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New York Times, Saturday, October 22, 2016

Author:
James Mulhern
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
2411/16/20096/23/20176
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
012001011
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.60000
James Mulhern

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 31 Missing: {FHJQX} Spans: 2 This is puzzle # 22 for Mr. Mulhern. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
James Mulhern notes:
This is actually a tribute puzzle, celebrating the world's greatest dog, Mickey, who passed away a few months before I constructed ... read more

This is actually a tribute puzzle, celebrating the world's greatest dog, Mickey, who passed away a few months before I constructed it. He was a one-dog breaker of stereotypes and melter of hearts, who had a hilariously expressive face, a special relationship with children, and a deep, loving loyalty. I miss him every day.

Please consider adoption for all your pet needs — shelter animals are the best!

Jeff Chen notes:
Love the long entries anchoring this one: GRAVITY'S RAINBOW and YOU'RE DARN TOOTIN'! The latter is such a fun phrase to say, and ... read more

Love the long entries anchoring this one: GRAVITY'S RAINBOW and YOU'RE DARN TOOTIN'! The latter is such a fun phrase to say, and although I haven't read the former, what a great book title. If the fact that it won the National Book Award wasn't enough, apparently there's a mysterious device at the center of the plot called the "black device." And heck, I'll go read it just based on the catchy title alone.

Fun pairing up top of MICKEY D'S (slang for McDonald's) and IN AND OUT. The latter isn't that exciting a phrase to me — more of a space filler — but I enjoyed how it hinted at IN-N-OUT Burger. SURE, SURE was also good, although it felt a notch below YEAH, SURE or YEAH, RIGHT. (I'd also accept the heavily emphasized SUUUUUUUUUURE, which I use all the time.)

The bottom stack was fun as well, the colloquial GUESS NOT and DRUM SET framing the triple of EBB TIDES / CLOSE ONE / SEWER RAT. They're all thumbs-up answers, and there's nary a gluey bit in sight. EBB TIDES didn't excite me on its own, but what a clever clue to elevate it — [Rollback events] had me thinking about store sales where they roll back their prices.

A couple of other bonuses here and there, BOGART my favorite of the mid-length answers. A close second was IMBIBE, because of the amusing clue. ([Lift one's spirits?] refers to a literal lifting of a distilled spirit.)

Overall, a high level of smoothness, really just a LAN and a TSE (ERTE bothers some, but I think he's made a big enough mark in art to easy be crossworthy). Hardly a hiccup during my solve, and I really appreciated that. I would have been fine with a touch more glue, though — maybe one or two more bits — in order to get a few more entries that sizzled like MICKEY D'S. It would have been awesome if RINSE OUT and IN AND OUT had been swapped out for top-notch answers, for example.

1
M
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C
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G
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L
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M
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K
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A
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B
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P
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N
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C
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O
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B
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D
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B
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C
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D
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 1022 ( 24,455 )
Across
1
Rugby rival of Harvard : MCGILL
7
It operates Hamburger U. : MICKEYDS
15
Like many offshore rescues : AIRSEA
16
Visiting only a short time : INANDOUT
17
1955 R&B hit for Bo Diddley : IMAMAN
18
"Ri-i-ight" : SURESURE
19
Buff : MAVEN
20
17-Across, to the self-titled "Bo Diddley" : BSIDE
21
Took care of : RAN
22
Free of shampoo, say : RINSEOUT
24
Shut (up) : PENT
25
"Cleopatre" artist : ERTE
26
Directory listings: Abbr. : NOS
27
A place antelope lope : VELDT
29
Kittenish : COY
30
Maugham's title girl of Lambeth : LIZA
31
Suspicion : IDEA
32
Live : ONSTAGE
34
Uses without sharing, in slang : BOGARTS
37
What there often is for improvement : ROOM
38
Golfer nicknamed Long John : DALY
39
Interruption of service? : NET
40
Model material : BALSA
41
Translation material : RNA
42
Website used by a lot of artisans : ETSY
43
Breeze (along) : SAIL
44
"Huh ... never mind then" : GUESSNOT
46
One of "the highest form of literature," per Hitchcock : PUN
47
They're "made by fools like me," per Kilmer : POEMS
49
Parades, with "out" : TROTS
51
Rollback events : EBBTIDES
53
Start, in a way : BOOTUP
54
Squeaker : CLOSEONE
55
Lift one's spirits? : IMBIBE
56
Subterranean scurrier : SEWERRAT
57
Played first : OPENED
Down
1
Unhand or disarm? : MAIM
2
Oscar winner before "Grand Hotel" : CIMARRON
3
1974 National Book Award winner by Thomas Pynchon : GRAVITYSRAINBOW
4
Daughter and half sister of Oedipus : ISMENE
5
Shows a preference : LEANS
6
Shared computer syst. : LAN
7
One who goes on to try to conquer the Universe? : MISSUSA
8
Language akin to Yupik : INUIT
9
ID : CARD
10
End of a lap : KNEE
11
They may reduce sentences, for short : EDS
12
"And how!" : YOUREDARNTOOTIN
13
Four-time N.B.A. scoring champion in the 2010s : DURANT
14
Vessel opener : STENT
20
Still matter? : BOOZE
23
Tough nut to crack : ENIGMA
24
Court position : PLEA
25
Prefix with village : ECO
27
Front-and-center section : VIOLAS
28
Like fringe festival fare : EDGY
30
It has a Marxist-Leninist ideology : LAOS
33
Car payment? : TOLL
34
Bêtes noires : BANES
35
Aid in studying a culture : TESTTUBE
36
Dump : STY
38
Equipment for a rock band : DRUMSET
40
Gewgaw : BAUBLE
42
Coat : ENROBE
43
Design info : SPECS
44
Davis of film : GEENA
45
Really put one's foot down : STOMP
47
Berth place : PIER
48
Repute : ODOR
50
Was reckless, in a way : SPED
52
K'ung Fu-___ : TSE
53
41-Across is a topic in it, briefly : BIO

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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