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New York Times, Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Author: Ross Trudeau
Editor: Will Shortz
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82/9/20178/12/20181
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1.64001
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 ... more
Ross Trudeau notes:

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 ... ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

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 Down
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
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
27. 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: 3 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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