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New York Times, Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Author:
Mary Lou Guizzo and Jeff Chen
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
224/17/201411/15/201811
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
31142641
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.61330
Mary Lou Guizzo
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
917/5/201011/15/201853
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
2467172188
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.635192
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 )

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Students & seniors
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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