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New York Times, Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Author:
Julian Lim
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
221/6/201010/8/20160
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1115437
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.63101
Julian Lim

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 40 Missing: {FQW} This is puzzle # 19 for Mr. Lim. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Julian Lim notes:
I actually constructed 2 versions of this puzzle before deciding which to submit, one with and the other without the central theme ... read more

I actually constructed 2 versions of this puzzle before deciding which to submit, one with and the other without the central theme entry. This is the one with 5 themers — it has slightly worse fill, but I think the compromises were worth it to get BONO into the mix. A set of mononymous singers wouldn't have felt complete without him.

Jeff Chen notes:
One-named singers worked into common phrases with kooky results. TICKLED PINK worked well for me, now that I actually know who PINK is ... read more

One-named singers worked into common phrases with kooky results. TICKLED PINK worked well for me, now that I actually know who PINK is (learned about her recently ... from crosswords!).

Shouldn't PINK be, well ... pinker?

I did struggle with PRO BONO. I think the other singers are all pronounced exactly the same as the normal word, right? But isn't pro BONO pronounced with a long O, while BONO is a short vowel sound? If that's correct, it felt like an outlier to me. I did get a smile out of the BONO pun, though.

Nice to have a bunch of long fill, DYNAMIC DUO my favorite. Yes, it is a [Nickname for a high-achieving couple], but it'll always be Batman and Robin to me. Man oh man, I hope Joseph Gordon-Levitt reprises his role as Robin from the recent "Batman" trilogy.

Great to get TATER TOTS and DRIVE THRU, too. Even CAKE MIX.

I also liked the tightness of having the singer's name at the start of the first themer, the end of the second, the start of the third, etc. The consistency is elegant.

There are definitely compromises, though. That upper left corner with RECT, the awkward L RON, the partialish IN A LIE, and Shatner's "TEK War" makes for a rough start. I wonder if shifting the black squares on top of L RON to the right would have made for a much better entry than L RON, a ??LR?? pattern amenable to things like OIL RIG, KILROY, WALRUS, etc.

Other gluey bits in the grid, too. ABMS reminded me that little-known acronyms are something Will really wants to avoid (this one may or may not pass his test; I'm not positive). Sometimes I think the entry can be rescued by making all the crosses totally fair, but here, I couldn't quite recall what ABMS were (anti-ballistic missiles). ABRS sounded equally good, with DARN crossing it. Darn it!

Overall, the themers didn't quite do it for me, as they didn't elicit as much of a laugh as I want out of a theme like this. But I did appreciate all the long fill, well-chosen for colorful appeal.

1
M
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A
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R
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C
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D
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U
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R
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A
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N
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T
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J
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S
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A
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15
I
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A
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Y
A
O
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L
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P
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N
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T
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A
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M
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D
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O
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M
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P
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H
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N
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G
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H
O
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X
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A
B
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C
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U
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B
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P
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O
B
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D
V
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B
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K
O
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H
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S
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N
G
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R
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J
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O
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H
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© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 1007 ( 24,074 )

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Students & seniors
Across
1
Painter Chagall : MARC
5
Kevin who was the 2014 N.B.A. M.V.P. : DURANT
11
Record holders? : DJS
14
Vicinity : AREA
15
One way to be caught : INALIE
16
Basketball star ___ Ming : YAO
17
Amused the singer of "Raise Your Glass"? : TICKLEDPINK
19
Zero : NIL
20
Ore-Ida product : TATERTOTS
21
Bit of campfire entertainment : TALE
22
Time to rise, in poetry : MORN
23
Ruinous end : DOOM
25
Enchantment of the singer of "Raspberry Beret"? : PRINCECHARMING
31
What an unbelievable YouTube video might be : HOAX
32
Some military defenses, for short : ABMS
33
K.G.B. adversary : CIA
34
___ port : USB
35
Favoring the singer of "Sunday Bloody Sunday"? : PROBONO
38
Easter egg container? : DVD
39
Red Lobster freebie : BIB
40
___-Aid : KOOL
41
Cream and eggshell, for two : HUES
42
Medical procedure for the singer of "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free"? : STINGOPERATION
47
Source of ivory : TUSK
48
Tree of Life locale : EDEN
49
Loo : JOHN
51
Fast-food convenience : DRIVETHRU
56
It might puff you up : EGO
57
Coached the singer of "Kiss From a Rose"? : TRAINEDSEAL
59
90° turn : ELL
60
Emmy-winning series set at the Sterling Cooper ad agency : MADMEN
61
Bit of fish food : ALGA
62
26th of 26 : ZEE
63
Word next to a coin slot : INSERT
64
Fraud fighters, for short : TMEN
Down
1
LeBlanc of "Friends" : MATT
2
Diva's delivery : ARIA
3
Four-sided fig. : RECT
4
Betty Crocker product : CAKEMIX
5
Coke Zero alternative : DIETRC
6
Ruined : UNDONE
7
Entranced : RAPT
8
Four of the 12 imams of Shia : ALIS
9
Diarist Anaïs : NIN
10
Shatner's "___War" : TEK
11
Nickname for a high-achieving couple : DYNAMICDUO
12
One corner of a Monopoly board : JAIL
13
Filleted fish : SOLE
18
___ Hubbard of Scientology : LRON
21
When doubled, a drum : TOM
23
"Aw, hell!" : DAMN
24
Approximately : ORSO
25
Put forward : POSIT
26
Way into Wonderland : RABBITHOLE
27
Premium ___ : CABLE
28
27-Down offering : HBO
29
David of "Separate Tables" : NIVEN
30
Travels (about) : GADS
31
Central points : HUBS
35
U.P.S. truck contents: Abbr. : PKGS
36
Piece next to a knight : ROOK
37
"Alley ___" : OOP
41
Doesn't say outright : HINTSAT
43
Mother superior, for one : NUN
44
Carl who directed "Oh, God!" : REINER
45
Starting time : ADVENT
46
Ticked (off) : TEED
49
"Oh, man!" : JEEZ
50
Check out : OGLE
51
Many soccer coaches : DADS
52
Frost : RIME
53
Skipper's position : HELM
54
All the ___ : RAGE
55
___ Bator : ULAN
57
"That's not something I needed to know" : TMI
58
Headed up : RAN

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle.

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