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New York Times, Monday, November 13, 2017

Author: Peter A. Collins
Editor: Will Shortz
Peter A. Collins
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1015/2/200611/13/201711
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
51224341394
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.564293

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 40 Missing: {QXZ} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 101 for Mr. Collins. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Peter A. Collins notes: Well, I'm serving up a pretty standard tribute puzzle today. It's in honor of my favorite movie! I recommend sitting down with ... more
Peter A. Collins notes:

Well, I'm serving up a pretty standard tribute puzzle today. It's in honor of my favorite movie! I recommend sitting down with a bowl of fifty hard-boiled eggs and giving it I shot. This is an idea that took a couple of years to round into shape. My first few attempts were too jam-packed with trivia from the film – stuff like PAUL NEWMAN and CHAIN GANG – in addition to the quote. Overall, the grid couldn't breathe, so I decided to go pretty bare-bones with the themed material. In the end, I just included the quote and the movie title. Sometimes less is more. Like when Luke bluffs his way to winning the poker game in the bunkhouse, holding a hand full of nothing. But, as Dragline said, sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand.

On a personal note, this is my first NYT puzzle without my biggest fan. My dad passed away on August 23 at age 92. Even though his eyesight was failing and his knowledge of pop culture ended sometime around the time Cool Hand Luke was hitting the theaters, he tackled every one of my puzzles with enthusiasm. Our phone calls often ended with him saying, "Hang on a sec" as he grabbed the clipboard on which he did his solving. He'd ask me about the clues he couldn't crack – a TV actor's name, a singer, some recent slang. I'm going to miss those conversations.

Sadly, I've lost a father, and our country has lost another member of the Greatest Generation. He was quite a guy.

Jeff Chen notes: COOL / HAND / LUKE, one of the classics! Pete gives us the (oft-misquoted) WHAT WE HAVE / HERE IS (a) FAILURE TO / COMMUNICATE. ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

COOL / HAND / LUKE, one of the classics! Pete gives us the (oft-misquoted) WHAT WE HAVE / HERE IS (a) FAILURE TO / COMMUNICATE. Imagine how much it would stink if you were that actor, having delivered an incredible line … only to have people say that you said it wrong?

Both work, grammatically. There's a good case for the line as is since that implies multiple instances. Given Paul Newman's constant needling of authority in the movie, that's clearly the case. So why do so many people insert the "a"?

I DON'T KNOW, BUT WE JUST DO.

Theme felt thin, what with just the movie title and a single quote. But the quote does take up a good amount of real estate: 11 + 15 + 11 = a lot of squares. And when you consider how difficult splitting up COOL / HAND / LUKE makes things, I can see why Pete didn't try for anything else.

Wait, wait, wait, failure to communicate, you say! What's the big deal about putting in three little teeny tiny itsy bitsy words? Well, let me tell you! Check out that south section, bounded by COMMUNICATE and HAND. Fixing a ceiling and a floor into a region like this is akin to eating 50 hard-boiled eggs. (I love that scene, Pete!)

It is true that Pete could have shifted HAND over one space to the right, so that did give him a little flexibility. But not a lot. So, not a surprise to get a rough crossing in MITA / OTOE in that region. This isn't a friendly crossing for novice solvers. Perhaps on the order of eating ten hard-boiled eggs.

Along with some USE NO, ETE, OF IT, and the dread OSO (O SO unfriendly to newbies), it's too much for a Monday puzzle. I did appreciate Pete's efforts to work in some extras, though — I CALLED IT, OLD FLAMES, and LETS SLIDE. Important, given how thin the theme felt. So tough to find the right balance.

