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New York Times, Monday, October 3, 2016

Author:
Jacob Stulberg
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
3012/25/20131/2/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
3449640
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.597100
Jacob Stulberg

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 74, Blocks: 36 Missing: {Q} Spans: 3 This is puzzle # 13 for Mr. Stulberg. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jacob Stulberg notes:
From the start, I was determined to keep SOCIALLUBRICANT as one of this puzzle's theme answers. Others that fell by the wayside ... read more

From the start, I was determined to keep SOCIALLUBRICANT as one of this puzzle's theme answers. Others that fell by the wayside included STANDONCEREMONY, COMMONKNOWLEDGE, and LONGLIVETHEKING, the latter from an ill-fated attempt to put FALLINGDOWN in the central column.

My original clue for 56-Across (STATE SEAL) was "Idaho's is the only one designed by a woman." As a recent transplant to Monterey, I'm happy to give the new clue a certain marine mammal of approval.

Jeff Chen notes:
LONDON BRIDGE is FALLING DOWN today, with a neat visual and a great selection of themers. I've been dying to work SOCIAL LUBRICANT ... read more

LONDON BRIDGE is FALLING DOWN today, with a neat visual and a great selection of themers. I've been dying to work SOCIAL LUBRICANT into a puzzle, so it was really fun to see. STAND ON ONES HEAD, LONG STEMMED, and WENT OVER THE EGDE are all nice too.

I like when a puzzle lulls me into thinking I know what's happening, and then it throws me for a loop. Working quickly through LON to DON, I figured this had to be a word ladder. What a pleasure to get SOCIAL LUBRICANT as a sizzling entry, and even more so when I realized the next trigram wasn't DOT or DEN or something.

And what an entertaining visual, LON DON BRI DGE actually looking like the bridge broke up, Tacoma-Narrows-style, and sections plummeted in sequence from right to left. Love it.

Nice bonuses in RV PARK — excellent use of a six-letter slot — ACTING OUT, STATE SEAL, NY GIANTS, SHOWCASE, even ARABIC with its crazy clue (see Jim's note below). Great extras made the solve even more enjoyable.

There were a few questionable spots, ones that made me hesitate about giving this the POW! XKES is a toughie, basically random letters. Thankfully Jacob made all the crossings straightforward.

That SUZI / ZWEIG crossing … I guess it's fair, since what other letter could look more reasonable? I briefly considered SUKI / KWEIG, but that looked strange. I do like the Scrabbly Z, but oof, that caused me a moment of panic.

Were those two rough patches worth the price all the great extras? I did like all the bonuses, and given that Jacob had to work with five long themers, some signs of strain were to be expected. Going up to 76 words could have smoothed out those two crunchy spots — the end product is not as novice-friendly as I like to see in a Monday — but I'm okay with Jacob's decision.

I really enjoy getting something a little different on Mondays, and this fit the bill. Very entertaining.

Jim Horne notes:

In the print version of this puzzle, the clue for 24 Down is: Language in which "hello" is مرحبا

1
O
2
G
3
L
4
E
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S
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C
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S
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I
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W
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R
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U
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N
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G
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F
L
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A
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R
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A
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F
A
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A
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A
C
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N
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E
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N
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S
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D
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A
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A
S
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O
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F
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O
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X
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T
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W
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E
L
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V
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P
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J
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N
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A
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A
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C
O
M
B
O
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S
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P
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R
O
L
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A
D
M
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T
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P
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D
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D
H
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Z
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H
E
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D
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C
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D
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A
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D
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P
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P
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G
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G
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E
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S
Y
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 1003 ( 24,436 )
Across
1
Makes eyes at : OGLES
6
Start of four TV drama titles of the 2000s : CSI
9
Twisted, as a wet towel : WRUNG
14
Entry in the Rose Parade : FLOAT
15
"Winnie-the-Pooh" baby : ROO
16
Course you hardly have to study for : EASYA
17
Brand of orange or grape soda : FANTA
18
Misbehaving : ACTINGOUT
20
Unit of work in physics : ERG
21
N.F.L. team that plays in Jersey, strangely enough : NYGIANTS
23
Marquis ___ (French writer) : DESADE
25
Regarding : ASTO
26
___ News (Roger Ailes's former channel) : FOX
29
Tool for laying cement : TROWEL
31
Locale for mobile campers : RVPARK
33
___ jacket (denim top) : JEAN
34
Pie ___ mode : ALA
36
"Miss" of TV's "Dallas" : ELLIE
37
Jazz group : COMBO
38
"Yo" : SUP
39
Caramel-filled candies : ROLOS
40
Server overseer, informally : ADMIN
41
Conan O'Brien's network : TBS
42
Romulus or Remus : TWIN
43
Put (together), as a jigsaw puzzle : PIECED
45
"Little" folk tale character with lazy friends : REDHEN
47
One of the Kennedys : TED
48
"Stumblin' In" singer Quatro : SUZI
50
Didn't give a definitive answer : HEDGED
53
Something bid on on "The Price Is Right" : SHOWCASE
55
Drunk motorist's infraction, for short : DWI
56
California's says "Eureka" : STATESEAL
59
Sag : DROOP
61
Speakers' platforms : PODIA
62
___ and outs : INS
63
Stares (at) : GAWKS
64
Emmy or Espy : AWARD
65
Sporty Pontiac : GTO
66
Minuscule, informally : EENSY
Down
1
Took care of, mob-style : OFFED
2
What a sun visor reduces : GLARE
3
Like some wineglasses and roses : LONGSTEMMED
4
Dine : EAT
5
Perform an inverted feat : STANDONONESHEAD
6
Rocky outcropping : CRAG
7
Alcohol, per its effect at a party : SOCIALLUBRICANT
8
Smidgens : IOTAS
9
Lost one's sanity : WENTOVERTHEEDGE
10
From ___ to riches : RAGS
11
Military entertainment grp. : USO
12
Sch. on Manhattan's Washington Square Park : NYU
13
Gun, in old mob slang : GAT
19
Like some verbs: Abbr. : INTR
22
Tree whose name sounds like a letter of the alphabet : YEW
24
Language of Yemen and Oman : ARABIC
26
Like the contents of this puzzle's circled squares, in a nursery rhyme : FALLINGDOWN
27
Hunter of myth : ORION
28
Sporty Jaguars : XKES
30
"It is the ___, and Juliet is the sun": Romeo : EAST
32
Prepared for planting, as a field : PLOWED
33
Actress Foster : JODIE
35
Cathedral recess : APSE
37
Lt.'s superior : CAPT
44
Twosomes : DUOS
46
Some A.L. sluggers : DHS
49
Stefan ___, influential Austrian writer of the 1920s-'30s : ZWEIG
51
Furry "Star Wars" creatures : EWOKS
52
___ Doodles (snack brand) : DIPSY
53
Kerfuffle : STIR
54
In addition : ALSO
56
Health resort : SPA
57
Pull to a pound : TOW
58
Nabokov novel : ADA
60
Singer Carly ___ Jepsen : RAE

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?