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New York Times, Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Author:
Olivia Mitra Framke
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
34/23/201711/26/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
2010000
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.59021
Olivia Mitra Framke

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 34 Missing: {JQXZ} Spans: 4 This is puzzle # 3 for Ms. Framke. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Olivia Mitra Framke notes:
So good to be back in the Times! This theme idea came to me a few years ago, and it went through quite a few iterations before ... read more

So good to be back in the Times!

This theme idea came to me a few years ago, and it went through quite a few iterations before landing at what you see today. This was a 21x21 (Sunday sized) puzzle first - examples of other theme entries include THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM, THE FOOL ON THE HILL, and THE MOON LANDING. I then pared it down to this 15x15 (daily sized) puzzle using the same TAROT CARD READER revealer.

As for cluing — I'm definitely getting better, as evidenced by fewer editorial changes this time around than ever before. I will say that there are a few clues that I was a bit sad to see changed: Modern-day disquietude, for short [FOMO]; "I can't ___!" (overwhelmed cry) [EVEN]; *express oneself like this* [EMOTE]. The emote clue was certainly a long shot, but as a gamer constantly surrounded by gamers I couldn't not clue it that way (maybe if the clue had referenced Fortnite...!). I also noticed I CANT EVEN as an entry in a recent puzzle by Debbie Ellerin, so, I can see why that was changed!

Anyway, a big thank you to Andrea Carla Michaels for catching a horrible in-grid typo before submission and to Patti Varol for her kindness, patience, and understanding.

Hope you enjoyed!

Jeff Chen notes:
Tuesday's job is tough – it has to be easy and welcoming enough for newish solvers, but also interesting for more ... read more

Tuesday's job is tough – it has to be easy and welcoming enough for newish solvers, but also interesting for more experienced folks. This theme hit that sweet spot, such a clever link between the Tarot and well-known "THE ___" phrases. I've done a lot of Tarot puzzles and a lot of "THE ___" puzzles, and I've never thought of connecting them. Brava!

Speaking of that balance of easy vs. interesting, there's so much to love about the grid. Four 15-letter entries can be tough to work around, but Olivia produced such a smooth, accessible product for newbs, while also working in MR TOAD, OPEN WIDE, SMART KEY, KISSED UP for the veterans. Check out how wisely she spaced out OPEN WIDE and SMART KEY, using black squares to separate everything judiciously.

The one ding was ASLOW, which could have been massaged out with a black square at the A (and at the T of KLIMT). That would have also allowed removal of OCHS and/or ACER. The northwest corner of a crossword is so important in setting tone and expectations; an extra set of black squares would have been well worth it.

It's rare for me to take interest in a Monday or Tuesday theme, and I was curious enough to research the other Tarot cards to see what other phrases might have been possible. Spurring on curiosity is a great thing!

I'm glad Olivia pared it back from a 21x21, as that would have gotten old. The 15x15 format is perfect for this tidy and novel concept.

1
D
2
O
3
R
4
M
5
P
6
O
7
D
8
S
9
U
10
S
11
H
12
E
13
R
14
A
C
E
R
15
A
P
O
P
16
S
M
O
K
E
17
T
H
E
T
18
O
W
E
R
O
19
F
B
A
B
E
L
20
A
S
L
O
W
21
N
A
N
O
22
R
O
S
Y
23
A
N
24
E
W
25
G
M
26
A
T
27
T
28
H
29
E
D
E
V
I
30
L
Y
O
U
K
31
N
32
O
33
W
34
R
U
M
35
R
E
D
O
36
G
E
E
N
A
37
E
N
O
38
S
39
N
E
C
40
K
41
S
42
Y
O
R
K
43
A
C
T
E
44
D
45
A
I
N
46
T
47
N
Y
E
48
T
H
E
S
U
49
N
50
A
L
S
O
R
51
I
S
E
S
52
S
E
A
R
53
S
W
I
M
54
A
55
C
56
A
I
57
R
I
58
C
E
59
K
L
60
I
61
M
62
T
63
T
A
R
O
64
T
C
A
R
D
65
R
E
A
D
E
R
66
I
R
E
N
E
67
N
O
U
N
68
T
O
T
E
69
T
E
A
S
E
70
A
P
P
S
71
E
L
S
E
© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 1126 ( 25,585 )
Across
1
Quad digs : DORM
5
Compact storage units : PODS
9
Concert hall staffer : USHER
14
Lenovo competitor : ACER
15
Individually : APOP
16
Sign of fire : SMOKE
17
It resulted in human language division, per Genesis : THETOWEROFBABEL
20
"It must have been ___ news day" : ASLOW
21
Tiny: Prefix : NANO
22
Like some cheeks in winter air : ROSY
23
All over again : ANEW
25
Exam for future M.B.A.s : GMAT
27
It's better than what's not familiar, in a saying : THEDEVILYOUKNOW
34
Ingredient in a daiquiri : RUM
35
Second attempt, informally : REDO
36
Actress Davis of "A League of Their Own" : GEENA
37
Baseball Hall-of-Famer Slaughter : ENOS
39
Long guitar parts : NECKS
42
Duke of ___, title for Prince Andrew : YORK
43
Wasn't naturally : ACTED
45
"If it ___ broke ..." : AINT
47
"Science Guy" Bill : NYE
48
Classic American novel set in France and Spain : THESUNALSORISES
52
Scorch : SEAR
53
Do the butterfly, e.g. : SWIM
54
Smoothie berry : ACAI
57
Paella base : RICE
59
Austrian painter Gustav : KLIMT
63
One examining the starts of 17-, 27- and 48-Across : TAROTCARDREADER
66
Cara of "Fame" : IRENE
67
Mad Libs prompt : NOUN
68
Reusable bag : TOTE
69
Mock, in a way : TEASE
70
Lyft and Snapchat : APPS
71
Ultimatum word : ELSE
Down
1
What your phone uses up when you're not on Wi-Fi : DATA
2
Adolph ___, creator of the slogan "All the News That's Fit to Print" : OCHS
3
Walk lurchingly : REEL
4
Squire in "The Wind in the Willows" : MRTOAD
5
Fox's foot : PAW
6
Dentist's order : OPENWIDE
7
Nick Jr. explorer : DORA
8
Like a bed of moss : SPONGY
9
___ port : USB
10
Device used to open a lock from a distance : SMARTKEY
11
Bum : HOBO
12
___ out a living (barely gets by) : EKES
13
Depend (on) : RELY
18
Person with a deed : OWNER
19
Anxiety about exclusion, per a modern acronym : FOMO
24
Squared up : EVEN
26
Summer mo. : AUG
27
Word that pricks a dog's ears : TREAT
28
Gut feeling : HUNCH
29
Ham it up : EMOTE
30
Train that doesn't skip stops : LOCAL
31
Highlighter hues : NEONS
32
How Reubens are served, typically : ONRYE
33
Some vigils : WAKES
38
Therapy appointments : SESSIONS
40
Was a brown-noser : KISSEDUP
41
Frosted flakes? : SNOW
44
Expected, as a baby : DUE
46
Tot's three-wheeler, for short : TRIKE
49
Pot watcher? : NARC
50
Grammy-winning Grande : ARIANA
51
Words from an impatient commuter, perhaps : IMLATE
54
Feuding : ATIT
55
Part of T.L.C. : CARE
56
Zone : AREA
58
Word before top or circle : CROP
60
Pop star : IDOL
61
Citi Field team : METS
62
Leaves home? : TREE
64
First of three? : TEE
65
Hosp. V.I.P.s : RNS

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

Found bugs or have suggestions?