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New York Times, Monday, March 3, 2014

Author:
Andrea Carla Michaels and Michael Blake
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
666/12/20009/23/201937
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
74692200
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.63217
Andrea Carla Michaels
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
141/28/20086/13/201910
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0831200
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.64003
Michael Blake

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. ... read more

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 was ... read more

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
45
E
A
S
T
E
46
R
47
N
E
A
S
48
T
49
E
R
50
R
E
P
O
51
L
I
R
A
52
B
53
R
54
I
O
55
M
B
56
A
57
E
U
G
58
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
O
T
70
S
T
Y
L
E
© 2014, The New York TimesNo. 0303 ( 23,491 )

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Across
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
Down
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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