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New York Times, Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Author: Jacob Stulberg
Editor: Will Shortz
Jacob Stulberg
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2612/25/20135/1/20180
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2248640
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1.59780

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 34 Missing: {QX} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 14 for Mr. Stulberg. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jacob Stulberg notes: One week after Andrew Zhou's clever 'NONKOSHER' theme, I'm DELIGHTed to dish up a few MOSAICLAW-friendly alternatives. It's ... more
Jacob Stulberg notes:

One week after Andrew Zhou's clever "NONKOSHER" theme, I'm DELIGHTed to dish up a few MOSAICLAW-friendly alternatives. It's sheer coincidence that the non-theme answers also include HAMAN, PENITENCE, and the part-TURKISH Neil SEDAKA. Favorite clue: 16-Across. (Can you guess the other co-host?)

Jeff Chen notes: Even though my cooking skills are atrocious, it was fun to see THE JOY OF COOKING in the center of the puzzle. I even have a copy of ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Even though my cooking skills are atrocious, it was fun to see THE JOY OF COOKING in the center of the puzzle. I even have a copy of it in my kitchen! (After 20+ years, I still haven't opened it.) Fun and JOYful to group it with three foods that are full of joie de vivre: TURKISH DELIGHT, ORANGE ZEST, and CORN RELISH.

An odd layout of themers, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do with a limited selection of themers in order to please the gods of crossword symmetry. Coming upon TURKISH first and having to jump all the way to DELIGHT felt inelegant — I wonder if it would have been better to shove ORANGE ZEST all the way to the left so that it would be the first themer solvers uncover (you'd also shove TURKISH all the way to the right, and DELIGHT to the left, to compensate).

I also had some qualms about the theme's consistency. ZEST and RELISH have alternate meanings, which makes for playfulness. TURKISH / DELIGHT however, seems different. I couldn't find a definitive reason for why the treat was given that name, but it seems like DELIGHT in this case just means DELIGHT. So it felt like it didn't have the same wordplay ORANGE ZEST and CORN RELISH exhibited.

As always, Jacob does well with his bonus entries, something interesting about the pairing of MOSAIC LAW and PENITENCE. FISH OILS is also good. Although I'm more neutral on SEND FORTH, REMOTELY, and ENERGETIC, getting a bunch of long entries in a grid does help make for a more interesting solve.

Great clue for REDEYE — reading [It might end with an early touchdown] during football season made this solver think about the six-point type of touchdown instead of the tarmac type. Love this type of wordplay, especially when it doesn't need a telltale question mark, and especially in an early-week puzzle. Adds great spice.

Even though I had some issues with the consistency of themers and the themer layout, Jacob executed his grid well, resulting in a smooth rest of my solve. Even after a second look, I could barely identify any crossword glue at all, an important factor for an early-week puzzle.

1
P
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© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 1129 ( 24,493 )
Across Down
1. Croquet needs : PEGS
5. On : ATOP
9. Sorority sisters, e.g., in old lingo : COEDS
14. Skin cream component : ALOE
15. Bird in a magician's hat : DOVE
16. Muppet who co-hosted "The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland" : ERNIE
17. Secure : BIND
18. Marmalade ingredient : ORANGEZEST
20. Stack of sheets : SHEAF
22. Historian's Muse : CLIO
23. Black-and-white swimmer : ORCA
24. With 53-Across, a sugary treat : TURKISH
26. Blacktop : TAR
28. Figured out : GOT
29. Snake for a charmer : ASP
30. It might end with an early touchdown : REDEYE
32. "Cherry Wine" rapper : NAS
35. Purim villain : HAMAN
37. Ones to go pubbing with : MATES
40. Classic kitchen volume ... or a hint to 18-, 24-/53- and 62-Across : THEJOYOFCOOKING
43. World capital that celebrated its 1,000th anniversary in 2010 : HANOI
44. Surgeon's insertion : STENT
45. Camp bed : COT
46. Areas at rivers' ends : DELTAS
48. Image of Homer, perhaps : CEL
50. Bark deeper than a yip : ARF
52. ___ Lankan : SRI
53. See 24-Across : DELIGHT
57. "___ alive!" : LOOK
59. Color of raw linen : ECRU
61. Connecticut collegian : YALIE
62. Sweet and tangy picnic side dish : CORNRELISH
65. Where Beethoven was born : BONN
66. Frequently : OFTEN
67. Voice below soprano : ALTO
68. Mother ___ : LODE
69. Poker targets? : ASHES
70. Sunset's direction : WEST
71. Discharge : EMIT
1. Milwaukee brewer : PABST
2. Diplomat Root : ELIHU
3. One with zero chance of success : GONER
4. Neil who sang "Laughter in the Rain" : SEDAKA
5. Stir : ADO
6. Commit arson on : TORCH
7. Like the Kia logo : OVAL
8. Display of remorse : PENITENCE
9. Middling grade : CEE
10. Rice-shaped pasta : ORZO
11. Peppy : ENERGETIC
12. "Boogie Oogie Oogie" music genre : DISCO
13. Attacked : SETAT
19. Egg on : GOAD
21. They're rich in omega-3 fatty acids : FISHOILS
25. Neuter : SPAY
27. How telecommuters work : REMOTELY
30. Large amounts : RAFTS
31. Himalayan grazer : YAK
32. To the ___ degree : NTH
33. "How brilliant!" : AHA
34. Discharge : SENDFORTH
36. Contents of the Torah : MOSAICLAW
38. Musician Brian : ENO
39. York, for one: Abbr. : SGT
41. Morning beverage, slangily : JOE
42. Fairy tale starter : ONCE
47. Shade provider : TREE
49. Apt (to) : LIABLE
50. Major manufacturer of soda cans : ALCOA
51. Landing spots for Santa : ROOFS
53. Cleans, in a way : DUSTS
54. What a rain cloud over a head may represent, in comics : GLOOM
55. Language in Bollywood films : HINDI
56. Words to live by : TENET
58. Spot hit by a reflex hammer : KNEE
60. Upset : RILE
63. E.R. workers : RNS
64. 100° or more, say : HOT

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

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