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New York Times, Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Author:
Mary Lou Guizzo and Jeff Chen
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
234/17/201412/27/201812
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
31143641
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.61430
Mary Lou Guizzo
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
957/5/20102/14/201957
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
2468172398
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.636202
Jeff Chen

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 75, Blocks: 39 Missing: {KQ} Grid has mirror symmetry. This is puzzle # 9 for Ms. Guizzo. This is puzzle # 47 for Mr. Chen. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Constructor notes:
ML: Jeff and I were on a roll with holiday puzzles. Fresh off the Christmas grid I suggested Happy New Year 2016, Friday. He replied: ... read more

ML: Jeff and I were on a roll with holiday puzzles. Fresh off the Christmas grid I suggested Happy New Year 2016, Friday. He replied: "Yikes, 1.5 years out! Maybe something sooner? =]" I sent him the Wikipedia calendar link for 2015/2016 stating "Try six months out ;-)"

JEFF: Stupid math, why must you be so hard?

ML: Not wasting any time, he sent me a grid skeleton with the names and NEW YEARS EVE filled in. I began the tedious process of filling as cleanly as possible (not an easy task!). We went back and forth discussing the best fill (the west side was easier than the east). Jeff saw the opportunity to fit APE and MAN in the SW corner. This brings back memories of THE DESCENT OF MAN puzzle which we were working on three years ago at this time. That was my first NYT acceptance. Amazing to reflect on how much has happened since!

Felice anno nuovo!

JEFF:

I had no idea if we could find three famous people with AULD / LANG / SYNE hidden in "their hearts," but it seemed well worth a try. (We aimed this puzzle for Dec. 31 — a Thursday — so we wanted to clue the themers more opaquely, i.e. [Physicist with a song in his heart?]) So what a joy to discover these three folks from within such disparate areas: physics, economics, and football.

Man oh man, I want some pants like that!

Dirac was apparently a quirky fellow, not totally in a good way. But such contributions to the field of quantum mechanics! And anyone who Albert Einstein spoke of with "This balancing on the dizzying path between genius and madness is awful" qualifies as interesting in my book.

The Chairperson of the Fed is one of the most influential people in the world. Alan Greenspan I'll always remember because of tidbits my macroeconomics prof in business school recounted: apparently Greenspan had a vascular condition for which he needed to take extended hot baths. The image of this guy in glasses soaking for hours at a time, mulling over how best to guide the largest economy in the world, will always stick in my head. Not to mention, his marriage to journalist Andrea Mitchell … with the ceremony done by the Notorious RBG (Ruth Bader Ginsberg)!

I don't know that much about Greasy Neale's football career since he played long before my time, but I always wanted a good nickname like Greasy. Back when I co-captained an Ultimate Frisbee team, we had a running joke about new member initiation, which involved catching a greased pig. Or more accurately, a greased co-captain. Ahem.

Jeff Chen notes:
I enjoy working with mirror symmetry, which we needed for this theme (lengths of 9, 13, and 11 make regular symmetry impossible). Not ... read more

I enjoy working with mirror symmetry, which we needed for this theme (lengths of 9, 13, and 11 make regular symmetry impossible). Not only is it an interesting challenge given its idiosyncrasies, but you usually have to place a horizontal line of three (or more) blocks across the middle column. Put in a few stairstep squares, and it's almost hard to avoid giving your puzzle a smile.

We spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to give the solver bonus fill, adding to their fun. Usually, I like to work in at least six longer entries, stuff like HEALTHY GLOW, BOB AND WEAVE, and MINUS SIGN. The AMERICANO is my drink of choice at Starbucks, so that was fun too. I sure would have liked for us to work in one more pair of long answers, but that just strained the grid too much with little gluey bits everywhere. And what's most important — by far — is how much fun the solver has. Ah well, ICE BOX, AIRBOAT, PC CLONE, and (my childhood favorite) ASTERIX will have to do.

