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# New York Times, Friday, November 16, 2018

Author:
Kyle Dolan
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
105/22/20127/23/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1031122
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.60120

## This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 70, Blocks: 32 Missing: {JQVYZ} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 8 for Mr. Dolan. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Kyle T. Dolan notes:
I began this puzzle by seeding the 66-Across entry and building the SE stack. Ironically, the one entry that Will and Sam asked me to ... read more

I began this puzzle by seeding the 66-Across entry and building the SE stack. Ironically, the one entry that Will and Sam asked me to change before they accepted it was...you guessed it...66-Across. The SE corner you see now is my second effort.

Jeff Chen notes:
The most basic themeless pattern starts with a set of triple-stacked mid-length answers (8-10 letters) in each of the four corners. ... read more

The most basic themeless pattern starts with a set of triple-stacked mid-length answers (8-10 letters) in each of the four corners. You don't want to totally separate them from each other, because that makes for choppy flow for solvers. But the more separation, the better — it's so much easier to construct an individual corner when it doesn't affect what's going on in the other three corners.

Running a grid-spanner through the middle makes things so much harder. Wouldn't seem so, perhaps. What's the problem of starting to nail two of the corners into place? NO BIGGIE, right?

It's surprising how much more difficult it is to fill a single corner with just a couple of letters fixed in. But the WHI- of WHITE BLOOD CELLS makes things tougher because of the W, restricting choice a great deal.

And even the -LLS at the end — you'd think that the letters are common enough that it wouldn't take away many options at all. But using two consonants together adds difficulty, messing up the preferred pattern of vowel-consonant alternation that makes things easier on constructors.

I like Kyle's decision to add "cheater squares" at the ends of SNO-CAPS. Eating away at the margins of the grid makes filling so much easier, probably a factor of two or even three in the SW / NE corners. I don't mind the visual either, although Rich Norris over at the LAT has said that he wants constructors to avoid black squares in the corners of themelesses.

It's a tough construction, and Kyle did well to keep it generally free of short crossword glue. I wish there had been a bit more sizzling stuff like DONUT HOLE and SLIME MOLD though — stuff like THREE STAR and SHOUTING aren't that exciting — but NO BIGGIE.

Still, a solid grid.

 1S 2H 3O 4U 5T 6I 7N 8G 9M 10A 11I 12D 13S 14N E W M E D I A 15E X T O L 16S 17O I L P A I N T 18R E I N I N 19O D E 20G E O 21R G 22S U M O 23P I T 24A 25S 26B R I E 27F 28T E C 29B E 30T A 31D R A 32C H M A 33T 34R A L A L 35A 36T R O O P 37W H I T E B L O 38O 39D C E L L S 40A R D E N 41K N E A D E D 42S E E D I 43E 44R 45T A T I 46S E S 47C O U 48C H 49S T 50A 51R 52T 53A S H 54E 55C E L E 56B 57L A W 58I T A L 59I E 60A D E 61L 62A I D E 63L A R S O N 64N O B I G G I E 65R E E S E 66S T E P O N I T
© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 1116 ( 25,210 )
Across
1
What all capital letters may indicate : SHOUTING
9
Octet in "The Twelve Days of Christmas" : MAIDS
14
Online magazines, blogs, etc. : NEWMEDIA
15
Speaks highly of : EXTOLS
17
Canvas application : OILPAINT
18
Bring under control : REININ
19
One might be written to an idol : ODE
20
Von Trapp father in "The Sound of Music" : GEORG
22
Sport whose participants are called rikishi : SUMO
23
Scoopers for baba ghanouj : PITAS
26
Supreme Court clerk's reading : BRIEF
28
Solver with a set of clues, for short : TEC
29
___ testing : BETA
31
Pre-euro money : DRACHMA
33
A chorus line? : TRALALA
36
Pride : lions :: ___ : monkeys : TROOP
37
Leukocytes : WHITEBLOODCELLS
40
Who said "There's only one Elizabeth like me, and that's the queen" : ARDEN
41
42
More run-down : SEEDIER
45
Jacques of film : TATI
46
French plural of "son" : SES
47
Challenge for a mover : COUCH
49
53
Name on the ESPY Courage Award : ASHE
55
Inspiration for some fake social media accounts, informally : CELEB
57
What "torah" means : LAW
58
Neighbor of Suisse : ITALIE
60
Capital of South Australia : ADELAIDE
63
2015 Best Actress winner Brie : LARSON
64
"It's fine, don't worry" : NOBIGGIE
65
Older brother of Malcolm on "Malcolm in the Middle" : REESE
66
"Faster, faster!" : STEPONIT
Down
1
Pry : SNOOP
2
Heitkamp of North Dakota politics : HEIDI
3
Young prey for a bobcat : OWLET
4
Make the calls, informally : UMP
5
Break during a cricket match : TEA
6
"Understood, man" : IDIG
7
Pool game : NINEBALL
8
Bulldog's N.C.A.A. rival : GATOR
9
Combination : MERGER
10
Big name in men's deodorant : AXE
11
Suffix with sinus : ITIS
12
Bite-size breakfast treat : DONUTHOLE
13
Jellylike organism once classified as a fungus : SLIMEMOLD
16
Popular movie theater candy : SNOCAPS
21
Cleanse : RID
24
Quieted down : ABATED
25
Pertaining to the moon : SELENIC
27
Billionaire types : FATCATS
30
Key in? : TAB
32
Byline, e.g. : CREDIT
33
Like the highest-rated restaurants in Michelin Guides : THREESTAR
34
Car-pooling arrangement : RIDESHARE
35
Copacetic : AOK
37
Spiced holiday drink : WASSAIL
38
Precisely : ONTHEDOT
39
Raiders' org. : DEA
43
Period of great climate change : EOCENE
44
Paris's ___ de Rivoli : RUE
48
Tribes : CLANS
50
What a politician's promises and actions should do : ALIGN
51
52
One may be quoted in the news : TWEET
54
"What ___?" : ELSE
56
___ Rexha, pop singer with the 2017 #2 hit "Meant to Be" : BEBE
59
Neighbor of the island Santorini : IOS
61
Edge : LIP
62
Give it ___ : AGO

Answer summary: 1 unique to this puzzle, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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