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New York Times, Friday, February 3, 2017

Author:
Paolo Pasco
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
147/17/20155/25/20193
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1300055
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.62011
Paolo Pasco

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 29 Missing: {GQX} This is puzzle # 7 for Mr. Pasco. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Paolo Pasco notes:
The inspiration for this one came after watching the 'Communication Studies' episode of 'Community,' where Britta leaves a drunk ... read more

The inspiration for this one came after watching the "Communication Studies" episode of "Community," where Britta leaves a drunk message on Jeff's voicemail (hilarity, of course, ensues). Thus, the marquee answer at 1A. Combined with the references to "Parks and Rec" at 51A and "Seinfeld" at 52D, you have my personal triumvirate of NBC comedies in one crossword. (I know, I'm ignoring "The Office", but it's a long-running show and I'm not ready for a nine-season commitment, please don't kill me.)

Overall, I'm satisfied with how this puzzle turned out. I remember finding out MANKINI would cross the bottom stack well, and I did everything in my power to make the crossings work. The fill's not bad — aside from BIP and BIS, there's nothing too egregious. If I had made this today, I would have tried to get some flashier entries in the NE and SW, but whatever.

Jeff Chen notes:
My fascination with Paolo's 'Seinfeld' fascination continues! Love that ENEMY clue, referencing Jerry and Newman's rivalry. It also ... read more

My fascination with Paolo's "Seinfeld" fascination continues! Love that ENEMY clue, referencing Jerry and Newman's rivalry. It also amuses me to no end that Paolo and I also share a love for "Parks and Recreation." Along with DEATH RAY, FACE PALM, PITY PARTY, and DRUNK DIAL, so much of his snazzy vocabulary is right on my wavelength.

It makes me feel good to dig a puzzle from someone from a different generation than me. Sometimes I have a tough time relating to puzzles written by the younger crowd; not familiar with their pop culture, personalities, or slang. But I feel like I'd enjoy hanging out with Paolo.

(I can just see him cringing.)

Not as much in terms of long fill as I usually like — just eight entries of 8+ letters — but Paolo did make great use of each of those long slots. The only one I wondered about was the outdated YAHOO MAIL, as us cool, hip folks (hopefully my absurdism comes through) use Gmail. But it has been in the news recently, Yahoo having been hacked in a gigantic way.

Some nice bonuses in the mid to even short stuff, with DOVE BAR and its great clue, something cold from Mars — the company, not the planet — the cringeworthy MANKINI, and even THE EU. Rare that a short answer catches my attention, but THE EU is in the language, and it looks so weirdly cool as THEEU. When I first saw that entry a few years ago, it was too bizarre for me. But I've changed my mind on that.

Smooth work, the puzzle held together so cleanly with little crossword glue. A case could be made that AMA and BIP might be gluey-esque, but generally, I think they're reasonable entries; minor dings at most.

The only one that I hitched on was BIS. Do body-builders really call their biceps BIS? Not at my gym. Granted, not many of my climbing friends are bodybuilders, but BIS sure hit my ear funny.

Anytime you're in Seattle, Paolo, the drinks are on me! (Just as long as you start "The Office" already.)

1
D
2
R
3
U
4
N
5
K
6
D
7
I
8
A
9
L
10
S
11
I
12
D
13
E
14
D
15
R
E
N
E
R
U
S
S
O
16
I
V
O
R
Y
17
Y
A
H
O
O
M
A
I
L
18
Z
E
V
O
N
19
E
M
I
20
C
A
B
S
21
P
E
S
E
T
A
22
R
O
T
23
S
24
S
E
A
25
B
E
D
26
B
I
S
27
S
U
C
K
28
S
29
L
I
E
D
30
T
A
C
T
31
T
H
E
E
32
U
33
D
E
A
34
T
H
R
A
Y
35
W
E
T
36
S
37
F
L
O
E
38
F
39
A
40
C
E
P
A
L
41
M
42
S
O
R
43
T
44
A
45
A
T
A
D
46
H
E
A
47
P
48
T
O
W
I
49
T
50
J
O
N
51
P
A
W
N
E
52
E
53
N
E
R
O
54
I
M
A
55
M
A
N
56
K
E
N
57
S
58
E
V
A
59
T
A
S
E
R
60
B
I
K
E
L
61
A
N
E
S
62
A
N
T
E
S
63
I
N
A
M
O
M
E
N
T
64
S
T
A
K
E
65
P
I
T
Y
P
A
R
T
Y
© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0203 ( 24,559 )

