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New York Times, Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Author: Jim Peredo
Editor: Will Shortz
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Jim Peredo

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 38 Missing: {JQX} This is puzzle # 7 for Mr. Peredo. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jim Peredo notes: I had a plan when I built this puzzle in March 2015. The 50th anniversary of the old TV show would be in January 2016, on a Tuesday, ... more
Jim Peredo notes:

I had a plan when I built this puzzle in March 2015. The 50th anniversary of the old TV show would be in January 2016, on a Tuesday, which I thought perfect for this theme. Hoping to avoid a multi-year wait to get published, I suggested it run on the anniversary.

But Will Shortz saw through my plan and … didn't run it. Oh well. It was worth a shot.

I am extremely proud of this grid. I think I had to work harder on this than any other I've made. No corner is safe from constraints so it took quite a while to get everything just so. Further, I made sure there were no NAs in the Down direction, adding to my difficulties.

My original grid only had 13 NAs (if you listen to the actual theme song, you'll only hear 13 of them at the end…and they sound more like DAs, not NAs). But Will rejected it since people are more familiar with the main part of the theme song and the Internet meme usually has 16. I had my doubts that I could pull off 16, but I had a go and am pleased with the result.

I had trouble cluing the revealer. I was trying to cross reference the starts of the long theme answers as well as the NAs, and the clue was so unwieldy. Will's solution is much cleaner: refer only to the NAs in the revealer and simply highlight the action sounds in the theme answer. Very nice.

For better or worse, I can't take credit for the NAE clue. It's cool that it's the first time it's being clued that way in the NYT, but crossing foreign word TABLAS, I wish the typical "Scottish no" clue was kept.

Until next (bat) time!

Jeff Chen notes: I have a feeling some solvers will miss the trick here, so I highlighted the 16 critical letter pairs below. Think about it … ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

I have a feeling some solvers will miss the trick here, so I highlighted the 16 critical letter pairs below. Think about it …

Okay, if you've never seen the old BATMAN TV show, it might not make sense. But as a lover of all things Batman (maybe the campy Adam West stuff a tiny bit less), that opening song from West's old TV show brings me back. Singing NA-NA-NA-NA / NA-NA-NA-NA / NA-NA-NA-NA / NA-NA-NA-NA / BATMAN! is awfully fun.

Along with the bonus BANG, BAM, POW, WHAM — visuals often popping up in the old show — there is so much entertainment packed into the grid.

With such high theme density, Jim does a great job with his grid. It says something that I didn't even notice all the NAs until I got to the revealer. Well, it did seem suspicious that NITA Naldi made an appearance in what looked to be an unconstrained section, and IONA / ANEG seemed indicative of something — Jim wouldn't normally let these kinds by in flexible sections, given his strong gridding skills. And A BEAR near I MIND … okay, maybe I did know something was going on by that point. But packing in 16 NAs along with the four long themers with pretty darn good smoothness = excellent work.

There was so much about this that I really wanted to give it the POW! (how appropriate, given POWerNAp!) But 1.) there was something jarring about the random rhythm of the NAs spread through the grid — even though I know it would be near impossible from a construction standpoint, l would have loved a more regular spacing — and 2.) there's another puzzle I just adored coming up this week.

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© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 1116 ( 24,480 )
Across Down
1. Like a virgin : CHASTE
7. "Apocalypse Now" setting, familiarly : NAM
10. ___ fides (credentials) : BONA
14. Bees collect it : NECTAR
15. Altar vow : IDO
16. Olympian war god : ARES
17. Easily bruised fruit : BANANA
18. "This weighs a ___!" : TON
19. Jacob's first wife : LEAH
20. Bob Cratchit's job in "A Christmas Carol" : CLERK
21. City called the "Silicon Valley of India" : BANGALORE
23. Like yellow 17-Acrosses : RIPE
25. College in New Rochelle, N.Y. : IONA
26. Org. with a "100 Years ... 100 Movies" list : AFI
29. Ask "Can I?" repeatedly, say : NAG
30. Musher puller : SLEDDOG
34. Little Italian girls : BAMBINAS
37. Actress Davis of "Beetlejuice" : GEENA
38. Bad to the bone : EVIL
39. Hang-ups : SNAGS
42. Chows down : EATS
43. Ball's partner : ARNAZ
45. Post-lunch pick-me-up : POWERNAP
47. British soldier in the Revolution : REDCOAT
50. Computer cooler : FAN
51. Mini-albums, informally : EPS
52. Hawaiian coffee region : KONA
53. Basics : ABCS
55. Hendrix famously used one in his Woodstock rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" : WHAMMYBAR
59. Record of the year : ANNAL
63. Granny : NANA
64. Like most knock-knock jokes : OLD
65. Cool, in the 1960s : GROOVY
66. Hamburger holders : BUNS
67. When doubled, a 2010s dance : NAE
68. Duke Ellington's "Take the ___" : ATRAIN
69. Pub orders : ALES
70. Tee preceder : ESS
71. 1960s TV icon whose name follows a pair of letters found, appropriately, 16 times in this puzzle's Across answers : BATMAN
1. News network with a stock ticker : CNBC
2. Get better : HEAL
3. Teen's affliction : ACNE
4. Bart or Ringo : STARR
5. Modest two-piece bathing suit : TANKINI
6. Time in history : ERA
7. Silent screen actress Naldi : NITA
8. Dreamboat : ADONIS
9. Genghis Khan, e.g. : MONGOL
10. Singer of love songs : BALLADEER
11. Cookie that started as a Hydrox knockoff : OREO
12. Close : NEAR
13. Tennis player who posthumously received a Presidential Medal of Freedom : ASHE
21. Kicked off : BEGAN
22. Rare blood type, for short : ANEG
24. Gives a bad review : PANS
26. Build-___ Workshop (toy retailer) : ABEAR
27. QB Brett : FAVRE
28. "Why should ___?" ("No, it doesn't bother me") : IMIND
31. Early American diplomat Silas : DEANE
32. Available from a keg : ONTAP
33. Crowd reactions to a daredevil : GASPS
35. 2015 Whitey Bulger biopic : BLACKMASS
36. Maple syrup, essentially : SAP
40. Achieve great success : GOFAR
41. Mop, as a deck : SWAB
44. Quickly pan (in) : ZOOM
46. Microsoft's defunct digital encyclopedia : ENCARTA
48. Question repeatedly posed by Ferris Bueller's teacher : ANYONE
49. Indian drums similar to bongos : TABLAS
54. Embarrassing laugh accompanier : SNORT
55. Org. for the New York Liberty : WNBA
56. Lug : HAUL
57. Diarist Frank : ANNE
58. Citrus drinks : ADES
60. Chomsky who wrote "Syntactic Structures" : NOAM
61. Big name in sports shoes : AVIA
62. Country singer Loretta : LYNN
65. Gift of ___ : GAB

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later.

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