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New York Times, Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Author:
Jacob Stulberg
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
3012/25/20131/2/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
3449640
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.597100
Jacob Stulberg

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 36 Missing: {QZ} This is puzzle # 18 for Mr. Stulberg. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jacob Stulberg notes:
The first version of this puzzle contained the theme answers RADICALLEFT, NOTNEGOTIABLE and HECTORBERLIOZ. Will suggested replacing ... read more

The first version of this puzzle contained the theme answers RADICALLEFT, NOTNEGOTIABLE and HECTORBERLIOZ. Will suggested replacing BRO with a longer synonym, so I decided on ILEDUDIABLE after searches for *PAHC* and *EKOLB* fell short. If a suitable 12-letter answer containing EDUD had turned up, NETNEGATIVE might have been OFTNEGLECTED. (That said, there may well be another puzzle theme in Canada's FUDDLEDUDDLE incident.)

Jeff Chen notes:
STAND UP GUYS getting their due, GENT, DUDE, and FELLA 'standing up' within theme phrases. Interesting phrases — GENT inside NET ... read more

STAND UP GUYS getting their due, GENT, DUDE, and FELLA "standing up" within theme phrases. Interesting phrases — GENT inside NET NEGATIVE was fun, as well as FELLA within RADICAL LEFT (although the latter is a mite too charged for my taste).

ILE DU DIABLE … what the devil?! Jacob tends to use a lot of high culture terms in his puzzles, which I generally like and admire. This one went over my head, though. Devil's Island, yes. But even after five years of high school French, remembering that it should be DU and not DE was rough, not to mention piecing together DIABLE (no surprise that I didn't do well in AP French). I like the name after studying it for a while, but it threw me for a loop during my solve.

I don't like being thrown during a Tuesday solve. But it's good for me every once in a while.

I did like BORGIAS; not hard to dig out of memory. Crazy how powerful the House of Borgia was during the Renaissance. That's the kind of interesting class-up-the-joint entry I've come to expect and like from Jacob.

A couple of small blips in the fill, unexpected out of one of Jacob's puzzles, especially since there are only four total themers. I wouldn't have minded IN BAD, TKT, OLEO, the oddball LAIN, B AND B (rarely seen in non-ampersand form outside crosswords), CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) if there had been five themers. But with four, I expect a smoother result, especially if there's not a lot of bonus longer fill. (Given that Jacob has won a ton of my POWs, the bar is very high for him.)

On that note, I would have liked a fifth themer — hiding BRO would have been fine with me. It a sufficient amount of theme with just three guys hidden, but I think it would have been more satisfying to have a fourth. (Not surprisingly, I really like barbershop quartets.)

Great clue in [Southernmost U.S. state]. I embarrassingly plunked in FLORID and then corrected it to GEORGI before completely confusing myself. (Which is worse, my geography or my French? Both.) I'm committing that neat trivia to memory.

Jim Horne notes:
Update: Reader Jordan Cahn caught an error in my previous remarks in this section. HAWAII is, yes, the southernmost state. Alaska is ... read more

Update: Reader Jordan Cahn caught an error in my previous remarks in this section. HAWAII is, yes, the southernmost state. Alaska is the northernmost. Alaska also stretches out over the 180th Meridian, making it the westernmost and the easternmost state as well. Thanks, Jordan!

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© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0228 ( 24,584 )

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Across
1
___ jacket (bit of casualwear) : JEAN
5
Dish that's sometimes rated in "alarms" : CHILI
10
Curds and ___ : WHEY
14
Wagon part : AXLE
15
Like much music : TONAL
16
In fine fettle : HALE
17
Widespread : VAST
18
1960s activist Hoffman : ABBIE
19
Has : OWNS
20
___ friends (not having to be on one's guard) : AMONG
22
Quaint inn, informally : BANDB
24
Cry after "Ready!" : AIM
25
Muffed one : ERRED
27
Bearlike : URSINE
29
Powerful Renaissance family : BORGIAS
32
A book collector might seek a first one : EDITION
33
Available : ONHAND
34
Spanish girlfriend : AMIGA
35
Italy's shape : BOOT
36
Setting for much of the movie "Lion" : INDIA
38
Zippo : NADA
42
People encountered by Pizarro : INCAS
44
Things ghosts lack : BODIES
46
Riga native : LATVIAN
49
Charms : ALLURES
50
In addition : ASWELL
51
What tryptophan is said to induce : SLEEP
52
Place to go for a "me day" : SPA
53
Munchkins : ELVES
55
Nash who wrote "Parsley / Is gharsley" : OGDEN
59
Turner or Fey : TINA
61
Bother greatly : EATAT
63
Tell to "Do it!" : URGE
64
Lead-in to a conclusion : ERGO
65
Movie, informally : FLICK
66
Class with mats : YOGA
67
Feature of a late-night show set : DESK
68
Words to live by : TENET
69
Catch sight of : SPOT
Down
1
Morning joe : JAVA
2
Start of many a doctor's visit : EXAM
3
In addition : ALSO
4
Outcome that's overall unfavorable : NETNEGATIVE
5
Windy City 'L' overseer : CTA
6
Imaginary tiger friend in the comics : HOBBES
7
Not on good terms (with) : INBAD
8
Done nothing : LAIN
9
Infamous prison featured in the 1969 best seller "Papillon" : ILEDUDIABLE
10
"___ knew?" : WHO
11
Southernmost U.S. state : HAWAII
12
Weather concern in 11-Down : ELNINO
13
Lackeys : YESMEN
21
Sheepish look : GRIN
23
Two-masted vessel : BRIG
26
Socialist Workers Party's ideology : RADICALLEFT
28
Honest sorts ... or what the circled squares contain? : STANDUPGUYS
29
Palindromic boy's name : BOB
30
"Be My Yoko ___" (first single by Barenaked Ladies) : ONO
31
Pi's follower : RHO
32
Former Big Four record co. : EMI
34
They're taken out in newspapers : ADS
37
Palindromic girl's name : NAN
39
Lungful : AIR
40
Hollywood ending? : DEE
41
Nincompoop : ASS
43
River that feeds Lake Nasser : NILE
45
Topping in kosher restaurants : OLEO
46
Didn't run out : LASTED
47
Have dreams : ASPIRE
48
Features of some country singers : TWANGS
49
Region on the Rhine : ALSACE
51
Took effect : SETIN
54
Area between mountains : VALE
56
Plunge : DROP
57
Breakfast food with a rhyming slogan : EGGO
58
In order : NEAT
60
Totally fine : AOK
62
Box office purchase: Abbr. : TKT

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle.

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