I enjoyed the shout-out to one of the greatest movies of all time. I would have loved something more, though. Hmm … hard boiled eggs look like Os

1
A
2
B
3
C
4
S
5
A
6
L
7
S
8
O
9
M
10
A
11
J
12
A
13
F
L
A
K
14
E
15
L
A
W
S
16
O
N
U
S
17
E
A
R
E
D
18
I
C
A
L
19
L
E
D
I
T
20
W
H
A
T
W
21
E
V
E
G
O
T
22
I
C
E
23
C
I
T
E
24
S
25
T
E
E
R
26
D
27
A
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P
H
N
E
29
G
30
E
31
N
U
S
32
A
G
O
33
O
L
D
F
L
A
34
M
35
E
36
S
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H
E
R
38
E
39
I
40
S
F
A
I
L
U
R
E
T
O
41
L
E
T
S
S
L
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D
E
42
T
R
U
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P
A
R
T
S
44
S
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T
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R
E
E
P
47
D
48
U
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B
Y
A
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T
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R
E
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O
S
O
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C
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O
54
M
55
M
U
N
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A
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T
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E
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R
E
F
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A
S
H
I
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N
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C
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C
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A
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I
N
F
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O
T
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K
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C
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H
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67
L
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K
E
© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 1113 ( 24,842 )
Across Down
1. Things kindergartners learn : ABCS
5. In addition : ALSO
9. "The Naked ___" (Goya painting) : MAJA
13. Bit of snow : FLAKE
15. What some bills become : LAWS
16. Burden : ONUS
17. Dog-___ (like some old book pages) : EARED
18. "Told ya!" : ICALLEDIT
20. With 37- and 52-Across, #11 on the American Film Institute's "100 Years ... 100 Movie Quotes" list : WHATWEVEGOT
22. Freezerful : ICE
23. Put in a bibliography : CITE
24. Have the wheel : STEER
26. "Rebecca" author Du Maurier : DAPHNE
29. The "Homo" in Homo sapiens : GENUS
32. In the past : AGO
33. Former lovers : OLDFLAMES
37. See 20-Across : HEREISFAILURETO
41. Accepts begrudgingly, as a minor flaw : LETSSLIDE
42. ___TV (Time Warner channel) : TRU
43. Casting assignments : PARTS
44. Meryl who portrayed Margaret Thatcher : STREEP
47. 43rd U.S. president, informally : DUBYA
50. One of 18 on an 18-wheeler : TIRE
51. Bear: Sp. : OSO
52. See 20-Across : COMMUNICATE
59. Make over : REFASHION
61. Winter drink : COCOA
62. Data : INFO
63. Plains tribe : OTOE
64. Drug bust units : KILOS
65. With 66- and 67-Across, source of this puzzle theme's quote : COOL
66. See 65-Across : HAND
67. See 65-Across : LUKE
1. Two or three : AFEW
2. Ho-hum : BLAH
3. ___ mia (Italian term of endearment) : CARA
4. Quick drawing : SKETCH
5. ___ and kicking : ALIVE
6. One poked through the eye? : LACE
7. Free goodies at an event : SWAG
8. Nobel Peace Prize city : OSLO
9. "The Simpsons" bartender : MOE
10. Actress MacDowell of "Four Weddings and a Funeral" : ANDIE
11. Electricity, slangily : JUICE
12. Fall bloomer : ASTER
14. Olympic hurdler Moses : EDWIN
19. Shipmate of Capt. Kirk and Mr. Spock : LTSULU
21. Summer in France : ETE
25. Peter the Great, e.g. : TSAR
26. Author Roald : DAHL
27. Pulitzer Prize-winning author James : AGEE
28. City with piers : PORT
29. Alternatives to mums : GLADS
30. "The Sopranos" Emmy winner Falco : EDIE
31. Packers' and Panthers' org. : NFL
33. "Make ___ what you will" : OFIT
34. Portion (out) : METE
35. Raison d'___ : ETRE
36. Campbell's product : SOUP
38. Athletic achievement award : ESPY
39. Susan with the 1978 best seller "Compromising Positions" : ISAACS
40. Camera type, for short : SLR
44. Something confessed in a confessional : SIN
45. Pulling a rabbit out of a hat, e.g. : TRICK
46. Pull back, as in horror : RECOIL
47. Kind of column in architecture : DORIC
48. "___ hooks" (shipping caution) : USENO
49. Highly successful, in theaterspeak : BOFFO
50. Readied, as a musical instrument : TUNED
53. Cry of anticipation : OHOH
54. Big name in photocopiers, once : MITA
55. Where the U.S. flag has flown since 1969 : MOON
56. Anticensorship org. : ACLU
57. Swiped : TOOK
58. Abate : EASE
60. "You've got mail" co. : AOL

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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