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New York Times, Friday, March 15, 2019

Author:
Jamey Smith
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutCollabs
13/15/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0000010
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.55000
Jamey Smith

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 33 Missing: {JQZ} This is the debut puzzle for Mr. Smith. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jamey Smith notes:
Hi there. I'm absolutely over the moon to be making my first appearance in the NYT today. Beware the Ides of March? Don't think so! ... read more

Hi there. I'm absolutely over the moon to be making my first appearance in the NYT today. Beware the Ides of March? Don't think so! Many thanks to Will and team for their encouragement as they helped me get this one to Yes. Hope you find it an enjoyable solve.

Cheers to the tipplers among you who might opt to imbibe in a festive 13-Down to help kick off the weekend. And for fans of global, eclectic, genre-defying music, here's an extra hint for that one: My original clue was "Ensemble whose signature tunes include ‘Dosvedanya Mio Bombino.' "

Constructing has quickly become one of my favorite pastimes. Part of the fun, I'm sure most of us would agree, is never knowing when inspiration will strike or where it will lead. Now that I've made it into the Times, my new goal is to expand beyond Friday. Easier said than done...

Jeff Chen notes:
Jim Horne and I often have conflicting viewpoints on entries. He's more educated, cultured, intelligent, and smells better than me, so ... read more

Jim Horne and I often have conflicting viewpoints on entries. He's more educated, cultured, intelligent, and smells better than me, so it wasn't a total surprise that he thought LIMN and LOESSER were perfectly fine. What was surprising was that he hitched on AIDE MEMOIRE! I recognized the term but didn't know what it meant off the top – I figured it was just my boorishness at work.

Some lovely feature entries, HAPPY CAMPER right off the bat, making me a happy camper. Enough OUTSIDE SHOT / PINK MARTINI (their music is awesome!), ATOM SMASHER, PIG LATIN, ROWING CLUB to be entertaining.

Fantastic clue for NAPOLEON III, too. Not being great on foreign presidents, I struggled mightily to recall names from the past decades. Turns I had to go a lot farther back than Sarkozy, Chirac, and de Gaulle!

I still tried to shove JACQUES CHIRAC into that slot. Ahem.

Another great one: [Will might change them]. It's an inside joke to constructors that Will Shortz changes many of the submitted clues, so this one made me laugh. Good wordplay too, as the word "will" does change (verb) TENSES.

Aside from AIDE MEMOIRE, CALORIE BOMB didn't resonate with me either. Research shows it's a valid term, but something like GUT BOMB or GUT BUSTER would have been much more colorful.

My criteria for 72-word themeless are so strict since it's the easiest of themeless construction challenges. It's tough to see any crossword glue, much less a slew of I WERE, RE-ICE, ADAS, ELD, OME, etc. Standards for the 72-word themeless have ratcheted so high over the years.

Thankfully, there was enough meat in the grid that I didn't mind the gristle that much. Nice debut puzzle, with enough color to keep me entertained.

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© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 0315 ( 25,329 )

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Students & seniors
Across
1
Contented sort : HAPPYCAMPER
12
Check a box (for) : OPT
15
Green land : EMERALDISLE
16
Quick turnaround : UIE
17
Youngest French president before Macron : NAPOLEONIII
18
Onetime sister channel of CMT : TNN
19
Stadium ticket price factor : TIER
20
Cooper's output : CASKS
22
"Finest beer I ever tasted!" in old ads : SCHAEFER
26
Period for self-indulgence : METIME
27
Perrier and Évian : EAUX
28
Source of a motel discount, in brief : AAA
30
Some prosecutors, for short : ADAS
31
Bygone days, in days gone by : ELD
32
Many a Jules Verne protagonist : ADVENTURER
36
"Absolutely not" : NOSIREE
38
N.B.A. stat : ASSISTS
40
Regatta host : ROWINGCLUB
42
Cool : HIP
43
Article in Die Welt : EINE
44
Leader of ancient Troy? : TAU
45
___ fide : BONA
46
___ Olde England : MERRIE
48
EBay ashtray, e.g. : PIGLATIN
52
Awards presentation first hosted by Shelley Winters : OBIES
53
Artist colony in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains : TAOS
54
Personal take, for short : POV
55
The world's largest one straddles the border of France and Switzerland : ATOMSMASHER
62
Suffix in biology : OME
63
Mnemonic device : AIDEMEMOIRE
64
Inexpensive beer, informally : PBR
65
Social hierarchy that rejects individualism : CASTESYSTEM
Down
1
Motherly sort : HEN
2
"I ___ Camera" (1950s play and film) : AMA
3
Life : PEP
4
Unlike libertarians, say : PROTAX
5
Crimson opponent : YALIE
6
Western actor Lee Van ___ : CLEEF
7
Just love : ADORE
8
Two drinks at a comedy club, e.g.: Abbr. : MIN
9
Penultimate letter : PSI
10
Another name for a 5-Down : ELI
11
Continue to treat, as a sprain : REICE
12
Low-percentage chance to win : OUTSIDESHOT
13
Cocktail with gin and grapefruit : PINKMARTINI
14
Will might change them : TENSES
21
Success story out of Sunnyvale, Calif. : ATARI
22
Spotted : SEEN
23
Double cheeseburger with extra bacon, e.g. : CALORIEBOMB
24
One end of the Erie Canal : HUDSONRIVER
25
Issa of HBO's "Insecure" : RAE
26
___ Islands, archipelago in the East China Sea : MATSU
29
Highly persnickety : ANAL
32
MSNBC host Melber : ARI
33
Al ___ : DENTE
34
Star in the Summer Triangle : VEGA
35
Kind of charger : USB
37
"If ___ you ..." : IWERE
39
Reach : SPAN
41
Hold in one's hands : CUP
43
Hybrid music genre : EMOPOP
45
Players of Fiorello and Dr. Bartolo in "The Barber of Seville" : BASSOS
47
Singer of sewing machine fame : ISAAC
49
Caller ID? : ITSME
50
Manipulates, in a way : GAMES
51
Like a fertile plot of land : LOAMY
56
Su padre's hermana : TIA
57
Some E.R. cases : ODS
58
Crossed : MET
59
Chart topper : HIT
60
"___, little darlin', don't shed no tears" (lyric in Bob Marley's "No Woman, No Cry") : ERE
61
Kind of sleep : REM

Answer summary: 7 unique to this puzzle, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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