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New York Times, Monday, March 3, 2014

Author: Andrea Carla Michaels and Michael Blake
Editor: Will Shortz
Andrea Carla Michaels
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
576/12/20007/16/201730
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
63892200
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.63117
Michael Blake
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
131/28/20082/13/20179
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0831100
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.64003

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 40 Missing: none – this is a pangram Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 42 for Ms. Michaels. This is puzzle # 10 for Mr. Blake. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Constructor notes: ANDREA: Started with an email from my friend and partner in many puzzles, Michael Blake, asking if I wanted in on the theme. ... more
Constructor notes:

ANDREA: Started with an email from my friend and partner in many puzzles, Michael Blake, asking if I wanted in on the theme. EASTERNEASTER and PATTERNPATTER had come to him in his sleep and they weren't in the database.

I thought this was a neat and weird concept, x n x, which could be parsed two ways, and was more than just add an N. Will thought it was original too, which pleased us.

We called it LIVE n LEARN even though that wasn't the exact thing we were doing, but the feel we wanted to communicate. We discarded many ideas, they weren't as easy to come up and be clear and/or amusing as we thought, but then we got a nice set together.

I added DIVANDIVA and LEARNLEAR because I wanted them to make the most surface sense possible. Michael then came up with the wonderful FREETOWNFREETOW which went neatly across the middle. Can't imagine who came up with a pangram for the fill! :)

Jeff Chen notes: Fun theme today, all 'wacky' phrases based on a (word(s) ending with N) + (same word(s) without the N) pattern. FREE TOWN FREE TOW ... more
Jeff Chen notes: Fun theme today, all "wacky" phrases based on a (word(s) ending with N) + (same word(s) without the N) pattern. FREE TOWN FREE TOW was genius! And DIVAN DIVA elicited images of Katey Sagal as Peg Bundy from "Married with Children," saying "bon bon." Amusing, enjoyable Monday.

Nice construction today, with some really good long stuff. Chris CHRISTIE makes an appearance along with ESTROGEN, plus a nice STANZA and HINT AT, which always reminds me of the Monty Python "nudge nudge wink wink" sketch. A couple of standout clues as well, my favorite being the one for SLANG. It's hard to come up with inventive clues for a Monday since it's designed to be the easiest puzzle of the week, so clues like this add spice.

Ah, the pangram. Andrea and I have different philosophies on pangrams, and I think both have merit. I personally place a lot of value on smooth fill vs. Scrabbly letters, but I know several solvers who really like seeing pangrams. I hadn't been aware of that until a few months ago — it surprised me to hear it and caused me to change my thinking about "right" and "wrong" when it comes to constructions. I'm sure there will be many solvers who like seeing the X up in the NE corner. It didn't do a lot for me because of the awkward partial THE X, but that's okay. It's Andrea's decision, and like almost all constructor choices, it will please some and not please some. Can't win 'em all.

Finally, I hadn't picked up that an N was at the heart of each answer — nice, from a consistency standpoint. I did notice that LEARN LEAR was the only one where the first word was a verb, so that did stand out a bit.

Nice start to the week.

