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New York Times, Monday, November 14, 2016

Author: Zhouqin Burnikel
Editor: Will Shortz
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519165442
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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. ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

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)

1
C
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A
3
M
4
P
5
S
6
P
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U
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R
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S
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I
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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
15
T
O
R
A
H
16
D
C
O
N
17
M
O
N
K
18
E
Y
I
N
G
A
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R
O
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N
D
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N
D
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X
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M
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E
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N
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A
N
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T
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L
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O
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P
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M
O
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S
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V
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R
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W
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P
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G
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39
L
E
A
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S
T
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M
R
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K
A
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S
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A
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A
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E
E
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I
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S
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W
O
L
F
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I
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N
G
D
O
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N
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E
R
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G
O
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S
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S
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T
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A
B
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Y
E
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M
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P
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C
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B
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© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 1114 ( 24,478 )
Across Down
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
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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