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New York Times, Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Author: Ron and Nancy Byron
Editor: Will Shortz
Ron Byron
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
66/16/20082/16/20166
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0231000
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.60010
Nancy Byron
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
66/16/20082/16/20166
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0231000
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.60010

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 36 Missing: {JQXZ} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 6 for Mr. Byron. This is puzzle # 6 for Ms. Byron. NYT links: Across Lite PDF

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Jeff Chen notes: A 'words that can follow' theme is a rare sighting these days. Will (among other editors) has said he won't be taking many (any?) of ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

A "words that can follow" theme is a rare sighting these days. Will (among other editors) has said he won't be taking many (any?) of these in the future, as they've run their course — I imagine this one must have been sitting in the queue for a while.

The FIGUREHEAD of the HMS Warrior. Cool!

If you're going to do a "words that can follow" puzzle, it's so important to execute perfectly. FIGURE HEAD does make for a very nice revealer, i.e. a description of FULL (FIGURE), ACTION (FIGURE), etc. And I do like the themers, all colorful entries. GO FOR BROKE is great, plus "go figure" is such a nice phrase as well.

There's some nice bonus fill in CUL DE SAC, GAME SHOW, SHERPA, and AWKWARD. Even DON HO helps spice up the puzzle. These help so much, especially when I realized the puzzle was employing a theme type that's fallen by the wayside.

The grid unfortunately feels stressed in many places, with AT NO, DORIA (only one real way to clue it), OVO (prefix), etc. strewn about. The toughest one to stomach is the HODS / EDINA crossing. I do like SHERPA a lot, as it adds nice color to the puzzle, and the V in EVIL/HOVEL makes for a nice rare(-ish) letter, but I bet that crossing will be a killer for some. I think it will set up some solvers to fail, and that's no good. The last thing I want to do is give friends an early-week puzzle and have them get turned off by something like this.

This is one of the issues we're trying to address with our new XWord Info Word List. I spent about a hundred hours scoring all the short entries, so it's much easier to avoid the gluey bits. It doesn't do all the work for you of course, but I think it's a great start for people looking to make cleaner, snazzier puzzles.

So, a good revealer and a nice choice of themers, with some rough patches in execution.

1
D
2
E
3
C
4
C
5
A
6
R
7
H
8
O
9
S
10
S
11
H
12
E
13
A
14
I
M
O
U
T
15
E
A
V
E
16
H
O
D
S
17
F
U
L
L
N
18
E
L
S
O
N
19
E
V
I
L
20
D
O
R
I
A
21
A
R
E
N
A
22
A
23
D
24
U
E
25
A
C
T
26
I
27
O
N
P
L
A
N
28
K
A
N
S
29
A
S
30
S
A
D
A
31
I
N
L
A
W
32
D
33
O
N
H
O
34
T
35
S
36
A
37
S
T
I
C
K
38
T
O
Y
O
U
R
39
G
U
N
S
40
S
E
T
41
W
R
E
S
T
42
R
A
T
E
S
43
F
A
I
R
44
P
A
M
E
L
A
45
G
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O
47
F
O
R
B
R
48
O
49
K
E
50
E
E
L
Y
51
A
W
A
R
D
52
B
A
T
53
H
S
54
B
L
U
E
55
F
56
I
G
U
R
E
H
57
E
58
A
59
D
60
L
E
N
S
61
E
N
Y
A
62
F
O
R
C
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63
E
T
A
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64
R
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T
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© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0216 ( 24,206 )
Across Down
1. Record label for Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" : DECCA
6. Greek R's : RHOS
10. Mets' home before Citi Field : SHEA
14. "Too rich for my blood" : IMOUT
15. Ice dam site : EAVE
16. Brick carriers : HODS
17. Banned wrestling hold : FULLNELSON
19. Dr. ___, Austin Powers's foe : EVIL
20. Andrea ___, ship that sank in 1956 : DORIA
21. Big concert venue : ARENA
22. Together, musically : ADUE
25. Aid in accomplishing a goal : ACTIONPLAN
28. The Sunflower State : KANSAS
30. Actress Thompson of "Family" : SADA
31. Guest you might not want to stay for too long : INLAW
32. Pop singer from 27-Down : DONHO
34. Inits. on an airport uniform : TSA
37. "Don't give up the fight!" : STICKTOYOURGUNS
40. Workplace often surrounded by trailers : SET
41. Seize (from) : WREST
42. Gives stars to, say : RATES
43. ___ to middling : FAIR
44. Actress Anderson of "Baywatch" : PAMELA
45. Risk everything : GOFORBROKE
50. Slippery : EELY
51. Gold star or silver medal : AWARD
52. Realty listing data : BATHS
54. The "B" in Roy G. Biv : BLUE
55. Carved decoration on a ship's prow ... or a hint to the first word of 17-, 25-, 37- and 45-Across : FIGUREHEAD
60. Something you can see through : LENS
61. "Dark Sky Island" singer, 2015 : ENYA
62. "May the ___ be with you" : FORCE
63. Coup d'___ : ETAT
64. Indian royal : RANI
65. Many a middle-schooler : TWEEN
1. "What's the ___?" : DIF
2. Bird that can run up to 30 m.p.h. : EMU
3. One of 15 in a typical weekday crossword: Abbr. : COL
4. Dead-end street : CULDESAC
5. 1 for hydrogen or 2 for helium: Abbr. : ATNO
6. Linotype machine, nowadays : RELIC
7. Starts, as a big job : HASAT
8. Egg: Prefix : OVO
9. Rand Paul or Marco Rubio: Abbr. : SEN
10. Everest guide : SHERPA
11. Homely home : HOVEL
12. Minneapolis suburb : EDINA
13. Symbol of Jesus Christ in the "Narnia" series : ASLAN
18. Historical periods : ERAS
21. Only country in which Catalan is the official language : ANDORRA
22. Half of S.W.A.K. : AKISS
23. Who wrote "Let us not speak of them, but look, and pass on" : DANTE
24. Dark : UNLIT
26. "All ___ lost" : ISNOT
27. Honolulu's island : OAHU
29. All thumbs : AWKWARD
32. Red Sox Hall-of-Famer Bobby : DOERR
33. Yiddish cries : OYS
34. Private pupil : TUTEE
35. Part of a fishing line to which a hook is attached : SNELL
36. Analyze, as ore : ASSAY
38. Oakland paper, for short : TRIB
39. Where you might hear "Ding ding ding!" : GAMESHOW
43. Setting for "Little Red Riding Hood" : FOREST
44. Czech form of the French "Pierre" : PETR
45. One of seven in a Hawthorne title : GABLE
46. Small hooter : OWLET
47. Animals, collectively : FAUNA
48. Delivery person? : OBGYN
49. Island neighbor of 27-Down : KAUAI
53. Test by lifting : HEFT
55. "Oh, ___ cryin' out loud!" : FER
56. "___ perfect world ..." : INA
57. Before, poetically : ERE
58. Star pitcher : ACE
59. Cub Scout group : DEN

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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