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New York Times, Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Author:
Damon Gulczynski
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
3511/8/20048/10/20180
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
14507810
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.65320
Damon J. Gulczynski

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 16 Words: 81, Blocks: 40 Missing: {FQVZ} Spans: 2 This is puzzle # 29 for Mr. Gulczynski. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Damon J. Gulczynski notes:
I saw a puzzle in WSJ just a few weeks ago that had a very similar concept — the progression POINT, LINE, PLANE, SPACE. Thankfully, I ... read more

I saw a puzzle in WSJ just a few weeks ago that had a very similar concept — the progression POINT, LINE, PLANE, SPACE. Thankfully, I didn't get totally scooped because my puzzle has ANOTHER DIMENSION.

Jeff Chen notes:
I'm a sucker for math and physics puzzles done well, and this one was right on my wavelength. I've seen this concept before — POINT, ... read more

I'm a sucker for math and physics puzzles done well, and this one was right on my wavelength. I've seen this concept before — POINT, LINE, PLANE, SPACE forming a sequence, but it still eluded me during my solve, giving me a solid a-ha moment. Great job of picking theme phrases that were both snazzy and helped obfuscate the concept — PICKUP LINE and SNAKES ON A PLANE were such fun entries, plus they both hid the math meaning of LINE and PLANE. And what a perfect revealer in ANOTHER DIMENSION!

Damon went wide, with a 16x15 grid, to accommodate the revealer. Wide grids can get tricky, as you don't want to risk losing solvers' attention with the bigger, potentially sloggier grid, so it's even more important than usual to incorporate strong, colorful entries.

Damon started off well, with THAT'S NOT THE POINT a great theme phrase, not often seen in crosswords due to its 16-letter length. Then he tossed in some WIND POWER, PAPAL BULL, IP ADDRESS, even AKRON OHIO as LBJ's birthplace. That's a lot of great material to enjoy, even for (you poor pitiable) non-math types.

A couple of compromises to make it all work, in the form of IRR, STET, OONA, ERE, AERO. Given how much I enjoyed the theme and the bonus fill, I didn't mind all that … with the exception of AERO. Usually AERO wouldn't bother me much, but crossing it with LOG ON, where AERI / LOG IN work (almost) as well = no bueno! I hate finishing a crossword with an error if it feels like the error wasn't 100% my fault. Such a feeling of dissatisfaction.

But overall, solid math theme + juicy themers + a lot of bonus fill + not much crossword glue = one delighted solver.

1
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© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 1024 ( 24,822 )
Across
1. One of the Five Pillars of Islam : HADJ
5. Shakespeare, informally : WILL
9. Mists : SPRAYS
15. "Interesting ..." : ISEE
16. Spark, so to speak : IDEA
17. Taiwan's capital : TAIPEI
18. *"You fail to understand what I'm saying" : THATSNOTTHEPOINT
21. Nursery purchase : SOD
22. Smidgen : IOTA
23. Info for a driver at an airport : ETA
24. *Cheesy fare served at a bar? : PICKUPLINE
29. Old Renault : LECAR
31. Berry marketed as healthful : ACAI
32. Chaplin of "Game of Thrones" : OONA
33. Sanctify : BLESS
34. Island garland : LEI
35. Bowled over : AWED
36. 12-time Vatican name : PIUS
38. *2006 cult-classic action film : SNAKESONAPLANE
43. Flubs : ERRS
44. Hurdle for a Ph.D. candidate, typically : ORAL
45. Firefighter's tool : AXE
47. One-named Spanish-born actress : CHARO
50. No longer mint : USED
51. Gush : SPEW
52. Get connected after typing one's password : LOGON
53. *"This relationship is smothering me" : INEEDSPACE
55. Conjunction in the middle of a famous palindrome : ERE
56. Vegetable with pods : OKRA
58. Narrow inlet : RIA
59. What a sci-fi portal might lead to ... or what's added successively to the ends of the answers to the starred clues : ANOTHERDIMENSION
66. "The Bathers" painter : RENOIR
67. Symphony, e.g. : OPUS
68. Spicy chocolate sauce : MOLE
69. Trample : STEPON
70. Horses that could be hounds or badgers? : NAGS
71. Took to court : SUED
Down
1. Box-office success : HIT
2. Pale wood : ASH
3. Org. in "Breaking Bad" : DEA
4. Lakeside rental : JETSKI
5. Energy source from a "farm" : WINDPOWER
6. Swear words? : IDO
7. Permit to : LET
8. Eva Mendes or Eva Longoria : LATINA
9. Editor's override : STET
10. Official decree from the Vatican : PAPALBULL
11. 2016 Olympics city, informally : RIO
12. Each : APIECE
13. Busybodies : YENTAS
14. Musical instruments with frets : SITARS
19. Trifling amount : SOU
20. Tough row to ___ : HOE
24. Bud : PAL
25. Finishes, as a cake : ICES
26. Genesis son : CAIN
27. Loamy soil : LOESS
28. Intro to Chinese? : INDO
30. "Frozen" princess : ELSA
35. LeBron James's hometown : AKRONOHIO
36. "Gay" capital : PAREE
37. Certain network ID : IPADDRESS
39. Streamlined, for short : AERO
40. Missing part of the Sphinx : NOSE
41. Mecca for oenophiles : NAPA
42. "Suit" : EXEC
46. Source of feta cheese : EWE
47. Unclogs : CLEARS
48. Big buzzer : HORNET
49. Early toddlerhood : AGEONE
50. Japanese eel-and-rice dish : UNADON
51. Involuntary jerks : SPASMS
53. Like the verbs "lie" and "lay": Abbr. : IRR
54. Do wrong : SIN
57. Jerome who composed "Ol' Man River" : KERN
60. Blouse or sweater : TOP
61. Hoppy quaff, for short : IPA
62. Container for a 61-Down : MUG
63. Marker letters : IOU
64. Soccer match shout : OLE
65. Mustachioed character on "The Simpsons" : NED

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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