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New York Times, Saturday, November 7, 2015

Author:
Barry C. Silk
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
929/1/20037/8/20166
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358532741
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1.651215
Barry C. Silk

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 31 Missing: {FQ} This is puzzle # 90 for Mr. Silk. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
Stacking 11-letter answers is a tough task — there are so many crossings that must work out, and too often that results in some ... read more

Stacking 11-letter answers is a tough task — there are so many crossings that must work out, and too often that results in some ugly piece of glue. Barry gives us one of the best stacked 11s from recent memory, with RADIO GALAXY (I used to love astronomy), ABRACADABRA, and ICE CUBE TRAY, with such clean crossings. Some might think YAYS is a bit iffy, but I tend to let pluralized sounds slide when it's common to hear them in multiples. I can imagine a crowd letting out a bunch of YAYS, yeah?

The USS NAUTILUS

Okay, some might question OCULARS (a fancy term for "eyepiece"), but OCULARS are a big product for Olympus, which invested in my previous company (Acucela Inc.) so it's fine by me.

Loved USS NAUTILUS too, as it evoked images of Captain Nemo's ship, the Nautilus. Barry does pretty well with all his long slots, even PLEISTOCENE an interesting word, and PARAPHRASES getting a great clue in [Shortens a sentence, say]. I tried to stretch out PARDON in so many ways — dang it!

Interesting clue for MIL, a common measurement in mechanical engineering equal to a thousandth of an inch. A MICRON is a millionth of a meter. Too much engineering-speak? Not for me, but I can understand how some might grouse, especially when you toss in JOULE.

When a puzzle doesn't have a huge number of long assets (I count maybe 10-11 here), it's important to me to keep the gluey bits down. Otherwise, they tend to overwhelm the assets during my solve. -THON is a suffix, ENS and AUTH are abbreviations, LAC a bit of French, JAS is an abbreviation for … James? There's nothing egregious here, but overall, it's enough to make me notice. I wouldn't mind as much if there were, say, 15 great entries, which would stomp down those pesky gluey bits.

Great clue in [it may be written in stone], a quite literal interpretation for RUNE. I also appreciated the modern clue for TESLA, [They charge a lot for their cars]. It's not quite there yet, as TESLA charging stations are nowhere close to ubiquitous, but I really liked the idea behind that clue.

1
L
2
A
3
C
4
R
5
A
6
D
7
I
8
O
9
G
10
A
11
L
12
A
13
X
14
Y
15
I
M
O
16
A
B
R
A
C
A
D
A
B
R
A
17
N
A
M
18
I
C
E
C
U
B
E
T
R
A
Y
19
E
Z
P
20
A
S
S
21
O
L
E
22
H
A
Y
S
23
J
O
U
L
E
24
M
C
A
25
G
E
M
S
26
U
N
T
O
27
M
I
C
R
28
O
N
S
29
D
I
E
U
30
A
L
A
S
K
A
31
J
32
A
33
S
34
G
A
R
D
35
E
N
36
A
T
37
H
E
N
A
38
E
N
S
39
T
O
40
E
41
C
42
A
P
43
A
W
O
L
44
B
O
N
J
O
V
I
45
Z
I
M
A
46
T
47
H
O
N
48
E
R
A
49
C
E
S
A
R
50
R
E
O
S
51
A
C
S
52
R
A
S
H
L
Y
53
U
S
S
N
54
A
U
T
I
55
L
U
S
56
R
I
C
57
P
L
E
I
S
T
O
C
E
N
E
58
Y
E
A
59
P
A
R
A
P
H
R
A
S
E
S
60
E
S
P
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 1107 ( 24,105 )

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Students & seniors
Across
1. Mer d'Aral, e.g. : LAC
4. Centaurus A is one : RADIOGALAXY
15. Texter's qualifier : IMO
16. Disappearing word? : ABRACADABRA
17. Where the VC fought : NAM
18. Mold in the freezer? : ICECUBETRAY
19. Turnpike timesaver : EZPASS
21. Ring rouser : OLE
22. "Airplane!" actor : HAYS
23. About a quarter of a calorie : JOULE
24. Longtime record label for Elton John : MCA
25. Cluster in a marquise : GEMS
26. Word that may precede itself : UNTO
27. Tiny lengths : MICRONS
29. Foe of le diable : DIEU
30. "Ice Road Truckers" locale : ALASKA
31. Book between Hebrews and I Peter: Abbr. : JAS
34. N.B.A. venue, with "the" : GARDEN
36. She taught Prometheus many arts : ATHENA
38. Quartet in "No, No, Nanette" : ENS
39. Boot feature : TOECAP
43. Like base runners? : AWOL
44. Band with the 1988 7x platinum album "New Jersey" : BONJOVI
45. Former competitor of Smirnoff Ice : ZIMA
46. End of some charity events? : THON
48. Cy Young Award consideration : ERA
49. French film award : CESAR
50. They competed with Franklins : REOS
51. Ones shooting the breeze, for short? : ACS
52. Bad way to make a decision : RASHLY
53. First nuclear-powered submarine : USSNAUTILUS
56. Financial adviser Edelman : RIC
57. When modern humans developed : PLEISTOCENE
58. Voting choice : YEA
59. Shortens a sentence, say : PARAPHRASES
60. It goes head to head, for short : ESP
Down
1. Offside detector : LINEJUDGE
2. Like piranhas and electric eels : AMAZONIAN
3. Apple field : COMPUTERS
4. Good news from upstairs? : RAISE
5. Simple studies : ABCS
6. Founder of the record label Aftermath Entertainment, familiarly : DRE
7. Auto executive who developed the Mustang : IACOCCA
8. Eyepieces : OCULARS
9. 1998-2010 major-leaguer Kapler : GABE
10. Suffix on an AriZona can : ADE
11. Wood shop equipment : LATHES
12. Norm of "This Old House" : ABRAM
13. Some 4-Across output : XRAYS
14. Reactions to good news : YAYS
20. One way to wonder : ALOUD
24. Unit equal to 254,000 angstroms : MIL
25. Annoying sort : GNAT
27. Title heroine of a Massenet opera : MANON
28. Striped animal in a zoo : OKAPI
31. Pastrami holder : JEWISHRYE
32. They're not what's expected : ANOMALIES
33. Higher-up sports figure? : SALARYCAP
35. Captain Hook attended it : ETON
37. Puts through the gantlet, say : HAZES
40. Firearm mechanism : EJECTOR
41. One of the 27 regions of France : CORSICA
42. "Selma" director DuVernay : AVA
44. Banja Luka is its second-largest city : BOSNIA
46. They charge a lot for their cars : TESLA
47. North-of-the-border boor : HOSER
49. Cold ones haven't been cracked : CASES
50. Lexington's ___ Arena : RUPP
51. Card catalog abbr. : AUTH
52. It may be written in stone : RUNE
54. Hieroglyphics symbol : ASP
55. Issy-___-Moulineaux, France : LES

Answer summary: 1 unique to this puzzle, 2 debuted here and reused later, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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