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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 )

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Students & seniors
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.

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