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New York Times, Friday, March 30, 2018

Author:
Sam Trabucco
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1910/29/20153/9/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
3101356
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.68150
Sam Trabucco

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 68, Blocks: 30 Missing: {JQ} Spans: 2 This is puzzle # 10 for Mr. Trabucco. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Sam Trabucco notes:
Is the term TIGER MOM common? It's super familiar to me, but I have led a ... let's say 'biased' life, filled with math nerds and ... read more

Is the term TIGER MOM common? It's super familiar to me, but I have led a ... let's say "biased" life, filled with math nerds and their helicopter parents. I hope that the metaphor is at least evocative even for those to whom the term is unfamiliar!

And if you enjoyed this puzzle (or the ones from the past week by Finn, Andy, and Claire!), consider donating and buying Queer Qrosswords!

Jeff Chen notes:
As long as a themeless exhibits a decent level of gridwork proficiency, I'm pretty happy. What turns a good themeless into a great one ... read more

As long as a themeless exhibits a decent level of gridwork proficiency, I'm pretty happy. What turns a good themeless into a great one for me is the difficult-to-define quality of "voice." In the writing world, agents and editors are all searching for voice, that spark in a manuscript that makes it un-put-down-able. Sometimes it's personal resonance, sometimes it's the author's ability to generate tension, or a character's memorable dialogue.

A long-winded way of saying that I'm a fan of Sam's voice. Such a nice pairing of WELCOME TO MY LIFE and DON'T WAIT UP FOR ME, both catchy, common phrases. NEVER FAILS echoes WELCOME TO MY LIFE, as does PLEASE STOP and DON'T WAIT UP FOR ME. I like when a themeless shows these fortuitous connections.

And the beautiful entry/clue pairings:

  • ENEMY SPY is great on its own. But [Plant from another country] so innocently made me think of flora. It's a beautiful clue that couldn't have been used for just SPY, elevating an already great entry to standout status.
  • A REAR AXLE generates "backspin" — as in, the back axle of the car spinning. A bit groany, but also a bit genius.

The puzzle also spoke to me through TIGER MOM, a term both hilarious and tear-inducing for me and my peers. I'm still waiting for someone to debut ASIAN F (an A minus, according to TIGER MOMs).

Seriously, my mom once looked at my report card that had all As and one A minus, and said "why didn't you do better?"

There were a couple of dabs of crossword glue here and there — PKS (penalty kicks), the AMU Darya River, RIMA — but not enough to make me give Sam the side-eye. A ton of beautiful long entries that personally resonated with me (part of me is a surf bum at heart, wanting eventually to run a SURF SHOP). Close to getting the POW! but it got edged out by another puzzle to come this week.

1
M
2
A
3
M
4
A
5
B
6
I
7
R
8
D
9
T
10
U
11
R
12
N
13
I
14
P
15
O
S
O
L
E
M
I
O
16
I
C
H
E
C
K
17
W
E
L
L
D
A
M
N
18
G
L
O
V
E
S
19
S
A
D
E
20
F
A
T
21
H
E
A
D
E
D
22
R
23
C
A
24
W
A
R
25
A
R
C
26
O
27
P
28
A
G
A
N
29
A
R
M
30
S
31
F
O
B
32
A
L
L
I
N
33
Z
I
P
O
N
34
A
F
I
35
W
E
L
C
O
36
M
E
T
O
M
Y
37
L
I
F
E
38
M
A
O
39
N
O
R
U
N
40
D
A
L
E
S
41
A
S
S
42
S
L
O
P
43
D
E
N
S
E
44
N
E
A
45
P
46
A
T
F
47
O
R
D
48
S
U
R
49
F
S
H
O
50
P
S
51
L
52
A
53
C
54
E
55
A
T
R
O
I
S
56
R
E
A
57
R
A
X
L
E
58
M
O
U
S
S
E
59
M
E
G
A
D
E
A
L
60
U
P
S
E
T
S
61
E
N
E
M
Y
S
P
Y
© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0330 ( 24,979 )
Across
1
Egg warmer : MAMABIRD
9
A rutabaga is a cross between a cabbage and this : TURNIP
15
Pavarotti standard whose name means "My Sunshine" : OSOLEMIO
16
"No bet," in poker : ICHECK
17
"Ain't that somethin'!" : WELLDAMN
18
Doctor's wear : GLOVES
19
"Your Love Is King" singer, 1984 : SADE
20
Stupid : FATHEADED
22
Toshiba competitor : RCA
24
"God created ___ so that Americans would learn geography" (line attributed to Mark Twain) : WAR
25
With the bow, in music : ARCO
27
Like many Christmas traditions : PAGAN
29
Some of Lockheed Martin's business : ARMS
31
___ chain : FOB
32
Committed : ALLIN
33
Like some jacket hoods : ZIPON
34
"100 Years ... 100 Movies" org. : AFI
35
"And I get dumped on again" : WELCOMETOMYLIFE
38
Ubiquitous Chinese character : MAO
39
Like a three-pitch inning : NORUN
40
Low-lying areas : DALES
41
Jerk : ASS
42
School cafeteria food, stereotypically : SLOP
43
Stupid : DENSE
44
___ tide : NEAP
46
D.O.J. branch : ATF
47
Chicago airport code : ORD
48
Businesses often near beaches : SURFSHOPS
51
Spike : LACE
55
For three: Fr. : ATROIS
56
Backspin producer? : REARAXLE
58
Style setter? : MOUSSE
59
High-profile merger, e.g. : MEGADEAL
60
Riles : UPSETS
61
Plant from another country : ENEMYSPY
Down
1
Does some diamond cutting? : MOWS
2
Offshore : ASEA
3
Jell-O maker : MOLD
4
Like some reactions : ALLERGIC
5
Safe place to crash : BED
6
"Your work inspires me" : IMAFAN
7
Italian poetic form : RIMA
8
"I won't be back till late" : DONTWAITUPFORME
9
Strict, demanding parent : TIGERMOM
10
Most-applied-to school in the U.S. : UCLA
11
Hit 1970s sitcom : RHODA
12
"Works every time" : NEVERFAILS
13
Summer drink with caffeine : ICEDCOFFEE
14
Tie-breaking shots in soccer: Abbr. : PKS
21
Refuse to drop : HARPON
23
Nikon competitors : CANONS
26
Cousins of Drama Desk Awards : OBIES
27
"Enough!" : PLEASESTOP
28
Terror in Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Lost World" : ALLOSAURUS
30
Tom of old late-night TV : SNYDER
32
"Jeez, that's a shame!" : AWMAN
33
Preceder of first : ZEROTH
36
Common ingredient in baked beans : MOLASSES
37
Ethel Mertz, on "I Love Lucy" : LANDLADY
43
Just what the doctor ordered : DOSAGE
45
Essayist's writing : PROSE
49
It may pack a punch : FIST
50
Hammer's end : PEEN
52
Choppers : AXES
53
Thunderous sound : CLAP
54
Slithery : EELY
55
Asia's ___ Darya River : AMU
57
Broadside, maybe : RAM

Answer summary: 12 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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