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New York Times, Saturday, February 16, 2019

Author:
Andrew Kingsley and John Lieb
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
174/29/20162/27/20204
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1213154
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.55120
Andrew Kingsley
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
165/14/20132/27/20206
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0432304
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.60210
John Lieb

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 70, Blocks: 30 Missing: {JQVZ} This is puzzle # 14 for Mr. Kingsley. This is puzzle # 15 for Mr. Lieb. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Constructor notes:
Andrew: This puzzle started with the SE stack, as I had been trying forever to get PIXIECUT into a puzzle (my sister proudly donned ... read more

Andrew: This puzzle started with the SE stack, as I had been trying forever to get PIXIECUT into a puzzle (my sister proudly donned this style for a while). When FLEXTIME and DOMINATRIX fell into place, I knew I was cooking. Then I hit PANSEXUAL (more and more I'm trying to incorporate queer-themed language into my themelesses to expose solvers to aspects and identities within the queer community) and was a happy man. While I'm bummed that COME OUT was not clued as I had hoped, I am so happy by the sparkle that John brought to the left side—a true collaborative effort.

John: It was great fun trying to fill the left half of this puzzle, working to build on the lively right half that Andrew presented to me. I'm excited to have our third collaboration appear in the Times. I'm also excited to be working with Andrew on the third edition of Boswords, the summer crossword tournament that we co-direct in Boston (with the help of an amazing group of constructors and volunteers!) The date is set for Sunday July 28 and you can get more info at www.boswords.org. Hope to see you there!

Jeff Chen notes:
Appropriate that there are three Xs in this grid! MANSCAPING is innocent enough in some senses. Trimming unwanted chest and back hair ... read more

Appropriate that there are three Xs in this grid! MANSCAPING is innocent enough in some senses. Trimming unwanted chest and back hair for cosmetic appearances — sure, it's a little icky, but it's a part of life for many. Then there are the other senses ... don't Google it without your adult filter on. There are some things you can't unsee.

At the symmetrical location to MANSCAPING is DOMINATRIX? Yikes! The images of the MANSCAPING the DOMINATRIX would do ...

DOMINATRIX was one of my favorite entries of the puzzle, especially considering the clever clue. You whipper-snapper! Not the innocent kind, either!

Along with PANSEXUAL, this one has an edgy feel overall. Some edginess is good for the NYT.

I appreciated the three Xs — it's not hard to work a single X into a themeless, but two can be tough, and three insanely difficult to do well. Seamless today, Often, I feel like constructors convince themselves to do bad things with crossword glue in order to work in those rare letters. Andrew and John did very well in this regard.

Speaking of crossword glue, even the dabs they used weren't that bad. And CEE was a win in my book, a great clue referring to the third character to appear in Macbeth. That's a letter character, not an actor!

Strong work overall. A ton of great entries like HOTLANTA, MINOTAUR, STAR WARS, THE AMISH, CARPACCIO, along with very little crossword glue. That's A LOT TO ASK, and Andrew + John delivered. If it hadn't been for my own squeamishness around one entry, it would have been in POW! contention.

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H
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© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 0216 ( 25,302 )

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Across
1
Old-fashioned group of people : THEAMISH
9
You may train to get in it : SHAPE
14
Another moniker for the Empire City of the South : HOTLANTA
15
Having an uninterrupted series of steps : SCALAR
16
Chosen : ANOINTED
17
Kite grippers : TALONS
18
Peso : Cuba :: ___ : Korea : WON
19
Être, across the Pyrenees : SER
20
Predecessors of Transformers : GOBOTS
21
Yearbook sect. : SRS
22
Scratch : CANCEL
24
Lose sleep (over) : STEW
26
Like the characters on "Lost" : MAROONED
28
Kitchen gadget brand : OXO
29
Couple seen on Raisin Bran boxes : SCOOPS
32
Bullish figure? : MINOTAUR
34
New Age keyboardist : YANNI
35
Third character to appear in "Macbeth" : CEE
36
Painted Desert sights : MESAS
37
New Age composer : BRIANENO
39
It may be made into spears : PICKLE
40
Job for an investment bank, for short : IPO
41
Some modern discounts : GROUPONS
43
"State Fair" director Walter : LANG
45
Fifth-century scourge : ATTILA
46
Tailward : AFT
49
Ridge : CREASE
51
81-card game : SET
52
Vamp's wear : BOA
53
It points sharply down : ICICLE
54
The American Film Institute named its soundtrack the greatest film score of all time : STARWARS
56
United : LINKED
57
Bob's relative : PIXIECUT
58
Wikipedia's globe and such : LOGOS
59
Alternative to a 9-to-5 work schedule : FLEXTIME
Down
1
Warms : THAWS
2
"Your" follower : HONOR
3
Some prep school wear : ETONS
4
Subject of the 2004 autobiography "The Soul of a Butterfly" : ALI
5
One use for hair clippers, in modern lingo : MANSCAPING
6
How many Oscar acceptance speeches are delivered : INTEARS
7
Buffet burner : STERNO
8
Fooled : HAD
9
Part of a natural repair process : SCAB
10
Some lunar effects : HALOS
11
No small favor : ALOTTOASK
12
Potentially attracted to anyone : PANSEXUAL
13
Workup sites, briefly : ERS
15
Like some kisses : STOLEN
20
One who might say "You wish!" : GENIE
23
Appear in print : COMEOUT
25
Poorer : WORSE
26
U.S. poet laureate ___ Van Duyn : MONA
27
Whipper snapper? : DOMINATRIX
29
Rebellious "Downton Abbey" daughter : SYBIL
30
Italian hors d'oeuvre : CARPACCIO
31
What Homer used to propose to Marge : ONIONRING
33
People on the case, for short : TECS
35
Benjamin : CNOTE
38
Like an amnesiac's memories : ERASED
39
Medieval weapon : POLEAXE
42
Ovary's place, botanically : PISTIL
44
Insurance mascot with an accent : GECKO
46
Early counters : ABACI
47
Comments section, often : FORUM
48
"The enemy of creativeness," per Picasso : TASTE
50
Sierra Nevadas and others : ALES
53
Poorly : ILL
54
Cover letters for certain applications? : SPF
55
Like some kisses : WET

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later.

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