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New York Times, Friday, March 30, 2018

Author: Sam Trabucco
Editor: Will Shortz
Sam Trabucco
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1210/29/20157/1/20180
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
3100242
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.66140

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

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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 ... more
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 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 ... more
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 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
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D
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N
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E
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N
E
A
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P
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A
T
F
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O
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S
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F
S
H
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P
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51
L
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A
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C
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E
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A
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R
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56
R
E
A
57
R
A
X
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M
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59
M
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61
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P
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© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0330 ( 24,979 )
Across Down
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
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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