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New York Times, Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Author:
Timothy Polin
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
5012/11/20118/8/20192
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
74962202
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.626140
Timothy Polin

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 38 Missing: {J} This is puzzle # 43 for Mr. Polin. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
A cartographer's dream puzzle! Tim gives us not just the EQUATOR, but the (Tropic of) CAN/CER and the (Tropic of) CAPRI/CORN. But ... read more

A cartographer's dream puzzle! Tim gives us not just the EQUATOR, but the (Tropic of) CAN/CER and the (Tropic of) CAPRI/CORN. But that's not all! The perimeter answers need a little direction … specifically the appropriate cardinal direction. Santa's workshop is in the (north) POLE, I-5's locale is the (west) COAST, etc. We've fixed up the answers below to reflect this.

I liked the perimeter answers that needed the appended direction much more than the ones that (sort of) worked without them. Eurus is a WIND in Greek myth. Yes, specifically the (east) wind, but still a WIND. It's more accurate to say (south) KOREA will host the 2018 Olympics, but KOREA would still describe it. Can't imagine what a North Korean Olympics would look like!

Tim chose to interlock his theme answers around the very perimeter, which constrained his themer choices mightily. Drastically reduces your options when they have to intersect at the corners. I might have liked it better to put cheater (black) squares in at least two of the corners so that you could work with stronger ones like (east)WOOD or (west) POINT or just (north) STAR instead of the defunct (north) STARS.

Super, super tough to work with perimeter answers, as they take away so much flexibility in the corners. And then you add three themers in the middle of the puzzle? Hatchi-matchi! Not a surprise to get a bunch of REQD, ABOX, ENOW, ANON, etc. But overall, I thought Tim's final product was good for this type of construction. It's nearly impossible to get a grid as constrained as this anywhere near the normal threshold for crossword glue, and he managed to get within spitting distance of it.

This general concept reminded me a little too much of other similar themes, most recently a Sunday from earlier this year, and it was odd to split up CANCER and CAPRICORN. But overall, I liked the mappiness of it all.

1
P
2
O
3
L
4
E
5
F
6
A
7
C
8
E
9
S
10
T
11
A
12
R
13
S
14
O
D
I
N
15
A
B
O
X
16
N
I
S
E
I
17
R
E
Q
D
18
Z
E
S
T
19
A
M
E
N
D
20
T
A
U
21
B
I
T
E
R
22
R
E
A
D
E
23
I
24
C
A
N
25
C
E
26
R
E
S
27
C
28
E
D
I
N
G
29
M
E
D
U
30
L
31
L
32
A
33
O
N
D
V
D
34
S
35
H
I
P
36
P
A
Y
S
37
A
N
I
38
E
39
Q
U
A
T
O
40
R
41
S
C
I
42
S
U
E
43
T
44
U
G
L
Y
45
I
46
N
T
R
A
47
T
I
T
A
48
N
I
A
49
A
P
P
I
A
N
50
C
A
P
R
51
I
52
C
O
R
N
53
B
54
A
55
N
T
U
56
S
T
57
E
R
N
58
L
59
A
60
W
61
A
L
O
I
S
62
N
I
N
O
63
C
I
T
I
64
N
T
I
L
E
65
A
N
O
S
66
A
N
O
N
67
K
O
R
E
A
68
P
A
W
S
69
B
E
N
D
© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 1122 ( 24,851 )
Across
1
Home to Santa's workshop : NORTHPOLE
5
Popular outdoor clothing brand, with "The" : NORTHFACE
9
Minnesota N.H.L. team from 1967 to 1993 : NORTHSTARS
14
Ruler over Valhalla : ODIN
15
As dumb as ___ of rocks : ABOX
16
American of Japanese origin : NISEI
17
Mandatory: Abbr. : REQD
18
Gusto : ZEST
19
Change for the better : AMEND
20
Fraternity "T" : TAU
21
Dog that needs a muzzle, say : BITER
22
Novelist Charles with an appropriate surname : READE
23
Volunteer's phrase : ICAN
25
Largest known asteroid : CERES
27
Giving over : CEDING
29
Part of the brainstem : MEDULLA
33
How most movies are released after theatrical runs : ONDVD
34
Send off, as an online order : SHIP
36
Remunerates : PAYS
37
What Friday has, unlike any other day? : ANI
38
Dividing line : EQUATOR
41
Subj. for Bill Nye : SCI
42
Candlemaking supply : SUET
44
Like Christmas sweaters, stereotypically : UGLY
45
Prefix with party or venous : INTRA
47
Queen in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" : TITANIA
49
___ Way (Roman road) : APPIAN
50
Calf-length pants style : CAPRI
52
Iowa's largest export : CORN
53
Language group of central Africa : BANTU
56
Harsh : STERN
58
Anarchist's aversion : LAW
61
Eponymous Dr. Alzheimer : ALOIS
62
Young muchacho : NINO
63
New York's ___ Field : CITI
64
Scrabble 1-pointer (but a Words With Friends 2-pointer) : NTILE
65
Years on the Yucatán : ANOS
66
In a short while : ANON
67
Country hosting the 2018 Winter Olympics : SOUTHKOREA
68
Lefties : SOUTHPAWS
69
Notre Dame setting : SOUTHBEND
Down
1
Affluent Connecticut town : WESTPORT
2
Theaters of antiquity : ODEA
3
Food restriction before and after surgery, maybe : LIQUIDDIET
4
Demise : END
5
Disconcerting : FAZING
6
Aid in mischief : ABET
7
Sine's reciprocal, in trig : COSEC
8
Hand or foot : EXTREMITY
9
Caught : SNARED
10
"Pencils down!" : TIMESUP
11
Like Edward Lear's Owl and Pussycat : ASEA
12
Tear apart : REND
13
U.N.'s location in Manhattan : EASTSIDE
21
Burglary, in police shorthand : BANDE
24
Kind of engineer: Abbr. : CIV
26
Certain tow job : REPO
27
Interstate 5's locale : WESTCOAST
28
Listless feeling : ENNUI
30
Bringing up the rear : LASTINLINE
31
Stretchy sportswear material : LYCRA
32
Resident of China or Japan, but not India or Iran : EASTASIAN
34
Pea with a thick, rounded pod : SUGARSNAP
35
Chess-playing movie villain : HAL
39
Bon mot : QUIP
40
Make fun of : RIPON
43
Capable of being touched : TACTILE
46
Network with news at the top of each hour : NPR
48
Revulsion : NAUSEA
49
Bridging : ACROSS
51
1986 rock autobiography : ITINA
53
Area of longtime contention : WESTBANK
54
Choir part : ALTO
55
Pinot ___ : NOIR
57
Plenty, once : ENOW
59
Huge amounts : ATON
60
Eurus, in Greek mythology : EASTWIND
63
One waiting at the airport? : CAB

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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