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New York Times, Monday, February 27, 2017

Author:
Zhouqin Burnikel
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
6211/13/20123/26/201919
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
620185472
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.56281
Zhouqin Burnikel

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 38 Missing: {HJQZ} This is puzzle # 39 for Ms. Burnikel. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
I've seen a lot of homophone themes, and I've seen a lot of word swap themes, but I can't remember quite this combination. Neat finds ... read more

I've seen a lot of homophone themes, and I've seen a lot of word swap themes, but I can't remember quite this combination. Neat finds in STARES DOWN and DOWN STAIRS, PEACE TIME and TIME PIECE — I like that those create very different meanings.

PLAIN PAPER and PAPER PLANE wasn't as compelling for me, since you can make one out of the other; just not as interestingly transformational. Plus, PLAIN PAPER seems like an awfully plane answer. Er, plain.

Nice job of executing on six themers. C.C. wisely intersects two sets, i.e. runs PAPER PLANE through PEACE TIME, which helps maximize spacing throughout the grid. This arrangement — if interlocking is possible — is much easier to fill around, compared to running six themers all in the horizontal direction. That latter arrangement means you have to cram all the themers together with bad spacing.

It is missing some of the trademark C.C. long fill, though. It's to be expected given how much real estate the themers take up, but I always enjoy seeing what new phrase C.C. will introduce, like VIP ENTRANCE from her last one.

Ah, the spelling of Georgia O'KEEFFEE. Er, O'KEEFFE. Dang it. Up until a few years ago, I was sure it was O'KEEFE … sure enough to use it as fill in an easy crossword. Whoops. Glad for editors who catch that sort of idiocy!

Pretty darn smooth for a six-themer puzzle. INSP(ector) isn't great, but there's otherwise only minor bits such as EINE Kleine Nachtmusik (I suppose it's not so minor if you're an early-week solver who doesn't listen to classical music) and RTE. And it's neat to get MOANA, the Disney flick featuring some brown faces. Can't wait to see that.

It would have been incredibly awesome if C.C. could have found pairs where BOTH of the words changed to their homophone, with every theme answer being real phrases. (Matt Ginsberg did a variation on that a while back.) As it was, it was still entertaining.

ADDED NOTE: Sam Ezersky noted that there are actually two more themers — RED SEA and SEE RED. Drat, can't believe I missed those. Thanks, Sam!

1
C
2
A
3
N
4
D
5
O
6
L
7
I
8
M
9
A
10
E
11
P
12
P
13
S
14
B
L
E
A
K
15
A
P
O
P
16
A
L
O
E
17
S
T
A
R
E
18
S
D
O
W
N
19
T
A
P
E
20
A
T
T
E
N
D
S
21
E
22
A
S
I
E
R
23
S
F
O
24
F
A
D
25
N
Y
E
26
A
27
R
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P
29
F
U
30
D
31
G
E
32
A
33
M
P
E
D
34
P
E
A
35
C
E
T
I
M
E
36
M
A
A
37
E
X
P
O
38
S
E
A
L
39
S
40
U
P
41
O
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N
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E
L
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I
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T
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M
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46
P
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R
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E
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E
X
P
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S
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A
D
54
S
I
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M
56
D
O
L
57
A
P
S
58
S
59
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E
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O
60
T
61
E
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S
T
A
G
63
D
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O
W
N
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T
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I
R
65
S
66
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67
O
V
I
D
68
E
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Y
69
A
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I
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R
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© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0227 ( 24,583 )
Across
1
"No problem for me!" : CANDO
6
Peru's capital : LIMA
10
Omar of Fox's "House" : EPPS
14
Dickens's "___ House" : BLEAK
15
Per item : APOP
16
Hand lotion ingredient : ALOE
17
Intimidates, in a way : STARESDOWN
19
Crime scene barrier : TAPE
20
Goes to, as a meeting : ATTENDS
21
Not as hard : EASIER
23
Airport up the coast from LAX : SFO
24
Flash mobs, once : FAD
25
"Science Guy" Bill : NYE
26
Jean ___, father of Dadaism : ARP
29
"Oh, darn!" : FUDGE
32
Fired (up) : AMPED
34
Period between wars : PEACETIME
36
Goat's cry : MAA
37
World's fair, for short : EXPO
38
Circus animals that balance beach balls on their noses : SEALS
40
"When You Wish ___ a Star" : UPON
43
Manning who was twice Super Bowl M.V.P. : ELI
45
Watch or clock : TIMEPIECE
47
Showed in syndication, say : RERAN
49
Justice Kagan : ELENA
50
Numbered hwy. : RTE
51
Abbr. before a credit card date : EXP
52
Feeling blue : SAD
54
___ card (cellphone chip) : SIM
56
Exercise in a pool : DOLAPS
58
Cross-reference for further information : SEENOTE
62
Male deer : STAG
63
On a lower floor : DOWNSTAIRS
66
"___ kleine Nachtmusik" : EINE
67
"Ars Amatoria" poet : OVID
68
Foe : ENEMY
69
Ones in suits? : ACES
70
Big name in pet food : IAMS
71
Aid in storm-tracking : RADAR
Down
1
"2 Broke Girls" airer : CBS
2
Ski area near Salt Lake City : ALTA
3
"Cool!" : NEAT
4
Pub game : DARTS
5
Artist Georgia who is known for her flower canvases : OKEEFFE
6
Cheryl of "Charlie's Angels" : LADD
7
Wall St. debuts : IPOS
8
Trim the lawn : MOW
9
Sleeper's problem : APNEA
10
Has supper : EATS
11
Unlined sheets without any writing : PLAINPAPER
12
Sailor who's smitten by Olive Oyl : POPEYE
13
Get angry : SEERED
18
Pig noses : SNOUTS
22
Name first encountered in Genesis 2 : ADAM
24
"Understand?," slangily : FEELME
26
Big galoot : APE
27
Tyrannosaurus ___ : REX
28
Classroom missile : PAPERPLANE
30
Followed a weight-loss plan : DIETED
31
Alternative to AOL or Yahoo : GMAIL
33
Island ESE of Oahu : MAUI
35
Pepsi, for one : COLA
39
Just knows : SENSES
41
Month before Nov. : OCT
42
Born: Fr. : NEE
44
Police dept. figure : INSP
46
Van Gogh or Van Dyck : PAINTER
47
Moses parted it : REDSEA
48
Beautifully strange : EXOTIC
53
"Me, too" : ASDOI
55
2016 Disney film set in Polynesia : MOANA
57
10 and 8 for Bart and Lisa Simpson, respectively : AGES
58
Do the breaststroke, e.g. : SWIM
59
Terminals : ENDS
60
Like the score 7-7 : TIED
61
Humorous Bombeck : ERMA
64
Lab eggs : OVA
65
Damascus's land: Abbr. : SYR

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle.

Found bugs or have suggestions?