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New York Times, Saturday, November 10, 2018

Author:
Will Nediger
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
305/27/20068/4/20192
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13025118
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.78032
Will Nediger

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 70, Blocks: 28 Missing: {JX} This is puzzle # 25 for Mr. Nediger. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Will Nediger notes:
This puzzle is a rare case where the seed entry didn't end up making it into the final grid. Especially ironic since the seed entry ... read more

This puzzle is a rare case where the seed entry didn't end up making it into the final grid. Especially ironic since the seed entry was SEED ENTRY at 1-Across! But Andrew Ries suggested I replace the top-left corner entirely, and he was right since it was the weakest part of the grid. I'm much happier with how the new version turned out.

Jeff Chen notes:
Ha, SEED ENTRY would have been hilarious as a seed entry! I'm not sure it's a solid enough phrase (outside of our little constructing ... read more

Ha, SEED ENTRY would have been hilarious as a seed entry! I'm not sure it's a solid enough phrase (outside of our little constructing community) though, so I'm glad that Will replaced it.

A toughie right off the bat in THE MOLDAU. I played in orchestras for 20+ years, so I was able to plunk it in immediately (with no crosses!), but I doubt many others will have that experience. I imagine YOGA PANTS will be much more relatable to a bigger number of people – especially if you live in Seattle, where it seems that most women have wardrobes composed solely of YOGA PANTS, all the way from dressy to casual!

Seriously though, there's a weird obsession with YOGA PANTS here.

Will injected a ton of fresh-feeling entries, COSPLAY, WWE RAW, FLU VIRUS, GYOZA (Japanese pot stickers, yum!) and SIR PURR my favorite. I don't know how many people will know SIR PURR, but come on, what a hilarious name for a mascot! Along with the "rhyming" hint in the clue, it ought to at least be gettable if you didn't already know it.

The level of freshosity was high enough that it began to feel like too much, though. There's something so classic and relatable about an entry like ROMAN EMPIRE. Not so much WWE RAW. I love the latter (I admit, I was a huge fan of Bobby "The Brain" Heenan as a kid), but I wonder if too much that's too new will turn some solvers off?

ZAPATISTA: classic, right out of history books!

TURNERESQUE … I can hear the sound of heads being scratched. "Ted Turner is a painter?" I wondered. Ha ha ha, I didn't really think that!

Okay, maybe I did. It's … hmm. Maybe Joseph Mallord William Turner?

Probably not Nat Turner.

Lana Turner was an artist, wasn't she?

Excellent craftsmanship, as I've come to expect out of Will, hardly a dab of crossword glue in sight. Great voice and color, too, although I wondered if it was more appropriate for an ALT WEEKLY instead of the NYT.

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© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 1110 ( 25,204 )
Across
1
Pole stars? : STRIPPERS
10
Shop contents : WARES
15
Smetana composition inspired by a river : THEMOLDAU
16
Too good for : ABOVE
17
Flexible attire : YOGAPANTS
18
Chicken : TIMID
19
___ Lovegood, friend of Harry Potter : LUNA
20
Chemistry test? : HOTDATE
22
One-eighth of a data set : OCTILE
25
777, e.g. : AIRLINER
26
Target of some shots : FLUVIRUS
28
Creature that can walk on lava : NENE
29
Shoots : FIRES
30
Opposite of pobre : RICO
32
Sierra and others : GMCS
35
Leslie's friend on "Parks and Recreation" : ANN
36
Mutant villain of Marvel Comics : MAGNETO
39
Gambler's spot : PIP
40
Bottom of the barrel : LEES
42
Former Senate majority leader who was once an amateur boxer : REID
43
Single cut : BSIDE
45
Wheels : RIDE
47
Group with a satellite truck : NEWSCREW
49
10-12 on a Little League team, maybe : AGERANGE
52
Romeos : WOOERS
53
Activity at a comic con : COSPLAY
54
Reminder of a hit : WELT
55
Fancy restaurant topping? : TOQUE
56
"The Mikado" and "The Merry Widow" : OPERETTAS
61
What sharks take interest in : USURY
62
Rebel fighter during the Mexican Revolution : ZAPATISTA
63
Pressure group? : PEERS
64
Edgy newspaper type, informally : ALTWEEKLY
Down
1
Dump : STY
2
E'en if : THO
3
Neither long nor short: Abbr. : REG
4
Survivor's cry : IMALIVE
5
Mass appeal : POPULISM
6
Thickness-adjusting tool : PLANER
7
Woman's name meaning "pleasure" : EDNA
8
One might be paid to talk : RAT
9
Certain bar order : SUSHI
10
Dangling part of a turkey : WATTLE
11
Persistent : ABIDING
12
Subject of a classic six-volume work by Edward Gibbon : ROMANEMPIRE
13
One might have clickable "Yes" and "No" buttons : EVITE
14
Event in which the Four Questions are read : SEDER
21
"... never mind, then" : ORNOT
22
Butcher's scraps : OFFAL
23
"I Fall to Pieces" singer : CLINE
24
Like landscape paintings that focus more on color and lighting than fine detail : TURNERESQUE
25
Harebrained : ASININE
27
It's a feeling : URGE
31
Turn over : CEDE
33
Hard ___ : CIDER
34
Shoots out : SPEWS
37
Place for matches : ARENA
38
Abandoned : OBSOLETE
41
Carolina Panthers mascot with a rhyming name : SIRPURR
44
Dog depicted by Monopoly's dog token : SCOTTIE
46
Chicago political dynasty : DALEYS
48
TV show created by Vince McMahon : WWERAW
49
Go haywire : ACTUP
50
28-Across, e.g. : GOOSE
51
Dumplings at a Japanese restaurant : GYOZA
54
Was lachrymose : WEPT
57
Bucko : PAL
58
[Oh, no you didn't!] : TSK
59
Loser to New England in Super Bowl LI: Abbr. : ATL
60
"Come to think of it ..." : SAY

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle, 4 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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