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New York Times, Friday, February 27, 2015

Author:
Julian Lim
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
231/6/201012/21/20190
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1115438
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.64101
Julian Lim

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 62, Blocks: 45 Missing: {KQVX} Spans: 2 This is puzzle # 18 for Mr. Lim. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
Neat 8-track pattern today. Reminded me of a mini-themed themeless from a while back. Like puzzles featuring triple-stacked ... read more

Neat 8-track pattern today. Reminded me of a mini-themed themeless from a while back.

"You can't really dust for vomit"

Like puzzles featuring triple-stacked grid spanners, this one leans heavily on a just a few long answers for snazz. Luckily, THIS IS SPINAL TAP hits my sweet spot; one of my favorite movies of all time. I bet there will be others out there like me as well spouting off dozens of lines from the movie to the annoyance of everyone around us. STORAGE SPACES felt more neutral to me, and PRISONER OF WAR had the potential to be grim. Nice job on the clue, spinning it in a positive way by recognizing Sartre and Churchill for the hardships they endured.

Although he sounded familiar, I wasn't sure who STEPHEN JAY GOULD was, so I enjoyed reading up on him. Given all his contributions to evolutionary science, he gets a big thumbs-up for me, as right on target for a NYT audience.

Super tough NW section, the combination of MELISMA and SHOGI (as well as not being sure if GRISTLY was an actual word) turning up the difficulty to 11. I really like learning a new thing (maybe two) from a crossword, but getting too much shoved together can make it less palatable.

Finally, I loved the clue for ASIA. I was vaguely aware of the neat "four Asian Tigers" term describing Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan. And learning that the four "Tiger cub economies" covered the more developing economies of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand is something I quite enjoyed learning.

Nice change of pace, with a cool-looking grid.

1
G
2
R
3
A
4
C
5
E
6
P
7
E
8
R
9
I
10
O
11
D
12
P
R
I
S
O
N
E
R
O
F
W
A
13
R
14
T
H
I
S
I
S
S
P
I
N
A
L
T
A
15
P
16
R
O
S
E
A
T
E
17
C
A
T
S
E
Y
E
18
A
N
T
19
B
O
T
20
M
E
L
21
I
22
S
23
M
24
A
25
B
26
U
27
S
28
L
A
N
E
29
P
S
Y
C
H
I
C
30
B
R
I
A
R
S
31
H
O
M
O
32
G
A
R
P
33
I
34
M
A
G
E
R
35
U
N
E
A
36
R
37
T
38
H
39
E
D
I
T
I
O
N
40
N
O
N
Z
E
R
O
41
D
I
N
42
G
A
P
43
Y
O
U
44
A
45
N
46
D
47
I
48
S
49
H
50
A
51
L
L
W
E
52
S
T
E
P
H
E
N
53
J
A
Y
G
O
U
L
D
54
S
T
O
R
A
G
E
S
P
A
C
E
S
55
S
P
A
R
E
T
H
E
R
O
D
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0227 ( 23,852 )
Across
1
Time of forgiveness : GRACEPERIOD
12
Jean-Paul Sartre or Winston Churchill, once : PRISONEROFWAR
14
Classic 1984 film in which most of the dialogue was ad-libbed : THISISSPINALTAP
16
Pink : ROSEATE
17
Certain shooter : CATSEYE
18
Hill worker : ANT
19
Google worker : BOT
20
Musical phrase in which a single syllable is sung over several notes : MELISMA
25
Part of some city streets : BUSLANE
29
"I know what you're thinking" thinker : PSYCHIC
30
Rabbit homes, maybe : BRIARS
31
Group of people : HOMO
32
Robin Williams title role : GARP
33
Radiologist, often : IMAGER
35
Disinter : UNEARTH
39
Hardcover or paperback : EDITION
40
Positive or negative : NONZERO
41
Racket : DIN
42
Dental problem : GAP
43
We : YOUANDI
48
"Ready to go?" : SHALLWE
52
Evolutionary biologist who wrote "The Panda's Thumb" : STEPHENJAYGOULD
54
Trunks, e.g. : STORAGESPACES
55
Be lenient : SPARETHEROD
Down
1
Like some low-grade beef : GRISTLY
2
Stand : RISE
3
Where the "tiger cub economies" are : ASIA
4
Add up to : COST
5
First word in Massachusetts' motto : ENSE
6
Energy : PEP
7
"True Blood" vampire Northman : ERIC
8
First name in gossip : RONA
9
"___ first ..." : IFAT
10
Knot : toads :: parliament : ___ : OWLS
11
Relative of a Fig Newton : DATEBAR
12
Line items? : PHONES
13
Some old-fashioned hosiery : RAYONS
14
Galumph : TRAMP
15
Colleague of Don on "Mad Men" : PETE
21
Apple messaging software : ICHAT
22
So-called Japanese chess : SHOGI
23
Photocopy predecessor : MIMEO
24
Tough nut to crack : ACORN
25
Certain shooter : BBGUN
26
Prefix meaning "heavens" : URANO
27
Frequent demonstrator of the Doppler effect : SIREN
28
Setting for Steinbeck's "The Pearl" : LAPAZ
33
Nuts : IDIOTS
34
Dances in 3/4 time : MINUETS
36
Fixed, as a model airplane : REGLUED
37
Tries to catch shrimp, say : TRAWLS
38
Wished : HOPED
39
Nestlé brand : EDYS
44
Per : APOP
45
Dragsters' org. : NHRA
46
Honey or sugar : DEAR
47
William who wrote "The Dark at the Top of the Stairs" : INGE
48
Military band : SASH
49
Something not to be believed? : HYPE
50
Culture medium : AGAR
51
Nuts : LOCO
53
Blacker than black : JET

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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