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New York Times, Thursday, October 9, 2014

Author: Joel Fagliano
Editor: Will Shortz
Joel Fagliano
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
5310/22/20093/16/20173
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
12810610223
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.65351

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 80, Blocks: 40 Missing: {GQ} Scrabble average: 1.85 This is puzzle # 32 for Mr. Fagliano. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Note: This was published as a uniclue puzzle in print.
All the clues appear in a single list, combining Across and Down.
When two answers share a number, they also share a clue.

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Notepad: Although this puzzle can be solved in Across Lite, the print version contains elements that the software cannot reproduce. We recommend using the PDF, or alternatively one of the other available electronic versions.
Joel Fagliano notes: When I was filling this puzzle, I thought a lot about whether to include 26D, ETYMON. On the one hand, I always strive for ... more
Joel Fagliano notes: When I was filling this puzzle, I thought a lot about whether to include 26D, ETYMON. On the one hand, I always strive for familiar vocabulary in my puzzles, words and phrases you'd be likely to encounter in your everyday life. That's probably not the case with the word ETYMON.

On the other hand, I think it's okay and even commendable to have difficult vocabulary in a late-week puzzle. Thursday-Saturday crosswords are supposed to be challenging, and I don't think all of the difficulty has to come only from the clues. Not all difficult vocabulary is fun to solve, of course — I find proper names I've never heard of to be annoying to suss out, because they're not inferable and I don't get any sort of "aha" at the end. With something like ETYMON, it at least looks like a word that would mean "Word origin," so even if most solvers don't get it at first they won't be left feeling confused when they get the answer.

Will Shortz notes: As far as I can remember this is the fourth 'uniclue'-type crossword I've run in the Times. That's one in which all the clues (in ... more
Will Shortz notes: As far as I can remember this is the fourth "uniclue"-type crossword I've run in the Times. That's one in which all the clues (in the print edition anyway) appear in a single list, combining Across and Down. When two answers share a number, they also share a clue. The previous three times I did this are listed on XWord Info's latest summary page. The theme of Joel's puzzle today is similar to John's, but with 10 examples rather than seven, and some of them intersecting. Very elegant.
Jeff Chen notes: Uniclue! It's been quite a while since we've seen one of these — surprising how rare this type of theme is. When Will asked us ... more
Jeff Chen notes: Uniclue! It's been quite a while since we've seen one of these — surprising how rare this type of theme is. When Will asked us to assemble a list for this theme type, I would have set the over/under at 7.5, maybe 8.5 — good thing I'm not a Vegas bookie. Seems like a lot of potential in this theme category, given how few have been done. I think it's really neat to break a very big convention; compressing two sets of clues into one.

I enjoyed getting ten full themers today. Since each one fixes both an across and a down entry, I'd guess more than about six instances would be pushing it. In fact, Joel could have gotten away with only eight. Note the "cheater square" to the left of CAPE? Typically cheaters make a grid easier to fill, but this is a rare case in which it makes things much more difficult. It means that Joel had to find two separate theme pairs which crossed each other at two points. The result is impressively smooth.

A similar case in the center of the grid — if Joel had taken that black square to the left of FEEL and instead put black squares where the two T's are, it would have made filling much easier. So again, to only have an OEDS as a very minor issue is impressive.

Given that the first Shortz-era uniclue puzzle had a similar theme concept, it would have been nice to have an additional layer somehow, perhaps if all the double-use letters had spelled something? Or if they had all been the same letter? Or a number, like "1"? A lot of potential there, so I'm sure Will will now get more unicule-type submissions. I'm hopeful that if he does, they all take it to another level of complexity, pushing the boundaries.

We've seen the usual two columns of clues for regular puzzles, one for uniclues, and even three (for ones with diagonal entries). I'm curious to see if FOUR columns of clues or ZERO comes first. Not quite sure how either would work, but it's a lot of fun to think about.

