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DOUBLE SIXES

New York Times, Sunday, November 10, 2019

Author:
Peter Gordon
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1169/5/198911/10/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
942241411619
ScrabRebusCirclePangramPre‑WS
1.5891611
Peter Gordon

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 138, Blocks: 70 Missing: {JXZ} This is puzzle # 116 for Mr. Gordon. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Will Shortz notes:
Peter Gordon, of Great Neck, N.Y., is a professional puzzlemaker and editor. He oversees the puzzle-and-game program at Sterling Publishing. He also creates a challenging weekly online ... read more

Peter Gordon, of Great Neck, N.Y., is a professional puzzlemaker and editor. He oversees the puzzle-and-game program at Sterling Publishing. He also creates a challenging weekly online crossword ("Fireball"), available by subscription.

This is Peter's 116th puzzle for The Times, including the very first crossword (a Sunday) under my editorship in 1993.

Peter Gordon notes:
Two theme entries that didn't make the grid (the first of which was the inspiration for the theme): Words said when Secretary of State Rice and the protagonist of 'Persuasion' are ... read more

Two theme entries that didn't make the grid (the first of which was the inspiration for the theme):

  • Words said when Secretary of State Rice and the protagonist of "Persuasion" are introduced?
  • D.C. military medical center entrance smelled terrible?

(answers at the end of Jeff's commentary)

Jeff Chen notes:
Any else take off their glasses and call their optometrist while solving this puzzle? Talk about daring! I worked on a puzzle with three adjacent pairs of doubles, and that was hard ... read more

Any else take off their glasses and call their optometrist while solving this puzzle?

Talk about daring! I worked on a puzzle with three adjacent pairs of doubles, and that was hard enough. Double that to six pairs, and you get crazy strings like SSAABBOOKKEE. I can barely look at those twelve letters without thinking I finally need reading glasses.

Some of the theme entries are awkward, like who would ever say QUEEN NOOR ROOMMATES or DOES SAAB BOOKKEEPING, but kookiness is the name of the game with a theme like this. I thought I wouldn't enjoy it after my eyes went unfocused, trying to make sense of SSIINNEEDDOO, but I'm going to remember this one.

I could have done with a couple more bonuses besides PIRATES BOOTY, MAKING A STINK, TRAP DOOR, and a few less ADM ELKE ESE SRTA STS, but all in all, it's a reasonable set of grid trade-offs for a 21x21 puzzle.

I appreciated this one more with each time I re-read the themers. Not all of them hit that strongly, but I have to admire the sheer audacity of the concept. Now I'm wondering what's the largest possible number of doubled letters strung together. If you tossed aside any semblance of the entry making sense, could you achieve ten pairs? Fifteen?

Down the rabbit hole I go ...

(Peter's two scrapped themers: CONDOLEEZZAANNEELLIOT and WALTERREEDDOORREEKED)

