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New York Times, Friday, November 6, 2015

Author: Ian Livengood
Editor: Will Shortz
Ian Livengood
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
554/12/20109/15/20164
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617667112
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.64371

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 70, Blocks: 30 Missing: {JQXZ} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 50 for Mr. Livengood. NYT links: Across Lite PDF

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Ian Livengood notes: Not too many jaw-dropping entries today, but 35-Across (I'M UP FOR WHATEVER) and 31-Down (LEGO MOVIE) feel pretty fresh. 22-Down ... more
Ian Livengood notes:

Not too many jaw-dropping entries today, but 35-Across (I'M UP FOR WHATEVER) and 31-Down (LEGO MOVIE) feel pretty fresh. 22-Down (BULWARK) is a cool word, too.

I'd recommend this grid pattern to aspiring themeless constructors. If you have a snappy 15 and solid 10s, the puzzle breaks into six sections without feeling too closed off.

Hope solvers like it!

Jeff Chen notes: Solid themeless from Ian. Fun to see GDP (gross domestic product), as I imagine Ian is taking macroeconomics right about now in ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Solid themeless from Ian. Fun to see GDP (gross domestic product), as I imagine Ian is taking macroeconomics right about now in business school.

The LEGO MOVIE!

Ian does well to convert nearly all of his long (8+ letter) slots into assets. (He's probably taking accounting right now, too.) The LEGO MOVIE was surprisingly entertaining, WORK VISA is an issue many tech companies struggle with today, and there are SO many nice casual phrases in IM UP FOR WHATEVER, NO BIG DEAL, THAT SAID, FALSE ALARM, and SAME HERE. Reminds me of Ian's easy-going approach to life.

There was only one long slot that I thought could be neutral, TELEGRAPH, but a very nice clue turns that into an asset for me. [Dotted line?] is a bit of a stretch in relation to dots and dashes sent by telegraph. I like the idea, though.

Good use of his 7-letter slots, too. BULWARK is an interesting word, and although I've never heard of PARONYM, it was fun to learn and something I might actually use. CAR BARN was also interesting to read up on, although it did seem less worthy of packing into my memory banks.

A trademark of Ian's puzzles is a very low number of gluey entries, and he delivers again today. Some might consider ORIEL esoteric, but it is a real term in architecture. IRES isn't commonly used, so I'd ding that. Aside from that though, just a minor DEC, AVES, and YSER is pretty solid.

The only real complaint I had was about the grid flow. A rule of thumb is that constructors should try to avoid grid layouts where a single extra black square would section off an area. Here, there are four places where that could happen — the R of ANGRY, the I of HINDLEG, the G of ARRAIGN, and the O of DOSED. As Ian mentions, this sort of layout does make a puzzle easier to construct, since each small area can be tackled one at a time — but it does provide for a more choked-off feel to the solve.

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© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 1106 ( 24,104 )
Across Down
1. "Given the aforementioned ..." : THATSAID
9. Private overseer : NONCOM
15. Copycat's comment : SAMEHERE
16. Mark on a golf course : OMEARA
17. Treatment for peptic ulcers : PRILOSEC
18. 1936 Summer Olympics locale : BERLIN
19. Small suits : SPEEDOS
20. Something to stand on? : HINDLEG
21. Econ 101 topic : GDP
22. Snare : BAG
23. Home of the Beinecke Library : YALE
24. ___ Birds : ANGRY
27. Bowlful for Miss Muffet : CURDS
29. Weighted weapon used by the Inca army : BOLA
30. "Sorry, it was nothing" : FALSEALARM
35. Comment from one who's completely flexible : IMUPFORWHATEVER
37. Pole game : TETHERBALL
38. ___ therapy : GENE
39. Spent : WEARY
40. Gave shots, say : DOSED
41. 2015 Super Bowl winners, familiarly : PATS
45. Nettle : IRK
46. Part of an auto engine : CAM
47. Charge : ARRAIGN
49. Word derived from another that has a related meaning, like "wisdom" from "wise" : PARONYM
53. Cell transmitter : NEURON
54. Something an alien may have : WORKVISA
55. Stir : INCITE
56. Mitch Hedberg's "I'm against picketing, but I don't know how to show it," e.g. : ONELINER
57. Leader at the Battle of Alesia : CAESAR
58. Time for a party : NEWYEARS
1. Recipe amts. : TSPS
2. Symbol on an Irish euro coin : HARP
3. French date, often : AMIE
4. Dotted line? : TELEGRAPH
5. Cheap : SHODDY
6. Who told "The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs" : AESOP
7. Steams : IRES
8. Yule time: Abbr. : DEC
9. "Think nothing of it" : NOBIGDEAL
10. What a mystic might look for : OMEN
11. Like many comic con attendees : NERDY
12. Showy white flower : CALLA
13. Old townhouse feature : ORIEL
14. Hair loss cause, perhaps : MANGE
20. How disciplinarians handle miscreants : HARSHLY
22. Defensive wall : BULWARK
24. Not much : ABIT
25. Gold rush town once called Anvil City : NOME
26. Flood : GLUT
27. Bus and trolley shelter : CARBARN
28. Posed : SAT
30. Group whose fourth album, "4," was #1 for 10 weeks in 1981 : FOREIGNER
31. Hit 2014 animated film, with "The" : LEGOMOVIE
32. Class of birds : AVES
33. French film director Clément : RENE
34. Stable character of old TV : MRED
36. Not many : FEW
40. In a menacing fashion : DARKLY
41. Lose one's head : PANIC
42. "In the ___," Richard Nixon memoir : ARENA
43. Cooling-off period : TRUCE
44. Air India flight attendants' attire : SARIS
46. 1977 A.L. M.V.P. born in Panama : CAREW
48. Smidge : IOTA
49. Southern bread : PONE
50. ___ Myers, "24" character : NINA
51. Belgian river deliberately flooded during W.W. I : YSER
52. Where Spirit landed in 2004 : MARS
54. Got : WON

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle, 8 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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