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New York Times, Monday, February 26, 2018

Author: Andrea Carla Michaels and Mark Diehl
Editor: Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
616/12/20008/6/201833
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
64292200
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.63217
Andrea Carla Michaels
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
7311/11/19848/18/20183
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
3214719352
ScrabRebusCirclePangramPre‑WS
1.571038
Mark Diehl

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 36 Missing: {JQXZ} This is puzzle # 58 for Ms. Michaels. This is puzzle # 70 for Mr. Diehl. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Constructor notes: MARK: I sent Andrea a congratulatory e-mail on her celeb-paired Monday puzzle with NdGT (03/20/17) and floated the idea of a ... more
Constructor notes:

MARK: I sent Andrea a congratulatory e-mail on her celeb-paired Monday puzzle with NdGT (03/20/17) and floated the idea of a collaborative Monday puzzle based on the old adage "still waters run deep" — four words that felt like strong candidates when used individually. Andrea liked the idea, and I liked the possibility that, with her help, I might finally score a Monday puzzle in the NYT. We batted around phrases beginning and ending with each of those four words for a day or so until Andrea lit upon the possible combo of:

STILLKICKING 12
WATERSDOWN 10 (which was the only WATERS... we could think of)
RUNONEMPTY 10 or RUNINPLACE 10
DEEPTHOUGHTS 12

Since the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament was now in a couple of days and my dear wife, Lee Ann, and I had decided to try and attend as helpers/judges every year possible — I stuck a pin in the project from my end. Then, while helping to organize registration packets on Thursday for the tourney we found that Andrea was entered to compete! That spurred me on — so I sketched out a couple of workable grids on slips from a complementary Stamford Marriott notepad and presented them to Andrea at the registration table the next day. Some more enjoyable back-and-forth followed, Andrea clued it all up, and I changed only the clue for SAW to make it a revealer before mailing our opus off to Will.

ANDREA: Mark was so easy to work with and such a delight that we did a second one immediately after Will accepted this one.

Jeff Chen notes: I've definitely heard the phrase STILL WATERS RUN DEEP before ... but I embarrassingly had to look up what it exactly meant. ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

I've definitely heard the phrase STILL WATERS RUN DEEP before ... but I embarrassingly had to look up what it exactly meant. Apparently "a quiet or placid manner may conceal a more passionate nature." Huh!

To me, a "maxim hidden at the starts of theme phrases" puzzle is best when there's a revealer that describes the maxim in a snazzy way. SAW is too generic for my taste. Problem is, I can't think of a colorful phrase that describes STILL WATERS RUN DEEP.

Heck, I can't even think of a non-snazzy way of describing it, besides just saying STILL WATERS RUN DEEP! Perhaps MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE?

(Doubly embarrassed that I just quoted the "Transformers" theme song.)

Anyhoo, good choices for theme answers. Funny to imagine older people say I'm STILL KICKING! And DEEP THOUGHTS was one of my favorite segments back when I watched SNL.

WATERS DOWN and RUN ERRANDS didn't pop as much – about as exciting as RUNning errands. But they work fine. There's not much you can do with WATERS as a starting word.

I'm curious if switching the maxim to final words would have been better? That would have put ETHEL WATERS into play. AND ... if you ran the themers vertically, you could bury the maxim at the bottoms of the theme phrases … making them RUN DEEP!

Okay, maybe I still don't totally get what the maxim means.

Good gridwork for a Monday. ORLON is a toughie, but I think it's worth the price of SMOLDERS next to an AIR KISS.

I wasn't as much a fan of STOOD IN intersecting ALL IN – feels inelegant to have the crossing dupe – and I didn't care for ESSES … I wonder if black squares at the end of AMASS and the start of ESSES could have cleaned things up.

All in all, a cleanly-executed maxim theme, the saying well-hidden at the start of the themers until the revealer told me what was going on. I just wish the revealer had more pop … perhaps not the best maxim to build a puzzle around.

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A
2
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37
H
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K
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© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0226 ( 24,947 )
Across Down
1. Sound from a pound : ARF
4. Discontinued Swedish cars : SAABS
9. Snapshot : PHOTO
14. ___ Zedong : MAO
15. ___ Vanilli, group with three #1 hits in 1989 : MILLI
16. Open the door for : LETIN
17. Be sick : AIL
18. Drip-dry fabric : ORLON
19. Preferred seat request in an airplane : AISLE
20. Not dead yet! : STILLKICKING
23. Substituted (for) : STOODIN
24. Laceless shoe fastener : VELCRO
28. Horror director Craven : WES
29. Warm winter wear : COAT
31. Baseball's Gehrig : LOU
32. Dilutes : WATERSDOWN
36. ___ ex machina : DEUS
37. Listens to : HEARS
38. Sí : Spain :: ___ : France : OUI
39. "Fee-fi-fo-fum" sayer : GIANT
40. Objectives : AIMS
41. Pick up dry cleaning, go to the post office, etc. : RUNERRANDS
43. ___ v. Wade : ROE
44. Author Vonnegut : KURT
45. Snakelike fish : EEL
46. Avenging spirits of Greek myth : FURIES
48. With possibly even direr consequences : ORWORSE
52. "What is life?," "Why are we here?," etc. : DEEPTHOUGHTS
55. Bricklayer, e.g. : MASON
58. Slight advantage : LEGUP
59. Soph. and jr. : YRS
60. Bathroom unit : STALL
61. Be of ___ (avail) : USETO
62. Fannie ___ (mortgage company) : MAE
63. Full of the latest : NEWSY
64. Glossy finish : SHEEN
65. Midlength records, for short : EPS
1. Stockpile : AMASS
2. Bonnie who sang "I Can't Make You Love Me" : RAITT
3. First ___ (Shakespeare volume) : FOLIO
4. Burns slowly : SMOLDERS
5. Simulated smooch : AIRKISS
6. Like a poker player who's either very confident or really bluffing : ALLIN
7. Like-minded voting group : BLOC
8. Swim's alternative : SINK
9. Mercury or Mars : PLANET
10. Katherine of "27 Dresses" : HEIGL
11. Settlers of tied games, for short : OTS
12. Michael Jackson's "Don't Stop ___ You Get Enough" : TIL
13. Tip jar bill : ONE
21. Brings to half-mast : LOWERS
22. ___ the Terrible : IVAN
25. Fresh from the laundry : CLEAN
26. Circular : ROUND
27. Ejects : OUSTS
29. Go "1, 2, 3, 4 ..." : COUNT
30. Injury, in totspeak : OWIE
32. Where ships dock : WHARF
33. "Wheel of Fortune" purchases : AEIOU
34. Circus whip-cracker : TAMER
35. Gloomy : DOUR
36. Conversation : DIALOG
39. Enjoyed frequently as a child : GREWUPON
41. Trick : RUSE
42. Send on a detour, say : REROUTE
44. With enthusiasm : KEENLY
47. Personal heroes : IDOLS
48. "Well, shucks!" : OHGEE
49. What the first, second and fifth lines in a limerick do : RHYME
50. Pocketbook part : STRAP
51. Slalom curves : ESSES
53. + : PLUS
54. Pianist/radio host John : TESH
55. AOL alternative : MSN
56. Breakfasted or lunched : ATE
57. Wise old saying ... like the first words of 20-, 32-, 41- and 52-Across : SAW

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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