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New York Times, Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Author:
John Guzzetta
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
2510/9/201211/5/20195
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1342483
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.63120
John Guzzetta

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 74, Blocks: 40 Missing: {KQXZ} Spans: 4 This is puzzle # 7 for Mr. Guzzetta. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
John Guzzetta notes:
I had this math theme sitting in my notebook for a couple of years. Hope faded that I would ever find a phrase that started with ... read more

I had this math theme sitting in my notebook for a couple of years. Hope faded that I would ever find a phrase that started with INTEGER. One day the thought popped into my head, "why not make the missing phrase a revealer of sorts?" And that's what you have here.

I love what Will and Joel have done with the clue for the revealer, which strikes me as much more interesting than my original. Also, as more accurate, since it helps hide the fact that I didn't/couldn't do anything with irrational numbers. I'll hush now, before I reveal the true depths of my math ignorance.

Jeff Chen notes:
I have a feeling this one is going to leave some solvers cold, but I'm a sucker for most anything math-related. John gives us types of ... read more

I have a feeling this one is going to leave some solvers cold, but I'm a sucker for most anything math-related. John gives us types of numbers at the starts of phrases: NATURAL, WHOLE, RATIONAL, and IMAGINARY. He could have used a NUMBERS revealer, but that would have been pretty dull, falling into the "words that can follow X" theme type that has fallen by the wayside. The clue for INTEGER was so long that it took me a while to figure out what it was saying, but what a neat way to tie together the puzzle. Innovative and interesting.

Pi can be so irrational ...

For those with math-aversions, NATURAL numbers and WHOLE numbers are more or less equated with INTEGERs (numbers without a decimal point). RATIONAL numbers can be WHOLE numbers like 1, 5, 144, but they can also be 15.4 (IRRATIONAL numbers are those that can't be expressed by a fraction, i.e. pi or the mathematical constant e.) Finally, IMAGINARY numbers are those including i (the square root of negative one).

Ah, takes me back to the good old days.

Yes, I'm weird.

Even if the theme didn't float your boat, the execution should. It's tough to work in four grid-spanners (15-letter entries) without a little compromise here or there in short fill. To add in a seven-letter revealer + some very nice long fill in BLUE LAW, SIPHONING, SEA ROVERS (wasn't sure what that was, but I decided I like the term after Googling it), and the crazy plural NAUTILI + virtually no gluey answers = dynamite execution.

Okay, I can see the argument against STOMA, given that it's pretty esoteric unless you're a biologist. But it's a real word used in botany, and all the crossings are very fair, so it didn't bother me. (I like botany, anyway.)

Finally, you have some nice short stuff in MOTIF, HUFF, the JUDEA/JAMS crossing nearly the same as yesterday (EERIE!), WICCA, ROIDS, and a hilarious clue in ASS-backwards … all in all, I found this puzzle to be a real winner.

1
V
2
E
3
R
4
B
5
S
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J
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A
8
M
9
S
10
M
11
A
12
T
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A
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C
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N
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19
S
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E
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W
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N
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C
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A
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E
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C
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E
W
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S
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B
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A
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P
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W
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A
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E
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N
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D
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D
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N
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F
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S
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G
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H
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© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0210 ( 24,200 )
Across
1
Many Latin ones end in -are : VERBS
6
Some jazz sessions : JAMS
10
Doorstep item : MAT
13
Right-leaning : ITALIC
15
The munchies, e.g. : URGE
16
Homage in verse : ODE
17
Tsunami, for one : NATURALDISASTER
20
Bone-chilling : EERIE
21
Hobos' conveyances : RAILS
22
Grinder input : WHOLEBEANCOFFEE
27
Caucus locale : IOWA
28
Mansard overhang : EAVE
29
Regatta teams : CREWS
31
Attack from a blind, say : SNIPE
33
Airer of Super Bowl 50 : CBS
36
"This is ___" (TV slogan) : CNN
37
The first parts of 17- and 22-Across are always this, the first part of 46-Across is sometimes this, and the first part of 55-Across is never this : INTEGER
39
Back talk : LIP
40
___-backwards : ASS
41
Doggy : POOCH
42
Problem for a comb : SNARL
44
Pronoun in letter greetings : WHOM
45
Relative of contra- : ANTI
46
Sound judgment : RATIONALTHOUGHT
53
Hatch of Utah : ORRIN
54
Blow one's top : ERUPT
55
Hobbes, in "Calvin and Hobbes" : IMAGINARYFRIEND
61
___ Pérignon : DOM
62
Scrubbed, as a mission : NOGO
63
Leno's late-night successor : FALLON
64
'16 people in '16, e.g. : SRS
65
___ Goose vodka : GREY
66
Broom-___ of the comics : HILDA
Down
1
Car registration fig. : VIN
2
H, on a fraternity house : ETA
3
Mob hit victim, sometimes : RAT
4
Sunday shopping ban : BLUELAW
5
"No ___, Bob!" : SIREE
6
Herod's realm : JUDEA
7
"Exodus" hero ___ Ben Canaan : ARI
8
Classic British sports cars : MGS
9
Pirates, or their ships : SEAROVERS
10
Dominant theme : MOTIF
11
Singer with the 2015 album "25" : ADELE
12
Hardly long-winded : TERSE
14
Potato or pasta, informally : CARB
18
It's not true : LIE
19
Something behind a painting, maybe : SAFE
22
Pagan belief : WICCA
23
Most big band instruments : HORNS
24
Jesse of the 1936 Olympics : OWENS
25
Sound from a stable : NEIGH
26
Superhero accessory : CAPE
30
Stealing, as gasoline : SIPHONING
31
Leaf pore : STOMA
32
Japanese PC maker : NEC
33
Trolley sound : CLANG
34
Blessed event : BIRTH
35
The 7-10 is a nasty one : SPLIT
38
It comes before one : NOON
43
Spiral-shelled mollusks : NAUTILI
44
Kristen of "Bridesmaids" : WIIG
46
Bodybuilder's dirty secret, informally : ROIDS
47
Hard wear? : ARMOR
48
J.F.K.'s AirTrain and others : TRAMS
49
"Bad, bad" Brown of song : LEROY
50
Have a go at : TRY
51
Fit of pique : HUFF
52
Celeb parodied by Maya Rudolph on "S.N.L." : OPRAH
56
___'easter : NOR
57
Dating site datum : AGE
58
90° bend : ELL
59
Oscar nomination, informally : NOD
60
"CSI" evidence : DNA

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

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