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New York Times, Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Author:
Jules P. Markey
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
195/10/20123/12/20190
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0165700
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.59461
Jules P. Markey

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 38 Missing: {FJX} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 5 for Mr. Markey. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jules P. Markey notes:
This puzzle was created shortly after Thanksgiving Day of last year, the impetus for it came from SQUASHRACKET, which I had used in an ... read more

This puzzle was created shortly after Thanksgiving Day of last year, the impetus for it came from SQUASHRACKET, which I had used in an earlier "veggie" themed puzzle that was not selected. I then started thinking of it in terms of Thanksgiving dinner, and tried to find phrases which included other holiday menu items. The fact that the reveal was 15 letters was the whipped cream atop the sweet potato pie.

Thanksgiving Day is my lovely wife's favorite holiday, she says it is a day on which all people of the world can celebrate, regardless of their religious or cultural heritage. We all can be thankful in our own way. She also happens to be an excellent cook and for that I am extremely thankful.

Hope you enjoyed this pre-holiday treat. Happy Thanksgiving, from my family to one and all.

Will Shortz notes:
Even though THANKSGIVING DAY is tomorrow, this holiday-themed puzzle feels more Wednesday-ish, so I scheduled it for today. Don't look ... read more

Even though THANKSGIVING DAY is tomorrow, this holiday-themed puzzle feels more Wednesday-ish, so I scheduled it for today. Don't look for another Thanksgiving puzzle tomorrow. This one is it.

Jeff Chen notes:
Fun pre-Thanksgiving puzzle from Jules, phrases containing a hidden traditional Thanksgiving dish. If only there were such a thing as ... read more

Fun pre-Thanksgiving puzzle from Jules, phrases containing a hidden traditional Thanksgiving dish. If only there were such a thing as BRUSSEL SPROUT FLAIR or PECAN PIE GEOGRAPHY so my favorite American Thanksgiving foods could have been included*.

Well-constructed puzzle. Five is becoming the new four in terms of theme entries, and it's hard to pull off cleanly. Jules only has two long downs in the puzzle but makes good use of them: CHARLESTON and BUICK SEDAN are both quite nice. And it allows him to fill the puzzle cleanly, with just a smattering of ETTE, OTOS, A LOOP.

Sidebar on A LOOP: there's a surprising disparity among constructors on what the worst type of fill is. I would have guessed that everyone would have a similar hierarchy: old-timey entries like ADIT at the top of the hit list, followed by crossword-friendly words like ERNE/EPEE, esoteric names, and then partials. But it's been eye-opening working with a bevy of different collaborators. Some of them are completely fine with partials and some abhor them, especially five-letter ones. It sure would be nice to have one scale with which to judge what is "good" or "bad", but this serves as a good reminder that so much in crosswords is subjective.

I generally like to see a theme that is both consistent and specific, and this puzzle certainly hits on the former. One might think that it misses on specificity, since there are dozens of traditional Thanksgiving Day foods which could be included. But how many can be hidden within phrases, where the food doesn't mean the food? I couldn't think of any right off the top. So well done there.

This puzzle has made me hungry. Off to fetch my eating pants!

*Food donations can be sent via fax and/or modem to www.xwordinfo.com; just shove it into your USB port and hit "enter".

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© 2013, The New York TimesNo. 1127 ( 23,395 )

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Across
1
One of the Obama girls : MALIA
6
Like : ALA
9
Kindergarten stuff : ABCS
13
Huskies' sch. : UCONN
14
Heavy work : TOME
16
Word before income or exhaust : DUAL
17
Source of easy money : GRAVYTRAIN
19
Cube ... or certain cubes : DICE
20
Certain : SOME
21
Salon supplies : RINSES
23
"Evita" character : CHE
24
One of a pair in a court : SQUASHRACKET
27
Prickly one : CACTUS
30
Plains Indians : OTOS
31
Suffix meaning "approximately" : ISH
32
Author Calvino : ITALO
36
Hardly Mr. Cool : NERD
39
Setting for the starts of 17-, 24-, 51- and 64-Across : THANKSGIVINGDAY
43
Brontë title heroine : EYRE
44
Cartoon genre : ANIME
45
Not miss a thing on : ACE
46
Lisa with the 1997 hit "I Do" : LOEB
49
Short-sheeting and such : PRANKS
51
Locale for a big mirror : DRESSINGROOM
56
Director Anderson : WES
57
Officers above sarges : LOOIES
58
Noodles in Japanese cookery : SOBA
62
Suffix with Rock : ETTE
64
Old ragtime dance : TURKEYTROT
66
God with a quiver : EROS
67
Stake on a table : ANTE
68
Many an aria singer, informally : MEZZO
69
Fillet : BONE
70
Short : SHY
71
"That threw me for ___" : ALOOP
Down
1
Makes faces : MUGS
2
Onset of phobia? : ACRO
3
Soil sort : LOAM
4
Stockbroker's advice : INVEST
5
"___ news?" : ANY
6
Parts of hearts : ATRIA
7
Bank department : LOANS
8
Plain folk : AMISH
9
Make sense, with "up" : ADD
10
LaCrosse, for one : BUICKSEDAN
11
Hidden store : CACHE
12
Cold fall : SLEET
15
Warm month in South America : ENERO
18
They may be blind : TRUSTS
22
Calendar abbr. : SAT
25
Old Nestlé brand : QUIK
26
Viet ___ : CONG
27
Footnote, perhaps : CITE
28
Wan : ASHY
29
Dance from which the Lindy Hop developed : CHARLESTON
33
Muslim general : AGA
34
Jeremy of the N.B.A. : LIN
35
Egg: Prefix : OVI
37
Pool need : RACK
38
Salon supplies : DYES
40
Modernists, informally : NEOS
41
Obtrude : IMPOSE
42
"I, Claudius" role : NERO
47
Subj. for many newcomers : ESL
48
Fauna and flora : BIOTA
50
Brand from Holland : AMSTEL
51
Hardly Mr. Cool : DWEEB
52
Like the Deco look, now : RETRO
53
Nuts and bolts, e.g. : NOUNS
54
Body measurement : GIRTH
55
Enter again, as text : REKEY
59
Rice-size pasta : ORZO
60
Lamebrain : BOZO
61
Opposite of under : ATOP
63
Charlottesville-to-Richmond dir. : ESE
65
Sumac native to Peru : YMA

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle.

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