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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.

Found bugs or have suggestions?