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New York Times, Saturday, November 30, 2013

Author:
Byron Walden and Brad Wilber
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
9311/23/20012/20/201914
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
1101292617
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.59321
Byron Walden
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
512/19/200510/21/201725
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
001201434
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.60001
Brad Wilber

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 68, Blocks: 27 Missing: {FJQ} This is puzzle # 70 for Mr. Walden. This is puzzle # 35 for Mr. Wilber. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Constructor notes:
Brad: Byron has always been a clip-and-save constructor for me, so I jumped at the chance when he sent me a corner and proposed we ... read more

Brad:

Byron has always been a clip-and-save constructor for me, so I jumped at the chance when he sent me a corner and proposed we try the "hook" of mirroring B____ W____ entries. The scary part: I had never done any significant stacks that were four deep, let alone ones with restrictions. After a day or two I sent Byron a few possibilities without any BW, saying perhaps it was the best I could do. He was gracious about it, but luckily I persevered a little longer and a BW section came together. I'd have to say, though, that my favorite part of the puzzle was the last to go in — Byron's zippy NW. A 10-letter entry with only one vowel – how often has THAT happened?

Byron:

Brad was more than up to my little challenge — not that I had any doubts. I do like four deep stacks when possible just because three-letter entries are nearly always tired. (NAS was first clued as the rapper in 1999!)

One other note about the cluing. I suggested to Brad that we clue each other's corners. It was a nice way to completely share in the creation of the puzzle.

Will Shortz notes:
Byron and Brad sure know how to put together a great, tough Saturday crossword. The grid is lovely, and most of the clues are theirs. ... read more

Byron and Brad sure know how to put together a great, tough Saturday crossword. The grid is lovely, and most of the clues are theirs. My favorites are "Singles collection?" (for DATING POOL), "Where filing work is done" (for NAIL SALONS), and "Nearly set?" (for CLUSTERED). Beautifully nasty!

Jeff Chen notes:
Another beauty from two of the themeless masters, Byron and Brad, with a neat mini-theme: BW answers in the corners, perfect for Brad ... read more

Another beauty from two of the themeless masters, Byron and Brad, with a neat mini-theme: BW answers in the corners, perfect for Brad Wilber and Byron Walden. They one-up themselves today, using not just triple-stacked 10's in the NW/SE corners, but quadruple-stacked 9's in the NE/SW. You think triple-stacking long answers is hard, try quad-stacking them (I've tried but haven't come up with anything clean enough to submit). Look how beautiful all the crossings in the NE are, with nary an uggo running through the quad. Wow!

And let's take a look at the cluing. I like nothing better than a tricky wordplay clue, so "Early riser?" for BOY WONDER hits my sweet spot. Initially I cycled through images of the early bird and morning people, and it wasn't until I uncovered WONDER that I realized the clue meant a kid who shines early in life. That's WONDER-ful (unlike that pun).

For those of you still wondering about "Nearly set?" for CLUSTERED, don't worry, as it took me a long time to figure out what was going on. "Nearly" isn't talking about "almost", but "nearby". Nearly set = placed in close proximity. Clever, huh? Almost too clever for me. But I got it! (after eight hours and much hair pulled out)

I wasn't a big fan of UNMATED, which yes, is "a word" (imagine me making ridiculous air quote gestures), but not something I would ever run across. Thankfully it gives me a chance to show off my mad air quote skills. HANSA was also a bit of a head-scratcher, but feels more legit to me; something out of European history. But with such an ambitious grid, I'm just picking nits to give a balanced viewpoint.

Overall, a tough but very enjoyable workout, a beautiful grid with some fantastic clues.

