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New York Times, Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Author: David Levinson Wilk
Editor: Will Shortz
David Levinson Wilk
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
2312/2/199612/15/20150
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5125271
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.58120

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 38 Missing: {Q} Spans: 2 This is puzzle # 23 for Mr. Wilk. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
David Levinson Wilk notes: This puzzle runs *just* in time. After two more weeks, I would have been 0-for-2015. Many thanks to Will & Co. ... more
David Levinson Wilk notes:

This puzzle runs *just* in time. After two more weeks, I would have been 0-for-2015.

Many thanks to Will & Co.

And if you're a person who solves crossword puzzles to get away from all the maddening political news of the day, don't look at my website crosswordsforcongress.com. Don't look at it. Don't.

Jeff Chen notes: BOBS UP AND DOWN = a fun revealer, with famous BOBs going up, down, up and then down through theme answers. Bob DYLAN hiding in ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

BOBS UP AND DOWN = a fun revealer, with famous BOBs going up, down, up and then down through theme answers. Bob DYLAN hiding in CANDYLAND (what a weird mental image) and Bob HOPE in SMOOTH OPERATORS = great finds.

Candy Land

I couldn't quite recall Bob Fosse or Bob Vila, but it was easy enough to figure them out from the theme answers, plus the crossing answers were fair enough. It would have been nice if these two had been as uber-famous as the first two — I was curious what other Bobs could have been placed in the "up" direction. Bob SAGET? Not unless you include some racy words (think of the -GASM ending, ahem). Bob DOLE offers more possibilities. Tough to find others!

I found the cluing a bit odd on PRINCESS OF WALES. That's a perfectly legit entry, but [Elton John's dedicatee for "Candle in the Wind 1997"] clearly indicates LADY DI or PRINCESS DI, yeah? I would have much preferred something like [Lady Di, e.g.].

Tough grid arrangement, with five long themers. Of course, the conceit forces the themers to be placed vertically, but that has the unfortunate side effect of giving the solver the revealer very early in the game. I always find it more satisfying to wait until the end (or at least the middle) before I'm handed the concept. It would have been tough to run BOBS UP AND DOWN horizontally since the four themers would have had to intersect it, but I wonder if that could have been possible.

A handful of gluey stuff is to be expected given the high grid constraints. Most didn't bother me, but things like ORA, TES, ESA, ITE and SOG all added up. SOG especially seems so ... odd. When a three-letter entry of common letter has only been used six times in the Shortz era, that's a bad sign.

Not a lot of long fill — just USED TO BE and PEKOE TEA — but David does well with much of his mid-length stuff like ERSTAZ, Sinatra's FEDORA, JOLSON, IN A JAM. Nice bonuses as I solved.

1
A
2
P
3
P
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C
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O
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S
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A
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Y
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X
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 1215 ( 24,143 )
Across Down
1. Something a software developer develops : APP
4. Perp pursuer : COP
7. Bully's response : SAYSME
13. ___ Majesty : HER
14. Monomaniacal mariner : AHAB
16. Hullabaloo : CLAMOR
17. Item on a chairlift : SKI
18. "Ain't happening" : NOGO
19. They may be involved in close shaves : RAZORS
20. How a lot of Generation X's music was released : ONCD
22. Buddy of "The Beverly Hillbillies" : EBSEN
24. "... ___ lack thereof" : ORA
25. Lures : DECOYS
27. Gets the picture : SEES
28. Palindromic bird : TIT
29. Verdi opera based on a Shakespeare play : OTELLO
30. Grecian subject of a Keats poem : URN
31. At the home of : CHEZ
32. They often line up near WRs on a football field : TES
33. Open-mouthed : AGAPE
35. Slime : GOO
36. Invites to one's home : HASIN
38. Sprinted : RAN
39. Two cents, so to speak : INPUT
42. Neurotic condition, for short : OCD
43. Completely : INALL
45. Spanish "that" : ESA
46. Not for sure : IFFY
48. Hallucination producer : LSD
49. Absolutely ate up : ADORED
51. Just-made : NEW
52. Dandelion, e.g. : WEED
53. "O" follower : CANADA
54. MouthHealthy.org grp. : ADA
55. Capital on the Red River : HANOI
57. 1990s Senate majority leader Trent : LOTT
58. "The Jazz Singer" star : JOLSON
60. "The Greatest Generation" subj. : WWII
62. Punch line? : OOF
64. Iris part : AREOLE
65. Child's punishment, maybe : NOTV
66. Diamond stat : RBI
67. Like sailing ships : MASTED
68. Amal Clooney ___ Alamuddin : NEE
69. ___ ed : SEX
1. Tonsil-checking sounds : AHS
2. Twinings product in an orange box : PEKOETEA
3. Elton John's dedicatee for "Candle in the Wind 1997" : PRINCESSOFWALES
4. Classic board game with a Peppermint Forest : CANDYLAND
5. "Well, whaddya know!" : OHO
6. Web ___ : PAGE
7. One at a multiplex : SCREEN
8. Mathematician Turing and others : ALANS
9. Nickname on the 1960s-'80s Red Sox : YAZ
10. Don Juan types : SMOOTHOPERATORS
11. "Tuesdays With ___" (Mitch Albom best seller) : MORRIE
12. Fake : ERSATZ
15. Moves like a buoy in the ocean ... or a hint to the shaded parts of this puzzle? : BOBSUPANDDOWN
21. Rank above maj. : COL
23. 2014 Jennifer Lawrence/Bradley Cooper film : SERENA
25. "The lady ___ protest too much" : DOTH
26. Soak, in dialect : SOG
31. Dupe : CON
34. Out of bed : ARISEN
35. 1980 one-woman comedy produced by Lorne Michaels : GILDALIVE
37. Frigid : ICY
40. Was : USEDTOBE
41. "There, look what I did!" : TADA
44. Fond du ___, Wis. : LAC
46. Stuck : INAJAM
47. Hat for Frank Sinatra : FEDORA
48. Didn't stand up straight : LEANED
50. Singer Yoko : ONO
52. Complete : WHOLE
56. "Victory is mine!" : IWON
59. Drunkard : SOT
61. Suffix with Manhattan or Brooklyn : ITE
63. Repair : FIX

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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