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New York Times, Friday, November 30, 2018

Author:
Robyn Weintraub
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
223/28/20116/21/20190
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02320123
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.58000
Robyn Weintraub

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 70, Blocks: 32 Missing: {JKQX} This is puzzle # 19 for Ms. Weintraub. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Robyn Weintraub notes:
As a mom, I know I'm not supposed to have a favorite child, but I'm quite fond of this puzzle. I think all ten 10-, 11- and 12 letter ... read more

As a mom, I know I'm not supposed to have a favorite child, but I'm quite fond of this puzzle. I think all ten 10-, 11- and 12 letter entries are solid, and nine of them make their New York Times crossword debut today. I especially like HOLD MY BEER and SAVE THE DATE. Admittedly SYNS and ARY are terrible, but even the happiest of families have a few black sheep, right?

Jeff Chen notes:
More and more, I'm noticing that a single entry/clue pair in a themeless can make the entire puzzle stand out in my eyes. I hit ... read more

More and more, I'm noticing that a single entry/clue pair in a themeless can make the entire puzzle stand out in my eyes. I hit [Employer of some shepherds] and was thinking farms, fields, or maybe watchdogs, as in government orgs watching over the safety of the public. Great a-ha to figure out it meant German shepherds, in a CANINE UNIT! That's beautiful.

Looking back upon Robyn's puzzles, I remembered that I had similar reactions to CLOWN CARS, RON WEASLEY, TRACTOR BEAM, MIRACLE MAX, SMARTY PANTS. Robyn sure does know how to pick ‘em!

I didn't get the same sheer joy today as I've gotten from some of Robyn's other ones, though. Not nearly as playful today, with NANNY STATE and HOLD MY BEER (which appears to be a meme going around ... something said before a fight?). Seems like Robyn TONEd IT DOWN a bit.

Some of the other long answers didn't resonate with me, either. I love the Beatles, but I didn't know "Something" was on ABBEY ROAD. Seemed like there were more fun or playful ways of cluing this great album, one of the Beatles' last.

I've been able to overlook some crossword glue in previous puzzles, but my lack of elation made it harder today to turn a blind eye to ARY. It is a short bit, taking up only three squares. But yikes, is it ugly. A suffix for secret, making secret-ARY? Oof, that's terrible.

In some ways, it's unfair for me to voice these gripes, which likely would have seemed minor if it had been some other constructor. It was still a fun solving experience, but I've come to expect tremendous things from a Weintraub themeless. Not entirely sure if that's a fair way to look at things, but it is what it is.

1
C
2
R
3
O
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C
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E
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A
7
L
8
T
9
A
10
A
11
N
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T
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H
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M
14
Y
B
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S
A
W
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S
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E
P
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P
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Y
18
C
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T
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Z
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N
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T
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C
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E
Y
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S
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S
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A
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C
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D
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F
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G
28
A
P
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A
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A
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E
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D
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F
I
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B
O
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35
O
S
A
G
E
36
T
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T
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U
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P
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T
H
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R
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O
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R
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T
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H
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R
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A
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G
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M
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T
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D
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S
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C
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S
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U
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D
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G
O
© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 1130 ( 25,224 )
Across
1
"You Don't Mess Around With Jim" singer, 1972 : CROCE
6
Resort in Salt Lake County : ALTA
10
Hill worker : ANT
13
Modern phrase said before doing something foolish : HOLDMYBEER
15
Coping mechanisms? : SAWS
17
Homer's specialty : EPICPOETRY
18
Website for tech whizzes : CNET
19
Eastern state : ZEN
20
One might tell you to do the math : TUTOR
21
Kind of dog found in New York City : CONEY
22
Warm and toasty, e.g.: Abbr. : SYNS
23
Follower : ACOLYTE
25
Render harmless, in a way : DEFANG
28
Little suckers : APHIDS
29
In play : ALIVE
30
Put off : ALIENATED
33
Lets go : FIRES
34
"___ anniversaire!" : BON
35
County in a Pulitzer-winning play title : OSAGE
36
Holders of solutions : TESTTUBES
38
Mountaineer's tool : PITON
39
Often-misspelled contraction : THERES
40
Court suspension : RECESS
41
Neat : ORDERLY
43
Ran fast : TORE
44
Runs : HEADS
45
___ Smetanina, first woman to win 10 Winter Olympic medals : RAISA
47
'Vette alternative : GTO
50
Flier from Asia : MYNA
51
"Take a chill pill!" : TONEITDOWN
53
Shakers, e.g. : SECT
54
Employer of some shepherds : CANINEUNIT
55
Call, in poker : SEE
56
Japanese bowlful : UDON
57
Title character of a "Dora the Explorer" spinoff : DIEGO
Down
1
Fancy restaurant name starter : CHEZ
2
Skip it! : ROPE
3
"This Is Us" producer Ken : OLIN
4
Org. behind the surveillance report FluView : CDC
5
They may have rooms to spare : EMPTYNESTERS
6
Acts as a decoy for, possibly : ABETS
7
Mother of Artemis : LETO
8
University of Maryland athletes : TERRAPINS
9
Secret ending? : ARY
10
Not just chilly : ASCOLDASICE
11
Overprotective government, so to speak : NANNYSTATE
12
Message that might be sent in a storm? : TWEET
14
Fawns, e.g. : YOUNG
16
Possible reason to forgo mascara : STYE
21
Like many laundromat appliances : COINOPERATED
22
Advance notice for an event : SAVETHEDATE
24
Jost's "Weekend Update" co-anchor : CHE
25
Bonkers : DAFT
26
Fashion designer ___ Saab : ELIE
27
Activity for newlyweds at a wedding reception : FIRSTDANCE
28
Some succulents : ALOES
30
"Something" can be heard on it : ABBEYROAD
31
Bigwigs may have big ones : EGOS
32
Cubs' places : DENS
37
Address that's not often written down : URL
40
Fiddler's aid : ROSIN
41
Units equivalent to volts per ampere : OHMS
42
California's Point ___ Peninsula : REYES
43
Synergistic promo : TIEIN
46
"Felice ___ nuovo!" : ANNO
47
Plastered : GONE
48
Bit of kindling : TWIG
49
Not falling for : ONTO
51
Big 12 sch. : TCU
52
Determination from a Breathalyzer test, for short : DUI

Answer summary: 9 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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