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New York Times, Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Author:
Elizabeth C. Gorski
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
2197/31/19952/23/20160
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6716363439243
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.5430225
Elizabeth C. Gorski

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 36 Missing: {JXYZ} This is puzzle # 215 for Ms. Gorski. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
'Word hidden in phrases' theme today, from an old Prego commercial that sounded vaguely familiar. Given how frequently my bachelor ... read more

"Word hidden in phrases" theme today, from an old Prego commercial that sounded vaguely familiar. Given how frequently my bachelor dinners used to be 1.) get jar of spaghetti sauce 2.) open said jar 3.) drink, I'm sure that tagline must be laced in the back of my head somewhere.

I like the quality of Liz's themers today. Since ITS is a relatively easy word to work into phrases, she does well to increase theme density, giving us five themers in addition to the revealer. Nice layout to accommodate that — a pair of crossing 7's in the middle is made possible by the "pinwheel" layout. And such a beautiful clue for one of the themers, PIT STOP. It took me a while to figure out why a PIT STOP was a "time to retire?" Made more sense when I parsed it as a time to "re-tire." Love it.

In that vein, today brings us so much of the cluing goodness I've come to love. Our old friend OLEO, a totally fine entry in my book but questionable according to others, gets a bang-up clue, repurposing the Beatles' "Yellow Submarine." Yellow sub(stitute) indeed! And although I've seen POET clued in relation to poetic feet (iambs) before, I got tripped up yet again by [Foot specialist?]. Just a handful of these great clues adds so much to a puzzle.

I wasn't wild about seeing the variant EGIS, and the REATAS and DONEE kind of stuff aren't great, but overall Liz does well to keep the puzzle pretty smooth, while kicking in a pair of long entries (SESAME OIL and KNEE BENDS) to boot. The ARIOSO / ORAN / ASSAM section might get people in a bother, but it does reflect Liz's more cultured and artistic bent, which I like seeing in her puzzles. Fun to see a constructor's personality shine through.

Overall, I would have liked a more recognizable phrase as a revealer and a bigger challenge given the standard theme and easy letters of ITS, but it's such a nice execution that I enjoyed the solve. The extras helped a lot for me.

1
S
2
E
3
L
4
A
5
S
6
P
7
I
8
R
9
E
10
A
11
Q
12
U
13
A
14
P
A
I
R
15
E
L
L
E
N
16
N
U
L
L
17
F
R
U
I
18
T
S
A
L
A
D
19
G
I
N
A
20
O
R
A
N
21
T
I
22
B
E
T
A
N
23
A
24
S
S
A
M
25
P
A
N
E
L
S
26
A
L
P
O
27
E
28
G
I
S
29
F
A
M
30
E
31
D
32
G
I
L
33
P
O
E
T
34
K
O
S
O
V
O
35
O
B
I
36
H
I
T
S
37
O
N
G
38
K
E
N
39
R
I
T
40
U
A
L
41
T
R
E
S
42
I
R
E
43
A
S
S
N
S
44
C
O
R
E
45
A
N
T
E
46
C
H
E
47
W
U
P
48
B
49
O
N
G
S
50
P
51
A
R
A
D
E
S
52
B
E
A
D
53
O
P
E
N
54
I
T
55
S
I
N
T
H
56
E
57
R
58
E
59
D
E
E
D
60
R
E
S
O
D
61
O
L
E
O
62
S
S
N
S
63
D
R
E
G
S
64
W
I
T
S
© 2014, The New York TimesNo. 1029 ( 23,731 )
Across
1. Actress Ward : SELA
5. Church bell location : SPIRE
10. Shade at the swimming pool : AQUA
14. Skating competition entry, maybe : PAIR
15. Barkin of "The Big Easy" : ELLEN
16. Void : NULL
17. *Chilled appetizer or dessert : FRUITSALAD
19. Actress Lollobrigida : GINA
20. Port of Algeria : ORAN
21. Like one side of Mount Everest : TIBETAN
23. State that borders Bangladesh : ASSAM
25. Comic strip makeup : PANELS
26. Brand in a bowl : ALPO
27. Sponsorship: Var. : EGIS
29. Illustrious : FAMED
32. Baseball great Hodges : GIL
33. Foot specialist? : POET
34. Its capital is Pristina : KOSOVO
35. Geisha's sash : OBI
36. *Billboard listing : HITSONG
38. He's a real doll : KEN
39. Holy Communion, e.g. : RITUAL
41. Very, in Vichy : TRES
42. Temper : IRE
43. Grps. : ASSNS
44. Part of a planet : CORE
45. Pay (up) : ANTE
46. Ruin, as a dog might shoes : CHEWUP
48. Stoners' purchases : BONGS
50. Reasons for some street closures : PARADES
52. One being strung along? : BEAD
53. Dentist's instruction : OPEN
54. Longtime Prego slogan ... with a hint to the answers to the five starred clues : ITSINTHERE
59. Safe-deposit box item, maybe : DEED
60. Surface anew, in a way : RESOD
61. Yellow sub? : OLEO
62. Payroll IDs : SSNS
63. Bottom of the barrel : DREGS
64. Something to match : WITS
Down
1. Tanning lotion letters : SPF
2. Canal zone? : EAR
3. Actress Lucy : LIU
4. Bach composition : ARIOSO
5. Ingredient in much Asian cooking : SESAMEOIL
6. ___ B : PLAN
7. Feeling fluish, say : ILL
8. Rodeo ropes : REATAS
9. Culminate with : ENDIN
10. Frank McCourt's "___ Ashes" : ANGELAS
11. *Kick the habit, say : QUITSMOKING
12. Forearm bone : ULNA
13. Ex-Fed head Greenspan : ALAN
18. Part of a chorus line? : TRA
22. Obscures : BEFOGS
23. Excuses, excuses : ALIBIS
24. *Feature of many a TV interview : SPLITSCREEN
25. *Time to retire? : PITSTOP
26. Ancient market : AGORA
28. Follow : GET
30. Turns inside out : EVERTS
31. Gifted person? : DONEE
33. Gradually introduced, with "in" : PHASED
34. Leg strengtheners : KNEEBENDS
37. Canadian-born hockey great : ORR
40. Lets go of : UNHANDS
44. Big name at Little Bighorn : CUSTER
45. "You said it!" : ANDHOW
47. Remarkable, as a coincidence : WEIRD
49. Bran name? : OAT
50. Acacia features : PODS
51. Copiers : APES
52. Bookstore sect. : BIOG
55. Seattle-to-L.A. direction : SSE
56. Yalie : ELI
57. Part of AARP: Abbr. : RET
58. Canon camera : EOS

Answer summary: 1 unique to this puzzle.

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