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New York Times, Thursday, October 6, 2016

Author:
Timothy Polin
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
5012/11/20118/8/20192
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
74962202
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.626140
Timothy Polin

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 31 Missing: {QVWX} This is puzzle # 28 for Mr. Polin. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
Neat idea, MIDSIZE used as a rationale to put the 'sigh' sound in the middle of phrases. I really liked how Tim found four distinct ... read more

Neat idea, MIDSIZE used as a rationale to put the "sigh" sound in the middle of phrases. I really liked how Tim found four distinct spellings of that sound, CY-, PSY-, SI-, and SCI-. And I can't argue with SEMPER SCI-FI!

My poor wife, who has to tolerate me teaching our kids KFL (Klingon as a First Language) might beg to differ.

Funny stuff, that SEMPER SCI-FI. CLIP CYCLOPS was also fun, as it had a cool -PCYCL- string, and the picture of a CYCLOPS getting a trim was amusing. BILL SINAI was my least favorite, as it didn't evoke any humorous imagery. Humor is subjective. (As is crossword analysis.)

Tim often employs high theme density, so he gets a chance to go a bit hog wild with his wide-open grid today. At just 72 words, Tim left himself a lot of long slots, filled with goodies like ALI BABA, DON JOHN, LOCAL AD, RIBMEAT — MAN OH MAN what a PANOPLY of bonuses!

There were a few I didn't care for as much, like BATTLER, which didn't hit my ear quite right, ORINOCO, which felt like it was taking up space (look at that perfect vowel-consonant alternation making it so drool-worthy for constructors) and GILL NET, which made me feel like I was choking. But the good handful of extras is much appreciated by this solver. I even liked DENZEL (who doesn't?), and KANJI (it's a common Japanese term) was a real treat.

A bit of RHUMBA (is that really a variant? it looks so believable) and ROS Asquith, a bit esoteric even for this children's book writer, but to get so much good material with so little glue into a low-word-count grid is nice work.

I bet you a buck that Tim tried to get MIDSIZE over where 44-Down (ASSAILS) is. It's a much more elegant place for the revealer, but I also bet having a terminal Z would have made things tricky. All those Ss in ASSAILS sure are more conducive to that edge spot.

Stupid English language. Qapla'!

1
L
2
A
3
I
4
D
5
U
6
P
7
G
8
I
9
R
10
T
11
O
12
D
13
E
14
O
L
D
I
S
H
15
I
D
E
A
16
R
O
S
17
C
L
I
P
C
Y
18
C
L
O
P
S
19
I
N
K
20
A
M
O
S
21
L
O
L
L
22
K
23
A
N
J
I
24
L
A
T
25
F
A
U
N
A
26
S
27
L
O
O
M
28
A
L
I
29
B
I
30
P
E
T
P
31
S
Y
C
H
O
32
D
E
C
A
L
33
S
34
T
R
E
A
S
O
N
35
T
E
E
36
M
37
Y
A
Y
S
38
R
39
A
T
T
R
A
40
P
41
R
H
U
42
M
43
B
44
A
45
B
I
L
L
S
I
N
A
46
I
47
E
M
I
R
S
48
O
B
I
E
49
F
O
N
D
50
L
Y
51
D
I
S
52
U
M
B
R
53
A
54
H
O
L
A
55
A
S
E
A
56
N
E
A
57
S
58
E
M
P
E
R
59
S
C
I
F
I
60
C
A
B
61
A
N
A
L
62
D
E
N
Z
E
L
63
E
T
A
64
P
O
N
Y
65
S
T
E
E
D
S
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 1006 ( 24,439 )
Across
1
Bedridden : LAIDUP
7
Enclosed, old-style : GIRT
11
"___ on Melancholy" : ODE
14
Not so current : OLDISH
15
Clue : IDEA
16
Children's author Asquith : ROS
17
Give an "Odyssey" character a trim? : CLIPCYCLOPS
19
Some media coverage : INK
20
Old Testament book that asks "Does a lion roar in the thicket when it has no prey?" : AMOS
21
Take it easy : LOLL
22
Japanese writing system : KANJI
24
Back muscle, informally : LAT
25
Ecosystem components : FAUNAS
27
Threaten : LOOM
28
Cover story : ALIBI
30
Favorite whack job? : PETPSYCHO
32
Windshield decorations : DECALS
34
Act of sedition : TREASON
35
Be a crowd : TEEM
37
Hurrahs : YAYS
38
Slummy building : RATTRAP
41
Rhythmic Cuban dance: Var. : RHUMBA
45
Invoice a whole Mideast peninsula? : BILLSINAI
47
OPEC dignitaries : EMIRS
48
Annual New York honor : OBIE
49
Letter sign-off : FONDLY
51
Talk smack about : DIS
52
Shadow : UMBRA
54
Barrio greeting : HOLA
55
Cruising along : ASEA
56
PBS backer : NEA
57
Motto of a huge "Star Wars" and "Star Trek" fan? : SEMPERSCIFI
60
One hailed by city dwellers : CAB
61
Meticulous to a fault : ANAL
62
Washington in "Philadelphia" : DENZEL
63
Ticket info : ETA
64
Carnival ride provider : PONY
65
Silver and others : STEEDS
Down
1
Small business purchase, perhaps : LOCALAD
2
Like Wabash College : ALLMALE
3
Not worth considering : IDIOTIC
4
Ballroom maneuvers : DIPS
5
The Gamecocks of the N.C.A.A. : USC
6
They're found within kingdoms : PHYLA
7
Controversial fish catcher : GILLNET
8
Blind love : IDOLATRY
9
Sales ___ : REP
10
Charge : TASK
11
River that's home to the black spot piranha : ORINOCO
12
"Much Ado About Nothing" villain : DONJOHN
13
White house occupant? : ESKIMO
18
Masterstroke : COUP
23
"Sweet" plant of the mustard family : ALYSSUM
25
Sole orders : FILETS
26
___ gun : SPEAR
29
Conflicted sort? : BATTLER
31
Willie Mays descriptor : SAYHEY
33
Letter embellishment : SERIF
36
"Holy cow!" : MANOHMAN
38
Barbecuer's supply : RIBMEAT
39
Hero of a tale told by Scheherazade : ALIBABA
40
Impressive collection : PANOPLY
42
Neither large nor small ... or a phonetic hint to 17-, 30-, 45- and 57-Across : MIDSIZE
43
Brought up to speed : BRIEFED
44
Tears into : ASSAILS
45
Pep in one's step : BOUNCE
46
Take it easy : IDLE
50
Enriches, in a way : LARDS
53
"This can't wait!" : ASAP
55
Bumps on the head? : ACNE
58
Collaborator on several David Bowie albums : ENO
59
Fixed : SET

Answer summary: 6 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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