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New York Times, Monday, November 13, 2017

Author:
Peter A. Collins
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1065/2/20061/31/201912
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
512253614104
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.565313
Peter A. Collins

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 a bowl ... read more

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. ... read more

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
28
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
37
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
I
D
E
42
T
R
U
43
P
A
R
T
S
44
S
45
T
46
R
E
E
P
47
D
48
U
49
B
Y
A
50
T
I
R
E
51
O
S
O
52
C
53
O
54
M
55
M
U
N
I
C
56
A
57
T
58
E
59
R
E
F
60
A
S
H
I
O
N
61
C
O
C
O
A
62
I
N
F
O
63
O
T
O
E
64
K
I
L
O
S
65
C
O
O
L
66
H
A
N
D
67
L
U
K
E
© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 1113 ( 24,842 )
Across
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
Down
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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