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New York Times, Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Author:
Bruce Haight
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
481/3/20135/27/20194
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
314139450
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.59042
Bruce Haight

This puzzle:

Rows: 16, Columns: 15 Words: 81, Blocks: 38 Missing: {JQZ} This is puzzle # 35 for Mr. Haight. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Bruce Haight notes:
I remember deciding to try to find some kind of boxed thing to do a puzzle on. No new ideas were popping up on the XWord Info list, so ... read more

I remember deciding to try to find some kind of boxed thing to do a puzzle on. No new ideas were popping up on the XWord Info list, so I just went to Google and typed in "boxed" and then tried one letter after another till I got to "r" and boxed roses showed up. It didn't Google very well, but there were lots of pretty pictures of boxed roses, so it seemed commercially significant.

I was pretty lucky to be able to stack the two words, and super lucky when HAVE A HEART popped up randomly on the fill. STEAL A KISS was a great sidekick, but ARIKARA was a bitter pill to swallow. It was nice that their tribe had just "starred" in "The Revenant," but it's still pretty rough sledding for a Tuesday.

Jeff Chen notes:
BOXED / ROSES, represented as R O S E in a 2x2 set of squares. That felt thin by itself, so I'm glad Bruce tossed in a ... read more

BOXED / ROSES, represented as R O S E in a 2x2 set of squares. That felt thin by itself, so I'm glad Bruce tossed in a quasi-kinda-sorta-mini-theme. HAVE A HEART and STEAL A KISS hinting at Valentine's Day candy. They weren't consistent since one could be a literal "have a (candy) heart!" statement, while the other was wordplayish. Still, flowers and candy are traditional, so it all kinda sorta meshes.

Quasi.

Nice to get some bonuses for us VDay questioners. BATCHED IT! Love that one. I've also seen it as BACHED IT, but that looks more like you listened to a bunch of baroque music. (My kind of batching it! Sadly.)

ALMA MATER, I BELIEVE SO, FLAX SEED, GO SIDEWAYS rounds out some excellent bonuses in the fill. Great choices for those long slots.

Nice gridsmanship through the R O S E boxes and that central BOXED / ROSES. The letters are common and easy to work with, but usually, constructors would hit at least a hiccup or two. Only thing that bugged me was STEERER, but I suppose the person with the rudder in a bobsled is the STEERER?

At least it's gettable.

The SIT PAT clue … huh. I appreciate attempts at new and fresh ways of cluing shorter entries. Invoking PAT Sajak seemed … odd. A bit too kooky for my taste.

Not a bad VDay tribute. It didn't all quite tie together for me — a DOZEN / ROSES (with ROSE hidden 12 times) would have felt more apt (is it just me, or do BOXED / ROSES seem old-fashioned?), and the HEART / KISS mini-theme hit my ear off-key — but a good attempt, at least with good gridwork.

1
S
2
P
3
A
4
M
5
M
6
E
7
A
8
L
9
S
10
H
11
O
12
L
13
A
14
T
E
R
I
15
A
B
B
O
T
16
A
R
O
D
17
A
S
O
F
18
I
B
E
L
I
19
E
V
E
S
O
20
N
O
N
F
21
A
T
22
A
R
R
E
S
T
S
23
S
N
A
24
R
25
F
26
S
I
A
27
O
28
R
29
G
30
N
I
E
L
31
S
32
C
H
33
A
34
S
35
M
36
P
E
R
37
S
E
38
B
A
T
39
C
H
E
D
I
T
40
E
R
A
T
41
B
O
X
E
D
42
A
S
T
O
43
R
O
M
E
44
R
O
S
E
S
45
R
A
P
S
46
A
L
M
A
47
M
A
T
E
R
48
A
T
L
A
S
49
S
L
Y
L
Y
50
S
E
E
51
M
S
52
E
T
A
53
A
B
54
C
55
D
R
U
I
56
D
57
A
58
R
59
I
K
A
R
60
A
61
R
A
R
62
I
63
N
64
G
65
G
O
S
I
D
E
W
66
A
67
Y
S
68
U
S
E
R
69
A
R
E
S
70
T
E
H
E
E
71
M
O
R
E
72
R
Y
E
S
73
E
D
I
T
S
74
S
N
O
W
© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0213 ( 24,934 )

