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New York Times, Saturday, March 14, 2015

Author:
James Mulhern
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
2411/16/20096/23/20176
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012001011
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.60000
James Mulhern

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 70, Blocks: 31 Missing: {JQXZ} This is puzzle # 12 for Mr. Mulhern. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
James Mulhern notes:
I constructed this puzzle partially (ok, fully...) while sitting in my office at the PRU in Boston about a year ago. As of this week, ... read more

I constructed this puzzle partially (ok, fully...) while sitting in my office at the PRU in Boston about a year ago. As of this week, I've moved from Boston to New York, so the timing is perfect for having a Times puzzle!

Looking back, I don't think I'd settle on this NW today — even great stacks can't really justify the ON ONE / ENT / REO / TAY and especially BSS (which I misguidedly tried to save with a risqué clue) pileup in the crosses. Squeaky-clean fill is more of a goal of mine today than it was when I made this. Still, the flipside is that it allows for what I think is a pretty cool stack.

I expect OCR to be divisive, but I'm a fan. It's fresh, (somewhat) modern, and quite common in a variety of circles. Seems like a fair Saturday entry.

Thanks as always to Will and his crew for the punch-up in the clues. I can take no credit for the brilliant clue for 1-Across.

Hope you enjoy!

Jill Denny notes:
James Mulhern, you had me at LOBSTER BIB. Some see it as the most dignity-destroying accessory ever invented; I prefer to see it as a ... read more

James Mulhern, you had me at LOBSTER BIB. Some see it as the most dignity-destroying accessory ever invented; I prefer to see it as a harbinger of deliciousness. Mr. Lagerfeld agrees.

The eastern hemisphere of this puzzle slid into place smoothly, thanks to the scaffolding of ERIC BANA, THE INSIDER, and BAHA MEN. I like the flow around the center black blocks — a nice balance between fluidity and structure. Despite my lobster love and Kendrick LAMAR admiration, the NW corner was the last to fall for me. I went down a blind alley with RES instead of REO, and ANIMANIACS was slow to emerge from the deep vaults of my brain.

REO means nothing to me without a Speedwagon in tow, but it turns out that it's the same REO of Diamond Reo Trucks. REO stands for Random Eli Olds, the founder of Oldsmobile. What a fantastic 19th-century name! I love it. Random's father was named Pliny Fiske Olds, which is also just grand, and Random married a woman named Metta Ursula Woodward, who later inspired NBA player Ron Artest to change his name to Metta World Peace (allegedly).

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© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0314 ( 23,867 )
Across
1
Tie one on at dinner : LOBSTERBIB
11
Online heads-up : NSFW
15
1990s TV cartoon produced by Steven Spielberg : ANIMANIACS
16
Home for the College of Wooster : OHIO
17
"Cash is king" : MONEYTALKS
18
Role for Ferrell on "S.N.L." : RENO
19
Dear : ANGEL
20
"The ___ Bridge Disaster" (McGonagall poem) : TAY
21
Runners' spot : SLED
22
Diamond ___ Trucks (bygone company) : REO
23
It's found on the toe of a boot : OMAN
25
Goes for the gold? : SMELTS
27
Yogi's title : SRI
28
Bolivian export : COCA
30
Stick in the mouth? : GUM
31
Subject of a Hoyle treatise : WHIST
33
Portrayer of Hector in "Troy" : ERICBANA
35
Infomercial product said to hold 12 times its weight in liquid : SHAMWOW
37
Band with a 2000 Grammy-winning hit that's on Rolling Stone's list of all-time "most annoying songs" : BAHAMEN
38
Ones pulling strings? : HARPISTS
40
Old-hat : TIRED
41
Text-interpreting technology used with PDFs : OCR
42
Duke : FIST
43
Halfway house? : INN
44
Hurdles : VAULTS
46
Step : PACE
48
Boston landmark, with "the" : PRU
51
George Knightley's love interest, in literature : EMMA
52
Fired (up) : HET
53
Some messages from messengers : WIRES
55
Truncates : LOPS
56
Mobbed by mosquitos : EATENALIVE
58
Not class-specific : ELHI
59
1999 Crowe/Pacino film nominated for seven Oscars : THEINSIDER
60
Newspaper post : DESK
61
Things happy people do : CARTWHEELS
Down
1
Hip-hop's Kendrick ___ : LAMAR
2
Quick snap time, in football : ONONE
3
"Ding ding ding!" : BINGO
4
Mr. of "Peter Pan" : SMEE
5
Singer/songwriter whose name anagrams to ART OF SLY WIT : TAYLORSWIFT
6
Med. specialist : ENT
7
Gaucho gear : RIATA
8
Journalistic ideal : BALANCE
9
Like glop : ICKY
10
Some undergrad degs. : BSS
11
Language from which "litmus" comes : NORSE
12
Certain subterfuge : SHELLGAME
13
Well-calibrated : FINETUNED
14
Savior of Little Red Riding Hood : WOODSMAN
24
Division of biology : MITOSIS
25
Kind of nerve : SCIATIC
26
Put through cycles, in a way : MACHINEWASH
27
Boob : SIMP
29
Mars or Neptune : ORB
31
Metaphor for a tedious, futile effort : WHACAMOLE
32
Expresses grumpily : HARRUMPHS
34
Pottery ___ : BARN
35
Wolfed (down) : SHOVELED
36
Newborn stats: Abbr. : WTS
39
Figure in many New Yorker cartoons : STPETER
45
Kind of surgery : LASIK
47
Bit the dust : ATEIT
48
What the rainbow flag signifies : PRIDE
49
Go wild : REVEL
50
Web browsers : USERS
52
"That's a funny one" : HAHA
54
First name in the International Tennis Hall of Fame : ILIE
56
"And stuff" : ETC
57
Fort Myers-to-Tampa dir. : NNW

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle, 4 debuted here and reused later, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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