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New York Times, Friday, October 6, 2017

Author: Patrick Berry
Editor: Will Shortz
Patrick Berry
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2277/11/199911/10/20172
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721241679512
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1.54980

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 64, Blocks: 32 Missing: {KX} This is puzzle # 226 for Mr. Berry. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes: PB has been focusing on low word count themelesses over the past few years. A 64-word puzzle is notoriously difficult to execute on ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

PB has been focusing on low word count themelesses over the past few years. A 64-word puzzle is notoriously difficult to execute on with both color and cleanliness, and I wonder if his work has suffered a tad by staying within this genre.

There were a lot of strong entries — METEOR SHOWERS / SOCIAL STUDIES made for a nice middle crossing pair — and CAT HAIR and RED APPLE are pretty good too. But there were so many entries that didn't do much for me. As a solver, I don't get much out of piecing together something foreign to me if there's too much of it.

It would have been fine — great, actually — if it had been one new person/thing, perhaps BARBARA JORDAN, for example. I loved learning about her! Leader in the Civil Rights Movement, so many firsts in politics, a Presidential Medal of Freedom, etc. I should have known about her, and I'm glad the puzzle prompted me to want to learn.

But then you toss in ROBERT ALTMAN. Okay, I should have known him, too. LEO FENDER? Huh. ACOMA … the historic pueblo? "Tony n' TINA'S Wedding," the off-Broadway play? MOREY Amsterdam? Coolidge's VP … DAWES?

I often hear from non-crossword people that they don't do crosswords because they're all about trivia. That's mostly incorrect, but I can see how a puzzle like today's might reinforce that idea.

It still mostly has the masterful PB touch — an average 64 worder might contain 5-10 dabs of crossword glue, whereas PB uses fewer — but it didn't give me the same elation as PB's themelesses from a few years back. I'd love to see him go back to higher word counts.

1
C
2
A
3
T
4
H
5
A
6
I
7
R
8
V
9
I
10
O
11
L
12
A
13
S
14
A
T
R
A
N
D
O
15
M
16
A
R
R
E
S
T
17
S
E
E
M
T
O
B
E
18
P
A
R
O
L
E
19
T
I
N
A
S
20
E
T
21
S
E
Q
22
F
O
P
23
E
N
D
S
24
C
R
E
E
D
25
M
E
N
S
26
P
U
T
O
N
27
T
A
N
G
O
28
B
29
A
R
B
A
R
A
30
J
O
R
D
A
N
31
S
O
C
I
A
L
S
T
U
D
I
E
S
32
A
C
C
O
U
N
T
H
O
L
D
E
R
33
S
H
A
M
S
34
M
O
R
E
Y
35
H
E
R
A
36
D
A
W
E
S
37
C
38
Z
39
A
40
R
41
A
D
A
42
P
A
N
E
L
43
B
O
I
S
E
44
M
U
T
45
T
O
N
46
R
E
47
D
A
P
P
L
E
48
E
L
O
I
S
E
49
S
C
O
R
E
P
A
D
50
D
E
N
N
Y
S
51
T
E
N
D
O
N
S
© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 1006 ( 24,804 )
Across Down
1. Allergy-triggering fluff : CATHAIR
8. Orchestra section that plays mostly harmony : VIOLAS
14. In no particular order : ATRANDOM
16. Collar : ARREST
17. Appear : SEEMTOBE
18. Good behavior's reward, maybe : PAROLE
19. "Tony n' ___ Wedding" (Off Broadway hit) : TINAS
20. And what follows, in legal memos : ETSEQ
22. Ornate dresser : FOP
23. Wraps up : ENDS
24. 2015 film for which Sylvester Stallone was nominated for Best Supporting Actor : CREED
25. Clothing store section : MENS
26. Pretense : PUTON
27. Dance seen in "Evita" : TANGO
28. Congresswoman who delivered the opening statement at Nixon's impeachment hearings : BARBARAJORDAN
31. History, philosophy and so on : SOCIALSTUDIES
32. Recipient of blank checks : ACCOUNTHOLDER
33. Decorative bedding : SHAMS
34. Amsterdam of "The Dick Van Dyke Show" : MOREY
35. Queen of Heaven in the "Iliad" : HERA
36. Coolidge's vice president : DAWES
37. Industry magnate : CZAR
41. Abbr. on a tube : ADA
42. Group conducting a Q. and A., maybe : PANEL
43. City on the Oregon Trail : BOISE
44. Some chops : MUTTON
46. Delicious item : REDAPPLE
48. Enfant terrible of children's literature : ELOISE
49. Part of a Yahtzee set : SCOREPAD
50. Bob Evans competitor : DENNYS
51. Stretchable cords : TENDONS
1. Hive division : CASTE
2. Opted to cook : ATEIN
3. Be much tweeted about : TREND
4. Fatah rival : HAMAS
5. Colony dwellers : ANTS
6. Witness's words : IDO
7. Five-time Best Director nominee who said "All of the best things in my films are mistakes" : ROBERTALTMAN
8. Smoked, modern-style : VAPED
9. Where the Tigris and Euphrates meet : IRAQ
10. "Catch-22" pilot who repeatedly crashes : ORR
11. Guitar inventor in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame : LEOFENDER
12. Since : ASLONGAS
13. Blended family member : STEPSON
15. Spectacular rock events? : METEORSHOWERS
21. One with a reserved seat : SENATORELECT
24. Like the mojito cocktail : CUBAN
25. ___ Callender's (supermarket brand) : MARIE
26. Green Toyota : PRIUS
27. Après-ski drink : TODDY
28. Home to the Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club : BOCARATON
29. Historic pueblo near Albuquerque : ACOMA
30. Samuel L. Jackson's "Pulp Fiction" role : JULES
31. Make time for : SCHEDULE
32. Red-faced : ASHAMED
36. Tycho Brahe and Niels Bohr, for two : DANES
37. Didn't break down : COPED
38. Lighter brand : ZIPPO
39. Literary lion : ASLAN
40. Fen flora : REEDS
42. What a bridesmaid might carry : POSY
43. Old-fashioned dance venue : BARN
45. Corrosion-resistant coating : TIN
47. Forest female : DOE

Answer summary: 8 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?