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New York Times, Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Author: Duncan Kimmel and Clara Williamson
Editor: Will Shortz
Duncan Kimmel
TotalDebutCollabs
111/25/20151
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0001000
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.57000
Clara Williamson
TotalDebutCollabs
111/25/20151
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0001000
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.57000

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 40 Missing: {FJQZ} This is the debut puzzle for Mr. Kimmel. This is the debut puzzle for Ms. Williamson. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes: More additions to the list of youngest constructors! Congrats to Duncan and Clara for having their first NYT puzzle published. ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

More additions to the list of youngest constructors! Congrats to Duncan and Clara for having their first NYT puzzle published.

Ah, the good old days where everyone played bridge ...

I liked how current the theme is. I've only watched two of the four shows, but they're all popular enough that I've heard a ton about each. It was entertaining to give all of them an alternative and valid interpretation. I was SO sure ["Mad Men"?] was going to lead to PITCH ___ when I uncovered P??CH*. I was confused when I finally turned up PSYCHOPATHS, and figuring out the literal interpretation gave me a nice a-ha moment.

HALLMARK STORE was perfect for ["House of Cards?"], too, the clue being an accurate description of the answer.

MUSICAL CHAIRS was a bit of a stretch, since this one was much less literal than the first two. Yes, a throne is a type of chair, but the literality is lost.

I didn't expect PALLBEARERS. It felt like an inconsistency, the lone themer where you really have to stretch your imagination to think of people who are "walking (the) dead." I'm not a fan of inconsistency.

Impressive grid for a debut. I was surprised to see ETUI, since that's a word that older constructors tend to lean on, but other than that, it's a nice clean product. And integrating six pieces of long fill is something experienced constructors rarely do — well done!

Man oh man I'm hoping that Duncan and/or Clara play bridge. It's making a comeback, I tell you! Bridge is great for the mind, emphasizes logical reasoning, teamwork, deduction … oh fine, I'm never going to convince anyone. Sigh.

(A SMALL SLAM is when you bid to get 12 of 13 tricks, and a grand slam is when you bid for 13.)

A fun idea, where three of the four themers worked well for me. Along with grid execution being well above average, I'm looking forward to more from this pair.

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© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 1125 ( 24,123 )
Across Down
1. Paris pyramid designer : IMPEI
6. "Style is an option. Clean is not" sloganeer : TIDE
10. "Wanna ___?" : BET
13. Charcuterie : MEATS
14. Stuffy site? : SINUS
15. Rage : IRE
16. "Mad Men"? : PSYCHOPATHS
18. Grp. on the range? : NRA
19. One easily duped : SAP
20. Ending with silver or soft : WARE
21. Freudian subjects : EGOS
22. "House of Cards"? : HALLMARKSTORE
27. Campfire treats : SMORES
29. In ___ of : LIEU
30. Division of a long poem : CANTO
31. Things determined by one's date of birth : STARSIGNS
36. Big feller? : AXE
37. One way to run : AMUCK
38. Be sick : AIL
39. Varied : DISPARATE
42. Orangish fruit : MANGO
44. The first to die : ABEL
45. It may be measured on a doorframe : HEIGHT
46. "Game of Thrones"? : MUSICALCHAIRS
51. "I'm ___ it" : OVER
52. Lip-puckering : SOUR
53. Symbol for torque : TAU
56. Latin word shared by the mottoes of Yale and Tufts : LUX
57. "The Walking Dead"? : PALLBEARERS
61. The "A" in I.P.A. : ALE
62. Parts of cribs : SLATS
63. Rid : PURGE
64. "Totally cool, man!" : RAD
65. Objectives : AIMS
66. Mexican money : PESOS
1. Mischief-makers : IMPS
2. Tenis de ___ (Ping-Pong, in Spain) : MESA
3. Disappearing conveniences : PAYPHONES
4. And more: Abbr. : ETC
5. "Kinda" : ISH
6. Pageant princess's prize : TIARA
7. Weave together : INTERLACE
8. "Of course, you idiot!" : DUH
9. Part of a winding road : ESS
10. "You got it!" : BINGO
11. Autocorrect target : ERROR
12. Razz : TEASE
14. Unwanted emails : SPAM
17. Hogwarts' fifth-year exams, for short : OWLS
21. Small case : ETUI
23. Something famously impossible to define : ART
24. DiCaprio, in tabloids : LEO
25. Enterprise captain : KIRK
26. French possessive : SES
27. Multitude : SCAD
28. Skirt type : MAXI
31. "All but one" win, in bridge : SMALLSLAM
32. Steve Martin song subject : TUT
33. Capone and Corleone : GANGSTERS
34. Near : NIGH
35. 8:00-9:00 on a schedule, e.g. : SLOT
37. Space : AREA
40. Duo : PAIR
41. Disney subsidiary : ABC
42. ___ fun (noodle variety) : MEI
43. iPad ___ : AIR
45. Tortoise taunter : HARE
46. Wisdom tooth, e.g. : MOLAR
47. Palate part : UVULA
48. H.S. class in which contraception may be discussed : SEXED
49. Longtime team for Peyton Manning : COLTS
50. Centers of activity : HUBS
54. Jason's ship : ARGO
55. "101 ___ for a Dead Cat" (1981 best seller) : USES
57. Free TV ad, for short : PSA
58. "Aladdin" prince : ALI
59. Tinder or Grindr : APP
60. Regret : RUE

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

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