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Across
1
Unwanted email : SPAM
5
Series of courses? : MEALS
10
"Buenos días!" : HOLA
14
Actress Polo : TERI
15
Top Trappist, maybe : ABBOT
16
14-time M.L.B. All-Star, to fans : AROD
17
Beginning, datewise : ASOF
18
"Yes, that's my opinion" : IBELIEVESO
20
Like skim milk : NONFAT
22
Takes to the station house : ARRESTS
23
Wolf (down) : SNARF
26
One-named singer with the 2016 #1 hit "Cheap Thrills" : SIA
27
The "O" of NATO: Abbr. : ORG
30
Physics Nobelist Bohr : NIELS
32
Big rift : CHASM
36
Intrinsically : PERSE
38
Lived like a single guy : BATCHEDIT
40
The "E" of Q.E.D. : ERAT
41
With 44-Across, Valentine's Day gift ... or a hint to the shaded squares : BOXED
42
Regarding : ASTO
43
The Eternal City : ROME
44
See 41-Across : ROSES
45
Knocks : RAPS
46
Old school : ALMAMATER
48
North Africa's ___ Mountains : ATLAS
49
On the down-low : SLYLY
50
Looks to be : SEEMS
52
When to expect someone, for short : ETA
53
Airer of "The Bachelor" and "The Catch" : ABC
55
Stonehenge priest : DRUID
57
Dakota tribe that attacked "The Revenant" trappers : ARIKARA
61
Enthusiastic : RARING
65
Get fouled up, idiomatically : GOSIDEWAYS
68
Manual reader : USER
69
Father of Phobos : ARES
70
Snicker sound : TEHEE
71
"Encore!" : MORE
72
Some hard drinks : RYES
73
Does some post-shooting film work : EDITS
74
Reason for a school closing : SNOW
Down
1
Baseball's Musial : STAN
2
100 centavos : PESO
3
Elvis's middle name : ARON
4
Irks : MIFFS
5
Tiki bar drink : MAITAI
6
Flow out : EBB
7
Fiver : ABE
8
The "her" in the lyric "I met her in a club down in old Soho" : LOLA
9
Excites : STIRS
10
Try some Valentine's Day candy? : HAVEAHEART
11
Shipments to smelteries : ORES
12
Heading on a poster with a picture of a dog : LOST
13
Hubbubs : ADOS
19
Philosopher Fromm : ERICH
21
Fashion's Klein : ANNE
24
PC start-overs : REBOOTS
25
Big source of omega-3 fatty acids : FLAXSEED
27
Schedule at the Met : OPERAS
28
Keep going in Yahtzee : REROLL
29
One of 22 for U2 : GRAMMY
31
Pilot : STEERER
33
Commercial success? : ADSALE
34
Poker advice for Sajak? : SITPAT
35
Greek peak, briefly : MTOSSA
37
Try some Valentine's Day candy, sneakily? : STEALAKISS
39
Investments with fixed rates, for short : CDS
41
Item under a blouse : BRA
47
"Oops, sorry!" : MYBAD
48
Locale of both the 2018 and 2020 Olympics : ASIA
51
Bags for guys : MURSES
54
Home of King Minos : CRETE
56
Bongos, e.g. : DRUMS
57
Lab medium : AGAR
58
Actor Calhoun : RORY
59
"Hmm ..." : ISEE
60
Bedazzled : AWED
62
Has the stage : ISON
63
Famed "fiddler" : NERO
64
Sprouted : GREW
66
Sushi fish : AHI
67
"Nevertheless ..." : YET

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle.

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