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New York Times, Friday, February 16, 2018

Author: David Steinberg
Editor: Will Shortz
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866/16/20119/29/201816
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David Steinberg

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 70, Blocks: 32 Missing: {JKQWZ} This is puzzle # 75 for Mr. Steinberg. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
David Steinberg notes: This is the second of two themelesses accepted in 2014 that I 'revitalized' a few months ago (the first was published December ... more
David Steinberg notes:

This is the second of two themelesses accepted in 2014 that I "revitalized" a few months ago (the first was published December 29). Not as much zip in this one as I'd strive to include nowadays, but I like the overall smoothness. It's like a YOGURT SMOOTHIE, with just a couple of raspberries that didn't defrost mixed in (I'm looking at you, AGENA and ONE NO!).

I'd say the highlight of the puzzle is the clues. My favorite David Steinberg Original® is [Like privates, often] for PIXELATED. Brings back memories of what was on my mind when I was 17 ;).

Jeff Chen notes: Given David's history of debuting entries like ADULT MOVIES, GENTLEMEN'S CLUB, PLAYBOY MANSION, and TOPLESS DANCERS, I was nervous ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Given David's history of debuting entries like ADULT MOVIES, GENTLEMEN'S CLUB, PLAYBOY MANSION, and TOPLESS DANCERS, I was nervous after uncovering PENTHOUSE … thankfully it was PENTHOUSE SUITE! Whew. That's a great feature entry.

I wasn't as hot on YOGURT SMOOTHIE – I drink a lot of fruit smoothies, protein shakes, etc., but YOGURT SMOOTHIE didn't immediately ring a bell. Still, it was obvious enough …

… what else goes into a YOGURT SMOOTHIE, though? Isn't it just yogurt? Why don't they just call it "yogurt"?

Tough to build a themeless around 14s, but David did a nice job of it. Classic approach, putting them in rows 4 and 12, still allowing him to build triple-stacks in the NW and SE corners, by placing a black square between TROI and ABUT. Both corners turned out pretty nice.

BOX CAMERA / SPEEDBALL / PENTHOUSE SUITE is a great triplet. I was all set to go gung-ho on the praise for it … then I realized what a SPEEDBALL is. Yikes!

And then I hit the AMBOY / ROY crossing. I had to debate ROD, ROG, ROS, ROC, ROB, ROY. Ultimately, the "king" etymology made ROY win out, but I think a more straightforward clue for ROY would have been better.

SE corner had a solid stack, too, with INAMORATA such a fancy-pants (in a good way!) term for "lover." PIXELATED was a fun term too … but oof, I don't want my crosswords to make me imagine pics that men seem to frequently text … let's leave it at that.

EADS / INAMORATA did seem iffy, but I *think* educated solvers ought to be able to work out that A ending letter, based on what they know of Romance languages.

Get it, romance?

*rimshot*

Okay, I'm sympathetic if you got that square wrong.

Overall, good use of his long slots, NEAT AS A PIN / TATE MODERN my favorite entries of the grid, what with their timeless feel. Not keen on the AGENA … rocket? … but those EADS AMBOY TROI dabs of crossword glue did enable a lot of good entries.

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© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0216 ( 24,937 )
Across Down
1. Sci-fi character who graduated from Starfleet Academy in 2359 : TROI
5. What Iran and Iraq do : ABUT
9. "Purgatorio" poet : DANTE
14. Brownie, for one : BOXCAMERA
16. Primitive kind of poker? : SPEAR
17. Dangerous cocktail : SPEEDBALL
18. "___ fine" : THATS
19. Luxury hotel option : PENTHOUSESUITE
21. Name related to Rex : ROY
22. Wednesday, e.g. : ADDAMS
24. Insurance company whose logo contains a bill : AFLAC
27. Tudor house feature : GABLE
30. Vegan protein source : SOY
31. Pot-making supply : CLAY
32. Like a mythical lion : NEMEAN
33. Recipe directive : ADD
34. Put away the dishes? : EAT
35. Memorable White House Correspondents' Dinner host of 2006 : COLBERT
36. You might click it open : PEN
37. "Eww, stop!" : TMI
38. Singular thing : ODDITY
39. Requiring immediate attention : DIRE
40. Hebrew : ben :: Arabic : ___ : IBN
41. "Stop playing" symbols : RESTS
42. Optimistic : SUNNY
43. Strained, at the bar : COLADA
45. Dash device : GPS
46. Creamy, fruity drink : YOGURTSMOOTHIE
53. One who's frequently in the dark : CAVER
54. Fiancée, say : INAMORATA
55. Brief bridge opening : ONENO
56. Like privates, often : PIXELATED
57. Part of a pound? : STRAY
58. Recipe directive : STIR
59. Cameos and others : GEMS
1. 1/256 of a gal. : TBSP
2. Plastic Clue weapon : ROPE
3. Strong team : OXEN
4. Cube holder : ICETRAY
5. South ___, N.J. : AMBOY
6. Boy with a bouquet : BEAU
7. Surfing destinations : URLS
8. Something to spin : TALE
9. One who's 60-something? : DSTUDENT
10. One with a plant-based diet : APHID
11. Spotless : NEATASAPIN
12. London museum whose oldest piece is from 1900 : TATEMODERN
13. Some TV drama settings : ERS
15. Provisional : ADHOC
20. Sensitive figure, for many : SALARY
23. Most populous city in Oceania : SYDNEY
24. ___ acid (dressing ingredient) : ACETIC
25. Attention-grabbing : FLAMBOYANT
26. Epitome of romantic passion : LATINLOVER
27. Fixes : GELDS
28. Bounds : AMBIT
29. Natural food coloring sources : BEETS
32. Rejection of a honey-do list : NODEAR
35. Its ribs stick out : CORDUROY
39. Cleaning cloth : DUSTRAG
42. Wind or unwind : SPOOL
44. It was boosted by Atlas : AGENA
45. Cloddish sort, in slang : GOMER
47. Things waiters wait for : TIPS
48. Huff : SNIT
49. Long dress : MAXI
50. "I ___ quotation": Emerson : HATE
51. Amazon unit : ITEM
52. James B. ___, diving bell inventor : EADS
53. Secant's reciprocal: Abbr. : COS

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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