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New York Times, Monday, February 25, 2019

Author:
Peter Gordon
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1129/5/19892/25/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
840231411619
ScrabRebusCirclePangramPre‑WS
1.5891611
Peter Gordon

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 40 Missing: {J} Spans: 3 This is puzzle # 112 for Mr. Gordon. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
I take a second look at every crossword I write about, so I can remember what the constructor did well or what could be improved. ... read more

I take a second look at every crossword I write about, so I can remember what the constructor did well or what could be improved. Occasionally, I change my mind after that second look.

It's rare that I give something a third look and unheard of for me to change my mind after that third look. Appropriate that it happened today, given the TRIathlon theme!

My first impression was that CYCLING stuck out as the only hidden word. RUNNING was by itself, and SWIMMING had the -LY attached. Felt inconsistent.

Second impression: it was neat that Peter managed to find three solid 15-letter phrases using these three sports. There aren't many options with any of them, at least none that gives away the game immediately (SWIMMING POOL, RUNNING LAPS, etc.)

I wouldn't have thought more about it, but Jim mentioned that he thought this was a great puzzle. Took me a while to see his thinking, but I gradually came around. Here are a few reasons:

  • All the bonus fill: CD SINGLE, COLD FEET, AD NAUSEAM, US STEEL, even COEQUAL, is interesting.
  • Minimal crossword glue: maybe ILIE and RIAL will be tough for newer solvers.
  • Some great clues, a treat for a Monday. There's a duo named "Peter and Gordon"? Indeed! After doing so many of Peter's puzzles over the years, this tickled me.
  • Z and X worked smoothly into the east section. It can be tough to integrate two rare letters into a tiny region, but Peter did it well.

A lot of love about this one, especially since I used to be a triathlete back in the day. I might have considered mirror symmetry (with themers in rows 3, 6, 9, 12), but I respect Peter's decision to put TRIATHLON in the usual "revealer" position. I didn't mind it not having a symmetrical theme partner (at least, not after my third look).

Solid work.

Jim Horne notes:

You might not remember Peter and Gordon, but I bet you can recall this song.

1
S
2
T
3
L
4
A
5
S
6
P
7
C
8
H
9
A
10
R
11
M
12
H
O
O
13
D
14
U
N
T
O
15
D
A
L
E
Y
16
A
D
N
A
17
U
S
E
A
M
18
S
W
I
P
E
19
G
O
I
N
G
S
W
I
M
20
M
I
N
G
L
Y
21
A
L
T
22
R
E
I
N
23
N
Y
E
24
W
25
E
26
T
27
Y
E
28
S
29
L
A
G
30
S
31
O
P
A
32
L
33
E
K
34
E
35
L
I
36
S
37
Z
38
T
39
R
E
C
Y
40
C
L
I
N
41
G
42
C
E
N
T
E
R
43
M
E
T
R
O
44
D
U
O
45
S
U
R
E
46
E
L
47
B
48
A
49
S
E
50
A
51
B
O
X
52
S
53
O
54
S
55
D
U
S
56
K
57
Q
U
58
I
59
O
U
T
60
O
F
T
H
E
61
R
U
N
N
62
I
63
N
64
G
65
U
S
A
G
E
66
T
R
I
A
T
H
L
O
N
67
S
T
Y
L
E
68
O
R
A
L
69
D
I
V
A
70
A
S
S
E
T
71
N
I
L
72
E
A
T
© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 0225 ( 25,311 )
Across
1
The Cardinals, on scoreboards : STL
4
Egyptian cobra : ASP
7
Bracelet trinket : CHARM
12
Little Red Riding ___ : HOOD
14
"Do ___ others ..." : UNTO
15
Former Chicago mayor Richard : DALEY
16
To a sickening degree : ADNAUSEAM
18
Steal, informally : SWIPE
19
Proceeding well : GOINGSWIMMINGLY
21
PC key : ALT
22
Harness strap : REIN
23
Netflix's "Bill ___ Saves the World" : NYE
24
Rainy : WET
27
"Definitely so" : YES
29
Falls behind : LAGS
31
Good name for a gemologist : OPAL
33
Barely make, with "out" : EKE
35
Hungarian composer Franz : LISZT
39
Place to bring aluminum cans : RECYCLINGCENTER
43
Paris subway : METRO
44
Peter and Gordon, e.g. : DUO
45
100% positive : SURE
46
English actor Idris : ELBA
49
Poseidon's domain : SEA
51
Jack-in-the-___ : BOX
52
Help wanted sign? : SOS
55
Twilight time : DUSK
57
On the ___ vive : QUI
59
No longer in contention : OUTOFTHERUNNING
65
Grammarian's concern : USAGE
66
Race suggested by 19-, 39- and 59-Across? : TRIATHLON
67
Fashion : STYLE
68
Like a thermometer that's put in the mouth : ORAL
69
Prima donna : DIVA
70
Liability's opposite : ASSET
71
0, in World Cup scores : NIL
72
Break a hunger strike : EAT
Down
1
Kind of carpet : SHAG
2
Big fuss : TODO
3
Comedian Love who co-hosts "The Real" : LONI
4
Once again : ANEW
5
Step between two floors : STAIR
6
___ horse (gymnastics apparatus) : POMMEL
7
Music format popular in the 1990s : CDSINGLE
8
Goldie of "Snatched" : HAWN
9
Straighten : ALIGN
10
___ all (email button) : REPLY
11
"As if!" : MYEYE
13
"S.N.L." alum Carvey : DANA
14
Pittsburgh-based N.Y.S.E. company : USSTEEL
17
Hideous : UGLY
20
"Mamma ___!" : MIA
24
Fishhook squirmer : WORM
25
Sword for an Olympian : EPEE
26
"The ability to step on a man's toes without messing up the shine on his shoes," per Harry Truman : TACT
28
Compete in a slalom : SKI
30
Seven "deadly" things : SINS
32
Instrument for a Muse : LYRE
34
Conclusion : END
36
Ticket leftover : STUB
37
Any digit in a googol after the first one : ZERO
38
Big dinosaur, for short : TREX
40
Sudden loss of courage : COLDFEET
41
Fellow told to "hop on the bus" in Paul Simon's "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" : GUS
42
Like the three branches of the U.S. government : COEQUAL
47
"Close ___ no cigar" : BUT
48
Actor Kutcher : ASHTON
50
Uncle's wife : AUNT
52
Composer known as the "March King" : SOUSA
53
Removes from office : OUSTS
54
Doesn't leave : STAYS
56
Gymnast Strug : KERRI
58
Like many TV broadcasts : INHD
60
Look at with lust : OGLE
61
Iranian currency : RIAL
62
Nastase of tennis : ILIE
63
___ Scotia : NOVA
64
Pesky insect : GNAT

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

Found bugs or have suggestions?