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New York Times, Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Author:
Jeff Chen
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
917/5/201011/15/201853
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2467172188
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.635192
Jeff Chen

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 74, Blocks: 38 Missing: {FJWZ} This is puzzle # 75 for Mr. Chen. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
My mother-in-law's name is Patsy, and I'm a big fan of Patsy Cline — 'Walkin' After Midnight' is one of my favorites. Not hard ... read more

My mother-in-law's name is Patsy, and I'm a big fan of Patsy Cline — "Walkin' After Midnight" is one of my favorites. Not hard to see where I got the idea for the puzzle.

What is hard to see is PATSY CLINE in the grid. She could have gone where PIGEON COOP is, but my mother-in-law in a crossword where PATSY is associated with CHUMP, SUCKER, and MARK ... hmm.

Jeff Chen notes:
Locking CON MEN and MARK ANTONY into place made for some teeth-gnashing. After my first pass, I ended up with CON MEN crossing ... ... read more

Locking CON MEN and MARK ANTONY into place made for some teeth-gnashing. After my first pass, I ended up with CON MEN crossing ... NEOCON. Is that a dupe? Not really, since one CON stands for CONFIDENCE and the other CONSERVATIVE, two words with different etymologies.

But every time I tried to convince myself that it was perfectly fine, it bothered me mightily. Maybe having something that looks like a DUPE is appropriate for this puzzle (groan), but I just couldn't live with it. There went another few hours, into the garbage.

Apologies to anyone whose sensibilities were offended by PORKY'S, but talk about a cult classic. It's hard to believe they got away with naming a character "Beulah Balbricker."

I had fun working on the lower right, trying over and over to maximize my impact with those long slots. I'm a fan of Latin phrases, physics, and throwbacks to the 80s, so QUO VADIS, BETA RAY, UNDEROOS made me happy. Talk about a disparate trio of terms.

I also spent a ridiculous amount of time debating the middle section. I was in finance for years, so I've always found the term I BANKER (investment banker) colorful. (Not always ethical, but colorful.) Was it worth ORANG? I've heard people say ORANG before and I'm fine with it, but I realize it's not everyone's cup of tea. I could have gone with something like STINKER instead, but really, isn't an I BANKER the same thing? (*rim shot*)

ADDED NOTE: Jim didn't know what an I BANKER was, and had a hard time convincing himself that it could possibly be correct. Maybe I've spent too much time in finance ... dang it, maybe I should have gone with STINKER!

1
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© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 1017 ( 24,815 )

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Students & seniors
Across
1. Flaky mineral : MICA
5. She "walked like a woman and talked like a man," in a Kinks song : LOLA
9. Say with conviction : AVER
13. Lots : ATON
14. Film format that's sometimes in 3-D : IMAX
15. Mushroom's reproductive cell : SPORE
16. Refined chap : GENT
17. Base for long-distance carriers? : PIGEONCOOP
19. "This is looking extremely bad for me!" : IMTOAST
21. Person setting the stage? : ROADIE
22. Archaeologist played by Harrison Ford, informally : INDY
23. Lyricist Gershwin : IRA
25. Ricky Martin's "Livin' La Vida ___" : LOCA
26. South Asian shade tree : BANYAN
28. Prohibit : BAN
29. Fuel that contributes to global warming : COAL
30. A mere pittance : CHUMPCHANGE
33. What "X" might represent on a treasure map : CHEST
34. An official language of Canada: Abbr. : ENG
35. Ink-squirting creature : SQUID
40. Unexpected hit : SUCKERPUNCH
43. Size in a lingerie shop : CCUP
47. Rebel on many T-shirts : CHE
48. Wears away : ERODES
49. "... ish" : ORSO
50. "The Star-Spangled Banner" contraction : OER
51. Hardly an upscale bar : DIVE
52. Cell that fires on impulse : NEURON
54. Emission from radioactive decay : BETARAY
57. Cleopatra's lover : MARKANTONY
60. Shower affection (on) : DOTE
61. Annual athletic awards : ESPYS
62. Canadian Plains tribe : CREE
63. Wee bit : IOTA
64. Eliot who chased Capone : NESS
65. File size units, informally : MEGS
66. IDs collected by H.R. : SSNS
Down
1. Storied traveling trio : MAGI
2. Unit in an online cart : ITEM
3. "I'm listening ..." : CONTINUE
4. Stop and go, e.g. : ANTONYMS
5. "Sing" without singing : LIPSYNC
6. Leave out : OMIT
7. Fall behind : LAG
8. Body spray brand : AXE
9. High-level H.S. class with integrals : APCALC
10. It has its charms : VOODOO
11. Beethoven's Third : EROICA
12. Undo, as a law : REPEAL
15. ___-Cat (winter vehicle) : SNO
18. Chimp's relative : ORANG
20. Grows fur for the winter, say : ADAPTS
23. Pro at building financial worth, slangily : IBANKER
24. Kitchen appliance : RANGE
26. Secretive email option : BCC
27. "That's the spot!" : AHH
31. Actress Anne of "Donnie Brasco" : HECHE
32. ___ de corps : ESPRIT
36. 1951 film featuring Nero : QUOVADIS
37. Brand of kids' wear with Superman and Batman options : UNDEROOS
38. Filler for a cooler : ICE
39. Some A.L. sluggers : DHS
41. N.C.A.A. women's basketball powerhouse : UCONN
42. Overnight flights : REDEYES
43. People who target the starts of 17-, 30-, 40- and 57-Across : CONMEN
44. Paper fold : CREASE
45. Takes by force : USURPS
46. Raunchy 1981 comedy with two sequels : PORKYS
53. Intl. group headquartered in D.C. : OAS
54. Rare blood type, for short : BNEG
55. Memo heading abbr. : ATTN
56. Pro votes : YEAS
58. Channel showing old films : TCM
59. Valuable rock : ORE

Answer summary: 6 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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