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New York Times, Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Author:
Ross Trudeau
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
142/9/20172/13/20191
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
5141300
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.58021
Ross Trudeau

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 34 Missing: {QZ} This is puzzle # 3 for Mr. Trudeau. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Ross Trudeau notes:
This puzzle originally had DREAMWORKS as a revealer, which the editorial team vetoed because it made cluing tricky. I would have ... read more

This puzzle originally had DREAMWORKS as a revealer, which the editorial team vetoed because it made cluing tricky. I would have preferred a version that unified the "dream"-ers in a tighter way, but at least there's APPLE PIE. And a TUNA ROLL. And some TAMARIND.

Jeff Chen notes:
Looks like … artists with famous works with the word 'dream' in them? I tried to figure out what else connected everything ... ... read more

Looks like … artists with famous works with the word "dream" in them? I tried to figure out what else connected everything ... but there isn't anything else. Huh. I did like that Ross chose a wide assortment of fields – poetry, writing, painting, and singing. But the theme seems awfully loose.

Really nice gridwork, with a ton of bonuses to keep up my interest. RED ALERTS, TUNA ROLL, APPLE PIE / PARADIGM, TAMARIND / FLEW SOLO, ARISTOTLE … such a wealth of great entries!

ARISTOTLE did make me pause, wondering what "dream" work he produced. (None.) Perhaps it would have been better to replace that entry with a non-person.

ROTFL = rolling on the floor laughing, BTW. I like that one a lot, but I can see how some solvers might be confused by the strange string of letters. I think solvers ought to at least be familiar with it by now, though.

The only hesitation I had was the MSDOS / MOS crossing. It came easily to me, since MSDOS was groundbreaking in operating systems, and I like MOS Def. But I've definitely heard enough complaints about MOS that I'd want all the crossings to be easy.

Overlooking that hiccup, I think Ross did a fantastic job executing on a 72-word grid. Very tough to do well, especially when your themers are awkward lengths – 12 and 14 letters (along with 13) are so frustratingly inflexible, causing all sorts of problem in grid design.

During my solve, I wanted something to better tie the themers together with a great a-ha moment. Didn't seem like there could be one … but as I was writing up this post, the company DREAMWORKS came to mind! That would have elevated this to POW! consideration!

Then I read Ross's note. D'oh!

I get that you couldn't clue the works by their full names, since you'd duplicate "dream" in the clues and in DREAMWORKS. But maybe the clues could have omitted the word "dream," replacing it with a blank? DREAMWORKS = [Movie company ... and a hint to the word missing in each of the four blanks]?

Huh. Inelegant, to say the least. I see Will's point.

But overall, I'd have gone with the inelegance, as without DREAMWORKS, the theme is too loose. Much too easy to pick some word and find four famous works of art with it in the title.

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© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0227 ( 24,948 )
Across
1
On VHS, say : TAPED
6
Symbol in the middle of a Scrabble board : STAR
10
Nile viper : ASP
13
The "S" of NASA : SPACE
14
Many a summer cottage locale : LAKE
15
Engagement at 20 paces, maybe : DUEL
16
Garment that might say "Kiss the cook" : APRON
17
Philosopher who said "Man is by nature a political animal" : ARISTOTLE
19
"Montage of a Dream Deferred" poet : LANGSTONHUGHES
21
Pa Clampett of "The Beverly Hillbillies" : JED
22
Ex-G.I. : VET
23
Firebugs' felonies : ARSONS
24
Vicodin, e.g. : OPIATE
27
Fitting : APT
28
Sunshine unit : RAY
29
"The Interpretation of Dreams" writer : SIGMUNDFREUD
33
Macho sorts : HEMEN
34
Dictator Amin : IDI
35
"HAHAHA!," in texts : ROTFL
39
"Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening" artist : SALVADORDALI
42
National bird of Australia : EMU
45
Singer Carly ___ Jepsen : RAE
46
Thundered : BOOMED
47
Where Red Square is : MOSCOW
49
Fish in a 26-Down : AHI
51
Remarks around cute babies : AWS
52
"All I Have to Do Is Dream" singers : EVERLYBROTHERS
56
States of emergency : REDALERTS
57
Self-evident truth : AXIOM
59
Chow : GRUB
60
Show deference to an entering judge, say : RISE
61
___ Park (Edison's lab site) : MENLO
62
Special intuition, for short : ESP
63
Beans high in protein : SOYS
64
Early PC platform : MSDOS
Down
1
Org. with a 3.4-ounce container rule : TSA
2
Food symbolizing America : APPLEPIE
3
Exemplar : PARADIGM
4
Class for a future M.B.A. : ECON
5
Mao's successor : DENG
6
Roofing material : SLATE
7
Fortuneteller's deck : TAROT
8
In the same mold as, with "to" : AKIN
9
Mold anew : RESHAPE
10
Orwell or Wells : AUTHOR
11
Singer/actress Gomez : SELENA
12
___ v. Ferguson (1896 Supreme Court ruling) : PLESSY
15
Feet, slangily : DOGS
18
John of "Do the Right Thing" : TURTURRO
20
"Frozen" reindeer : SVEN
21
Kid around : JOSH
25
Iowa college town : AMES
26
Common sushi order : TUNAROLL
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Superdry : ARID
30
Opposite of soar : DIVE
31
Medicine-approving org. : FDA
32
Epitome of stupidity : DODO
36
Ingredient in Worcestershire sauce : TAMARIND
37
What Lindbergh famously did from New York to Paris : FLEWSOLO
38
Jar tops : LIDS
40
Many A.C.L.U. staffers : LAWYERS
41
News item that its subject never reads : OBIT
42
Come out : EMERGE
43
Businesses that tend to be busiest at the starts and ends of months : MOVERS
44
Depleted : USEDUP
48
Grouch : CRAB
49
Bohemian : ARTSY
50
Sprays (down) : HOSES
53
Pizazz : BRIO
54
U.S. soccer great Mia : HAMM
55
Strikes (out) : EXES
58
Rapper ___ Def : MOS

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

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