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New York Times, Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Author: Molly Young
Editor: Will Shortz
Molly Young
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26/17/201511/30/20161
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1.53000

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 37 Missing: {JKQUXZ} This is puzzle # 2 for Ms. Young. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Molly Young notes: My top three apple products are, in order: apple crisp, apple strudel, and apple pie. My top three Apple products are…none, ... more
Molly Young notes:

My top three apple products are, in order: apple crisp, apple strudel, and apple pie. My top three Apple products are…none, actually. I have a pretty hate-hate relationship with my iPhone, which has ruined my attention span and made it possible for my office to contact me at any hour. This Apple-themed puzzle is an exercise in (mild, mischievous) revenge.

I tend to have a lot of fun coming up with themes and a lot of difficulty constructing the actual grids, which I do by hand. Thankfully this one passed muster!

Jeff Chen notes: Anyone remember the outcry when Apple unveiled the name 'iPad'? People cracked derogatory tampon-related jokes, but those quickly ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Anyone remember the outcry when Apple unveiled the name "iPad"? People cracked derogatory tampon-related jokes, but those quickly went away after the product became a huge success. Molly gives us a fun play on Apple's naming convention — iPod, iPhone, iPad, iMac, etc. — by twisting regular EYE- into i- phrases.

I enjoyed many of them, with iSHADOW my favorite. Not hard to imagine Apple releasing some sort of Google Glass type of espionage device! And the iDROP as a skydiver's device was amusing too.

Actually, my favorite was iSTRAIN, but not as it was clued (as a colander). Imagine, if you will, a toddler who goes under the table to take care of — ahem — some, er, tough business. The hilariously strained faces she makes!

I'm a terrible parent, I know. But I take the pooping-face pictures anyway.

A remarkably smooth grid, given Molly's comments about gridwork. There's not a ton of fill that's exceptional — BEDREST, BLOOPER, and RAPPORT are pretty good — but there's a lack of crossword glue that I would have expected after reading Molly's comments. Just some minor IN A, ARIL, TWEE stuff that many would consider passable or even perfectly fine.

Well, there's BOTA. After trying to cram WINESKIN into those four squares, I gave up and let the crossings work for me ... except that they led me to B O T A, which had to be incorrect. Apparently not! According to several sources, BOTA bag is another name for a wineskin. Curious inclusion — I wonder if Molly had to knit some sections together in the middle, or if BOTA is special to her in some way.

Speaking of bags, the HOBO purse was another curious one. I was sure that had to be some niche fashion term, but millions of sites disagreed with me. They're also called "hobo bags." After seeing pictures of them, I realized how common they are. Fun trivia that they're so named because they're saggy and slouchy, like the bundles hobos sling over their shoulder in cartoons.

I'm also not a huge fan of Apple products, but I enjoyed the wordplay, regular EYE- words twisted in an amusing way.

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© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 1130 ( 24,494 )
Across Down
1. Rings up? : HALOS
6. In good physical condition : TRIM
10. Footnote abbr. : IBID
14. New push-up bra from Apple? : ILIFT
15. ___ purse : HOBO
16. In addition : ELSE
17. Preceder of Barbara or Clara : SANTA
18. Gather : REAP
19. What Pac-Man eats : DOTS
20. Ambrose who wrote "The Devil's Dictionary" : BIERCE
22. Groovy things, for short? : LPS
24. Miners dig it : ORE
25. Thomas who wrote "Buddenbrooks" : MANN
26. Great Dane? : HAMLET
28. Golf goal : PAR
29. "Get. Out. Of. Here!" : OMG
30. Leather bag for wine : BOTA
31. Perfidy : DECEIT
33. Like some albums and skills : MASTERED
35. Merits : EARNS
36. British P.M. between Churchill and Macmillan : EDEN
37. Goes out for a bit? : NAPS
39. Contract add-on : RIDER
42. Predicted : FORETOLD
46. Some mutterings : ASIDES
48. Hard-core : AVID
49. Scones go-with : TEA
50. Acidity measures : PHS
51. Gleams : SHINES
53. Slightly : ATAD
54. ___ smear : PAP
55. Kind of talk : TED
56. Numerous : LEGION
58. What might make a nose wrinkle : ODOR
60. Seed cover : ARIL
62. Lover : ROMEO
64. Like some cheeks and outlooks : ROSY
65. Writer Jaffe : RONA
66. New whip from Apple? : ILASH
67. So, so cute : TWEE
68. Massage joints : SPAS
69. Money makers : MINTS
1. Casual greetings : HIS
2. First state to declare Christmas a legal holiday : ALABAMA
3. Insides of coats : LININGS
4. Many a time : OFTEN
5. Celebrity : STAR
6. Jeopardize : THREATEN
7. Eggs rich in omega-3 fatty acids : ROE
8. New sports equipment from Apple? : IBALL
9. Swabbed : MOPPED
10. Iraq war danger, for short : IED
11. Funny outtake : BLOOPER
12. New colander from Apple? : ISTRAIN
13. Leaves high and dry : DESERTS
21. Tedious task : CHORE
23. Like 49-Across : STEEPED
25. Having a baby makes one : MOM
27. Magazine with a fold-in back cover : MAD
30. Doctor's order for recuperation : BEDREST
32. List in movie credits : CAST
34. Plenty angry, with "off" : TEED
37. Orwell's "Animal Farm" and Kafka's "The Metamorphosis," for two : NOVELLAS
38. Get up : ARISE
39. Friendly relationship : RAPPORT
40. New tracking device from Apple? : ISHADOW
41. Scrap, with "of" : DISPOSE
42. Season ticket holder, e.g. : FAN
43. It can help you get a leg up : OTTOMAN
44. Having the least fat : LEANEST
45. Having a baby makes one : DAD
47. Pruning tools : SHEARS
52. New parachute from Apple? : IDROP
53. Garlicky mayonnaise : AIOLI
57. Not looking good at all : GRIM
59. Ham on ___ : RYE
61. ___ pinch : INA
63. Cries of surprise : OHS

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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