1
S
2
G
3
T
4
S
5
C
6
H
7
U
8
L
9
T
10
Z
11
C
12
R
13
A
14
B
15
U
R
A
N
I
U
M
O
R
E
16
L
I
L
O
17
D
A
T
I
N
G
P
O
O
L
18
U
G
L
Y
19
S
P
I
T
E
20
I
K
I
D
21
S
H
O
W
22
Y
E
N
S
23
O
R
S
24
A
25
C
T
T
W
O
26
P
A
E
A
27
N
28
H
E
M
A
N
29
B
30
I
31
O
32
G
A
S
33
T
A
34
M
A
R
I
N
D
35
U
N
M
A
T
E
36
D
37
S
I
L
E
N
C
E
38
S
T
E
V
E
S
A
39
X
40
R
E
D
D
E
R
41
H
E
L
E
N
42
M
R
43
M
E
T
44
W
R
E
A
T
45
H
46
A
I
D
47
S
48
E
49
T
50
I
51
H
A
T
H
52
A
53
P
T
S
54
P
I
C
O
T
55
A
L
P
O
56
N
A
I
L
57
S
A
L
O
N
S
58
C
I
A
O
59
S
A
N
A
N
T
O
N
I
O
60
K
A
N
T
61
A
R
G
Y
L
E
S
O
C
K
© 2013, The New York TimesNo. 1130 ( 23,398 )
Across
1
1960s sitcom character with the catchphrase "I see nothing!" : SGTSCHULTZ
11
Kvetch : CRAB
15
Pitchblende, e.g. : URANIUMORE
16
Disney title character surnamed Pelekai : LILO
17
Singles collection? : DATINGPOOL
18
Hostile : UGLY
19
Malignant acts : SPITE
20
"Not serious!" : IKID
21
Lose one's place? : SHOW
22
Itches : YENS
23
Places gowns are worn, for short : ORS
24
Setting for many reprises : ACTTWO
26
Elated outpouring : PAEAN
28
Hercules type : HEMAN
29
Result of some fermentation : BIOGAS
33
Ingredient in Worcestershire sauce : TAMARIND
35
Still in the 17-Across : UNMATED
37
Still : SILENCE
38
Second baseman in both of the Dodgers' 1980s World Series : STEVESAX
40
Like South Carolina vis-à-vis North Carolina, politically : REDDER
41
Storied abductee : HELEN
42
Sports mascot who's a popular bobblehead figure : MRMET
44
Ring : WREATH
46
Comfort's partner : AID
47
"The X-Files" project, for short : SETI
51
Verb in the world's first telegraph message : HATH
52
Watergate units: Abbr. : APTS
54
Embroidery loop : PICOT
55
Brand once pitched by Garfield : ALPO
56
Where filing work is done : NAILSALONS
58
Relative of aloha or shalom : CIAO
59
Home of the WNBA's Silver Stars : SANANTONIO
60
Transcendental aesthetic developer : KANT
61
Accent for plus fours, often : ARGYLESOCK
Down
1
Like many drafts : SUDSY
2
Lollipop selection : GRAPE
3
Tarte ___ (French apple dessert) : TATIN
4
Uncooperative moods : SNITS
5
What César awards honor : CINE
6
Stick close to : HUG
7
One paid to make calls : UMPIRE
8
Considers : LOOKSAT
9
"Star Trek: T.N.G." role : TROI
10
Literary wife in "Midnight in Paris" : ZELDA
11
Nearly set? : CLUSTERED
12
Judicious state : RIGHTMIND
13
Minor payment : ALLOWANCE
14
Early riser? : BOYWONDER
23
Locales that may be well-supplied? : OASES
25
Digs on a slope : CHALET
26
Recognition not sought by Benjamin Franklin : PATENT
27
Rapper with the 2012 album "Life Is Good" : NAS
29
Clear one's way, in a way : BUSHWHACK
30
Latin condenser : INTERALIA
31
Cookware that's often hinged : OMELETPAN
32
Cared : GAVEAHOOT
34
Overcome by mud : MIRED
36
Weir : DAM
39
Blue label : XRATING
43
Lose : MISLAY
45
Medieval merchants' guild : HANSA
47
Grain elevator components : SILOS
48
Discount, in combination : ECONO
49
Vodka ___ : TONIC
50
"There, there" : ITSOK
53
"Up to ___" (1952 game show) : PAAR
54
Fancy spread : PATE
57
Show on Sen. Franken's résumé : SNL

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 4 debuted here and reused later, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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