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New York Times, Monday, October 6, 2014

Author: Robyn Weintraub
Editor: Will Shortz
Robyn Weintraub
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133/28/20119/23/20170
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0232051
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1.59000
Puzzle of the Week

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 74, Blocks: 38 Missing: {FJQ} Spans: 2 This is puzzle # 6 for Ms. Weintraub. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes: This puzzle delighted me. Many of you know my idiot-level knowledge of pop music, so I confess I was a bit skeptical when I uncovered ... more
Jeff Chen notes: This puzzle delighted me. Many of you know my idiot-level knowledge of pop music, so I confess I was a bit skeptical when I uncovered LYIN' EYES. Luckily, I knew SINGIN' IN THE RAIN from playing trombone in the pit orchestra of my high school production, and who doesn't know PUTTIN' ON THE RITZ? What pulled it all together for me though, was thinking about MISSING parsed as MISSIN' G. Such a fun moment.

Additionally, Robyn goes the extra mile and reduces her word count to 74. The NE and SW corners add so much meat to the puzzle, with those juicy parallel 9's. Normally I prefer multiple-word colorful phrases, but HERCULEAN pops, and organic CHEMISTRY was one of my favorite subjects in school. Tack on a smile-inducing clue for the latter and I APPLAUDED. (Way to trigger subliminal feelings of appreciation, Robyn!). Great use of cheater squares in the two corners to help smooth out those corners, really just an MCI as a ding.

The one section I was plus/minus on was the north, with Cheri OTERI and ESSEN. I'm perfectly fine with OTERI as an answer; I just wish she were more NYT-worthy. Her friendly alternation of vowel-consonant makes her much more crossword-friendly than her co-SNL-alum Kristen WIIG, who I think has earned it much more so than OTERI.

And ESSEN is definitely a place, but I wish it were historically or culturally more important for all the xw-exposure it gets. Those E's and S's make it crossword gold, but I remember the first time I uncovered it, wondering what other esoteric geography I'd have to know. I'm of the opinion that once a term crosses the threshold of NYT-worthiness, I don't much care how often it gets used (I'm perfectly fine with ONO any time I see it). Before then, I prefer it to be used sparingly. It's unfortunate that the ??E?I pattern at 6-D is so constraining — I might have moved a block around to avoid that pattern.

That's pretty nit-picky stuff though. Overall, this is the type of puzzle I like to show newbies; pointing out 1.) the specific, tight, clever theme and 2.) how doable it is. Really well done.

1
B
2
S
3
A
4
O
5
B
6
O
7
E
8
I
9
S
10
A
11
A
12
C
13
O
A
S
14
N
E
T
S
15
M
O
R
P
H
16
S
17
L
Y
I
18
N
E
Y
E
S
19
P
R
O
P
E
L
20
T
H
A
I
21
O
R
E
22
S
23
B
A
L
M
Y
24
S
I
N
G
25
I
N
I
N
T
26
H
E
R
A
I
N
27
E
T
D
28
R
O
T
29
U
S
E
30
H
31
E
R
E
32
A
33
P
A
R
34
D
T
S
35
R
E
X
36
M
37
I
S
S
I
N
38
G
39
E
R
S
40
A
R
C
41
W
H
I
T
42
E
43
D
D
Y
44
M
C
I
45
G
O
T
46
S
R
A
47
P
U
T
48
T
I
N
O
49
N
50
T
H
E
R
51
I
52
T
53
Z
54
A
L
A
R
M
55
N
Y
R
O
56
I
N
R
E
57
R
E
B
E
L
58
S
59
M
O
V
60
I
N
O
U
T
61
T
A
L
K
E
R
62
E
V
E
R
63
I
M
A
64
N
E
S
T
S
65
T
E
D
S
66
L
P
S
© 2014, The New York TimesNo. 1006 ( 23,708 )
Across Down
1. Org. with merit badges : BSA
4. Cousin of a clarinet : OBOE
8. Sir ___ Newton : ISAAC
13. Western Hemisphere treaty grp. : OAS
14. Earns in the end : NETS
15. Gradually changes (into) : MORPHS
17. 1975 Eagles hit about a woman having an affair : LYINEYES
19. Push : PROPEL
20. Bangkok native : THAI
21. Mined rocks : ORES
23. Pleasantly warm : BALMY
24. Title hit of a 1952 Gene Kelly musical : SINGININTHERAIN
27. When an airplane is due to take off, for short : ETD
28. Rubbish : ROT
29. Manipulate : USE
30. "___ goes nothing!" : HERE
32. On ___ with (equal to) : APAR
34. Drunk's condition, for short : DTS
35. Tyrannosaurus ___ : REX
36. Lost ... or, in two words, an apt description of 17-, 24-, 47- and 59-Across : MISSING
39. Hectic hosp. areas : ERS
40. Circle section : ARC
41. Tiniest amount : WHIT
42. Small whirlpool : EDDY
44. Old AT&T rival : MCI
45. Figured out, as a joke : GOT
46. Lady of la casa: Abbr. : SRA
47. 1930 Harry Richman hit whose title describes ostentatious living : PUTTINONTHERITZ
54. Feature of a clock radio : ALARM
55. Singer/songwriter Laura : NYRO
56. Memo heading : INRE
57. Antigovernment force : REBELS
59. 1978 Billy Joel hit that gave its name to a 2002 Broadway musical : MOVINOUT
61. Yammerer : TALKER
62. "... lived happily ___ after" : EVER
63. "___ changed man!" : IMA
64. Where chicks hang out? : NESTS
65. "Bill & ___ Excellent Adventure" : TEDS
66. Forerunners of CDs : LPS
1. Heavy door locks : BOLTS
2. Give an informal greeting : SAYHI
3. Chinese or 20-Across : ASIAN
4. Start of almost every ZIP code in New York : ONE
5. Farther past : BEYOND
6. Cheri formerly of "S.N.L." : OTERI
7. German industrial city : ESSEN
8. Unruly child : IMP
9. Ice cream alternative : SORBET
10. Loud, as a crowd : AROAR
11. Clapped : APPLAUDED
12. Element-ary school subject? : CHEMISTRY
16. Guile : SLYNESS
18. French-speaking African nation : NIGER
22. Narrow marine passageway : STRAIT
25. List component : ITEM
26. Part of a rhinoceros : HORN
30. Almost impossible, as a task : HERCULEAN
31. Easily enthused : EXCITABLE
32. Kutcher of "Two and a Half Men" : ASHTON
33. Letter before omega : PSI
35. Defensive embankment : RAMPART
37. Victor's cry : IWON
38. Richard of "American Gigolo" : GERE
43. Bobby of 1950s-'60s pop : DARIN
45. Lime-flavored cocktail : GIMLET
46. Pushed hard : SHOVED
48. Arduous journeys : TREKS
49. Citi Field player, for short : NYMET
50. Treasure cache : TROVE
51. How much food is fried : INOIL
52. Card that tops all others : TRUMP
53. Some sorority women : ZETAS
58. Class older than jrs. : SRS
60. Apr. 15 payment recipient : IRS

Answer summary: 1 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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