1
K
2
T
3
E
4
L
5
R
6
I
7
C
8
C
9
I
10
D
11
R
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U
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M
14
S
15
M
16
U
17
M
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G
R
A
I
19
L
20
E
N
R
O
N
21
V
I
S
I
T
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A
P
U
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B
A
S
S
I
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I
N
N
E
E
D
25
D
O
O
D
L
E
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K
E
G
27
P
E
A
K
S
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S
E
N
I
O
R
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A
L
A
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K
I
N
G
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A
D
M
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E
L
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M
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G
R
A
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F
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D
A
N
D
Y
37
D
O
E
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S
S
A
A
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B
40
B
41
O
O
K
K
E
42
E
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P
I
N
G
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D
O
N
H
O
45
G
R
A
S
S
Y
46
S
U
R
C
E
A
47
S
48
E
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S
R
T
A
50
S
N
A
R
L
51
A
T
R
I
A
52
S
T
S
53
Q
54
U
E
E
N
N
O
55
O
56
R
R
O
O
M
M
57
A
T
E
S
58
S
59
T
60
P
61
T
A
T
62
Y
U
G
O
S
63
L
I
R
A
64
H
E
I
65
D
E
N
66
L
67
E
68
A
V
E
O
N
69
C
70
H
E
N
E
Y
71
R
A
R
E
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R
O
L
F
E
73
W
H
O
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K
O
S
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I
S
A
A
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C
77
C
O
O
L
L
Y
78
Y
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E
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E
H
A
W
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S
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M
E
T
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H
A
R
K
S
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A
L
V
I
N
85
H
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A
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C
88
K
89
P
R
E
90
S
A
L
E
S
91
S
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I
L
K
E
N
93
D
E
L
H
I
94
S
W
I
M
M
E
95
E
T
T
E
E
N
N
96
E
E
D
L
E
D
97
A
98
K
B
A
R
99
E
N
O
S
100
Y
I
N
101
T
A
D
102
M
O
O
N
B
103
O
104
W
105
S
O
B
106
B
107
E
108
R
109
R
I
110
G
H
T
111
A
D
O
112
E
N
R
113
O
L
L
E
E
S
S
114
E
E
M
M
E
E
115
K
116
S
A
T
117
D
E
E
R
E
118
S
L
A
V
S
119
S
E
R
R
A
120
S
K
Y
121
S
A
N
E
R
122
T
A
U
P
E
123
N
E
S
T
© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 1110 ( 25,569 )
Across
1
"Hooked on Classics" company : KTEL
5
Christina of "Monster" : RICCI
10
Skins, so to speak : DRUMS
15
Silent : MUM
18
Last Supper item : GRAIL
20
Case study in many business ethics classes : ENRON
21
Call on : VISIT
22
"The Simpsons" character who holds a Ph.D. in computer science : APU
23
Low singers, short on money, draw idly? : BASSIINNEEDDOODLE
26
Place for a beer pump : KEG
27
Reaches a climax : PEAKS
28
High-class person? : SENIOR
29
Served in a certain cream sauce : ALAKING
31
Fleet runner: Abbr. : ADM
32
Boston's Liberty Tree, e.g. : ELM
34
Tennis player with a record 377 cumulative weeks ranked No. 1 : GRAF
36
First-rate : DANDY
37
Works as an accountant for a Swedish aerospace company? : DOESSAABBOOKKEEPING
44
"Pearly Shells" singer : DONHO
45
Like a llano : GRASSY
46
Put a stop to : SURCEASE
49
Mlle., across the Pyrénées : SRTA
50
Tangle : SNARL
51
Airy areas of hotels : ATRIA
52
Urban intersectors: Abbr. : STS
53
People who share an apartment with a Jordanian royal? : QUEENNOORROOMMATES
58
Rival of Havoline : STP
61
Pec pic, say : TAT
62
1980s auto imports based on the Fiat : YUGOS
63
Turkish coin : LIRA
64
Speed skater who won five golds at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics : HEIDEN
