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New York Times, Thursday, October 8, 2015

Author:
Stu Ockman
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
132/2/20125/8/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0004603
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.56220
Stu Ockman

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 74, Blocks: 32 Missing: {JKVW} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 8 for Mr. Ockman. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Stu Ockman notes:
When I submitted the final manuscript of this puzzle to Will, it included an 'Easter egg' — the longest familiar word that ... read more

When I submitted the final manuscript of this puzzle to Will, it included an "Easter egg" — the longest familiar word that starts and ends in a vowel with no vowels in between.

Here is a lesson I keep learning: no substandard fill goes unpunished. SO TO, HEREAT, RESAT, US DO, ELIO, A TRIP; all gone. US DO may even qualify as a puzzle killer. Fortunately for you, the puzzle solver, Will and his team were able to remove all of the offending fill before it went to press. I did hate to lose RABBIT HOLE.

Jeff Chen notes:
Word trivia is a gold mine for crossword themes. I ran across the DESSERTS / STRESSED reversal a few years ago, but it was nice to ... read more

Word trivia is a gold mine for crossword themes. I ran across the DESSERTS / STRESSED reversal a few years ago, but it was nice to learn that it was the longest common word showing this property. Nice to have the flexibility to put it in the grid as either one of the two words!

The knights, becoming RABBIT FOOD

UNCOPYRIGHTABLE was another one I learned of in my years of crossword research. There are other 15s — HYDROPNEUMATICS, DERMATOGLYPHICS, and MISCONJUGATEDLY — but it'd be hard to argue that any of them are common.

QUEUEING and SPOONFEED are really interesting finds. I hadn't considered "the most consecutive vowels" or "all letters in reverse alphabetical order." Alphabetical order, yes, with CHINTZ and BIJOUX being nice ones. But cool to find a long reverse one in SPOONFEED.

TORTUROUS was a little more, well, torturous for me. The last 12 letters of the alphabet … doesn't that seem awfully arbitrary? Feels like it was supposed to be "... the last half of the alphabet" and then someone found a longer one including the letter N.

I like the effort to put in six long themers. This is a tough layout, with GLASNOST and ROSE TOPAZ abutting. This parallel down structure has the tendency to result in 1.) neutralish entries like LOSE OUT ON and/or 2.) gluey crossing fill like USLTA and IDLERS and OMOO. I do really like RABBIT FOOD, such a colorful answer. But I would have liked perhaps just four long pieces of fill and more cleanliness, given that there's already some ESOS / OTROS / SO I / DYERS kind of stuff around the rest of the grid. Each one of these is a pretty minor offender, but taken as a whole, it felt like a lot.

Some interesting finds; I especially liked the QUEUEING one.

1
A
2
H
3
E
4
A
5
D
6
G
7
A
8
M
9
G
10
R
11
A
12
P
13
E
14
S
O
C
H
I
15
E
X
O
16
L
O
M
A
X
17
S
P
O
O
N
18
F
E
E
D
19
A
S
O
N
E
20
T
I
N
S
E
L
21
D
E
22
S
S
E
R
T
S
23
O
T
R
O
24
S
25
M
I
N
T
26
O
27
H
M
28
O
P
T
29
S
30
M
O
O
31
R
32
E
33
D
34
C
O
I
35
L
36
S
O
H
37
O
38
S
P
A
C
Y
39
U
N
C
O
40
P
Y
R
I
G
41
H
T
A
B
L
E
42
L
E
A
S
E
43
M
L
L
E
44
Z
B
A
R
45
I
D
L
E
R
46
S
47
L
E
A
48
R
49
I
T
S
50
O
M
O
51
O
52
D
R
I
53
F
T
54
Q
55
U
56
E
U
E
I
N
57
G
58
S
T
I
F
59
L
60
E
61
U
S
L
T
A
62
T
O
63
R
T
U
R
O
U
S
64
I
M
H
O
T
65
A
L
E
66
A
M
O
C
O
67
P
A
I
N
E
68
P
D
F
69
L
A
D
E
S
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 1008 ( 24,075 )
Across
1
Up : AHEAD
6
Group of whales : GAM
9
Shade of purple : GRAPE
14
XXII Winter Olympics locale : SOCHI
15
Outer opening? : EXO
16
Bluesman Willie : LOMAX
17
Longest common word in the English language ... that has its letters in reverse alphabetical order : SPOONFEED
19
Synchronously : ASONE
20
Fir coat? : TINSEL
21
... that forms another word when read backward : DESSERTS
23
Not estos or 60-Down : OTROS
25
Producer of change : MINT
26
Contemporary of Faraday : OHM
28
Goes (for) : OPTS
30
In a slip : MOORED
34
Slinky, e.g. : COIL
36
Neighbor of Manhattan's Little Italy : SOHO
38
Airheaded : SPACY
39
... that has no repeated letters : UNCOPYRIGHTABLE
42
Auto option : LEASE
43
Srta., on the Seine : MLLE
44
Doubly bent construction piece : ZBAR
45
Loafers : IDLERS
47
Edward who wrote "A Book of Nonsense" : LEAR
49
"___ a bird ..." : ITS
50
Melville adventure : OMOO
52
Not stay on topic : DRIFT
54
... that has five consecutive vowels : QUEUEING
58
Suppress : STIFLE
61
Old court org. : USLTA
62
... that is spelled entirely from the last dozen letters of the alphabet : TORTUROUS
64
"Turn on the A.C." : IMHOT
65
Pub suds : ALE
66
Old company whose logo featured a torch : AMOCO
67
Patriot who said "Government even in its best state is but a necessary evil" : PAINE
68
Many an email attachment : PDF
69
Gets on board : LADES
Down
1
Right hand: Abbr. : ASST
2
Early settlers around the Grand Canyon : HOPI
3
Budget-minded : ECONOMICAL
4
Lots : AHOST
5
Moolah : DINERO
6
"Hmm, I don't know about that" : GEE
7
Cut from the payroll : AXED
8
Purchase from an I.S.P. : MODEM
9
1980s social policy : GLASNOST
10
Pink gem : ROSETOPAZ
11
What conquers "omnia," in a phrase : AMOR
12
What a hot dog might do : PANT
13
Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, e.g. : EXES
18
Bunny of children's literature : FLOPSY
22
Resident of a popular "City" : SIM
24
Subject of radar tracking : STORM
26
Latin eyes : OCULI
27
Gave an edge to : HONED
29
Talker-upper, maybe : SHILL
31
Carrots and lettuce, humorously : RABBITFOOD
32
Splendor : ECLAT
33
Batik artists : DYERS
35
Miss : LOSEOUTON
37
Like many beach bods : OGLED
40
Spread through : PERMEATE
41
Whom Kane in "Citizen Kane" is based on : HEARST
46
"___ heard" : SOI
48
Fraternity initiation, e.g. : RITUAL
51
Coming up : ONTAP
53
Terra ___ : FIRMA
54
W. C. Fields's "I am free of all prejudice. I hate everyone equally," e.g. : QUIP
55
Cadet's sch. : USMA
56
All-grade : ELHI
57
Alchemist's quest : GOLD
59
Man of Fortune : LUCE
60
See 23-Across : ESOS
63
One calling the shots? : REF

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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