1
C
2
A
3
S
4
H
5
J
6
E
7
A
8
N
9
C
10
A
11
P
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R
A
T
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14
A
M
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15
P
O
W
E
R
16
O
B
A
M
17
A
C
A
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E
18
L
D
O
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A
19
P
A
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A
S
K
I
20
T
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A
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K
P
S
23
C
E
L
24
T
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26
E
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27
C
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R
O
T
31
W
32
Y
A
T
T
33
A
B
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T
34
F
E
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L
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Y
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O
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L
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K
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K
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40
B
R
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D
41
M
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A
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42
E
D
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Y
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O
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D
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S
O
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H
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P
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X
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B
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F
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H
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A
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M
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E
D
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69
S
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70
O
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© 2014, The New York TimesNo. 1009 ( 23,711 )
Clues
1. Corn or cotton : CASH / CROP
2. Rhyme scheme for "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" : AABA
3. Have the lead : STAR
4. Blood: Prefix : HEMA
5. Western wear : JEAN / JACKET
6. Letters that don't go to the post office : EMAIL
7. Canada or Jordan preceder : AIR
8. Bygone brand in the shaving aisle : NEET
9. Where the Pilgrims first landed in the New World : CAPE / COD
10. Came to : AWOKE
11. Animated : PEPPY
12. Record over, say : ERASE
13. Put on a scale : RATE
14. Many a fête d'anniversaire attendee : AMIE
15. Homer Simpson's workplace : POWER / PLANT
16. Subject of National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius : OBAMACARE
17. Quaint wear : ASCOT
18. Parkinson's disease drug : LDOPA
19. Engage in an extreme winter sport : PARASKI
20. La starter : TRA
21. First name in children's literature : ROALD
22. Mil. mess personnel : KPS
23. Sixer rival : CELT
24. Sing like a bird : TWEEDLE
25. Feature of Polyphemus from "The Odyssey" : ONEEYE
26. Word origin : ETYMON
27. Dessert often made with cream cheese frosting : CARROT / CAKE
28. Not up : ABED
29. Tear apart : REND
30. Correct, as a manuscript : RETYPE
31. Comic Cenac formerly of "The Daily Show" : WYATT
32. Half of a vote : YEAS
33. Red as ___ : ABEET
34. "Sure, go ahead" : FEEL / FREE
35. White's counterpart : YOLK
36. Great work : OPUS
37. At nine and a half months, say : LATE
38. Architect Louis : KAHN
39. English county closest to Continental Europe : KENT
40. Places where wheat is stored? : BREAD / BOXES
41. Org. with an antipiracy stance : MPAA
42. Swirl : EDDY
43. Meaningful sets, for short? : OEDS
44. New U.N. member of 2011 : SOUTH / SUDAN
45. Resolution unit : PIXEL
46. Some preppy shirts : IZODS
47. Lab item : BUNSEN / BURNER
48. Alternative to a fade-out in a movie ending : FREEZE / FRAME
49. Didn't stay put : ROVED
50. Deep black : EBONY
51. Israel's Barak : EHUD
52. "An old silent pond / A frog jumps into the pond / Splash! Silence again," e.g. : HAIKU
53. Hold up : ROB
54. Seven-time Rose Bowl winner, for short : OSU
55. Offerer of package deals, in brief : USPS
56. Buffalo hunters, once : ARAPAHO
57. Firebug : PYRO
58. Leader of a race? : ADAM
59. It's a snap : HIKE
60. Store sign : OPEN
61. Skirt : AVOID
62. T.S.A. requirements : IDS
63. Be unsuited? : SKINNYDIP
64. Currency of Laos : KIP
65. Recovers from injury : MENDS
66. Diving position : PIKE
67. Be a fall guy? : RAKE
68. Ben & Jerry's alternative : EDYS
69. 2014 N.B.A. champ : SPUR
70. What a prophet may look for : OMEN

Answer summary: 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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