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New York Times, Friday, November 29, 2013

Author:
Ned White
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
221/16/20106/27/20181
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1105258
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.59010
Ned White

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 36 Missing: {QVXZ} This is puzzle # 9 for Mr. White. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Will Shortz notes:
A very handsome construction today. My favorite entries are PUDDY TAT, KELLOGG'S, JEWISH RYE, MINT JELLY, COOL IT, ONE OR TWO, MEL ... read more

A very handsome construction today. My favorite entries are PUDDY TAT, KELLOGG'S, JEWISH RYE, MINT JELLY, COOL IT, ONE OR TWO, MEL BLANC, J.R. EWING, CORNCOB, and NO DUH. That's a lot of great stuff!

Jeff Chen notes:
I really enjoyed corresponding with Ned. He declined to write a Constructor Note for this particular puzzle, but we had some ... read more

I really enjoyed corresponding with Ned. He declined to write a Constructor Note for this particular puzzle, but we had some enlightening conversations. What I appreciated the most about him was that he seemed unusually self-aware, musing on what he could do better and how he could improve the solver's experience for future puzzles. Much, much appreciated; an attitude I hope all constructors strive for.

I loved the mini-theme of PUDDY TAT and MEL BLANC. It's fun to get a change of pace, a themeless that does something a little different. It doesn't hurt that my twin brother and I still watch Looney Tunes. Er, with my nephew. Yeah, that's why.

As Will mentioned, there's a lot of snazzy stuff in here. I was stuck on the ridiculous looking JRE???? until something tore itself from the deepest recesses of my memories. Great clue on that one, I was thinking originally about famous cliffhanging movies, then Cliffhanger the Stallone movie, and back around to my original thought. Amusing that MR BURNS came to mind before JR EWING. I wonder if younger solvers today will think "Who's this JR EWING and what nerve he has to copy the Simpsons!"

Sigh.

I had a bear-wrestling match in the NE corner. I really like the dual cluing of "One with a game collection", but absolutely nothing opened up in that region. ACTA sure didn't help (yikes!), nor did the opaque clues for PLURALS and SHED. I like a good workout on Fridays, but having so many killer clues in one corner did me in. I would have love to have had more a mixture in that region, perhaps a tricky wordplay clue to balance out all the esoterica.

As with most themeless puzzles, trade-offs are necessary. I really liked the triplet of HERCULES with its awesome wordplay clue, ONE OR TWO, and the mini-themed MEL BLANC, but ASU/USOC crossing feels a bit inelegant, and we see our old friend the TERN in that region. Not knowing Geoffrey BEENE, I thanked my lucky stars that BAR carried an easy clue.

Good Friday workout with an unusual grid. Ned mentioned he has another one in the hopper — looking forward to it!

1
P
2
U
3
D
4
D
5
Y
6
T
7
A
8
T
9
P
10
L
11
A
12
S
13
M
14
I
N
I
T
I
A
T
E
15
C
L
I
C
H
E
16
L
I
E
S
D
O
W
N
17
H
U
N
T
E
R
18
E
T
D
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D
I
A
N
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A
R
C
A
D
E
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I
S
R
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N
R
A
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A
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F
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I
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R
S
T
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K
E
L
L
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O
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G
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G
31
S
32
N
O
D
U
H
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J
E
W
I
S
H
R
Y
E
34
I
R
O
N
35
P
U
L
S
E
36
B
A
R
N
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M
I
N
T
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J
E
L
L
Y
39
C
O
C
O
A
40
A
T
T
O
R
N
E
Y
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C
O
Y
E
S
T
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E
A
P
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B
A
R
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S
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P
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R
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A
W
L
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T
E
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N
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A
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S
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U
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C
O
O
L
I
T
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H
E
R
C
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U
L
E
S
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A
L
B
A
N
Y
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O
N
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R
T
W
O
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R
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G
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M
E
L
B
L
A
N
C
© 2013, The New York TimesNo. 1129 ( 23,397 )

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Students & seniors
Across
1
Cartoon canary's bane : PUDDYTAT
9
Lymph liquid : PLASM
14
Launch : INITIATE
15
Many a predictable plot : CLICHE
16
Rests : LIESDOWN
17
One with a game collection, maybe : HUNTER
18
Gate announcement, briefly : ETD
19
Longtime model Parkinson of "The Price Is Right" : DIAN
20
One with a game collection : ARCADE
21
Home to Bar-Ilan Univ. : ISR
22
Grp. supported by 17-Acrosses : NRA
23
Something groundbreaking : AFIRST
27
Post rival : KELLOGGS
32
"That is so obvious!" : NODUH
33
What corned beef is often served on : JEWISHRYE
34
Weights, to a weightlifter : IRON
35
Heart-felt thing? : PULSE
36
Where to take stock? : BARN
37
Lamb accompaniment : MINTJELLY
39
Shade similar to bay : COCOA
40
One getting into briefs? : ATTORNEY
41
Least brazen : COYEST
42
"Eldorado" inits. : EAP
43
Forbid : BAR
44
Urban phenomenon : SPRAWL
48
Coastal diver : TERN
49
Sun Devil Stadium's sch. : ASU
52
Chill : COOLIT
53
Labor leader? : HERCULES
55
Ray Charles's Georgia birthplace : ALBANY
56
A sprinkling : ONEORTWO
57
Inc. magazine topic : REORG
58
Voice of 1-Across : MELBLANC
Down
1
Ton : PILE
2
Ton, e.g. : UNIT
3
Quit running : DIED
4
Detoxing woe : DTS
5
Bagel source? : YIDDISH
6
Many a Taiwanese : TAOIST
7
More than bickering : ATWAR
8
It has eight neighbors: Abbr. : TENN
9
Stars and stripes, say : PLURALS
10
Tod's sidekick on "Route 66" : LINC
11
Court records : ACTA
12
Hammer and sickle holder, maybe : SHED
13
Trivial : MERE
15
Delta lead-in : CHARLIE
22
Like many holiday letters : NEWSY
23
Jungian principle : ANIMA
24
In favor of the idea : FORIT
25
Words before know and care : IDONT
26
Total : RUNTO
27
See 29-Down : KELLY
28
Sarcastic "I can't wait" : OHBOY
29
With 27-Down, her last film was "High Society" : GRACE
30
Some food festival fare : GYROS
31
French body of law? : SENAT
33
Derby favorite : JULEP
35
10 or 15 yards, say : PENALTY
38
One shot in a cliffhanger : JREWING
39
Inner ear? : CORNCOB
41
Stall near the stacks : CARREL
43
Designer Geoffrey : BEENE
44
Evidence of damage : SCAR
45
John Paul II, e.g. : POLE
46
___-call : ROBO
47
Creator of bad apples? : ALAR
48
Hartmann of talk radio : THOM
49
Mont. neighbor : ALTA
50
Wrapped (up) : SEWN
51
Grp. with national antidoping rules : USOC
54
It might end in "mil" : URL

Answer summary: 1 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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