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New York Times, Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Author:
Jeff Chen
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
957/5/20102/14/201957
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2468172398
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.636202
Jeff Chen

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 74, Blocks: 38 Missing: {QVX} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 81 for Mr. Chen. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
It's kind of ironic that I made this puzzle, given that my idea of cooking MARINARA is: Buy jar of Ragu Open said jar Find ... read more

It's kind of ironic that I made this puzzle, given that my idea of cooking MARINARA is:

  1. Buy jar of Ragu
  2. Open said jar
  3. Find spoon
  4. Eat sauce

It makes so much sense! You don't have to wash a bowl. You don't use any oven/microwave power. And then you can just lick the spoon and put it back into the drawer. Easy cleanup!

I hope my wife isn't reading this.

Jeff Chen notes:
I so badly wanted the mixed-up ingredients to go vertically, each one intersecting MARINARA SAUCE (which would run horizontally across ... read more

I so badly wanted the mixed-up ingredients to go vertically, each one intersecting MARINARA SAUCE (which would run horizontally across the center of the puzzle). How cool would that have been, like each ingredient being dropped in! But it was not to be — I had a limited pool of options for each ingredient (ONION, TOMATO, GARLIC, HERBS, in case you didn't figure them out), and I couldn't get the symmetry to work out.

Gol durn crossword symmetry!

I even tried different "recipes" to get such a fortuitous interlock — PESTO SAUCE with BASIL, PINE NUTS, etc. was the closest to maybe possibly sorta kinda iffily working — but nothing would fully cooperate. Dratted PEN I STUN. Er, PINE NUTS.

To those who have never played ZORK, you have not lived. Okay, maybe you have, but still, ZORK was such an integral part of my childhood, a sort of augmented Choose Your Own Adventure that got me obsessed with computers and programming.

BTW, apologies to those who scratched their heads at the PROSODIC / ZORK crossing. I figured whether you're a techie or a fuzzy (engr/sci vs. humanities), you'd likely know one of them. (PROSODIC is related to "prose," so you should be able to suss it out, yeah?)

I always try to work in a bunch of bonus entries, pushing and pushing, hopefully stopping before having to hold the puzzle together with a bunch of ugly crossword glue. And although my efforts to draw from different areas so that there's something for everyone — MAKES BANK, MON CHERI, INKBLOTS, ARGONAUT cover a lot of ground — I couldn't resist putting in MC HAMMER, even though I had already worked in AEROSMITH.

What can I say, I love me some Hammer pants.

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© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0314 ( 24,963 )

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Students & seniors
Across
1
Early maker of color TVs : RCA
4
Stereotypically "blind" official, for short : UMP
7
Like a cigar bar's atmosphere : SMOKY
12
"___ we there yet?" : ARE
13
Pioneering text adventure game : ZORK
15
Impervious to hackers : SECURE
16
Take dead aim at : ZEROINON
18
Kutcher who played Steve Jobs in "Jobs" : ASHTON
19
Locker room emanation : ODOR
20
CBS series that starred Gary Sinise : CSINY
22
Colloquial contraction : AINT
23
"Friends" character ___ Geller : ROSS
24
Breakfast order often containing cinnamon : HOTOATMEAL
26
Made a cattle call : MOOED
28
"Kapow!" : WHAM
29
Result of a successful squeeze bunt, for short : RBI
31
Jenner of reality TV : KRIS
33
Storytelling uncle of fiction : REMUS
37
Indoor stadium surface : ARTIFICIALGRASS
41
First in a line of 23 popes : JOHNI
42
Ancestry.com diagram : TREE
43
Jennings who wrote "Brainiac" : KEN
44
Garden hose annoyance : KNOT
47
"Hell if I know" : GOTME
49
A cappella genre : BARBERSHOP
53
Hieroglyphics snakes : ASPS
56
Fanzine favorite : IDOL
57
Spa amenity that originated in Finland : SAUNA
58
"Su-u-u-ure it is" : IBET
59
"Mr. ___" (1983 Styx hit) : ROBOTO
61
Sauce made from ingredients mixed up in 16-, 24-, 37- and 49-Across : MARINARA
63
Simpleton, disparagingly : CRETIN
64
Brewski : SUDS
65
Pres. advisory group : NSC
66
German state with Wiesbaden : HESSE
67
Recipe meas. : TSP
68
C major, for one : KEY
Down
1
Whisker whacker : RAZOR
2
Words to live by : CREDO
3
Rock band fronted by Steven Tyler : AEROSMITH
4
Submachine gun designer ___ Gal : UZI
5
"My darling," in France : MONCHERI
6
Pertaining to the rhythm of speech : PROSODIC
7
French possessive : SES
8
"U Can't Touch This" rapper : MCHAMMER
9
Less common of two belly buttons : OUTIE
10
Icelandic money : KRONA
11
Cross-dressing role for Streisand : YENTL
14
Like a cardigan : KNIT
15
Request by someone with a tongue depressor : SAYAH
17
Words akin to "-ish" : ORSO
21
E.R.A.-backing grp. : NOW
25
Chain whose mascot is named Bullseye : TARGET
27
"All right, you win" : OKFINE
29
Indian-born character on "The Big Bang Theory" : RAJ
30
Dude : BRO
32
Plop down : SIT
34
Rakes in the dough : MAKESBANK
35
Put into play : USE
36
123-45-6789, on a sample doc. : SSN
38
Symmetrical images in psychological tests : INKBLOTS
39
One of Jason's crew : ARGONAUT
40
Preyers on antelopes : LEOPARDS
45
Game show regular ___ Bean : ORSON
46
Org. with millimeter wave scanners : TSA
48
Major water line : MAIN
49
Source of bark for canoes : BIRCH
50
Be all googly-eyed over : ADORE
51
Choir attire : ROBES
52
Plays a kazoo : HUMS
54
In itself : PERSE
55
Keach of TV's "Man With a Plan" : STACY
60
Impossible Super Bowl outcome : TIE
62
AOL or MSN : ISP

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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