's superior : AHAB
48. Greece/Turkey separator, with "the" : AEGEAN
53. Bounce back : ECHO
54. "The ___ the limit!" : SKYS
57. Kiev's land: Abbr. : UKR
58. Many a Fortune profilee, for short : CEO

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle.

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