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New York Times, Saturday, November 23, 2013

Author:
Frederick J. Healy
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
145/24/20042/11/20170
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
01000310
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.59000
Frederick J. Healy

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 27 Missing: {QWY} This is puzzle # 10 for Mr. Healy. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Will Shortz notes:
My favorite entries here are JUJITSU, JAZZ AGE, TAKE AIM, NEAT IDEA, HANG TIME, GUESS SO, FAST CAR, BLITZEN, and ZANZIBAR. That's a ... read more

My favorite entries here are JUJITSU, JAZZ AGE, TAKE AIM, NEAT IDEA, HANG TIME, GUESS SO, FAST CAR, BLITZEN, and ZANZIBAR. That's a lot of great stuff. There are some minuses, too (the obscurish PIAS, the variant TABUS, and RESHOES). But overall, very handsome. The constructor, one of many Canadians who contribute crosswords to The Times, hails from Port Coquitlam, B.C.

Jeff Chen notes:
Excellent use of snazzy 7's today. When I was a kid, the letter J fascinated me, and anyone named Jeff was immediately interesting. ... read more

Excellent use of snazzy 7's today. When I was a kid, the letter J fascinated me, and anyone named Jeff was immediately interesting. Since there was no President named Jeff (just you wait until I get elected though*) Thomas Jefferson became my go-to favorite. So uncovering JUJITSU and JAZZ AGE across the top gave me a great first impression.

I personally find it difficult to construct themeless grids loaded with mid-length answers (length = 5-7) because it's so much easier for me to come up with strong 8's, 9's, and 10's. Multiple-word answers are often much better to my ear than single-word answers, and longer length facilitates that. Don't get me wrong, I like CEZANNE for its Scrabbly goodness and the impressions he makes (groaner pun intended) and JAKARTA / ZANZIBAR make for a great geographic pair. But I prefer more of the FAST CAR, ATE DIRT, GUESS SO kind of stuff over RANKLES, ELATION, EPSTEIN. Poor Arnold Horshack and Vinnie Barbarino, they get no respect compared to the common-lettered EPSTEIN.

Definite bonus points for the Scrabbly goodness all over. That double-J combination in the NW really constrains things, and Frederick does well to fill that corner relatively cleanly. ULALUME is probably much more crossword-famous than famous-famous, but that's okay. Any Poe work ought to be fair game for the NYT crossword.

As I tell my friends who say that they can't do crosswords, a lot of it is just putting in time and practice (don't forget enjoying it while you do!). Even a year ago I would have had a blind guess at the SPICA/LITA crossing, but something in the back of my head tingled, telling me that SPICA was "more of a word" than SPACA, SPECA or SPOCA. Call it crossword intuition, call it spidey-sense, or call it itchy head, but I call it the sweet scratch of success.

*I promise to break every law of physics during my administration

1
J
2
U
3
J
4
I
5
T
6
S
7
U
8
J
9
A
10
Z
11
Z
12
A
13
G
14
E
15
E
L
A
T
I
O
N
16
S
H
O
O
T
U
P
17
T
A
K
E
A
I
M
18
B
O
O
T
E
E
S
19
S
L
A
M
S
20
A
21
L
A
R
M
22
D
S
T
23
F
U
R
S
24
S
P
I
C
A
25
V
I
S
E
26
A
M
T
27
D
E
P
T
H
28
F
A
R
S
I
29
N
E
A
30
T
I
D
E
A
31
S
A
L
T
O
N
32
A
C
E
D
33
Z
A
N
E
34
F
35
I
36
B
B
E
R
37
H
A
N
G
T
38
I
39
M
40
E
41
A
P
L
U
S
42
P
A
N
T
S
43
C
O
X
44
S
A
I
S
45
L
A
N
Z
A
46
B
A
R
T
47
T
N
T
48
A
U
S
S
I
49
P
E
N
T
E
50
C
E
Z
51
A
N
N
E
52
B
53
U
I
L
T
I
N
54
A
M
E
R
I
G
O
55
A
T
A
C
O
S
T
56
R
A
N
K
L
E
S
57
R
E
S
H
O
E
S
© 2013, The New York TimesNo. 1123 ( 23,391 )
Across
1
It includes pinning and throwing : JUJITSU
8
"Chicago" setting : JAZZAGE
15
Rapture : ELATION
16
Skyrocket : SHOOTUP
17
Prepare to pull the trigger : TAKEAIM
18
Couple seen at a baby shower : BOOTEES
19
Hard knocks : SLAMS
20
It might hold up a holdup : ALARM
22
Reason for a semiannual shift: Abbr. : DST
23
Skunk and such : FURS
24
Star in Virgo : SPICA
25
Aid in getting a grip : VISE
26
Check spec. : AMT
27
Abyss : DEPTH
28
Modern Persian : FARSI
29
"That's clever!" : NEATIDEA
31
California's ___ Sea (rift lake) : SALTON
32
Got a 41-Across on : ACED
33
Billy who played the Phantom in "The Phantom" : ZANE
34
Person with small inventions : FIBBER
37
Slam dunk stat : HANGTIME
41
Benchmark mark : APLUS
42
They have seats : PANTS
43
Crew's director : COX
44
"Que ___-je?" ("What do I know?": Fr.) : SAIS
45
"The Great Caruso" title role player : LANZA
46
Perpetual 10-year-old of TV : BART
47
Wile E. Coyote buy : TNT
48
Too, to Thérèse : AUSSI
49
Board game with black and white stones : PENTE
50
Pupil of Pissarro : CEZANNE
52
Like many laptop cameras : BUILTIN
54
First name among Italian explorers : AMERIGO
55
With ramifications : ATACOST
56
Galls : RANKLES
57
Does some farrier's work on : RESHOES
Down
1
One feeling 15-Across after Super Bowl III : JETSFAN
2
Title name written "on the door of this legended tomb," in poetry : ULALUME
3
Home of Southeast Asia's largest mosque : JAKARTA
4
News briefs : ITEMS
5
Colombian kinfolk : TIAS
6
"___ see" : SOI
7
Like the human genome, before the 1990s : UNMAPPED
8
"St. John Passion" composer : JSBACH
9
Now, to Nicolás : AHORA
10
Choice for a long shot : ZOOM
11
Sound in the comic "B.C." : ZOT
12
Groveled : ATEDIRT
13
Tepid consent : GUESSSO
14
Sitcom pal of Barbarino and Horshack : EPSTEIN
21
Grammy-nominated Ford : LITA
24
No-yeast feast : SEDER
25
Parking meeter? : VALET
27
Cuts up : DICES
28
Adder's defense : FANGS
30
They're off-limits: Var. : TABUS
31
Pole star? : SANTA
33
Its main island is Unguja : ZANZIBAR
34
Asset in a drag contest : FASTCAR
35
Whence a girl who's "like a samba," in song : IPANEMA
36
Member of 31-Down's team : BLITZEN
37
Geiger of Geiger counter fame : HANS
38
"You're not the only one!" : ICANTOO
39
Recess for a joint : MORTISE
40
Reaches : EXTENTS
42
Leisurely strolls : PASEOS
45
It's often parried : LUNGE
46
Impolite interruption : BELCH
48
Indigo source : ANIL
49
Spinal cord surrounders : PIAS
51
Rescue vessel? : ARK
53
Relative of Aztec : UTE

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

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