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New York Times, Monday, November 28, 2016

Author:
Kristian House
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
182/17/200911/3/20190
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1153323
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.65023
Kristian House

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 36 Missing: {FJQVX} This is puzzle # 17 for Mr. House. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Kristian House notes:
It's my first Monday puzzle in the New York Times! I've been trying to write a solid easy puzzle for a while, but it's not as simple ... read more

It's my first Monday puzzle in the New York Times! I've been trying to write a solid easy puzzle for a while, but it's not as simple as you'd think. I have a lot of respect for constructors who can write clean, easy puzzles so prolifically.

This is my second attempt at this theme. I submitted an earlier version with "SMEW" hidden instead of "EIDER." Will felt that SMEW was too obscure, so I tinkered with the grid, and this is the result. I actually like this one better than my original, so it all worked out. I really like GUSSIEDUP and its counterpart NOGOODNIK, even though they're both a bit old-timey. I hope you enjoyed the puzzle!

Jeff Chen notes:
Back in 2012, there was another DUCK DUCK GOOSE puzzle, and I remembering being very surprised to hear from many people who didn't ... read more

Back in 2012, there was another DUCK DUCK GOOSE puzzle, and I remembering being very surprised to hear from many people who didn't know the game. Curious! Today, we get DUCK DUCK GOOSE as a revealer, making everything a little clearer. Still, I wonder how many people will be looking it up, wondering why the heck it's so much better to be a duck than a goose. (No idea!)

I had some idea of what was going on after uncovering TEAL and EIDER, as I've seen those in crosswords enough times clued as types of duck. Curious to see what kind of GOOSE Kristian could possibly use, I smiled a little to see the crosswordy NENE (very common letters with alternating vowel consonant pattern). Amusing nod to crossword insiders.

I really enjoyed Kristian's choice of themers, all of them strong. TRIBUTE ALBUMS is really fun, as is SWORN ENEMIES. And the APARTHEID ERA is not exactly the jolliest of topics, but what a nice find in a phrase that hides EIDER.

GUSSIED UP, NO-GOODNIK, and BRAT PACK are great bonuses, too. (Who you calling old-timey, Kristian?!)

Very good gridwork in general — EDUCE is kind of a funny word, TUM can't be without RUM and TUGGER, and PONES feels odd in the plural, but that's all that keeps it from being a perfectly smooth puzzle.

Well, there's ABORC, which looks so bizarre. I still can't decide if I love "A, B, OR C?" or detest it. Don't people usually offer two or four choices, not three?

Not sure that people will identify TEAL as a type of duck (my first thought is always to the color), but there's something fun about having three crosswordy hidden elements making up this theme.

1
C
2
A
3
B
4
S
5
B
6
L
7
E
8
W
9
P
10
A
11
G
12
A
13
N
14
A
B
L
E
15
R
A
Z
E
16
E
D
U
C
E
17
R
O
A
R
18
A
T
R
A
19
T
A
S
E
D
20
T
R
I
B
21
U
T
E
A
L
22
B
U
M
S
23
S
C
R
I
M
P
24
T
E
N
25
I
26
A
27
N
28
A
P
A
29
R
30
T
H
E
I
31
D
E
R
A
32
M
33
S
34
N
35
S
C
A
R
36
A
I
D
E
S
37
O
H
O
38
H
39
K
N
I
40
T
41
S
42
P
U
N
T
43
R
O
G
U
44
E
45
B
U
L
46
B
47
P
A
Y
48
S
W
O
R
N
49
E
50
N
E
M
I
E
51
S
52
E
S
O
53
A
L
A
54
C
R
O
55
P
56
U
57
P
58
D
59
U
C
K
D
60
U
61
C
K
G
O
O
S
E
62
D
63
U
N
S
T
64
I
S
L
E
65
T
N
U
T
66
A
M
I
G
O
67
N
E
A
R
68
H
E
R
E
69
D
A
K
A
R
70
E
D
Y
S
71
E
S
P
Y
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 1128 ( 24,492 )
Across
1
Taxis : CABS
5
Huffed and puffed : BLEW
9
Wiccan or Druid : PAGAN
14
Fit for the job : ABLE
15
Demolish : RAZE
16
Draw out : EDUCE
17
What lions and big engines do : ROAR
18
Razor brand : ATRA
19
Zapped with a stun gun : TASED
20
"Bowiemania" and "Come Together: America Salutes the Beatles" : TRIBUTEALBUMS
23
Be extremely frugal : SCRIMP
24
Bill with Hamilton's visage : TEN
25
McKellen who played Gandalf : IAN
28
1948-94, in South Africa : APARTHEIDERA
32
I.S.P. with a butterfly logo : MSN
35
What a knife wound might leave : SCAR
36
Senate staffers : AIDES
37
"I know! I know!" : OHOH
39
Makes a blanket, e.g. : KNITS
42
Common play on fourth down : PUNT
43
Go ___ (no longer follow orders) : ROGUE
45
It may have 40, 60 or 75 watts : BULB
47
Shell out : PAY
48
Bitter rivals : SWORNENEMIES
52
That, in Tabasco : ESO
53
Chicken ___ king : ALA
54
Appear, as problems : CROPUP
58
Children's game ... or the circled words in 20-, 28- and 48-Across : DUCKDUCKGOOSE
62
Actress Kirsten of "Spider-Man" : DUNST
64
Part of an archipelago : ISLE
65
Letter-shaped metal fastener : TNUT
66
Chum, in Chihuahua : AMIGO
67
In close proximity : NEAR
68
"___ goes nothin'!" : HERE
69
Senegal's capital : DAKAR
70
Ice cream brand known as Dreyer's west of the Rockies : EDYS
71
Catch sight of : ESPY
Down
1
Things pushed around a supermarket : CARTS
2
Multiple-choice options : ABORC
3
Tony ___, 1990s-2000s British P.M. : BLAIR
4
Balkan country once part of Yugoslavia : SERBIA
5
Group that included Demi Moore and Emilio Estevez : BRATPACK
6
After curfew : LATE
7
Klein of Vox.com : EZRA
8
What the Forbes 400 measures : WEALTH
9
Flower that's also a girl's name : PETUNIA
10
Economist Smith : ADAM
11
Dressed to the nines : GUSSIEDUP
12
Hole in one : ACE
13
Homer Simpson's neighbor : NED
21
Diamond officials, informally : UMPS
22
Buzzer : BEE
26
Venue for a rock concert : ARENA
27
Vile : NASTY
29
Sprinted : RAN
30
Shoshone or Sioux : TRIBE
31
Quick swim : DIP
32
Inventor of a "code" : MORSE
33
Broadway offerings : SHOWS
34
Baddie : NOGOODNIK
38
"Ben-___" : HUR
40
T. S. Eliot's Rum ___ Tugger : TUM
41
Rain jackets : SLICKERS
44
Legislator : ENACTOR
46
Floating block of ice : BERG
49
Majestic Yellowstone creature : ELK
50
Literature Nobelist Gordimer : NADINE
51
Allay, as fears : SOOTHE
55
Southern corn breads : PONES
56
Take forcibly : USURP
57
"Our Gang" dog : PETEY
59
Links org. : USGA
60
Like most consignment shop items : USED
61
Adobe material : CLAY
62
"Dear old" person : DAD
63
"___ Thurman" (Fall Out Boy song) : UMA

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle.

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