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New York Times, Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Author:
Jacob Stulberg
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
3112/25/20132/24/20200
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3549640
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.597100
Jacob Stulberg

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 sheer ... read more

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 ... read more

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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E
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G
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S
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A
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T
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O
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P
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C
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O
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D
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G
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F
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M
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J
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O
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H
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C
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D
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D
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H
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B
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A
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L
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A
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W
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E
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© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 1129 ( 24,493 )

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Across
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
Down
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.

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