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New York Times, Saturday, December 5, 2015

Author:
David J. Kahn
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1813/15/199412/12/20185
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
4451224571326
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.5514211
David J. Kahn

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 70, Blocks: 28 Missing: {QWXZ} This is puzzle # 162 for Mr. Kahn. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
Neat mini-theme in JIMINY CRICKET crossing PINOCCHIO. After reading the [His first major screen appearance was in 1940], I was worried ... read more

Neat mini-theme in JIMINY CRICKET crossing PINOCCHIO. After reading the [His first major screen appearance was in 1940], I was worried that it'd be an old-timey actor whose name I'd need every cross to piece together, so it was doubly fun to finally crack it. For my money, we don't get nearly enough of these mini-themed themelesses — they add so much to my solving enjoyment.

15th Fed Chair, JANET Yellen

With not a lot of long material, David had to rely on his 7-letter entries for color. I love stuff like SHOT PAR as entries on their own, and entries like MINARET are made even better with a piece of trivia like [The world's oldest one is in Tunisia]. PRIVATE and CAPABLE are, well, capable entries, but they didn't add much spice to my solve. ILL USES … is that something anyone actually uses? Googling (in quotes) turns up only 16K hits.

I can see why something like ILL USES is in the grid — the SES ending facilitates filling a big chunk of space in the lower right. But struggling with an isolated corner and turning up something like that is such a hollow victory.

JANET Yellen shout-out! As the first woman to hold the Fed chair, she's perhaps one of the most influential people in the country.

My gut was that UMA THURMAN is very gridworthy (iconic "Pulp Fiction" role, famous actress), but after making a bad assumption about OLIVIA POPE a few weeks ago (about 800K Google hits), I wanted to double-check my assumption. Thankfully, Uma gets 10M Google hits. Oddly enough, Zooey DESCHANEL (another proper name I recently commented about) also gets about 10M. I knew Deschanel was popular, but I didn't know quite the extent of it. Curious.

I didn't know the AVESTA, but the clue made me want to look it up. Interesting to read about Zoroastrianism, one of the world's oldest religions. Thank goodness each of the crossing words made AVESTA easy to piece together!

Some great clues:

  • Funny to tie John Cleese and Richard Gere together, as they both played LANCELOT.
  • [Position papers?] referred to the positions job seekers are looking for, and the RESUMES that are thusly required.
  • SECT is something that comes out of a split decision, or a decision to split.
Jim Horne notes:
1
R
2
A
3
M
4
A
5
D
6
A
7
S
8
H
9
O
10
T
11
P
12
A
13
R
14
E
L
I
C
I
T
15
J
O
E
T
O
R
R
E
16
S
A
N
E
S
T
17
I
N
N
O
T
I
M
E
18
U
M
A
T
H
U
19
R
M
A
N
20
E
V
E
N
21
M
O
R
E
Y
22
A
I
R
E
23
D
24
A
N
A
25
E
D
E
N
26
R
M
N
27
R
U
28
S
T
I
C
29
S
E
T
30
M
A
R
Y
31
S
32
B
L
E
A
T
33
P
I
N
O
C
C
34
H
I
O
35
C
36
O
37
N
A
N
38
D
R
A
I
N
39
F
40
I
41
B
42
A
V
E
S
T
43
A
44
I
R
S
45
R
O
L
O
46
P
E
P
47
S
P
48
I
C
E
49
J
E
L
L
O
50
A
R
T
51
S
52
R
F
K
S
53
T
A
D
I
U
M
54
B
L
U
E
55
L
I
N
E
56
U
N
E
A
S
E
57
L
A
N
C
E
L
O
T
58
M
E
A
G
E
R
59
E
Y
E
T
E
S
T
60
S
T
R
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S
S
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 1205 ( 24,133 )
Across
1
Company whose name paradoxically means "shelter with no walls" : RAMADA
7
Was consistently in the hole? : SHOTPAR
14
Pull out : ELICIT
15
Co-author of "The Yankee Years" : JOETORRE
16
Least likely to be out to lunch? : SANEST
17
Tout de suite : INNOTIME
18
"Be Cool" co-star, 2005 : UMATHURMAN
20
Flush : EVEN
21
Amsterdam of "The Dick Van Dyke Show" : MOREY
22
Not kept secret : AIRED
24
Tennis's Ivanovic : ANA
25
Dreamland : EDEN
26
Vice President Alben Barkley's successor's inits. : RMN
27
Arcadian : RUSTIC
29
Adjust : SET
30
St. ___ parish (Crosby/Bergman movie setting) : MARYS
32
Speak plaintively : BLEAT
33
His first major screen appearance was in 1940 : PINOCCHIO
35
Daily show filmed in Burbank, Calif. : CONAN
38
Deplete : DRAIN
39
Casual invention : FIB
42
Sacred text of Zoroastrianism : AVESTA
44
Longtime record label that shares its inits. with a major government agcy. : IRS
45
Chocolate candy brand : ROLO
46
Zip : PEP
47
Zip : SPICE
49
___ shot : JELLO
50
They may be endowed : ARTS
52
Field near the Anacostia River : RFKSTADIUM
54
Part of Boston's subway system that runs under Boston Harbor : BLUELINE
56
Funny feeling : UNEASE
57
Role played by Richard Gere and John Cleese : LANCELOT
58
Slim : MEAGER
59
What all the answers to should be clear? : EYETEST
60
Make clear, say : STRESS
Down
1
Position papers? : RESUMES
2
In : ALAMODE
3
The world's oldest one is in Tunisia : MINARET
4
Winning blackjack combo : ACETEN
5
Full of gossip : DISHY
6
Island whose battlefield area is a U.S. National Historic Landmark : ATTU
7
Marine detector : SONAR
8
Actress Marilu : HENNER
9
Fox neighbor : OTO
10
___ board : TOTE
11
Not to be shared with anyone : PRIVATE
12
Neighbor of Georgia : ARMENIA
13
Put on something old? : REENACT
15
Partner of 33-Across : JIMINYCRICKET
19
Cannon loader : RAMROD
23
Substitute, as words : DUBIN
26
Headed up : RAN
28
Warning in a school zone : SLO
30
Some hotel offerings : MINTS
31
Cows : SCARES
33
Step on French soil : PAS
34
___ Honor : HIS
35
Up to, with "of" : CAPABLE
36
Gold leaf, e.g. : OVERLAY
37
Triton's locale : NEPTUNE
39
Fall ___ : FOLIAGE
40
Handles badly : ILLUSES
41
Sixtysomethings, say : BOOMERS
43
Rainy times : APRILS
45
Colored sunfish : REDEAR
48
Otherwise : IFNOT
49
Economist Yellen : JANET
51
Result of a split decision? : SECT
53
Over-the-counter antacid : TUMS
55
Victor at Fussell's Mill : LEE

Answer summary: 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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