66
Not doff : LEAVEON
69
Politico Liz : CHENEY
71
Unusual : RARE
72
Pocahontas's husband John : ROLFE
73
50,000-watt clear-channel radio station in Iowa for which Ronald Reagan was once a sportscaster : WHO
74
Sends to the canvas, for short : KOS
75
Designer Mizrahi shouts like a cowboy in a nonchalant way? : ISAACCOOLLYYEEHAWS
82
Citi Field player : MET
83
Listens attentively : HARKS
84
Man's name that becomes another man's name when a "C" is put in front : ALVIN
85
Life ___ (timesaving trick) : HACK
89
Events for special customers : PRESALES
91
Smooth and lustrous : SILKEN
93
Asian metropolis of 28+ million : DELHI
94
Headline after an adolescent at a pool competition is made fun of? : SWIMMEETTEENNEEDLED
97
Mughal emperor of India known as "the Great" : AKBAR
99
Nephew of Cain : ENOS
100
Feminine side : YIN
101
Bit : TAD
102
Meteorological phenomenon : MOONBOW
105
Mourning person, perhaps : SOBBER
109
Like triangles governed by the Pythagorean theorem : RIGHT
111
Stir : ADO
112
Matriculated students appear to be timid? : ENROLLEESSEEMMEEK
116
Couldn't stand? : SAT
117
John who invented a steel plow : DEERE
118
Poles, e.g. : SLAVS
119
California mission founder Junípero : SERRA
120
What's up? : SKY
121
More logical : SANER
122
Brownish gray : TAUPE
123
Fit together like matryoshka dolls : NEST
Down
1
Yuri Andropov headed it for 15 years, in brief : KGB
2
Opening in the theater, maybe : TRAPDOOR
3
Legal grant to cross over someone else's land : EASEMENT
4
___ Genova, author of "Still Alice" : LISA
5
Rapper MC ___, formerly of N.W.A : REN
6
Travel guide listings : INNS
7
One of the 11 official languages of Canada's Northwest Territories : CREE
8
Either brother who co-wrote "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" : COEN
9
Plants that yield a blue dye : INDIGOS
10
Antonín who composed "Carnival Overture" : DVORAK
11
Host of the Olympics where golf returned after a 112-year hiatus : RIO
12
National School Lunch Program org. : USDA
13
Pepper dispenser : MILL
14
Cinematographic innovation of the 1970s : STEADICAM
15
Raising Cain : MAKINGASTINK
16
Overturn : UPEND
17
Unpleasantly humid : MUGGY
19
Thus : LIKESO
24
Mallorca o Menorca, por ejemplo : ISLA
25
Socially awkward : DORKY
30
Hearst-like film character : KANE
31
Interjects : ADDS
33
It's more attractive the closer you are to it : MAGNET
35
Adorn : FESTOON
38
N.B.A. nickname until 2011 : SHAQ
39
Something white rice lacks : BRAN
40
Hay there! : BARN
41
Where the Nobel Peace Prize winner is announced : OSLO
42
Money for a grand tour : EUROS
43
Stiffly formal : PRIM
47
Like binaural audio : STEREO
48
Parts of college applications : ESSAYS
50
Bean on the silver screen : SEAN
51
Ship of mythology : ARGO
54
Pac-12 player : UTE
55
Cry of dismay : OYVEY
56
Bemoan : RUE
57
Hoppy drink : ALE
58
Food item often prepared with lemon and garlic : SHRIMP
59
Promo : TEASER
60
Snack food brand that sounds like buried treasure : PIRATESBOOTY
65
It may be a deal breaker: Abbr. : DEA
66
Gander : LOOKSEE
67
Some pipe joints : ELLS
68
New York Titans' org. of old : AFL
69
Jackie of "Rush Hour" : CHAN
70
Question that isn't a "wh-" question : HOW
72
Ned who composed "Air Music" : ROREM
73
Sound heard at Churchill Downs : WHINNY
76
Alternatives to sleeper sofas : CHAIRBEDS
77
Quiet : CALM
78
The Collegiate School, today : YALE
79
Actress Sommer : ELKE
80
50-50 : EVEN
81
Molt : SHED
86
Not out to lunch : ALLTHERE
87
Crib users : CHEATERS
88
Captain played twice in film by Charles Laughton : KIDD
90
Equine : horse :: cygnine : ___ : SWAN
91
Pub perch : STOOL
92
"That's what you should do" : ITSBEST
93
Jeans : DENIMS
95
Playwright Eve : ENSLER
96
Land on the Celtic Sea : EIRE
97
Run up : AMASS
98
Company that's had its moments : KODAK
103
Draft classification : ONEA
104
Small songbird : WREN
106
Composer Bartók : BELA
107
Biblical birthright seller : ESAU
108
Send one's regrets, say : RSVP
110
F.B.I. guys : GMEN
113
Underground band : ORE
114
Direction from Belg. to Bulg. : ESE
115
"Krazy ___" : KAT

Answer summary: 13 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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