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New York Times, Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Author:
Ross Trudeau
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
202/9/201710/8/20192
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
5372300
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.58031
Ross Trudeau

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 40 Missing: {JKQX} This is puzzle # 20 for Mr. Trudeau. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Ross Trudeau notes:
I submitted this puzzle on February 24th, 2018, the day Team USA curling won men's gold at the Winter Olympics. Do not miss this event ... read more

I submitted this puzzle on February 24th, 2018, the day Team USA curling won men's gold at the Winter Olympics. Do not miss this event in 2022. 10/10 highly recommend.

Also, if you're looking to get into crossword constructing, and especially if you identify as non-male and/or LGBTQ+ and/or POC, I'd be thrilled to offer whatever assistance I can to help you get your puzzles published. Contact me via Instagram (@rosstrudeau) or Twitter (@trudeauross).

Jeff Chen notes:
If you've never seen curling in the Olympics, you need to experience it. At first glance, it may look ridiculous. And at second ... read more

If you've never seen curling in the Olympics, you need to experience it. At first glance, it may look ridiculous. And at second glance. Probably third, too.

But upon your eighth viewing, you'll be hooked! There's so much strategy involved in determining what graceful curving trajectory you'll aim for, and how your shot will move in real life.

Likewise, there's so much strategy in creating curving crossword answers. To best achieve an elegant and eye-catching arc, a little math comes in handy. SEE, LOOK! I TOLD YOU GEOMETRY, TRIG AND CALC ARE IMPORTANT AND HAVE ACTUAL REAL LIFE APPLCIATIONS! NOW WHO'S LAUGHING, HUH?

Okay, maybe it's more an art than a science, but it is tough to create the illusion of curvature inside a square grid. JUST AS IT IS IN CALC WHEN YOU'RE APPROXIMATING A CURVE WITH SEGMENTS!

Ahem. Sorry.

Long story short, the EMERALD and the DIAMOND are so pretty. The SAPPHIRE and AMETHYST, not so much. Given that CURLING STONES doesn't define what type of curve should be created, I'd have preferred giving up the circularity in favor for an exponential or sine curve or something easier to approximate in a square grid.

Novice constructors tend to tackle these tough grid constructions by erring on the side of gluey bits called out in editors' specs sheets, while more experienced folks lean more on esoteric vocab. SAPOR is a toughie for an early-week puzzle, for instance. I don't like either SAPOR or AM SO, but I'd much rather use the latter these days. You want to leave open near-zero possibilities for early-week solvers to say "that's weird." Overall though, it's a solid product, given the hard-to-incoporate four curved answers.

This puzzle could be confusing to the (many?) solvers unfamiliar with CURLING STONES, but as a snooty sort who can say he's actually curled before (I wasn't bad, if I don't say so myself), I appreciated the visual, the EMERALD and DIAMOND in particular.

1
U
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M
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B
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C
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© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 1008 ( 25,536 )

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Across
1
Home squatters? : UMPS
5
Air-quality org. : EPA
8
Supposed makers of Keebler cookies : ELVES
13
Remove the peel from : PARE
14
Like most sushi fish : RAW
15
Mark who won the 1998 Masters : OMEARA
16
Spray-painting tools : STENCILS
18
Looked hard (at) : PEERED
19
Info on an airline website, for short : ETA
20
Skirt's edge : HEM
21
Artist Matisse : HENRI
22
Pace : TEMPO
24
Employee of the Month, e.g. : AWARD
26
Local govt. official : ALD
29
Flavor : SAPOR
30
It's not everything, per a saying : SIZE
31
Letter-shaped girder : HBAR
32
Translation of "je suis" or "yo soy" : IAM
34
After all expenses : NET
35
Lotion additive : ALOE
36
Items guided by brooms in the Winter Olympics ... or a hint to this puzzle's theme : CURLINGSTONES
40
[Gasp!] : OHNO
41
Note between fa and la : SOL
42
___ Taylor (clothing chain) : ANN
43
Engrossed : RAPT
44
Alternatives to Levi's : LEES
46
Utter, biblically : SAYST
50
"Buen ___" (Spanish greeting) : DIA
51
First extra inning : TENTH
52
"Fingers crossed ..." : IHOPE
53
Repeated lyric in a 1987 Michael Jackson #1 hit : IMBAD
55
Back, in a boat : AFT
57
"___ got it!" : YOU
58
Sentence ender : PERIOD
60
Give the heebie-jeebies : CREEPOUT
62
Entertainers Miller and Close : GLENNS
63
Archery asset : AIM
64
"Are not!" comeback : AMSO
65
Helped : AIDED
66
Plaint during shearing : BAA
67
Battle of Normandy locale : CAEN
Down
1
Underdog's feats : UPSETS
2
Kathy with the #1 country hit "Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses" : MATTEA
3
Speaker booster : PREAMP
4
Many a pres. candidate : SEN
5
The "E" in HOMES : ERIE
6
Las ___, Canary Islands : PALMAS
7
Cries meaning "How cu-u-ute!" : AWS
8
Fix, as text : EMEND
9
Sinister look : LEER
10
The "x" or "y" in 2x + 3y = 15 : VARIABLE
11
Before, to a bard : ERE
12
Bummed : SAD
15
Many a Gilbert and Sullivan work : OPERETTA
17
Beethoven's "___" Symphony : CHORAL
21
Puts through a cruel initiation : HAZES
23
"Murder on the Orient Express" detective : POIROT
25
It turns up at the edge of a plane : WINGLET
27
Vietnam neighbor : LAOS
28
"The Chronic" rapper, informally : DRE
31
"___ Montana" : HANNAH
33
Isn't totally straight with : MISLEADS
36
Tea variety : CHAI
37
Matchless : UNPAIRED
38
What a Möbius strip has : NOEND
39
Like some job training : ONSITE
40
Chicago airport code : ORD
45
Islamic law based on the Quran : SHARIA
47
Cellist at Obama's first inauguration : YOYOMA
48
Other half : SPOUSE
49
Early German : TEUTON
51
Long-term security, for short : TBOND
54
Not yours : MINE
56
Disaster relief org. : FEMA
58
Org. offering member instruction, of course! : PGA
59
___ Lilly (pharmaceutical giant) : ELI
60
One in line at an airport : CAB
61
Campaign-funding grp. : PAC

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

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