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New York Times, Friday, December 11, 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: 70, Blocks: 31 Missing: {JQXZ} This is puzzle # 91 for Mr. Silk. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
Barry gives us a dose of computer lingo today, with SPAM FILTER a colorful 1-Across. It was interesting to uncover EVERIFY, which ... read more

Barry gives us a dose of computer lingo today, with SPAM FILTER a colorful 1-Across. It was interesting to uncover EVERIFY, which looked kookily like EVER IF I, and CYBER WAR. I like when mini-themes crop up in a themeless, although I find it more elegant when those answers are in symmetrical spots. Still, having E VERIFY crossing SPAM FILTER is pretty fun.

E-Verify's logo

I thought I had learned all the E-FILE, E-READER, E-TAIL kind of stuff, so I wanted to look up E-VERIFY. Interesting that almost half a million employers use it now. I kind of wish I hadn't looked it up, as it seems to be steeped in controversy around illegal immigration issues.

CYBER WAR … is that "a thing"? Google says it is, although it has an old-timey feel to me, akin to saying "cyberspace." Feels like there's a more colorful term emerging for CYBER WAR, but I'm not sure what it is. Ideas?

Speaking of mini-themes, I really liked the idea of placing two Greek states across the middle. After uncovering SPARTA, I pumped a fist and plunked in ATHENS. Dang it! Well, ITHACA seemed to work better ... no. By the time I got to the correct answer of ATTICA, I really, really wanted some historical tie between it and SPARTA. I found all sorts of information about the rivalry between Athens and SPARTA, but only that ATTICA encompassed the city of Athens. Sigh.

Barry gives us a good amount of colorful long material like SEEK ASYLUM, STARRY EYED, and even FOOD WEB, but it does come at a price. I think most of it is minor, like ISS(ue), the discontinued Olds CIERA, ACR(oss), Mel OTT who shows up in way too much compared to his level of actual fame because of his crossword-friendly name, and the religious inscription INRI. I'd be curious to know how many Christians would say it's a gimme.

1
S
2
P
3
A
4
M
5
F
6
I
7
L
8
T
9
E
10
R
11
S
12
C
13
T
14
V
15
O
I
L
R
E
S
E
R
V
E
16
L
Y
R
E
17
G
R
E
E
N
S
F
E
E
S
18
I
B
A
R
19
O
A
R
S
20
T
A
R
T
21
C
E
N
T
22
O
T
T
23
A
24
M
A
T
I
25
T
E
R
S
E
26
D
E
S
27
P
A
I
R
28
F
29
O
O
D
W
E
B
30
H
A
R
M
31
Y
U
P
32
A
C
R
33
A
34
T
35
T
I
C
A
36
S
P
37
A
R
T
A
38
C
U
R
39
E
G
40
G
41
S
T
L
O
42
T
R
I
43
P
L
E
A
44
H
E
E
L
45
P
46
A
47
D
48
I
N
A
L
L
49
S
50
C
A
R
S
51
A
R
I
52
V
I
L
A
53
T
H
I
N
54
P
R
O
M
55
I
N
R
I
56
S
E
E
K
57
A
58
S
Y
L
U
M
59
S
T
U
N
60
P
A
R
A
P
H
R
A
S
E
61
M
O
N
T
62
S
T
A
R
R
Y
E
Y
E
D
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 1211 ( 24,139 )
Across
1
Junk removal service : SPAMFILTER
11
It featured the parody soap "The Days of the Week" : SCTV
15
Store in the Middle East? : OILRESERVE
16
Erato played one : LYRE
17
Round numbers? : GREENSFEES
18
Construction support : IBAR
19
Set for a regatta : OARS
20
Sharp : TART
21
1850s Flying Eagle, e.g. : CENT
22
Giant legend : OTT
23
Violinist's prize : AMATI
25
Like newspaper headlines, typically : TERSE
26
"The shadow of a starless night," per Percy Bysshe Shelley : DESPAIR
28
System of what eats what : FOODWEB
30
Detriment : HARM
31
"Sure thing" : YUP
32
From one end to the other: Abbr. : ACR
33
Ancient Greek state : ATTICA
36
Ancient Greek state : SPARTA
38
Growler : CUR
39
Challah need : EGG
41
1944 battle site : STLO
42
Excellent credit rating : TRIPLEA
44
Runner's shock absorber : HEELPAD
48
Taken together : INALL
49
Some unpleasant reminders : SCARS
51
N.L. West team : ARI
52
TV handyman : VILA
53
Attenuated : THIN
54
Occasion to choose a royal court : PROM
55
Religious inscription : INRI
56
Try to escape a tyrant, maybe : SEEKASYLUM
59
Floor : STUN
60
Put in new words : PARAPHRASE
61
High point of géographie : MONT
62
Idealistic : STARRYEYED
Down
1
"Delicious!" : SOGOOD
2
Sea menace : PIRATE
3
Gives a tip : ALERTS
4
G.I. fare : MRES
5
Swampland : FEN
6
Vol. 1, No. 1, e.g. : ISS
7
What carries a shield, typically : LEFTARM
8
Pay for : TREAT
9
Internet-based Homeland Security program used by employers : EVERIFY
10
Leftovers : REST
11
How most bread is sold : SLICED
12
Large-scale spread of viruses, say : CYBERWAR
13
Divide by cutting : TRANSECT
14
It's in the back : VERTEBRA
23
Small power source : AAACELL
24
Sight on a hot road : MIRAGE
25
Removes from power : TOPPLES
27
N.L. East team : PHI
29
Removal from power : OUSTER
33
Civil disobedience, e.g. : ACTIVISM
34
Become : TURNINTO
35
Test drive : TRIALRUN
37
Service with a 1-Across : AOL
40
Winter warming option : GASHEAT
41
Monterey Pop Festival performer of 1967 : SHANKAR
43
Protest : PLAINT
45
Cumulative series of bets : PARLAY
46
Pique : AROUSE
47
Not so bright : DIMMED
50
Old Olds : CIERA
53
Equal amts. : TSPS
54
Funeral mass : PYRE
57
4/ : APR
58
Short : SHY

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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