1
W
2
A
3
L
4
S
5
H
6
P
7
J
8
S
9
S
10
C
11
A
12
N
13
T
14
A
M
A
T
I
15
H
A
H
16
U
H
H
U
H
17
D
I
V
A
N
18
D
I
V
A
19
B
R
A
K
E
20
S
E
E
N
T
O
21
A
R
22
C
23
I
B
E
X
24
Z
A
N
25
Y
26
O
U
27
T
S
28
P
A
T
T
E
29
R
N
P
A
T
30
T
31
E
32
R
33
I
34
B
E
35
G
O
A
36
P
I
A
N
O
37
F
R
E
38
E
39
T
O
W
N
40
F
41
R
E
E
T
O
W
42
W
E
L
S
H
43
G
O
O
44
E
S
E
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E
A
S
T
E
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R
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N
E
A
S
48
T
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E
R
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R
E
P
O
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L
I
R
A
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B
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R
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I
O
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M
B
56
A
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E
U
G
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E
59
N
60
E
61
B
A
D
G
62
E
63
L
E
64
A
R
N
L
E
A
R
65
Q
U
E
E
N
66
E
R
R
67
K
E
N
T
S
68
S
L
A
N
G
69
R
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S
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Y
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E
© 2014, The New York TimesNo. 0303 ( 23,491 )
Across Down
1. "America's Most Wanted" host John : WALSH
6. Bedwear, informally : PJS
9. Meager : SCANT
14. Prized violin : AMATI
15. Triumphant cry : HAH
16. "Yup" : UHHUH
17. Operatic singer on a sofa? : DIVANDIVA
19. "I ___ for animals" (bumper sticker) : BRAKE
20. Taken care of : SEENTO
21. Curved path : ARC
23. Mountain goat : IBEX
24. Kooky : ZANY
26. Ins' partner : OUTS
28. Chitchat about a dressmaking template? : PATTERNPATTER
33. "May ___ excused?" : IBE
35. Former part of Portuguese India : GOA
36. Set of keys? : PIANO
37. Complimentary road service in Sierra Leone's capital? : FREETOWNFREETOW
42. Like Dylan Thomas, by birth : WELSH
43. Oozy stuff : GOO
44. 180 degrees from WNW : ESE
45. Egg-hunting time in the Orient? : EASTERNEASTER
50. "___ Man," Emilio Estevez film : REPO
51. Former capital of Italy? : LIRA
52. Pizazz : BRIO
55. Many a C.E.O.'s deg. : MBA
57. Broadway's ___ O'Neill Theater : EUGENE
61. Sheriff's star : BADGE
63. Memorize lines for a Shakespearean king? : LEARNLEAR
65. Evil character in "Snow White" : QUEEN
66. Mess up : ERR
67. Superman's adoptive parents : KENTS
68. "Pasted" or "wasted," for "drunk" : SLANG
69. "Balderdash!" : ROT
70. Art Deco, for one : STYLE
1. Money rolls : WADS
2. Parisian girlfriend : AMIE
3. Wash : LAVE
4. Lyric unit : STANZA
5. Insinuate : HINTAT
6. ___ Beta Kappa : PHI
7. Software platform suitable for Starbucks? : JAVA
8. Actress Stone of "Casino" : SHARON
9. Easily pranked teacher, maybe : SUB
10. New Jersey governor whose first name starts his last name : CHRISTIE
11. "Moby-Dick" captain : AHAB
12. Zap in the microwave : NUKE
13. TV's "___ Factor" : THEX
18. "Please stay!" : DONTGO
22. Quarter of a quart : CUP
25. "Man, that hurts!" : YEOW
27. Reel-to-reel ___ : TAPE
28. Banana skins : PEELS
29. Mountain chain : RANGE
30. ___ Tots : TATER
31. Son of Seth : ENOS
32. Investment firm T. ___ Price : ROWE
33. "___ Never Meet Again" (Elvis song) : IFWE
34. La ___ Tar Pits : BREA
38. Hormone in the pill : ESTROGEN
39. Quaker pronoun : THEE
40. Baby horse : FOAL
41. More optimistic : ROSIER
46. 33 1/3, for a record album: Abbr. : RPM
47. More high-minded : NOBLER
48. Elephants' feelers : TRUNKS
49. "Bald" baby bird : EAGLET
52. Outdoor meals with hamburgers or hot dogs, say, in brief : BBQS
53. Fidel Castro's brother and successor : RAUL
54. Notion : IDEA
56. Commercial prefix with postale : AERO
58. "___ meeny miney mo" : EENY
59. The "N" of N.A.A.C.P.: Abbr. : NATL
60. Scottish Gaelic : ERSE
62. Coll. major of many writers : ENG
64. Paintings, sculptures, etc. : ART

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle.

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