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New York Times, Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Author:
Damon Gulczynski
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
3811/8/20047/1/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
15608810
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.65330

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.

 1H 2A 3D 4J 5W 6I 7L 8L 9S 10P 11R 12A 13Y 14S 15I S E E 16I D E A 17T A I P E I 18T H A T 19S N O T T 20H E P O I N T 21S O D 22I O T A 23E T A 24P 25I 26C K U P 27L 28I N E 29L 30E C A R 31A C A I 32O O N A 33B L E S S 34L E I 35A W E D 36P 37I U S 38S N 39A K E S O 40N A P L A 41N 42E 43E R R S 44O R A L 45A X 46E 47C 48H 49A R O 50U S E D 51S P E W 52L O G O N 53I N E E D 54S P A C E 55E R E 56O 57K R A 58R I A 59A N O 60T H E R D 61I 62M E N S 63I 64O 65N 66R E N O I R 67O P U S 68M O L E 69S T E P O N 70N A G S 71S U E D
© 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
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
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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