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New York Times, Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Author:
David Levinson Wilk
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
2412/2/19962/4/20180
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
6125271
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.58120
David Levinson Wilk

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. And if you're ... read more

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 ... read more

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
4
C
5
O
6
P
7
S
8
A
9
Y
10
S
11
M
12
E
13
H
E
R
14
A
H
A
15
B
16
C
L
A
M
O
R
17
S
K
I
18
N
O
G
O
19
R
A
Z
O
R
S
20
O
N
21
C
D
22
E
B
23
S
E
N
24
O
R
A
25
D
E
C
O
Y
26
S
27
S
E
E
S
28
T
I
T
29
O
T
E
L
L
O
30
U
R
N
31
C
H
E
Z
32
T
E
S
33
A
G
34
A
P
E
35
G
O
O
36
H
A
S
37
I
N
38
R
A
N
39
I
N
P
40
U
41
T
42
O
C
D
43
I
N
A
44
L
L
45
E
S
A
46
I
47
F
F
Y
48
L
S
D
49
A
D
50
O
R
E
D
51
N
E
W
52
W
E
E
D
53
C
A
N
A
D
A
54
A
D
A
55
H
A
N
O
56
I
57
L
O
T
T
58
J
O
L
59
S
O
N
60
W
W
61
I
I
62
O
O
63
F
64
A
R
E
O
L
E
65
N
O
T
V
66
R
B
I
67
M
A
S
T
E
D
68
N
E
E
69
S
E
X
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 1215 ( 24,143 )
Across
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
Down
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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