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New York Times, Friday, October 5, 2018

Author: Robyn Weintraub
Editor: Will Shortz
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173/28/201110/5/20180
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1.58000
Robyn Weintraub
Puzzle of the Week

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 70, Blocks: 30 Missing: {JQVXZ} This is puzzle # 17 for Ms. Weintraub. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. NYT links: Across Lite PDF

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Robyn Weintraub notes: Both the first and last across entries/clues are my favorites in this puzzle. AND WE'RE OFF fell into the 'gee, I sure hope I ... more
Robyn Weintraub notes:

Both the first and last across entries/clues are my favorites in this puzzle. AND WE'RE OFF fell into the "gee, I sure hope I can keep this here at 1 Across" category, and fortunately it remained despite a number of grid revisions.

As for GENERAL TSO, the clue came to me immediately, but I second guessed it a few million times — it was so groan-worthy, and, I think, a rather obvious clue. Eventually I gave up trying to find an alternative, because none of them made me smile the way this clue does. I figured if Will hated it, he'd find a suitable replacement. I am very pleased that it made it to print, and it is my sincere hope that solvers also find it both smile-inducing and groan-worthy.

Jeff Chen notes: There's a cookie shop that Jill and I go to on our weekly date night, called 'Hello, Robin.' Even if the line is out the door and ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

There's a cookie shop that Jill and I go to on our weekly date night, called "Hello, Robin." Even if the line is out the door and down the block, we wait, rain or shine, for the fresh-baked birthday cake cookies. The "Macklesmores." And the ice cream sandwiches: premium, small-batch chocolate ice cream, between two chocolate chip cookies? There are plenty of other dessert places around, but Jill and I think this one is the tops.

Hard to say whether I'd prefer a Hello, Robin ice cream sandwich, or a Robyn Weintraub themeless. Such sweet tastes in PERIWINKLE, GOLD COIN, GENERAL TSO, OPEN SOURCE, WORKER BEES. Hidden nuggets in clues like CLUBS innocently described as a [Dark suit].

It's like Robyn does a MIND MELD with me. (Yes, I'm typing while holding my fingers in a Vulcan salute.)

I admit I didn't get the clue for AND WE'RE OFF at first. It's self-referential, which must mean … there's a horse named AND WE'RE OFF? D'oh [Exclamation appropriate for 1-Across] doesn't mean [Exclamation appropriate for "And We're Off"]. It's simply appropriate for the first clue of the puzzle!

Now I'm brainstorming entries that would be appropriate for themselves … thinking …

I liked this puzzle so much that I somehow got past the fact that I got a square wrong (HAB instead of DAB). Usually, I'd cry foul, seeing as HEADLINE and DEADLINE are both newsroom concerns, and why am I supposed to know some dance move from the 2010s?

But Robyn got me to laugh at myself and shrug it off. It takes an incredibly pleasurable solving experience to make that happen. To make me ignore the gluey bits, too. Normally, I'd cringe at the excess of ARIL ATTN ISON RTE TALI in a non-challenging 70-word grid. But because of how tasty everything was overall, I didn't care one bit today.

Say "Hello, Robyn" … to yet another POW!

JimH notes: I enjoyed this crossword too. The best clues are poetic gems, and this puzzle has plenty. Two clues cleverly separate ... more
JimH notes:

I enjoyed this crossword too.

The best clues are poetic gems, and this puzzle has plenty. Two clues cleverly separate normally-combined compound words. "King maker" (you expect to see kingmaker) and "Honey bunch", (not honeybunch.) Those innocuous extra spaces point to SERTA and WORKER BEES. Brilliant.

"Protector of the heart" is a romantic clue for RIBCAGE; the image here was hand drawn by da Vinci. AND WE'RE OFF might be my favorite 1-Across ever. "Crux of 'The Crucible'" is fun.

"One who's got game ... but shouldn't" for POACHER is outstanding. That clue alone makes this puzzle memorable.

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© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 1005 ( 25,168 )
Across Down
1. Exclamation appropriate for 1-Across : ANDWEREOFF
11. It's where it's at : SITE
15. Purple-blue shade or the flower it's named after : PERIWINKLE
16. Series finale : ETAL
17. You might use it in dressing : STALEBREAD
18. Props for a Broadway play? : TONY
19. Salinger title teen : ESME
20. Heels : CADS
21. Bucks, e.g. : MALES
22. Not quite keep up : LAG
23. Salon supply : HAIRDYE
25. Cargo area : STOWAGE
29. Time, proverbially : MONEY
30. U.S.'s first so-called "Public Enemy No. 1" : CAPONE
31. Krugerrand, e.g. : GOLDCOIN
34. "Fore!," for one : ALERT
35. Dance move of the 2010s : DAB
36. Looney Tunes's Speedy Gonzales, e.g. : MOUSE
37. Fiddled (with) : TINKERED
39. V.I.P. section? : PERSON
40. King maker : SERTA
41. Brewski : COLDONE
42. Held in contempt : SCORNED
44. Young 'un : LAD
45. Dark suit : CLUBS
46. Of the flock : LAIC
48. Actress Jessica : ALBA
52. "Take this ..." : HERE
53. Crux of "The Crucible" : WITCHTRIAL
55. Medieval weapon : MACE
56. Waiting to come out : INTHEWINGS
57. Get a lode of these! : ORES
58. Military leader known for being chicken? : GENERALTSO
1. Place for a shrine : APSE
2. Court equipment : NETS
3. Perfumery measure : DRAM
4. Craftiness : WILE
5. Pecorino Romano source : EWE
6. Protector of the heart : RIBCAGE
7. Bring to the boiling point : ENRAGE
8. Ratified : OKED
9. Seemingly spontaneous gathering : FLASHMOB
10. Supplied : FED
11. More than just won : SETARECORD
12. "See!" : ITOLDYOUSO
13. Roger ___, fifth chief justice of the Supreme Court : TANEY
14. "Family Ties" mother : ELYSE
21. Vulcan telepathy technique : MINDMELD
22. Some camping gear : LANTERNS
24. Verizon acquisition of 2015 : AOL
25. Jazzy style : SCAT
26. Anklebones : TALI
27. Like a code anyone can use : OPENSOURCE
28. Honey bunch? : WORKERBEES
31. Travel (about) : GAD
32. Will go ahead as planned : ISON
33. State bird whose name sounds like its call : NENE
35. Newsroom concern : DEADLINE
38. LAX to ORD or JFK: Abbr. : RTE
39. One who's got game ... but shouldn't : POACHER
41. Like a kid in a candy store, e.g. : CLICHE
42. Sap : SCHMO
43. Intelligible : CLEAR
47. Start of a subj. line : ATTN
48. Seed case : ARIL
49. Kind of trap : LINT
50. Captures : BAGS
51. It may precede second thoughts : ALSO
53. Lose it, with "out" : WIG
54. Eastern rival : TWA

Answer summary: 6 unique to this puzzle, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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