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New York Times, Monday, March 19, 2018

Author: Michael Wiesenberg and Andrea Carla Michaels
Editor: Will Shortz
Michael Wiesenberg
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
54/6/20133/19/20181
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0100031
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.56000
Andrea Carla Michaels
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
606/12/20005/14/201832
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
64192200
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.63117

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 38 Missing: {JKQX} This is puzzle # 5 for Mr. Wiesenberg. This is puzzle # 59 for Ms. Michaels. NYT links: Across Lite PDF

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Constructor notes: MICHAEL: The idea for the puzzle first came to me in 2007. I tried unsuccessfully to fit seven entries that had all the colors of ... more
Constructor notes:

MICHAEL: The idea for the puzzle first came to me in 2007. I tried unsuccessfully to fit seven entries that had all the colors of the rainbow, plus RAINBOW as the reveal. I looked at the puzzle from time to time, but couldn't manage to get eight entries into one puzzle. I concluded it couldn't be done, but then I was trying to fit all entries horizontally. I revisited the idea and came up with something I could make work by making two of the entries vertical.

I had had four unthemed puzzles published in the NYT by this time, but, although I've had many themed puzzles published, none in the NYT. My efforts were an inconsistent mix of easy and difficult entries and clues.

I contacted Andrea Carla Michaels because I felt I needed help with devising an early-week puzzle from someone who has a lot of experience with them. In a lengthy exchange (70) of emails, we honed the puzzle till we got something we felt worth submitting. We considered ROYGBIV as the reveal ("Mnemonic for remembering a list of seven of which the starred entries all contain elements") but went back to RAINBOW. For ?APPY, we went back and forth with HAPPY, NAPPY, SAPPY, YAPPY, and settled on HAPPY as the best word for early week.

FWIW, we think the final version contains a minimum of difficult entries.

ACME: Was in awe that Michael could get eight theme entries into a Monday! (I warned him that regardless of the difficulty WE thought this was, it would be slotted for a Monday!) That necessitated many iterations, to get the fill "simple." How nice at the end of all this to see a rainbow!

Jeff Chen notes: Neat bit of trivia: the Shortz era began with a great tribute to ROY G. BIV, the colors of the rainbow, in order. This theme concept ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Neat bit of trivia: the Shortz era began with a great tribute to ROY G. BIV, the colors of the rainbow, in order. This theme concept has been revisited many a time – such great crossword fodder.

It is, however, difficult to fit in all seven colors into a 15x15 grid. (The average number of themers is about five these days.) Michael and Acme accomplish it today, and also stick in RAINBOW as a revealer. Impressive to work in eight themers, fairly smoothly.

Excellent use of interlock, INDIGO GIRLS crossing BLUEBIRDS, and YELLOW LIGHT crossing VIOLET RAY. In some cases, constructors use this sort of interlock to show off, more for themselves than for the solver. But here, it's almost necessary, to squeeze everything in. I highlighted the themers below, to demonstrate how tight a fit it is.

Oh, if it hadn't been for VIOLET RAY — all the other themers are so colorful (ha ha). What a curious grid entry. (I usually see SHRINKING VIOLET for this theme type.) It was interesting to learn about this antique piece of medical equipment, but electrotherapy seems so barbaric.

It's tough for a science nerd like me to see all the colors spread out willy-nilly, instead of in proper ROY G. BIV order. I'm not entirely sure it could have been done without more compromises (LIII, ITI, ACS — I ASEA you), but here's one case where I would have been okay with a higher price to pay in order to get proper color order.

THINGS NEED TO BE PROPER, SHOUTED THE OCD DORK!

My poor kids.

Hear me out. Put RED TAPE in row 3, all the way to the left. ORANGE PEEL all the way to the right, in row 4 or 5. Keep alternating until you reach RAINBOW, down in row 13. Or take out RAINBOW if you need to.

Heck, even if you needed to go asymmetrical, I'd accept that. ANYTHING TO ACHIEVE ORDER! THE WILLY-NILLINESS IS SO DISTRACTING!

I should probably find them a therapist sooner rather than later.

But overall, still an impressive feat to fit eight themers in. If in a disorderly fashion.

