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New York Times, Thursday, March 1, 2018

Author:
Timothy Polin
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
4912/11/20111/3/20192
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
74962102
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.626140
Timothy Polin

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 35 Missing: {BJVX} This is puzzle # 45 for Mr. Polin. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
Tim combines two theme types today — a WORD rebus + parsing WORD as 'W or D' for a Schrödinger (jokes can be delivered WRYLY or ... read more

Tim combines two theme types today — a WORD rebus + parsing WORD as "W or D" for a Schrödinger (jokes can be delivered WRYLY or DRYLY, dogs have PAWS or PADS at the ends of their legs, and WINING and DINING are forms of entertainment). It's a neat mesh of two tried-and-true theme types, producing something different.

The best Schrodingers are those where both options seem equally valid — solvers would put either in, 50/50. That's exactly the case for WRYLY / DRYLY.

PAWS and PADS not as much – I immediately put in PAWS. I had to think a bit after finishing before PADS made sense.

And WINING / DINING … that one felt slightly different to me, as it's rare to use DINING to describe "entertaining" without combining it with WINING. So WINING (which is much more used by itself), felt strongly like the only "correct" answer.

I've heard of WORD SQUAREs before, but wasn't exactly sure what they were. Came back to me quickly after reading the Wikipedia article, though, and it made for a perfect descriptor of the concept.

Ah, PES. The anatomic foot. Next to QAT, one of those words Scrabble players must learn in order to play competitively. Why the two ooky glooky offenders? As much as I love TRIASSIC and GRIDIRON, two delightful grid bonuses, they were the cause. If you use black squares to break up TRIASSIC at the first S and GRIDIRON at the D, it makes the north and south sections so much easier to fill well.

TRIASSIC / GRIDIRON worth the price of PES / QAT? Not to me, especially since Tim already fulfilled my quota of great fill with TORCH RELAY and CUP OF COCOA. PES in particular is one of those Maleskan words that give crosswords a bad name. YOU HAVE TO KNOW RIDICULOUS STUFF TO DO CROSSWORDS! I'd mark it as a puzzle-killer, if I had my druthers.

(I can just see Scrabble-lovers up in arms saying QAT IS AN IMPORTANT WORD!!!)

Overall though, I liked the innovation, mixifying two standard theme types to produce something new. That's the kind of thing I love in a NYT Thursday puzzle.

1
Z
2
E
3
T
4
A
5
S
6
T
7
R
8
E
9
W
10
P
11
O
12
P
13
E
14
I
C
O
N
15
I
R
E
N
E
16
A
R
A
L
17
T
O
R
Y
18
F
I
G
H
T
19
I
N
G
WORD
S
20
I
N
C
H
21
T
A
R
A
22
M
A
S
S
E
23
H
O
24
E
25
S
E
L
26
D
O
M
27
WORD
28
P
R
O
C
29
E
S
S
O
R
30
A
31
C
32
D
33
C
34
R
A
E
35
L
U
I
S
36
O
37
H
S
U
R
E
38
Y
S
L
39
A
R
C
40
G
P
A
41
P
A
S
42
L
E
A
43
D
T
O
44
I
R
I
S
45
O
N
A
46
Y
O
Y
O
47
P
48
U
T
I
N
A
49
WORD
F
O
R
50
O
51
P
E
N
E
D
52
T
I
C
53
O
54
H
55
A
R
E
56
T
R
I
57
P
58
N
O
59
S
60
E
61
W
O
R
D
S
62
Q
U
A
R
E
63
I
C
K
Y
64
N
O
T
I
65
A
N
T
O
N
66
N
O
I
R
67
S
K
Y
E
68
T
E
E
N
S
69
G
A
M
E
© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0301 ( 24,950 )
Across
1. Sorority letter : ZETA
5. Spread around : STREW
10. Leader in white : POPE
14. Mao Zedong or Mahatma Gandhi : ICON
15. Castle with famous steps : IRENE
16. ___ Karakum (Asian desert) : ARAL
17. Conservative : TORY
18. "Bring it on!" or "Let's rumble!" : FIGHTINGWORDS
20. Narrow margin : INCH
21. Fictional home in Georgia : TARA
22. Spinny billiards shot : MASSE
23. Potato harvesting aid : HOE
25. Hardly : SELDOM
27. Writing/editing aid : WORDPROCESSOR
30. Band with the aptly titled album "Powerage" : ACDC
34. Girl's name that's a body part in reverse : RAE
35. Argentine author Jorge ___ Borges : LUIS
36. "Yeah, right" : OHSURE
38. Haute couture inits. : YSL
39. Shape on a suspension bridge : ARC
40. School yardstick, for short : GPA
41. No mas! : PAS
42. Bring about : LEADTO
44. Pupil surrounder : IRIS
45. ___ budget : ONA
46. Dum-dum : YOYO
47. Recommend, as an applicant : PUTINAWORDFOR
50. Was on first : OPENED
52. One might be nervous : TIC
53. Where many people make connections : OHARE
56. Take a header : TRIP
58. Honker : NOSE
61. Classic letter puzzle -- or, when parsed differently, a hint to three Down answers in this puzzle : WORDSQUARE
63. Like goo : ICKY
64. "Don't look at me!" : NOTI
65. Playwright Chekhov : ANTON
66. Gritty genre : NOIR
67. Kind of terrier : SKYE
68. Awkward period, often : TEENS
69. Up (for) or down (for) : GAME
Down
1. Baked pasta dish : ZITI
2. Taxing subject, briefly? : ECON
3. Pre-Olympic event : TORCHRELAY
4. "Moving right along ..." : ANYHOO
5. Strain : SIFT
6. Period when mammals first appeared : TRIASSIC
7. Backslide : REGRESS
8. Treat as a saint : ENHALO
9. Monsoonlike : WET
10. Wide-brimmed hats : PANAMAS
11. Assns. : ORGS
12. Things at the ends of dogs' legs : PAWS
13. Otherwise : ELSE
19. Texter's qualifier : IMO
24. Show of brilliance : ECLAT
26. Pay a visit : DROPIN
27. How some jokes are delivered : WRYLY
28. Evening stroll : PASEO
29. Blue area on a Risk board : EUROPE
31. Place for a marshmallow : CUPOFCOCOA
32. Product with a pipe on its packaging : DRANO
33. Annual cinéma award : CESAR
37. Attacks : HASAT
40. Where a bowl is set : GRIDIRON
43. Last-ditch : DOORDIE
44. Repeat for emphasis : ITERATE
48. Disharmonize : UNTUNE
49. Entertaining, in a way : WINING
51. Foot: Lat. : PES
53. Has control over : OWNS
54. Tee shot goof : HOOK
55. Bohemian : ARTY
57. Writes : PENS
59. Take the top off : SKIM
60. Literary heroine who says "Even for me life had its gleams of sunshine" : EYRE
62. Chewed stimulant in the Mideast : QAT

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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