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New York Times, Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Author:
David J. Kahn
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1793/15/19946/3/20185
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
4451222571326
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.5514190
David J. Kahn

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 39 Missing: {QZ} This is puzzle # 165 for Mr. Kahn. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
David J. Kahn notes:
There's not a whole lot of theme in this puzzle but I wrote it because I liked the payoff at 62-Across. I also tried to use long Down ... read more

There's not a whole lot of theme in this puzzle but I wrote it because I liked the payoff at 62-Across. I also tried to use long Down answers that haven't been used too often before.

Jeff Chen notes:
I always enjoy exchanging thoughts about puzzles with Jim Horne, as he and I have different concepts about what makes for a good ... read more

I always enjoy exchanging thoughts about puzzles with Jim Horne, as he and I have different concepts about what makes for a good puzzle. For him, if a theme is great, the fill can be a little junky. For me, it's tough for me to overlook too many gluey bits no matter how good the payoff is. Over the years, Jim has taught me to appreciate really fun themes, and I thought a lot about this today.

MY DRUNK KITCHEN is 14 letters, easily splittable 7/7 ...

I absolutely loved David's find, three types of food that start with a slang word for DRUNK. How is it that no one has done a crossword around this before? I enjoyed it so much, I poked around Matt Ginsberg's "clued" database to verify that it hasn't been done before. Man, what a fantastic discovery!

The revealer didn't do much for me, however. DRUNKEN COOK doesn't seem to be a genuine snippet of language. I searched and searched, but only found some restaurants with that name plus a cooking show called "My Drunk Kitchen" — if only that had been a famous. How perfect a revealer would it have been?

David often errs on the side of incorporating extra bonus fill, at the cost of a little more crossword glue. I like his balance today, making trade-offs like incorporating PAUL REVERE / HONOR ROLLS at just the price of AON. Same goes for the opposite corner, with the beautiful PAGE TURNER / ILL BE THERE costing a NEB and an ERE (UTA Hagen and ERTE are generally fine by me, as they're real, notable people, and UTA is actually the Jazz's shortening on scoreboards).

Not sure I like the EFFS price for SARDINE though, especially at the very start. Oof.

Still, I enjoyed the three themers so much, plus the bonus fill (and RED INK + MR HYDE are great mid-length entries!), that I felt I could overlook some of the infelicities plus the odd revealer.

JimH notes:
A rare correction: The crossword puzzle on Wednesday provided an erroneous clue for 1-Across, seeking the answer 'Elmira.' The clue ... read more

A rare correction: The crossword puzzle on Wednesday provided an erroneous clue for 1-Across, seeking the answer "Elmira." The clue should have read "Upstate New York city where Mark Twain was buried" — not "born." (He was born in Florida, Mo.)

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© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0316 ( 24,235 )
Across
1. Upstate New York city where Mark Twain was born : ELMIRA
7. Laughing matter : JOKE
11. Fraternity letter : PHI
14. Tap : FAUCET
15. Skating feat : AXEL
16. Chicago's ___ Center : AON
17. Serving with liver : FRIEDONIONS
19. One-third of tres : UNO
20. Fish said to be named for a Mediterranean island : SARDINE
21. Pan coating : TEFLON
23. Kind of blockade : NAVAL
26. Hockey speedster Bobby : ORR
27. Food in a tongue-twister : PICKLEDPEPPERS
33. Buds : PALS
34. Martini's partner in winemaking : ROSSI
35. Tennessee athlete, informally : VOL
36. More hideous : UGLIER
39. Actress Bassett of "Olympus Has Fallen" : ANGELA
41. Bird's beak : NEB
42. Cancels : VOIDS
46. Paris's ___ Airport : ORLY
47. Chili ingredient : STEWEDTOMATOES
51. The Jazz, on scoreboards : UTA
52. SeaWorld whale : SHAMU
53. Wild side of a split personality : MRHYDE
56. Be made up (of) : CONSIST
61. With 48-Down, kind of street : ONE
62. Preparer of 17-, 27- and 47-Across? : DRUNKENCOOK
65. For each : PER
66. Gillette brand : ATRA
67. "Get outta here!" : BEATIT
68. Before, old-style : ERE
69. Online site for business reviews : YELP
70. Where sacrifices may be made : ALTARS
Down
1. Bad grades : EFFS
2. ___ Croft, "Tomb Raider" role : LARA
3. News anchor David : MUIR
4. Bumped off : ICED
5. Business losses, informally : REDINK
6. Hard-to-hum, in a way : ATONAL
7. ___ alai : JAI
8. Brand of kitchenware : OXO
9. ___ State : KENT
10. "Who ___?" : ELSE
11. Title hero of a Longfellow poem : PAULREVERE
12. Dean's lists, e.g. : HONORROLLS
13. Close ___ (approach) : INON
18. "Not in a million years!" : NEVER
22. Sharp dresser : FOP
24. Ruckus : ADO
25. Hi-fi supply : LPS
27. Book you can't put down : PAGETURNER
28. 1970 #1 Jackson 5 song : ILLBETHERE
29. TV's "___: Cyber" : CSI
30. That, in Spanish : ESA
31. Bowler's target : PIN
32. Leave in stitches : SLAY
33. Some crossword clues : PUNS
37. Thanksgiving ___ : EVE
38. Reel holder : ROD
40. Icky stuff : GOO
43. Word often wrongly apostrophized : ITS
44. Cry made with a head slap : DOH
45. Big kiss : SMACK
48. See 61-Across : WAY
49. Certain protozoan : AMOEBA
50. Subway, basically : TUNNEL
53. Sulk : MOPE
54. Critical time : DDAY
55. Art Deco illustrator : ERTE
57. "Get outta here!" : SCAT
58. Tiny bit : IOTA
59. "Bon" time in France : SOIR
60. Speeders' comeuppances: Abbr. : TKTS
63. Dot-com's address : URL
64. Take a time out? : NAP

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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