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New York Times, Saturday, February 21, 2015

Author:
Doug Peterson and Brad Wilber
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
432/20/200611/17/201824
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
2273112142
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.63200
Doug Peterson
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
512/19/200510/21/201725
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
001201434
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.60001
Brad Wilber

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 70, Blocks: 30 Missing: {FJQWZ} This is puzzle # 37 for Mr. Peterson. This is puzzle # 41 for Mr. Wilber. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Constructor notes:
DOUG: Remember the recent kerfuffle about whether or not HELLO KITTY is actually a cat? I've done some research on the topic, ... read more

Charmmykitty is to Hello Kitty's left DOUG: Remember the recent kerfuffle about whether or not HELLO KITTY is actually a cat? I've done some research on the topic, and she is indeed a cat. But here's where it gets weird: Hello Kitty has a pet cat named Charmmy Kitty. Charmmy Kitty basically looks like a smaller, more catlike version of Hello Kitty. Somehow this is even more disturbing than the Goofy/Pluto dichotomy.

BRAD: I don't know what Doug's talking about; I've kept a couple of smaller versions of myself as pets for years. One of them actually edits the Chronicle of Higher Education puzzles.

This puzzle went through a couple of drafts before we arrived at this fill. Between versions, I actually pulled one of my seeds to use in a different collaboration with Doug, which you'll see here eventually. But we preserved Doug's nice seeds at 33D and 17A. His HELLO KITTY clue is great, as well.

Jill Denny notes:
Lots of gems in this challenging puzzle. My first pass gave me SALTI, CIA, EMMY, AUDI, INDY, and STEELE, followed by a tentative ... read more

Lots of gems in this challenging puzzle. My first pass gave me SALTI, CIA, EMMY, AUDI, INDY, and STEELE, followed by a tentative PAPYRI on my next pass. And then ... nothing. Not my best start. I finally clawed my way into the NW corner with CLOCK and CLASSTRIP, but the rest of the puzzle involved false starts, lucky guesses, mental time-outs, and a Google search or two. An admirable grid with thorny cluing — just what I like on a Saturday.

I tumbled down several rabbit-holes, chasing proper nouns and quotes through wikipedia and the like. Some of my favorite discoveries:

- HELLO KITTY is so much taller than I realized. At five apples high, she towers over the Smurfs, who are only three apples high. Using an average-appearing Honeycrisp as standard, I am just shy of 19.8 apples high. RALPH NADER is almost 21.5 apples high.

- Welcome to the database, Anastasia STEELE. I was surprised to find myself pleased by this reference for its lack of snobbishness. I've been guilty of rolling my eyes at 50 Shades mania, but if it gets people reading, then I'm all for it. If it helps women communicate their desires, even better.

- This was the first time that DEV was clued with a reference to HUD. As much as I enjoy the Cabinet departments, I'll always prefer a nod to Dev Patel, one of the more charming actors on the planet. Jai ho!

- Un crime de LESE-humanité was new to me. Lèse-majesté refers to high treason (literally, injury to the king), which makes un crime de lèse-humanité the crime of injuring humanity, or rather, a crime against humanity. I love learning this kind of thing from a crossword, even when the phrase is as somber as this one.

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© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0221 ( 23,846 )
Across
1
It's usually taken on a bus : CLASSTRIP
10
Pact signed by Nixon : SALTI
15
Nancy Drew never left hers behind : LATETEENS
16
Saw : AXIOM
17
Needing no prep, in a way : OVENREADY
18
Bait : TEMPT
19
Org. in "Argo" : CIA
20
It depicts a winged woman holding an atom : EMMY
21
Beyond that : MORESO
22
Not mussed : KEMPT
24
Loads, for many: Abbr. : SYN
25
Constellation near Ursa Major : LEO
26
Art film? : ACETATE
30
Unleashes (on) : SICS
31
Who said "Power has to be insecure to be responsive" : RALPHNADER
34
Brute : OGRE
35
Observe : OBEY
36
Tip-offs : CLUES
37
It may be thrown in the mix : CHEX
38
Take off : SOAR
39
Animated character who's five apples tall : HELLOKITTY
41
"Truth in engineering" sloganeer : AUDI
42
Where the waves come in? : ANTENNA
43
Dairy case units: Abbr. : PTS
44
Was taken in : BIT
45
Stay a step ahead of : ELUDE
49
Secure : ATTAIN
51
Place for a rivulet : DALE
54
Part of HUD: Abbr. : DEV
55
Diamond, e.g. : RHOMB
56
Triton, to Neptune : SATELLITE
58
Reisz who directed "The French Lieutenant's Woman" : KAREL
59
Crowd : CLOSEINON
60
"Make Someone Happy" composer : STYNE
61
It connects two pages : HYPERTEXT
Down
1
Slug : CLOCK
2
Allegorical painting from Picasso's Blue Period : LAVIE
3
Field standouts : ATEAM
4
Paul, for one: Abbr. : SEN
5
Exhibit plasticity : STRETCH
6
Be present in large quantity : TEEM
7
Widen, as a gun barrel : REAM
8
Ark finder, familiarly : INDY
9
University course, for short : PSY
10
Delayed, in a way : SATON
11
Woodcutter, e.g. : AXER
12
Star's spot : LIMELIGHT
13
Phrase often stamped in red : TOPSECRET
14
#1 hit on the soundtracks for "Grumpy Old Men" and "Beverly Hills Chihuahua" : IMTOOSEXY
21
Former Miss America who ran for the U.S. Senate in 1980 : MYERSON
23
Early writing materials : PAPYRI
24
"Fifty Shades of Grey" protagonist Anastasia : STEELE
27
Fetter : ENCHAIN
28
Facility : TALENT
29
Mature : ADULT
30
Bee, e.g. : SOCIAL
31
She wouldn't take an affront sitting down : ROSAPARKS
32
"Since you asked ..." : ABOUTTHAT
33
It gets attention when it runs : LEADSTORY
40
Prie-dieu feature : KNEELER
44
___ Belt : BIBLE
46
Italian city near the Slovenian border : UDINE
47
Users may enter it : DETOX
48
1-Across, for one : EVENT
50
Famous last word : AMEN
51
New Year's Eve ball-drop commentator beginning in 2003 : DALY
52
Crowning : ATOP
53
Un crime de ___-humanité : LESE
56
Duke, e.g.: Abbr. : SCH
57
University course, for short : LIT

Answer summary: 1 unique to this puzzle, 2 debuted here and reused later.

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