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New York Times, Thursday, October 9, 2014

Author:
Joel Fagliano
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
6210/22/200911/18/20186
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
15811810325
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.65351
Joel Fagliano

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.
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 ... read more

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 the ... read more

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 ... read more

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
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J
6
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A
8
N
9
C
10
A
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P
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14
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P
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O
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17
A
C
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L
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P
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W
32
Y
A
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T
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A
B
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T
34
F
E
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Y
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O
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K
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K
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T
40
B
R
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D
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M
P
A
A
42
E
D
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Y
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O
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S
O
U
T
H
45
P
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B
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F
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H
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D
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A
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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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