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New York Times, Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Author: Allan E. Parrish
Editor: Will Shortz
Allan E. Parrish
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
397/1/20025/19/20150
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
014147211
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.65032

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 38 Missing: {FQV} This is puzzle # 38 for Mr. Parrish. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes: Generally I like a revealer; an entry that ties the puzzle nicely together. But for themes like today's, I really appreciate having ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Generally I like a revealer; an entry that ties the puzzle nicely together. But for themes like today's, I really appreciate having to go back after finishing to figure out what was going on. Nice little moment when I pulled out the LANDAU from memory as a type of transport. CARRIAGE and COACH are also nicely disguised.

Martin Landau can really CARRY a picture (ba dum boom!)

Going down to 72 words allows Allan to give us many long pieces of fill. So much potential when you have six 8-letter slots — and six 7-letter ones to boot! Some of them hit the bulls-eye for me, BABUSHKA, TOSHIBA, LAPDOGS all bringing me a smile.

I did like the challenge presented by a more wide-open grid, although entries like the outdated-sounding PASSBOOK (note: Jim points out that Apple announced today that their new watch supports its Passbook feature, so maybe this term is making a comeback?), and the neutral SPEEDIER and PARENTAL felt a bit like missed opportunity. Often I'll start my own grids with six 8-letter slots but eventually break up a set so that I can get four stellar ones instead of two stars plus four placeholders. It's a tough call, because some people may really love PASSBOOK or even GRASSLE, for example. Trying to guess what a majority of solvers is going to enjoy is a tough business, indeed.

Nice integration of the J and K up in the NW corner. I like the Scrabbliness there, and if the minor price is a KEA and A PIN, I think that's a reasonable trade-off.

The Z down south though … NAZI? Yes, it's clueable to a modern movie, but my guess is that many solvers really don't want to see NAZI as they're enjoying their crossword over a coffee break.

Finally, GROK may be out of many people's wheelhouse, but I think it's a really useful word. If you haven't read Stranger in a Strange Land (where the term "grok" originated), it's well worth it.

1
K
2
E
3
A
4
J
5
A
6
B
7
S
8
C
9
O
10
B
11
A
12
L
13
T
14
I
L
L
15
E
P
I
C
16
A
C
A
C
I
A
17
S
P
E
18
E
D
I
E
R
19
R
E
B
E
L
S
20
M
A
R
T
I
N
L
A
21
N
D
A
U
22
E
S
T
A
23
M
A
I
N
S
24
T
25
A
26
Y
27
T
O
S
T
28
A
29
D
30
A
31
T
O
S
H
I
B
A
32
G
I
N
33
S
U
34
K
N
E
W
35
P
36
A
37
P
E
R
C
A
R
38
R
39
I
A
G
E
40
M
A
M
A
41
I
P
A
D
S
42
G
R
A
S
43
S
44
L
E
45
L
A
P
46
D
47
O
48
G
49
S
50
M
I
S
S
P
E
N
51
T
52
C
R
O
C
53
B
A
T
T
I
54
N
55
G
56
C
O
A
C
H
57
R
58
E
59
S
O
R
T
60
P
A
R
E
N
T
A
L
61
E
X
P
O
S
E
62
I
Z
O
D
63
E
R
E
64
S
O
A
K
E
R
65
N
I
K
E
66
S
T
P
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0310 ( 23,863 )
Across Down
1. Mauna ___ (Hawaii landmark) : KEA
4. Barbed comments : JABS
8. Shade of blue : COBALT
14. Bedridden, maybe : ILL
15. Grander than grand : EPIC
16. Thorny tree : ACACIA
17. Like express mail vis-à-vis regular mail : SPEEDIER
19. Freedom fighters, e.g. : REBELS
20. "Ed Wood" actor : MARTINLANDAU
22. "Cómo ___?" : ESTA
23. Primary supporter : MAINSTAY
27. Tex-Mex dish : TOSTADA
31. Electronics giant : TOSHIBA
32. Big name in knives : GINSU
34. Was in on : KNEW
35. Typewriter part : PAPERCARRIAGE
40. Who "said knock you out," in an LL Cool J hit : MAMA
41. Some tablets : IPADS
42. Karen of "Little House on the Prairie" : GRASSLE
45. Toadies : LAPDOGS
50. Squandered, as youth : MISSPENT
52. Swamp menace, for short : CROC
53. Expert on swings : BATTINGCOACH
57. 59-Down, e.g. : RESORT
60. Part of PG : PARENTAL
61. Big story from a journalist : EXPOSE
62. New Jersey's ___ Center : IZOD
63. Before, to Byron : ERE
64. Super ___ (summer toy) : SOAKER
65. Greek goddess seen on many trophies : NIKE
66. Longtime Nascar sponsor : STP
1. Fate : KISMET
2. City in a 1960 Marty Robbins chart-topper : ELPASO
3. "Someone may have accessed your account" and others : ALERTS
4. Sci-fi knight : JEDI
5. Neat as ___ : APIN
6. Jessica of "The Illusionist" : BIEL
7. "Butt out!" : SCRAM
8. What spin classes provide, informally : CARDIO
9. Large quantities : OCEANS
10. Russian grandmother : BABUSHKA
11. Team's best pitcher : ACE
12. Rap's ___ Wayne : LIL
13. Classroom aides, for short : TAS
18. Division politique : ETAT
21. Quick learner : NATURAL
24. Sound of a fork on a wineglass : TING
25. Busy as ___ : ABEE
26. Veer off course : YAW
28. 10, for 1973 Oscar winner Tatum O'Neal : AGE
29. Hollywood honcho: Abbr. : DIR
30. Like the Dead Sea Scrolls : ANCIENT
33. Deplete : SAP
35. ___-mutuel betting : PARI
36. You love, to Livy : AMAS
37. Obsolescent bank item : PASSBOOK
38. Cereal box info : RDA
39. MSN, for one : ISP
40. Las Vegas's ___ Grand : MGM
43. Like people in Yukon Territory : SPARSE
44. Athletic recognition : LETTER
46. Brand of mouse poison : DCON
47. Speechifies : ORATES
48. Racing vehicle : GOCART
49. Lug (around) : SCHLEP
51. Easy two-pointer : TIPIN
54. "Inglourious Basterds" figure : NAZI
55. Understand, slangily : GROK
56. Turn over (to) : CEDE
57. Follower of hi or lo : RES
58. Prefix with skeleton : EXO
59. Vacation destination : SPA

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle.

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