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Across
1
Call from a bar, maybe : DRUNKDIAL
10
Allied (with) : SIDED
15
She played Odin's wife in "Thor" : RENERUSSO
16
Key ingredient? : IVORY
17
App with an envelope icon : YAHOOMAIL
18
Warren with the 1978 platinum album "Excitable Boy" : ZEVON
19
Onetime label for the Beatles : EMI
20
Pickup line? : CABS
21
Pre-euro money : PESETA
22
Is no longer good : ROTS
24
Wreck locale : SEABED
26
Arm muscles, in bodybuilding lingo : BIS
27
"Your Movie ___" (Roger Ebert book) : SUCKS
29
Served whoppers? : LIED
30
Lout's lack : TACT
31
What's exited in Brexit : THEEU
33
Sci-fi shocker : DEATHRAY
35
Bastes, e.g. : WETS
37
Penguin's perch : FLOE
38
[I can't believe that just happened!] : FACEPALM
42
Somewhat : SORTA
45
Somewhat : ATAD
46
Whole bunch : HEAP
48
"Specifically ..." : TOWIT
50
Ned's adoptive son on "Game of Thrones" : JON
51
Town where "Parks and Recreation" is set : PAWNEE
53
Roman-Parthian War figure : NERO
54
1965 hit for the Yardbirds : IMAMAN
56
Salad dressing brand : KENS
58
Juan Perón's second wife : EVA
59
Real shocker : TASER
60
Features of some city streets : BIKELANES
62
They come before deals : ANTES
63
"Keep your pants on!" : INAMOMENT
64
Put on the line : STAKE
65
Crying for attention? : PITYPARTY
Down
1
Tumbling equipment : DRYERS
2
Tear into : REAMOUT
3
Disconnect, as a trailer : UNHITCH
4
Lead-in to Luddite : NEO
5
Fast-food empire builder : KROC
6
"The Black Tulip" novelist, 1850 : DUMAS
7
Juan Perón's third wife : ISABEL
8
"Since you weren't listening ..." : ASISAID
9
Twitter titter : LOL
10
Measured (up) : SIZED
11
"Riders in the Sky" singer, 1949 : IVES
12
Something cold from Mars : DOVEBAR
13
Blue prints : EROTICA
14
Power line? : DYNASTY
21
Piano parts : PEDALS
23
Not straight : SKEWED
25
Grievance : BEEF
28
Creep out? : SEEP
30
Best Actress winner for "Monster" : THERON
32
Jazz devotee, most likely : UTAHAN
34
Road rage sound : TOOT
36
Whole bunch : SLEW
38
Alternatives to chimichangas : FAJITAS
39
Superhero with the foe Professor Von Gimmick : ATOMANT
40
Game in which jokers and twos are wild : CANASTA
41
Guy's sling swimsuit : MANKINI
43
Many a Taylor Swift fan : TWEENER
44
Part of a circulatory system : AIRVENT
47
Check out quickly : PEEKAT
49
Warm and cozy : TOASTY
51
Break down in school : PARSE
52
Newman, to Seinfeld : ENEMY
55
Easy to walk all over : MEEK
57
Spill (over) : SLOP
60
Marcel Marceau moniker : BIP
61
Caregivers' org. : AMA

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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