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New York Times, Thursday, November 16, 2017

Author:
Alex Eylar
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
311/16/201712/10/20180
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0100101
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.59000
Alex Eylar

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 34 Missing: {JKQX} Spans: 1 Grid has repeated answers This is the debut puzzle for Mr. Eylar. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Alex Eylar notes:
I dedicate this puzzle to the early morning Logic 101 class I took for a course requirement, that I totally didn't fall asleep in ... read more

I dedicate this puzzle to the early morning Logic 101 class I took for a course requirement, that I totally didn't fall asleep in every single week.

You're welcome, Prof. Clifford.

Jeff Chen notes:
Fun stuff! I love the concept of self-referential clues. I seem to remember a crossword years back that featured SELF REFERENTIAL, ... read more

Fun stuff! I love the concept of self-referential clues. I seem to remember a crossword years back that featured SELF REFERENTIAL, with a clue to the effect of [Like this entry]. Still makes my head spin!

For those of you non-programmers (read: infidels), RECURSION is a common principle in coding. Man oh man, the first time I learned about a function that calls ITSELF = *mind blown*. Seemed like that should break a law of physics. But no, just as long as you write in a condition so that the function stops itself at some point, it can be so elegant. (Jim tells me that it's rarely used in real code though, as it's not as effcient as iterative solutions.)

At first, I wondered why TAUTOLOGY was listed twice. Couldn't you just have one instance of it, and have it clued to itself (in the same vein of SELF REFERENTIAL)? But one definition of TAUTOLOGY is "needless repetition," so this is a perfect reason to add this puzzle to our list of puzzles with duplicated answers.

I was thrown off by A WILD GOOSE CHASE since I was stuck on the SELF REFERENTIAL concept. (Also, because the "A" felt weird. Okay, it did make it a crossword-friendly 15 letters, but still…) I did like how it referred to 66-Across, though — that's the non-existent 66-Across!

And AMBIGUITY rounded out the theme, referring to ??-Across. Ambiguous, indeed!

Nice gridwork, especially for a debut. It's rare for me to fly through a novice grid so smoothly. Even upon second glance, I couldn't find much to point out besides the odd EGESTS. (Maybe ZOD? Big Superman fan, but General ZOD seems esoteric.) Along with some nice bonuses in COUNT ON IT, CABIN BOYS, BUM DEAL, SAFARI with a great clue about seeing "the big game," I thought Alex walked the delicate line between colorfulness and smoothness extremely well.

Overall, I liked the mix of ideas in the theme, although I would have loved it if all the themers had been purely self-referential. Fun stuff! [See 1-Across]

1
F
2
A
3
C
4
T
5
G
6
A
7
B
8
S
9
S
10
P
11
A
12
C
13
E
14
I
C
O
N
15
A
B
U
T
16
A
R
L
E
S
17
T
A
U
T
18
O
L
O
G
Y
19
F
O
I
L
S
20
S
I
N
21
P
E
A
L
22
B
A
B
B
L
E
23
T
24
H
E
25
R
E
26
C
U
R
S
I
O
N
27
G
28
R
O
A
N
29
E
D
30
O
M
I
T
31
P
O
N
I
E
D
32
Z
O
D
33
C
34
I
35
S
36
A
W
I
L
D
G
37
O
O
S
E
38
C
39
H
A
S
E
40
S
E
T
41
E
M
O
42
A
R
A
B
L
E
43
N
44
E
O
N
45
S
L
I
M
I
E
R
46
A
47
M
48
B
I
G
U
I
49
T
Y
50
S
S
N
51
B
A
R
B
E
T
52
E
R
53
I
C
54
B
55
A
56
M
57
O
R
A
L
S
58
T
A
U
T
O
59
L
O
G
Y
60
R
I
V
E
T
61
A
M
P
S
62
A
Y
E
S
63
T
O
O
T
S
64
N
O
S
Y
65
P
S
S
T
© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 1116 ( 24,845 )
Across
1
Almanac entry : FACT
5
Shoots the breeze : GABS
9
What " " contains : SPACE
14
Click it : ICON
15
Be against : ABUT
16
Frequent van Gogh setting : ARLES
17
See 58-Across : TAUTOLOGY
19
Thwarts : FOILS
20
Calculator button : SIN
21
Burst of laughter : PEAL
22
Say blah blah blah blah blah : BABBLE
23
Not just any old : THE
25
See 25-Across : RECURSION
27
Was affected by too heavy a weight, say : GROANED
30
Strike out : OMIT
31
Paid (up) : PONIED
32
General ___ ("Superman" villain) : ZOD
33
Prefix with gendered : CIS
36
See 66-Across : AWILDGOOSECHASE
40
22+ pages of the Oxford English Dictionary : SET
41
Kind of look with bangs and eye shadow : EMO
42
Like good farmland : ARABLE
43
City light : NEON
45
More untrustworthy : SLIMIER
46
See ??-Across : AMBIGUITY
50
Application fig. : SSN
51
Something that might be settled over drinks : BARBET
52
___ Rohmer, French New Wave director : ERIC
54
"Pow!" : BAM
57
Grad students' hurdles : ORALS
58
See 17-Across : TAUTOLOGY
60
Transfix : RIVET
61
Gig gear : AMPS
62
All those in favor : AYES
63
Snookums : TOOTS
64
Liable to peep : NOSY
65
Alternative to an elbow, maybe : PSST
Down
1
Partner of starts : FITS
2
Smoothie fruit : ACAI
3
"You bet!" : COUNTONIT
4
Wile E. Coyote prop : TNT
5
Burst of laughter : GALE
6
On : ABOARD
7
Wake-up call? : BUGLE
8
What a mess! : STY
9
What you might see the big game on : SAFARI
10
"Survivor" host Jeff : PROBST
11
Often-questionable account : ALIBI
12
Quartet member : CELLO
13
German steel city : ESSEN
18
Bid first : OPENED
22
Short end of the stick : BUMDEAL
24
Come down hard? : HAIL
26
Parrots a pigeon? : COOS
27
Application figs. : GPAS
28
Host Mike of "Dirty Jobs" and "Somebody's Gotta Do It" : ROWE
29
Narrowly defeat : EDGEOUT
32
Madhouse : ZOO
33
Some yacht assistants : CABINBOYS
34
Yacht destination, maybe : ISLE
35
One who has a ball at work? : SEER
37
Upscale hotel chain : OMNI
38
Brand trusted by "cooks who know" : CRISCO
39
Christmas purchases : HAMS
43
Corn kernel, e.g. : NIBLET
44
Discharges : EGESTS
45
Options on an IHOP table : SYRUPS
46
Call off : ABORT
47
Celeb chef Batali : MARIO
48
Exclamation that's also the name of a cable channel : BRAVO
49
Latin lover's phrase : TEAMO
53
Teeny : ITSY
55
Seemingly forever : AGES
56
Pioneering 1990s computer game : MYST
58
Get some sun : TAN
59
Something you have in a chair : LAP

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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