1
A
2
B
3
B
4
I
5
E
6
Z
7
I
8
N
9
G
10
B
11
L
12
O
13
W
14
R
O
L
F
E
15
A
S
E
A
16
L
I
V
E
17
O
R
A
N
G
18
E
P
E
E
L
19
U
S
E
S
20
A
N
N
O
21
S
P
E
D
22
H
E
A
R
T
23
R
E
D
T
24
A
P
E
25
P
U
B
26
I
N
D
27
I
28
G
O
G
I
29
R
30
L
31
S
32
O
33
N
34
D
35
V
D
36
M
O
N
O
R
A
I
L
37
L
I
I
I
38
P
39
A
P
P
Y
40
D
U
M
A
41
A
L
L
O
42
C
A
T
E
43
I
S
L
E
T
44
Y
E
L
L
O
W
L
I
45
G
46
H
T
47
E
O
N
48
R
A
I
49
N
50
B
51
O
52
W
53
M
54
A
55
L
T
S
56
F
57
W
I
W
58
O
U
Z
O
59
A
C
E
R
60
G
R
E
E
N
61
A
R
R
O
W
62
T
I
N
A
63
R
E
E
F
64
C
A
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E
D
D
Y
66
R
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67
S
H
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E
D
© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0319 ( 24,968 )
Across Down
1. Radical Hoffman who wrote "Steal This Book" : ABBIE
6. Stimulating quality : ZING
10. Huff and puff : BLOW
14. John who married Pocahontas : ROLFE
15. On the briny : ASEA
16. Opposite of "on tape" : LIVE
17. *Garnish for a cocktail : ORANGEPEEL
19. Takes advantage of : USES
20. The "A" of A.D. : ANNO
21. Zipped along : SPED
22. Tin Man's desire : HEART
23. *Bureaucratic rigmarole : REDTAPE
25. Place for drinks : PUB
26. *"Closer to Fine" folk-rock duo : INDIGOGIRLS
32. How some home videos are stored : ONDVD
36. Disney World transport : MONORAIL
37. 53, in old Rome : LIII
38. Father, to Li'l Abner : PAPPY
40. Russian legislature : DUMA
41. Dole out : ALLOCATE
43. Bit of land in the ocean : ISLET
44. *Caution to slow down : YELLOWLIGHT
47. Very long time : EON
48. What the starts of the answers to the seven starred clues constitute : RAINBOW
53. Fountain drinks : MALTS
56. Letters suggesting "I'll just go ahead and throw this out" : FWIW
58. Anise-flavored liqueur : OUZO
59. Taiwanese computer brand : ACER
60. *DC Comics superhero with the sidekick Speedy : GREENARROW
62. "30 Rock" star Fey : TINA
63. Shipwreck site, perhaps : REEF
64. Chili con ___ : CARNE
65. Circular water current : EDDY
66. Exerciser's sets : REPS
67. Did a blacksmith's job on : SHOED
1. Loud, as a crowd : AROAR
2. Carried : BORNE
3. Flavorless : BLAND
4. "Otherwise ..." : IFNOT
5. Hosp. readout : EEG
6. Heated in a microwave : ZAPPED
7. "Uh-huh" : ISEE
8. Requirement : NEED
9. Cowpoke's sweetie : GAL
10. *Symbols of happiness : BLUEBIRDS
11. Simpson with a high I.Q. : LISA
12. So last year, as a fad : OVER
13. Sunset's direction : WEST
18. "Monday Night Football" channel : ESPN
22. Victor who wrote "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" : HUGO
24. Earthquake relief, e.g. : AID
25. Small equine : PONY
27. Louvre Pyramid architect : IMPEI
28. Lincoln was its first successful standard-bearer, for short : GOP
29. ___ Julia, actor who played Gomez Addams : RAUL
30. Tart, green fruit : LIME
31. Shutter strip : SLAT
32. Neutrogena rival : OLAY
33. Cairo's river : NILE
34. It's in a pickle : DILL
35. *Antique medical device used for electrotherapy : VIOLETRAY
38. Lowly chess piece : PAWN
39. Home of the Braves: Abbr. : ATL
42. Dove sounds : COOS
43. "Lord, is ___?": Matthew 26:22 : ITI
45. Intense sorrows : GRIEFS
46. Actress Goldie : HAWN
49. "Don't Know Why" singer Jones : NORAH
50. Beast of burden : BURRO
51. Layer of the upper atmosphere : OZONE
52. Superimpressed : WOWED
53. One sock, to another : MATE
54. Gastric ___ : ACID
55. Supply temporarily : LEND
56. They say there's no such thing as this kind of lunch : FREE
57. Shed tears : WEEP
60. Watchdog's warning : GRR
61. Cooling units, for short : ACS

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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