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New York Times, Friday, October 30, 2015

Author: Patrick Berry
Editor: Will Shortz
Patrick Berry
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2287/11/19994/8/20182
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731241679512
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1.54980

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 66, Blocks: 31 Missing: {JQVWXZ} This is puzzle # 205 for Mr. Berry. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes: Few people can make ultra-smooth 66-word puzzles. PB does a great job of keeping these tough grids wide-open, with the entire puzzle ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Few people can make ultra-smooth 66-word puzzles. PB does a great job of keeping these tough grids wide-open, with the entire puzzle having interconnectedness. It's rare that I get jammed up in a tiny corner of one of Patrick's puzzles.

TIPPI Hedren

I normally am not a fan of one-word long entries in themelesses, but that lower right corner works so well for me. RASPBERRY clued as [Bronx cheer] + the cool-sounding STUPIFIED + a great SPITTAKE = a wonderful corner. And as with most all of Patrick's puzzles, there's nary a gluey answer in sight. Some might consider TIPPI Hedren old-school, but as a frequent star of Hitchcock's pictures, I'd argue that she's very crossworthy.

But I would also argue that the inclusion of the outdated PHAT, kicking off the puzzle with ITS MAGIC as the theme to "The Doris Day Show," RATSO from the 1969 movie, REESE as Jackie Robinson's teammate, this puzzle had an old-timey feel that didn't resonate with me. Perhaps this was on purpose, to cater to the segment of the NYT's audience that skews older.

Speaking of ITS MAGIC, yikes, that make the upper left corner hard for me. It's well-filled, but the oddly non-specific clue for ICBM [Transoceanic flier, briefly] just felt mean, considering I had no idea what that ITS MAGIC song could be. Ultimately, I had to throw in the towel.

I should have been able to piece together CATALONIA, but B PICTURE … that seems to be the same thing as a B MOVIE, which to me is a much more colorful answer. Given that my Google search for B PICTURE turned up a bunch of hits for B MOVIE, I'm not sure the former is a great choice for one of the long slots in a themeless.

Loved the clue for ROAD RAGE — [Driving storms?] works so much better to me than his recent one: [Fits on a hard drive?]. Personal preference. It's such a shame that ROAD RAGE appeared so recently in another PB puzzle. (It's also such a shame that I have a long memory.)

A tough solve for me, with a bit of an old-timey feel and a northwest corner made extremely difficult through cluing.

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© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 1030 ( 24,097 )
Across Down
1. Theme song of "The Doris Day Show" : ITSMAGIC
9. Autocrat's output : FIATS
14. Land bordering France and Andorra : CATALONIA
16. "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive" songwriter : ARLEN
17. Minor additions to the bill? : BPICTURES
18. Very, on musical scores : MOLTO
19. No better than : MERE
20. Demands payment from : DUNS
21. Formal response to a knock : ENTER
22. Ankle covering : GAITER
24. Excellent, in 1990s slang : PHAT
25. It's loaded : CARGO
29. "Maybe someday" : NOTASYET
31. Hindu hermitages : ASHRAMS
33. Provider of track shots? : STARTER
35. Expeditious : SPEEDY
36. Twelver, religiously speaking : SHIITE
37. Drawing room furniture : SETTEES
39. Craft workers : BOATMEN
40. Driving storms? : ROADRAGE
42. Teammate of Robinson : REESE
43. Dot on the map : BURG
44. Stacked beds : STRATA
46. ___-American : ASIAN
48. Legendary mountain climber : YETI
49. Shingle supporter : LATH
53. Badly made dough? : LUCRE
54. Bronx cheer : RASPBERRY
56. Cars made in Trollhättan, formerly : SAABS
57. Rendered speechless : STUPEFIED
58. Parcel : ALLOT
59. Result of upsetting a cup holder? : SPITTAKE
1. Transoceanic flier, briefly : ICBM
2. Stick with it : TAPE
3. To-do : STIR
4. Knight club : MACE
5. Music genre modifier : ALT
6. Brine-soaked cheese : GOUDA
7. Completely fallen apart : INRUINS
8. A hundred to Juan : CIENTO
9. Oscar-winning song of 1980 : FAME
10. Deluded prospector's find : IRONPYRITE
11. Constantly : ALLTHETIME
12. Private exchanges : TETEATETES
13. Wordless rejoinder : SNORT
15. Balance sheet column : ASSETS
22. Provided provocation : GOADED
23. Joe Buck's pal in a 1969 film : RATSO
25. Lewis ___, presidential also-ran of 1848 : CASS
26. In the standard manner : ASPERUSUAL
27. Like some unanswered questions : RHETORICAL
28. Mata Hari portrayer of 1931 : GRETAGARBO
30. Setting of "Beau Geste" : SAHARA
32. "Halloween" antagonist's surname : MYERS
34. Lacoste of tennis : RENE
38. Bacchus' attendants : SATYRS
39. Pummels : BEATSUP
41. People to remember : GREATS
43. Wood used to make surfboards : BALSA
45. Hedren of "Marnie" : TIPPI
47. What matryoshka dolls do : NEST
49. Took off : LEFT
50. Scena component : ARIA
51. Make arduous progress : TREK
52. London's ___ Park : HYDE
55. Venture : BET

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle, 4 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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