1
P
2
R
3
O
4
B
5
M
6
A
7
N
8
T
9
A
10
C
11
H
12
E
13
Z
14
J
I
M
I
15
I
B
E
A
M
16
A
B
L
E
17
S
A
G
O
18
N
E
R
V
E
19
N
O
S
E
20
P
21
A
U
L
D
I
R
22
A
C
23
V
24
C
25
H
I
P
S
26
I
C
E
27
B
28
O
29
X
30
P
R
E
C
I
S
31
E
32
P
C
C
L
O
N
E
33
S
E
A
34
A
I
R
35
B
O
A
T
36
B
A
D
37
A
L
38
A
N
G
R
E
E
N
S
39
P
A
N
40
A
M
T
S
41
N
E
A
T
O
42
E
N
D
43
S
44
M
E
H
T
45
A
46
D
T
S
47
E
N
D
O
R
48
F
R
Y
E
R
49
S
50
P
R
A
W
N
S
51
G
R
E
A
52
S
53
Y
54
N
E
A
L
E
55
M
56
A
L
I
57
V
I
O
L
A
58
T
A
59
R
60
T
61
A
P
O
X
62
O
R
D
E
R
63
Y
V
E
S
64
N
E
W
65
Y
E
A
R
S
66
E
V
E
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 1230 ( 24,158 )
Across
1
"No ___" ("Sure thing") : PROB
5
Big ray : MANTA
10
At the home of, abroad : CHEZ
14
Last performer at Woodstock, informally : JIMI
15
Letter-shaped construction piece : IBEAM
16
Competent : ABLE
17
Palm starch : SAGO
18
Chutzpah : NERVE
19
Bloodhound's asset : NOSE
20
Physics Nobelist who pioneered in quantum mechanics : PAULDIRAC
23
TV monitors? : VCHIPS
26
Antarctica, so to speak : ICEBOX
30
Dead-on : PRECISE
32
Old knockoff of an IBM product : PCCLONE
33
Vast expanse : SEA
34
Everglades transport : AIRBOAT
36
Sinful : BAD
37
Federal Reserve chairman under four presidents : ALANGREENSPAN
40
Sums: Abbr. : AMTS
41
"That's really cool!" : NEATO
42
Many rushers : ENDS
44
Maestro Zubin : MEHTA
46
The shakes, for short : DTS
47
Moon in "Return of the Jedi" : ENDOR
48
Equipment at fast-food restaurants : FRYERS
50
Big shrimp : PRAWNS
51
Football Hall-of-Famer with a nickname befitting his elusiveness on the field : GREASYNEALE
55
Bamako is its capital : MALI
57
String quartet member : VIOLA
58
Lip-puckering : TART
61
"___ on both your houses!" : APOX
62
"At-ten-SHUN!," e.g. : ORDER
63
Part of Y.S.L. : YVES
64
With 65- and 66-Across, when to sing the song in the shaded squares : NEW
65
See 64-Across : YEARS
66
See 64-Across : EVE
Down
1
One- or two-piece attire, for short : PJS
2
Small inlet : RIA
3
Modern version of "Jumping Jehoshaphat!" : OMG
4
"Lincoln" or "Gandhi" : BIOPIC
5
Something that makes a difference? : MINUSSIGN
6
Man's name that's a homophone of 16-Across : ABEL
7
Almost any character on "The Big Bang Theory" : NERD
8
Rikki-tikki-___ : TAVI
9
Yanqui : AMERICANO
10
Nix : CANCEL
11
"Game of Thrones" airer : HBO
12
Center of excellence? : ELS
13
Letter after wye : ZEE
21
Beelike : APIAN
22
Sales reps maintain them: Abbr. : ACCTS
23
No. 2s : VPS
24
Nondairy coffee additive : CREAMER
25
Ruddiness : HEALTHYGLOW
27
Try to avoid getting punched, say : BOBANDWEAVE
28
Incessantly : ONANDON
29
Struck (out) : XED
31
Goofed : ERRED
32
See 35-Down : POETS
35
With 32-Down, 1950s counterculture figures : BEAT
38
French comic series that has sold 350+ million copies worldwide : ASTERIX
39
Fine, e.g. : PENALTY
40
Big inits. in bowling : AMF
43
Soon-to-be grads : SRS
45
The Who's "Who ___ You" : ARE
47
Long time : ERA
49
Last royal house of Italy : SAVOY
50
Some still-life fruit : PEARS
52
Royal title : SIRE
53
Film character who says "Adventure. Excitement. A Jedi craves not these things" : YODA
54
Met or Card : NLER
55
Simian cousin of a 56-Down : MAN
56
Simian cousin of a 55-Down : APE
59
Title for M.L.K. Jr. : REV
60
Trading place in Japan: Abbr. : TSE

Answer summary: 6 unique to this puzzle.

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