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New York Times, Friday, December 6, 2013

Author:
Elizabeth C. Gorski
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
2197/31/19952/23/20160
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6716363439243
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.5430225
Elizabeth C. Gorski

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 32 Missing: {QVZ} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 208 for Ms. Gorski. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Will Shortz notes:
HARAJUKU GIRLS (51A) were new to me ... but I like the phrase. Other favorite entries here include CREAM AND SUGAR, GLORY BE, TOO BAD, ... read more

HARAJUKU GIRLS (51A) were new to me ... but I like the phrase. Other favorite entries here include CREAM AND SUGAR, GLORY BE, TOO BAD, CELINE DION, TUNA ROLL, GOOF ON, and TILT-A-WHIRL.

Jeff Chen notes:
What a treat to get a themeless puzzle from the Sunday master! More often than not, themeless constructors use triple-stacks of 9's, ... read more

What a treat to get a themeless puzzle from the Sunday master! More often than not, themeless constructors use triple-stacks of 9's, 10's, or 11's in the four corners, but Liz throws that all out to feature two 13's and a 15.

Not many people do this because it's tough to work 13's into a themeless, seeing as how they quickly constrain the grid. Note those two black squares at the end of CREAM AND SUGAR and at the beginning of HARAJUKU GIRLS: they're stinkers. Dirty rotten stinkers! Typically it's best to retain maximum flexibility in your black square placement in case you run into problems (or opportunities), but fixing four squares in this way ties you down right off the bat. There's a good reason why you don't see a lot of 13s in themeless grids.

But Liz does well to work around them, incorporating all sorts of good stuff. GLORY BE is a great answer, and STORYBOARD has a great clue. TILT A WHIRL sure makes a nice cross to HARAJUKU GIRLS. I like that the long answers are in little pockets rather than stuffed in the corners like usual. Nice change of pace.

I had a very hard time with HARAJUKU GIRLS, mostly because I used to do a lot of work in Japan when I was a mechanical engineer. We had clients in Shinjuku, so that word stuck in my mind. Rats! HARAJUKU GIRLS is one of those fun terms which I'm glad to have learned (although man oh man some of those "fashion" choices are highly questionable), and extra glad that all the crosses were easy for me. Woe to the solver who hasn't had a KIR Royale before though.

And as usual, there's a smattering of crosswordese to hold the puzzle together, the AGENA, SNEE, APAR kind of stuff. Speaking of the short stuff, what makes this type of grid a little more difficult to "wow" with is that it starts off with a lot of short across answers, placing a less-than-ideal first impression in one's memory. It's not really fair, but by now I'm so used to themelesses starting off with a stack of long feature answers.

A lot of great stuff, with a perspective in gridwork and clues different from any other constructor. Love the variety. Hope to see more themelesses from Liz!

1
B
2
A
3
M
4
B
5
I
6
M
7
I
8
N
9
I
10
T
11
S
12
K
13
S
14
O
P
A
R
T
15
U
P
O
N
16
U
T
A
H
17
S
A
L
E
S
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R
O
O
M
S
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N
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C
R
E
A
M
A
N
D
S
U
21
G
A
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S
E
M
23
G
L
O
R
Y
24
B
25
E
26
R
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I
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T
T
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R
30
A
31
H
32
T
O
O
B
A
D
33
I
C
I
34
B
O
R
O
35
N
36
F
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O
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S
37
M
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L
38
T
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D
C
H
O
39
C
O
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40
M
A
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E
S
41
S
U
D
A
N
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R
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L
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E
X
A
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S
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M
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A
D
D
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D
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W
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E
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C
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A
B
51
H
A
R
A
J
52
U
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K
U
G
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R
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L
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P
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A
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C
E
L
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N
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60
S
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K
C
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N
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L
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I
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S
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A
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© 2013, The New York TimesNo. 1206 ( 23,404 )
Across
1
Innocent one : BAMBI
6
Short shift? : MINI
10
Judgmental clucks : TSKS
14
Influential style of the 1960s : OPART
15
Au courant about : UPON
16
Home of Sunset and Paradise : UTAH
17
Pitching staff work areas : SALESROOMS
19
Plea opener : NOLO
20
Coffee order : CREAMANDSUGAR
22
Theology inst. : SEM
23
"Praise the Lord!" : GLORYBE
26
"Stanley & Iris" director Martin : RITT
29
A bit of cheer? : RAH
32
"Aw, sorry about that ..." : TOOBAD
33
Here, to Henri : ICI
34
B, to scientists : BORON
36
Untwisted silk fibers : FLOSS
37
Ganache ingredient : MELTEDCHOCOLATE
40
Brisbane buddies : MATES
41
Country that split in two in 2011 : SUDAN
42
22-Across subj. : REL
43
Puts on a pedestal : EXALTS
45
Door sign : MEN
46
Combines : ADDS
47
Cold war defense system : DEWLINE
49
Semi part : CAB
51
Dancers known for their Japanese street-style wardrobe : HARAJUKUGIRLS
57
Water bearer : PAIL
59
Singer whose first top 10 hit was "Where Does My Heart Beat Now" : CELINEDION
60
In Australia her name is Karen : SIRI
61
1980s Chrysler offering : KCAR
62
Harper Lee's given name : NELLE
63
Castaway's spot : ISLE
64
Amtrak stops: Abbr. : STNS
65
"Skyfall" singer : ADELE
Down
1
"The aristocrat of pears" : BOSC
2
On ___ with : APAR
3
Like one end of an electric cord : MALE
4
Nursing locale : BREAST
5
"Hello, ___" : ITSME
6
Subatomic particle more massive than an electron : MUON
7
Many a museum audio guide : IPOD
8
Chinese menu words : NOMSG
9
Relative of a raspberry : INSULT
10
Sushi order : TUNAROLL
11
Plot device? : STORYBOARD
12
Early "Doctor Who" villain : KAL
13
"Nurse Jackie" channel, for short : SHO
18
Musket loader : RAMROD
21
Make jokes about : GOOFON
24
Like many turkeys : BASTED
25
Collectible cars : EDSELS
26
Encircled : RIMMED
27
Producer of cold cuts? : ICEAXE
28
Carnival ride since 1927 : TILTAWHIRL
30
Ones going in circles? : ARCS
31
[Zzzzz] : HOHUM
34
Get moving : BESTIR
35
Anatomical knot : NODE
38
Prevaricate : TELLALIE
39
Popular spring break locale : CANCUN
44
They may be offered by way of concessions : SNACKS
46
Withstood : ABIDED
48
Deplane in moments : EJECT
50
NASA's Gemini rocket : AGENA
52
___ Bator : ULAN
53
Wine-and-cassis drinks : KIRS
54
Make angry : RILE
55
Idle : LOLL
56
"The Mikado" weapon : SNEE
57
Penultimate Greek letter : PSI
58
Grafton's "___ for Alibi" : AIS

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle.

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