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New York Times, Monday, March 13, 2017

Author:
Alan DeLoriea
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
212/14/20163/13/20170
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0101000
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.63000
Alan DeLoriea

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 38 Missing: {QVX} Spans: 2 This is puzzle # 2 for Mr. DeLoriea. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Alan DeLoriea notes:
When I first caught myself idly musing about theme and good fill ideas, I realized I had taken the step from crossword enthusiast to ... read more

When I first caught myself idly musing about theme and good fill ideas, I realized I had taken the step from crossword enthusiast to wannabe crossword constructor. Sometime later I determined that the next step was to actually write down some of these ideas.

Among those things I wrote down were both BERMUDA TRIANGLE (because who doesn't love geometry?) and POINT OF NO RETURN, which can pair nicely, and are both 15s, and hey, there exist other types of POINTs that could be mined for more material!

The two remaining themers were not too stubborn in coming, and these are the same as those in my original submission, but the original grid was returned to me for a bit of a polish. So if anyone was hoping to see a spiffy clue for DOSSIER or TEENIER, today is not your lucky day after all. Blame Will for that.

Jeff Chen notes:
I get nervous every time I see BERMUDA TRIANGLE in a crossword — it's been used so many times in various crossword progressions, ... read more

I get nervous every time I see BERMUDA TRIANGLE in a crossword — it's been used so many times in various crossword progressions, often involving a square. What a pleasure to get the unexpected FINAL SALE next, and then TENNIS ACE. I enjoy when I can't figure out a Monday theme until the very end. POINT OF NO RETURN gave me a smile. What a fun way to interpret "situations where a return is not possible."

I also hesitated after uncovering ATTY, an abbr., to start the puzzle. But things turned around very quickly, getting YO MAMA / FUTILE / DOGSLED, all such fun answers. (I admit, I keep a spreadsheet of YO MAMA jokes that make me laugh.)

So much strong bonus fill past that, too. BLARNEY as an Irish term for nonsense, BRA SIZE, THIN AIR, THE FED, even GARGLE, such an amusing word. Don't forget the UNDEAD! Although there weren't any long bonus answers, Alan did so well by employing a huge quantity of mid-length bonuses.

And all of that with just some minor ENE, OCT, NOID! That last one stuck out more than the others, as "no I.D." feels shaky to me, but I do fondly remember "Avoid the Noid" commercials.

All in all, such an enjoyable Monday experience. A fun theme, a ton of great bonus fill, and not a lot of liabilities or odd entries to distract. Very well done, especially for someone still early in his construction career.

1
A
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T
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Y
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J
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G
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B
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R
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N
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D
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P
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© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0313 ( 24,597 )
Across
1
Lawyer: Abbr. : ATTY
5
British sports car, briefly : JAG
8
What ignorance is, they say : BLISS
13
One might end "Q.E.D." : PROOF
15
A pitcher wants a low one, for short : ERA
16
"___ One: A Star Wars Story" : ROGUE
17
Atlantic site of strange disappearances : BERMUDATRIANGLE
20
Michael who played both Batman and Birdman : KEATON
21
Aid for a lost driver, for short : GPS
22
Big laugh : YUK
23
Russian jet : MIG
24
Former British P.M. Tony : BLAIR
26
"As is" transaction : FINALSALE
30
Frank of the Mothers of Invention : ZAPPA
34
WSW's opposite : ENE
35
Jazzy Fitzgerald : ELLA
36
Colorful aquarium swimmers : TETRAS
37
"___ my words" : MARK
39
You are here : EARTH
41
Didn't float : SANK
42
Like zombies : UNDEAD
44
Cause for being refused a drink at a bar : NOID
46
Opposite of bright : DIM
47
Four-time M.L.B. All-Star José : REYES
48
Excellent service : TENNISACE
50
Terse : PITHY
52
"That feels so-o-o-o nice!" : AAH
53
Halloween's mo. : OCT
56
Amazement : AWE
57
Water down : DILUTE
60
Punny description for 17-, 26- or 48-Across : POINTOFNORETURN
64
Boredom : ENNUI
65
Sup : EAT
66
Florida senator Marco : RUBIO
67
Band with the 2000 hit "Bye Bye Bye" : NSYNC
68
Just for Men offering : DYE
69
Treaty : PACT
Down
1
Alert to squad cars, for short : APB
2
Arduous walk : TREK
3
Ripped : TORE
4
Start of a playground joke : YOMAMA
5
Denim fabric : JEAN
6
Trump's "The ___ of the Deal" : ART
7
Use Listerine, say : GARGLE
8
Victoria's Secret measurement : BRASIZE
9
Chaney of horror : LON
10
Azalea of rap : IGGY
11
Lieutenant on the original U.S.S. Enterprise : SULU
12
"___ and ye shall find" : SEEK
14
Hopeless : FUTILE
18
Iditarod vehicle : DOGSLED
19
Hoppy brew, for short : IPA
24
Nonsense, as the Irish might say : BLARNEY
25
"Darn!" : RATS
26
Leg bone connected to the knee bone : FEMUR
27
Stupid : INANE
28
Passionately brainy, say : NERDY
29
Chicken ___ king : ALA
31
Fashion house founded in Milan : PRADA
32
Emotion causing hyperventilation : PANIC
33
"___ Another" (NPR game show) : ASKME
36
It's in the stratosphere : THINAIR
38
Hold on to : KEEP
40
Weight unit on a bridge sign : TON
43
From east of the Urals : ASIATIC
45
One placing a telephone call : DIALER
48
Organization for Janet Yellen, informally : THEFED
49
"Button your lip!" : SHUTUP
51
Tango requirement : TWO
53
Store sign that might be flipped at 9 a.m. : OPEN
54
Inmates : CONS
55
Wee : TINY
57
Lavish care (on) : DOTE
58
Instrument that makes the cheeks puff out : TUBA
59
Clapton who sang "Layla" : ERIC
61
Habit wearer : NUN
62
"No" vote : NAY
63
"Just kidding!" : NOT

Answer summary: 1 debuted here and reused later.

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