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New York Times, Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Author:
Steven E. Atwood
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
53/1/200711/15/20170
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1011200
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.61000
Steven E. Atwood

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 38 Missing: {GJQVXZ} This is puzzle # 5 for Mr. Atwood. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Steven E. Atwood notes:
This was such an obvious idea for a theme, I was surprised to find on Cruciverb.com that it hadn't been done. Had some luck in making ... read more

This was such an obvious idea for a theme, I was surprised to find on Cruciverb.com that it hadn't been done. Had some luck in making the grid when BRITISHISMS fit right in without needing too much crosswordese surrounding it. I had a few other possible theme entries:

  1. Bloke's cane?
  2. Car part with a built-in solar panel?
  3. Head on a boat?
  4. Rent money?
  5. Very small French fries?
  6. Coins exchanged for audio equipment?

.
.
.

  1. CHAPSTICK
  2. SUN BONNET
  3. WATERLOO
  4. FLATBREAD
  5. MICROCHIPS
  6. MIKE PENCE

(The clue for 70-Across, "Beat people?", for COPS, was written by the editor.)

Jeff Chen notes:
BRITISHISMS! Having just finished the latest season of 'The Great British Bake-off,' having all these American words Britishized ... read more

BRITISHISMS! Having just finished the latest season of "The Great British Bake-off," having all these American words Britishized tickled me. FLAT RATE, with FLAT Britishly defined as "apartment," POKER CHIPS, with CHIPS Britishificated into "fries," etc.

I wasn't sure what MACBOOK was meant to be. Took a little thinking to remember that a raincoat gets Britishagated into MAC.

(BOBBY = policeman and LIFT = elevator.)

Nice to have BRITISHISMS in the grid as a revealer, although it's in an odd place, up in the NE corner. One trouble with this sort of placement is that the game gets given away too quickly.

(Although it does stymie "clever" solvers who skip down to the bottom to where the revealer usually is.)

Not only did it feel out of place, but not having a symmetrical partner — LOW CARB DIET is a nice entry, but not thematic — gave the grid a wonky feel. Like tea without a scone. Or unrisen dough without a proving drawer.

Perhaps I've been watching too much GBBO…

Even given the relatively high theme density, I thought there was too much crossword glue. BSA, SEIS, ILE, NNW, ON THE, KAN, EPOS, and the duped ISM / BRITISHISMS. That's more than 10% of the entries in the grid; a bit SLOPPY. I would have preferred something like just five themers, with the first one 10 or 11 letters long to match BRITISHISM(S). Would have allowed for a more elegant final product.

Overall though, fun for me to get my Anglophilic fix. Now, back to my crisps and puddings…

1
R
2
O
3
Y
4
S
5
S
6
N
7
S
8
B
9
A
10
R
11
B
12
S
13
E
W
E
14
I
C
O
N
15
S
T
A
R
T
16
S
17
F
L
A
18
T
R
A
T
E
19
A
T
T
I
R
E
20
A
I
M
S
A
21
T
22
A
C
T
I
I
23
T
24
A
25
L
C
26
P
O
K
E
27
R
C
H
I
P
S
28
E
N
O
K
29
I
30
M
A
K
E
S
31
N
N
W
32
S
33
L
34
O
35
P
P
Y
36
T
H
37
A
38
W
39
T
I
C
40
M
A
C
B
O
O
41
K
42
I
L
E
43
H
E
A
44
D
45
C
E
S
S
N
A
46
S
I
N
47
R
E
48
P
E
L
49
N
50
O
M
A
D
51
B
52
O
B
B
Y
S
O
53
C
54
K
55
S
56
P
S
S
T
57
E
N
D
O
R
58
T
O
A
T
59
E
E
60
S
T
I
R
I
61
N
62
S
H
O
P
L
63
I
64
F
65
T
66
S
H
E
A
T
H
67
E
L
M
O
68
C
U
E
69
E
T
H
E
L
70
C
O
P
S
71
E
N
D
© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 1115 ( 24,844 )
Across
1
Man's name that means "king" : ROY
4
Taxpayers' IDs : SSNS
8
Verbal digs : BARBS
13
Palindromic farm animal : EWE
14
St. Patrick, for the Irish : ICON
15
Is a first-stringer : STARTS
17
*Monthly charge for a London apartment? : FLATRATE
19
Garb : ATTIRE
20
Targets : AIMSAT
22
Follower of the first intermission : ACTII
23
Mineral in bath powder : TALC
26
*French fries on a London card table? : POKERCHIPS
28
Mushroom used in sukiyaki : ENOKI
30
Arrives on time for : MAKES
31
90° from ENE : NNW
32
Like a doctor's penmanship, stereotypically : SLOPPY
36
Sign of spring : THAW
39
First X, say : TIC
40
*Catalog from a London raincoat designer? : MACBOOK
42
Spot in la mer : ILE
43
Herd unit : HEAD
45
Learjet competitor : CESSNA
46
Cardinal ___ : SIN
47
What like-pole magnets do : REPEL
49
Johnny Appleseed, e.g. : NOMAD
51
*Part of a London police officer's uniform? : BOBBYSOCKS
56
Furtive "Hey, you!" : PSST
57
Home of the Ewoks : ENDOR
58
Perfectly : TOATEE
60
Add, per a recipe : STIRIN
62
*Conveyance in a multilevel London store? : SHOPLIFT
66
Place for a sword : SHEATH
67
Dagwood's bratty neighbor : ELMO
68
Message on an offstage card : CUE
69
Lucy's sitcom pal : ETHEL
70
Beat people? : COPS
71
What curtains may signify : END
Down
1
TKO caller : REF
2
Harry Potter's Hedwig, e.g. : OWL
3
Roll-call call : YEA
4
Familiar voice since 2011 : SIRI
5
Rascal : SCAMP
6
"I beg to differ" : NOTSO
7
Weaselly sort : SNEAK
8
Character-building youth org. : BSA
9
What follows a cry of "Char-r-rge!" : ATTACK
10
Mechanism in a unidirectional wrench : RATCHET
11
Words found in the answers to this puzzle's starred clues : BRITISHISMS
12
Remove with a sandblaster, say : STRIP
16
Dos y cuatro : SEIS
18
Bulletin board item : TACK
21
Conductors set them : TEMPOS
23
Final frame in bowling : TENTH
24
Lennox of Eurythmics : ANNIE
25
Atkins plan, e.g. : LOWCARBDIET
27
Synthetic alternative to silk : RAYON
29
Suffix with sex : ISM
33
Gets ready to play basketball, say, with "up" : LACES
34
Cat once prized for its fur : OCELOT
35
Airer of Ken Burns documentaries : PBS
37
Many a rapper's name : ALIAS
38
George who played Norm on "Cheers" : WENDT
41
Ike's home state: Abbr. : KAN
44
___ Harry, vocalist for the band Blondie : DEBORAH
48
Fool's gold : PYRITE
50
German automaker : OPEL
51
First lady after Eleanor : BESS
52
Words before double or take : ONTHE
53
Sine's reciprocal, briefly : COSEC
54
Frida who was portrayed in film by Salma Hayek : KAHLO
55
Crush, in a way, with "on" : STOMP
59
Some narrative writing : EPOS
61
Org. with the Original Six teams : NHL
63
What 61-Down teams play on : ICE
64
Amusement : FUN
65
Sen. Cruz : TED

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle.

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