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New York Times, Monday, November 14, 2016

Author:
Zhouqin Burnikel
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
6511/13/20129/2/201919
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
621187472
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.56281
Zhouqin Burnikel

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 38 Missing: {JZ} Spans: 2 This is puzzle # 36 for Ms. Burnikel. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
Nice and consistent 'animal + ING + preposition' pattern today. MONKEYING AROUND and SQUIRRELING AWAY are particularly fun. ... read more

Nice and consistent "animal + ING + preposition" pattern today. MONKEYING AROUND and SQUIRRELING AWAY are particularly fun.

C.C. (Zhouqin) is one of the best constructors around in terms of delivering fresh, long fill. This comics fan struggled a bit with DC UNIVERSE, thinking that it had to be METROPOLIS or GOTHAM CITY, but I love the notion of a full, detailed universe DC created for its enormous cast of characters to live in. PEARL S BUCK gets her full due too; neat to see.

Not a ton else in bonus fill, but I enjoyed the mid-length stuff in NO PROB, KENNY G, SHAMAN, NUTMEG (a slang term for passing a soccer ball or basketball through a defending player's legs, BTW). Great use of these mid-length slots.

It's so tough to deliver a super-smooth Monday grid, but C.C. does well today. She's done a great job sharpening her skills over the past years. There are a couple of minor offenders in AVEO (tough to get if you don't know it, and it's an out-of-production car make at this point), NES (although I love me some Super Mario!), and IWO (basically a partial). But keeping a Monday grid to just that is great work — no major globs of crossword glue makes Jeff happy.

I wish something had tied the four themers together more strongly — although they are all mammals, it would have been nice to have all rodents, all animals starting with the same letter, all fish, whatever — but a solid start to the week. MWAH! (that's the sound of an air kiss)

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C
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A
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M
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S
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P
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U
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D
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L
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E
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A
V
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O
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T
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A
H
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D
C
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N
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M
O
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K
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E
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G
A
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R
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D
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D
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X
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S
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M
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N
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R
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I
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N
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A
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T
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L
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O
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M
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P
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G
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L
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M
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K
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E
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W
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N
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T
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A
B
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T
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M
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P
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O
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R
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A
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B
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S
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E
D
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 1114 ( 24,478 )

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Across
1
Group of tents in the woods : CAMP
5
San Antonio hoopsters : SPURS
10
Goofing off : IDLE
14
Onetime Chevy subcompact : AVEO
15
Bat mitzvah reading : TORAH
16
Rodenticide brand with glue traps : DCON
17
Goofing off : MONKEYINGAROUND
20
S&P 500, e.g. : INDEX
21
Rig on the road : SEMI
22
"Super" game console : NES
23
Jockey's strap : REIN
26
Voting against : ANTI
28
Hack (off) : LOP
31
Getting ready to click on, as a link : MOUSINGOVER
36
Impress greatly : AWE
37
Foreign president with a black belt in judo : PUTIN
38
Heredity transmitter : GENE
39
Most's opposite : LEAST
41
He said "I pity the fool" : MRT
42
Mini racing vehicles : KARTS
43
Gillette razor brand : ATRA
44
Spooky : EERIE
46
"Ready, ___, go!" : SET
47
Eating quickly : WOLFINGDOWN
50
Spots for getting stitches, in brief : ERS
51
___ lily (Utah's state flower) : SEGO
52
Mamas' boys : SONS
54
Browser sub-window : TAB
56
Chooses (to) : OPTS
59
Arab Spring country : YEMEN
63
Storing for future use : SQUIRRELINGAWAY
67
Trickster in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" : PUCK
68
Make a grand speech : ORATE
69
Speak hoarsely : RASP
70
Literally, "liquor," in Japanese : SAKE
71
Archie Bunker, notably : BIGOT
72
Place to store mowers and rakes : SHED
Down
1
Ladies' undergarment, casually : CAMI
2
Stratford-upon-___ : AVON
3
Patch up : MEND
4
Game with an annual World Series held in Las Vegas : POKER
5
Digs for pigs : STY
6
Luau dish : POI
7
Containers for serving coffee : URNS
8
Explosive anger : RAGE
9
Tribal healer : SHAMAN
10
"Don't mind if ___" : IDO
11
Where Batman and Superman live : DCUNIVERSE
12
___ Star State (Texas) : LONE
13
Pulls the plug on : ENDS
18
Like many nonprofits, vis-à-vis taxes : EXEMPT
19
What the best man holds for the groom : RING
24
Debtor's note : IOU
25
Eggnog spice : NUTMEG
27
Attire in old Rome : TOGA
28
1980s-'90s legal drama that won 15 Emmys : LALAW
29
Have because of : OWETO
30
"The Good Earth" author : PEARLSBUCK
32
Fathered, as a racehorse : SIRED
33
Opening remarks : INTROS
34
Another name for the return key on a Mac : ENTER
35
Takes a breather : RESTS
40
___ and sound : SAFE
42
Saxophonist with the #1 album "Miracles" : KENNYG
45
___ Jima : IWO
48
Dr. Frankenstein's assistant : IGOR
49
"Sure thing" : NOPROB
53
Target competitor : SEARS
54
Sugar and spice amts. : TSPS
55
Light blue hue : AQUA
57
Hatcher of "Tomorrow Never Dies" : TERI
58
Smelting waste : SLAG
60
"Love ya!" : MWAH
61
Freedom from anxiety : EASE
62
Manhattan law enforcement grp. : NYPD
64
"I Like ___" (1950s campaign slogan) : IKE
65
"Who am ___ judge?" : ITO
66
Tennis court divider : NET

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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