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New York Times, Saturday, February 18, 2017

Author:
Steve Overton
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
22/18/20176/9/20170
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0000011
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.62000
Steve Overton

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 70, Blocks: 29 Missing: {HQ} This is the debut puzzle for Mr. Overton. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
Yet another debut this week! Very cool; I'm hoping that the NYT does a full 'new constructors' theme week in the future. It'd be ... read more

Yet another debut this week! Very cool; I'm hoping that the NYT does a full "new constructors" theme week in the future. It'd be especially cool if a few of them were female, or from diverse backgrounds. (Newbies, feel free to contact me if you're interested, have a theme idea, and/or would like some help!)

Steve uses his mid-length slots so well. Love that intersection of DREAM ON and NO CAN DO. Along with SIX GUN, RATED X, FREE DVD, TV GUIDE, ain't no BAD NEWS here. Steve's ON A TEAR! I don't remember the last time a puzzle's mid-length material stood out so well for me.

Some nice longer entries, too. Love the German DER RINGDO … er, DERRING DO. And SWEATSUIT, LET US PRAY, DEWEY EYED, NOBLEMAN, yes! Good work, putting at least one strong entry in each of the corners.

Not as much a fan of ALIENATE, SENTENCE, OVERTONE, BORDERED, as they're more neutral entries in my eyes, words I hear every day in workmanlike usage. They also carry slightly negative-ish OVERTONEs, which wasn't super uplifting. Not that I need or even want every crossword to lift my spirits, but as a form of entertainment, I'd rather come away with a sense of fun than a feeling of having my buzz harshed.

A bit of crossword glue holding everything together, ENERO a constructor's crutch what with its friendly letters and vowel/consonant alternation. Minor SASE, DTS (although I heard someone use that term the other day!). DO NOT was the lone entry that bugged me, a partial in disguise. A cutesy clue, without a question mark, in [Prohibition's beginning], just made it worse.

And tough entry in SANGAREE. It's definitely a thing, and I like having learned it (although it sounds slightly to incredibly disgusting). During my solve, though, it wasn't satisfying to be forced to piece together every single letter, just to wonder what this thing was.

LIEGE apparently can either mean the person in charge … or the person working for that person. Interesting tidbit of info.

Great use of mid-length slots, and if the longer slots had been used to that level, this would have been a POW! candidate. Given the standard-ish themeless pattern, I think that might have been possible, especially in the NE/SW.

1
B
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C
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W
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D
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F
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© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0218 ( 24,574 )
Across
1
Was almost, with "on" : BORDERED
9
New England staple : SCROD
14
Owing : INARREARS
16
Brand with a "PM" variety : ALEVE
17
"Bow your heads ..." : LETUSPRAY
18
Strength : SINEW
19
Loyal subject : LIEGE
20
Can : TIN
21
Hacker's success : ENTRY
22
Things are unlikely when they are long : ODDS
23
Prohibition's beginning : DONOT
25
Prince George's mom : KATE
26
Day spa treatment : WAX
27
Many a promotional media giveaway : FREEDVD
29
Not as shy as one might think : COY
30
Bad feeling : DREAD
31
Title nickname of filmdom's Lt. Jordan O'Neil : GIJANE
33
Raising hell : ONATEAR
36
In stitches : SUTURED
37
Prison in which Timothy Leary was housed next to Charles Manson : FOLSOM
38
Asks a loaded question, say : BAITS
39
Antipiracy grp. : FBI
40
"Ain't gonna happen" : NOCANDO
42
Lame : SAD
45
One may make tracks : SLED
47
Alternative to a "Psst!" : NUDGE
48
They click : MICE
49
Barbershop part : TENOR
51
Transcription product : RNA
52
"Silence is golden," e.g. : MAXIM
53
Floor : AMAZE
54
Exploits : DERRINGDO
56
Like some communities : GATED
57
Something to work out in : SWEATSUIT
58
When to wish someone un prospero año nuevo : ENERO
59
10 years, for example : SENTENCE
Down
1
Puff out : BILLOW
2
The so-called "People of the Standing Stone" : ONEIDA
3
Like "Last Tango in Paris," initially : RATEDX
4
Therapy group? : DRUGS
5
Cousin of Manx : ERSE
6
Single curl or crunch, in the gym : REP
7
Beam's path? : EARTOEAR
8
Really ready to rest : DRAINED
9
Aid for an ed. : SASE
10
Sound heard shortly after "Here's to ..." : CLINK
11
Dollar, for one : RENTACAR
12
Suggestion : OVERTONE
13
Innocent : DEWYEYED
15
Diocesan assembly : SYNOD
23
"Ain't gonna happen" : DREAMON
24
Desi Arnaz Jr. was on its first cover : TVGUIDE
27
It has a chilling effect : FREON
28
"That makes two of us" : DITTO
30
Danger while drying out : DTS
32
___ d'orange : JUS
33
Like many lines fed to actors : OFFSTAGE
34
Lady's counterpart : NOBLEMAN
35
Put off : ALIENATE
36
Cold wine-and-nutmeg drink : SANGAREE
38
"You'd better brace yourself for this ..." : BADNEWS
41
Rennin results in them : CURDS
42
Western heat? : SIXGUN
43
Cutting : ACIDIC
44
Bump down : DEMOTE
46
Demolition site sight : DOZER
48
Shepherd's home : MANSE
50
Fresh styling : REDO
52
Something catching? : MITT
55
Led : RAN

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

Found bugs or have suggestions?