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New York Times, Saturday, November 7, 2015

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

Found bugs or have suggestions?