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New York Times, Friday, October 2, 2015

Author:
Patrick Berry
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
2297/11/199911/4/20182
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
741241679512
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.54980
Patrick Berry

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 66, Blocks: 30 Missing: {JKQXZ} This is puzzle # 203 for Mr. Berry. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
Hardly anyone attempts 4x8 corners because they're so hard to fill cleanly and snazzily. And that middle, such a giant chunk of space ... read more

Hardly anyone attempts 4x8 corners because they're so hard to fill cleanly and snazzily. And that middle, such a giant chunk of space to fill, would break a mere mortal constructor's brain.

Where LOVECRAFT's "The Call of Cthulhu" was first published

I really liked the upper left. The triple of GAS METER / ALTER EGO / ROAD RAGE in that 4x8 stack is very nice. None of these answers are flashy, but they're all assets amenable to great cluing. And not a gluey bit!

The other corner certainly works, but it doesn't feature much besides BIG DADDY. I think it'd be hard to argue that EMANATED or ORIGINATED is more than just a neutral entry, for example. I am impressed by how clean that corner is, but it wasn't as much fun to solve as the usual Berry experience.

The middle is my favorite of the three mini-puzzles, given the colorful MEDIA BIAS / LOVECRAFT / L'ETAT C'EST MOI. CLARINETS is fine too, and to me it gets elevated to an asset by the wickedly clever [Black winds] clue. I was so sure this had to be some sort of OMEN or "Game of Thrones" type storm or something.

And when EVERTED is your weak link in such a huge section, that's a win. I'm personally fine with EVERTED, as "eversion" is medical lingo, but I can see how others might raise an eyebrow. No doubt, it's not as common or in the language as DEDUCTS or INTRUDE.

Going down to 66 words is a tough task, and often the neutral stuff like EMANATED and EVERTED creeps in if you want to keep the short fill smooth.

I get the attempted wordplay of an ACROBAT having a "flexible schedule," but it feels like it's not as spot-on as usual PB cluing. [You again?] for ALTER EGO, similarly so (maybe [You as well?] might have been more apt?). [Fits on a hard drive?] ... "hard drive" equating to "tough commute" or something doesn't quite do it for me. Seeing Patrick's byline sets my expectations extremely high for clever clues, often delighting me, and I felt like overall this one fell a little short.

Jim Horne notes:

Jeff and I don't always agree. To me, "Fits on a hard drive" is a Clue of the Year candidate.

1
G
2
A
3
R
4
B
5
S
6
H
7
E
8
L
9
F
10
A
11
S
12
T
13
A
14
A
L
O
U
15
P
A
L
A
U
16
C
H
O
P
17
S
T
A
G
18
N
A
T
I
O
N
19
R
A
M
S
20
M
E
D
L
E
Y
21
G
22
F
O
R
C
E
23
E
R
R
E
D
24
M
25
E
26
D
I
A
B
I
A
S
27
T
E
A
R
28
L
O
V
E
C
R
A
F
T
29
E
G
G
S
30
B
E
N
E
D
I
C
T
31
R
O
E
32
I
N
T
R
U
D
E
33
E
34
B
35
B
36
L
E
T
A
T
C
E
S
37
T
M
O
I
38
C
39
L
A
R
I
N
E
T
S
40
S
A
N
G
41
I
R
O
N
C
L
A
D
S
42
T
U
N
E
D
43
W
E
N
C
E
S
44
P
A
N
A
M
A
45
I
A
G
O
46
O
47
R
48
I
49
G
I
N
A
T
E
D
50
S
T
E
M
51
U
N
F
I
T
52
M
E
A
D
53
H
E
R
E
54
P
A
S
T
Y
55
I
D
L
Y
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 1002 ( 24,069 )
Across
1
Threads : GARB
5
Continental ___ : SHELF
10
1930s film canine : ASTA
14
Jesus in the outfield : ALOU
15
Pacific island country that uses U.S. currency : PALAU
16
Veal cut : CHOP
17
Result of standing too long, maybe : STAGNATION
19
Merlin Olsen's team : RAMS
20
Mixed numbers? : MEDLEY
21
Cause of "fainting in the air" : GFORCE
23
Dropped the ball : ERRED
24
Colorer of papers? : MEDIABIAS
27
Material problem : TEAR
28
Horror author who wrote "The Call of Cthulhu" : LOVECRAFT
29
Breakfast dish with hollandaise sauce : EGGSBENEDICT
31
Fish hatchery yield : ROE
32
Ruin a private moment : INTRUDE
33
Diminution : EBB
36
The Sun King's infamous declaration : LETATCESTMOI
38
Black winds : CLARINETS
40
Provided backup, say : SANG
41
Civil War ships : IRONCLADS
42
Paying attention, with "in" : TUNED
43
Señor seen on "The Ed Sullivan Show" : WENCES
44
With 6-Down, bit of summer wear : PANAMA
45
"I will wear my heart upon my sleeve" speaker, in Shakespeare : IAGO
46
Came up with : ORIGINATED
50
Stalk : STEM
51
Not working out? : UNFIT
52
"Beowulf" beverage : MEAD
53
"___, boy" : HERE
54
Cadaverous : PASTY
55
How doodles are drawn : IDLY
Down
1
It's read for a bill : GASMETER
2
You again? : ALTEREGO
3
Fits on a hard drive? : ROADRAGE
4
Base players : BUGLERS
5
Fix : SPAY
6
See 44-Across : HAT
7
Typical Bulldogs fan : ELI
8
Southeast Asian tongue : LAO
9
Some crop-dusting chemicals : FUNGICIDES
10
Worker with a flexible schedule? : ACROBAT
11
Streisand's "Funny Girl" co-star : SHARIF
12
Promiscuous guy, in slang : TOMCAT
13
Cathedral features : APSES
18
Land in a nautical adventure : NED
22
Plot-heavy comedies : FARCES
24
Cattle drive destination in "Lonesome Dove" : MONTANA
25
Turned inside out : EVERTED
26
Takes away : DEDUCTS
28
Food that Esau sold his birthright for : LENTILSOUP
30
"The Devil's Dictionary" author : BIERCE
33
Gave out : EMANATED
34
Organic fertilizer : BONEMEAL
35
Plantation owner in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" : BIGDADDY
36
Popular name in cosmetics : LANCOME
37
Coastal hazard : TSUNAMI
38
Fashion : CREATE
39
Like the small intestine vis-à-vis the large one : LONGER
41
Words of longing : IWISH
42
Khaki : TAN
44
Regrettable situation : PITY
47
Single-stranded macromolecule : RNA
48
They may or may not happen : IFS
49
Dogpatch yell : GIT

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

Found bugs or have suggestions?