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New York Times, Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Author:
Jeff Chen
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
957/5/20102/14/201957
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
2468172398
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.636202
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
M
2
I
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C
4
A
5
L
6
O
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L
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A
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A
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V
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E
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R
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A
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M
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X
15
S
P
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G
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P
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O
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A
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R
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N
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Y
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I
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R
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L
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B
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A
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A
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B
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C
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H
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E
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Q
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D
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P
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D
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O
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B
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A
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Y
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T
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D
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C
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I
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N
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S
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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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