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New York Times, Saturday, March 4, 2017

Author:
Mary Lou Guizzo
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
244/17/20143/6/201913
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
31153641
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.61440
Mary Lou Guizzo

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 30 Missing: {JQXZ} Spans: 6 This is puzzle # 18 for Ms. Guizzo. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Mary Lou Guizzo notes:
I was pleased to work SHIRLEY CHISHOLM into this Saturday puzzle. Her name has been in an NYT puzzle only once before ( in1981). We ... read more

I was pleased to work SHIRLEY CHISHOLM into this Saturday puzzle. Her name has been in an NYT puzzle only once before ( in1981). We could use more women like her in Congress. If you are not familiar with SHIRLEY CHISHOLM, please watch the video below and be inspired.

Working TAYLOR SCHILLING in was also a plus, along with SPORCLE, ANYONE LISTENING and IT'S NOT FAIR. I suspect different demographics will know TAYLOR SCHILLING as opposed to SHIRLEY CHISHOLM. Hopefully, you got the other one from the crossings, along with Manuel NEUER, the soccer "sweeper-keeper." Before this, NEUER appeared in the NYT puzzles clued as "More modern or newer, in Germany."

For those of you who have not been to the HIGH SIERRA country, you should add it to your bucket list — a beautiful spot!

I hope you enjoyed your solving experience. Thanks to Will and Joel for accepting and editing this puzzle.

Jeff Chen notes:
Themelesses featuring interlocking 15-letter answers often suffer in their short fill — the grid skeleton can be so inflexible. ... read more

Themelesses featuring interlocking 15-letter answers often suffer in their short fill — the grid skeleton can be so inflexible. You often need a flood of crossword glue to hold it together, or have some of your feature entries be more neutral than standout. I thought ML did well to keep her crossword glue fairly minimal, considering she interlocked SIX grid-spanners, while giving us some good feature entries.

I loved TRIPLE WORD SCORE plus its clue, the misdirectional [Red square] (lower-case S!). THE PLOT THICKENS is fantastic too, evoking images of a detective's or even criminal's musings.

ANYONE LISTENING — I wanted so badly for there to be an IS preceding it. Ah well.

Neat to get SHIRLEY CHISHOLM, along with her ground-breaking election to Congress in 1968. Honestly, I couldn't remember the spelling of her last name, so it took me most every cross. But I got a real lift from piecing it together, pulling out thoughts of the civil rights movement.

TAYLOR SCHILLING … I'm not hot on featuring celebs in themelesses unless they're megastars. I've watched two full seasons of "Orange is the New Black," but I still needed every crossing answer to work out her name. And even then, I didn't know what character she played.

I do like that the NYT is giving exposure to an on-the-cusp-of-greatness star, but it felt more like being educated than being entertained.

With so many long entries constraining the grid, it wasn't a surprise to get a few rough spots. Manuel NEUER? And that IS AT (feels awkward) / NHRA (tough acronym) / ARNO corner was inelegant. Areas near intersections of two long themers have huge potential to give a constructor fits.

I don't mind a little SGTS, VOS, EEGS, EPI, ARIE / ISLIP, but as a whole … Thankfully, ML managed to keep it mostly spread out, not too concentrated in any one region.

I appreciated the bonuses of IT'S NOT FAIR, HIGH SIERRA, and SPORCLE (a provider of quizzes). That last one may be rough for some, what with it crossing NECCO and TAYLOR.

Kind of a lot of proper names in all, making it feel heavier on trivia than clever wordplay. But still entertaining.

1
S
2
G
3
T
4
S
5
T
6
R
7
E
8
V
9
I
10
S
11
T
12
U
13
B
14
P
I
A
F
15
H
E
R
O
N
16
A
R
T
I
17
A
N
Y
O
18
N
E
L
I
S
T
19
E
N
I
N
G
20
Y
U
L
21
E
P
E
E
22
H
E
A
P
E
D
23
S
P
O
24
R
C
L
E
25
L
E
G
A
L
26
R
I
C
O
27
P
E
C
S
28
E
29
P
30
I
31
I
32
T
S
N
O
T
33
F
A
I
R
34
A
W
O
L
35
H
A
C
K
36
T
A
N
G
O
37
L
O
O
S
38
O
C
H
S
39
H
I
G
H
S
40
I
E
R
R
A
41
P
H
I
42
N
I
T
S
43
S
P
U
D
44
L
45
E
A
C
H
46
T
H
A
T
S
47
I
48
T
49
I
50
N
L
U
C
K
51
S
E
A
S
52
C
S
I
53
S
H
I
R
L
E
54
Y
C
H
I
S
55
H
O
L
M
56
A
R
N
O
57
N
E
U
E
R
58
A
R
I
E
59
T
A
G
S
60
S
A
T
E
S
61
R
E
P
S
© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0304 ( 24,588 )
Across
1
Figs. in many police procedurals : SGTS
5
Roma's Fontana di ___ : TREVI
10
Split ticket? : STUB
14
Cotillard won Best Actress for playing her : PIAF
15
Flier with an S-shaped neck : HERON
16
Where lines are drawn? : ARTI
17
"Is this thing on?" : ANYONELISTENING
20
He played the "King" opposite Deborah's Anna : YUL
21
Sports item with a sensor : EPEE
22
Like stones in a cairn : HEAPED
23
Website offering "mentally stimulating diversions" : SPORCLE
25
Corporate department : LEGAL
26
Moneyed, in Madrid : RICO
27
They can be found next to six-packs : PECS
28
Lead-in to Pen : EPI
31
"That's cheating!" : ITSNOTFAIR
34
Gone badly? : AWOL
35
Untalented writer : HACK
36
Letter in the NATO alphabet : TANGO
37
British thrones? : LOOS
38
"Draft Dodger Rag" singer : OCHS
39
Yosemite's range : HIGHSIERRA
41
The Eagles, for short : PHI
42
Cavils : NITS
43
Source of chips : SPUD
44
Drain away : LEACH
46
"I've had enough!" : THATSIT
49
Fortunate : INLUCK
51
South ___ (Polynesia's locale) : SEAS
52
TV series that spawned an exhibit at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry : CSI
53
First black woman elected to Congress, 1968 : SHIRLEYCHISHOLM
56
Uffizi Gallery's river : ARNO
57
Manuel ___, German soccer star called a "sweeper-keeper" : NEUER
58
India with four Grammys : ARIE
59
G.I.'s wear : TAGS
60
Fulfills : SATES
61
Group of 435 pols : REPS
Down
1
Fixes : SPAYS
2
Excite : GINUP
3
Actress on "Orange Is the New Black" : TAYLORSCHILLING
4
Trans-Pacific flight destination, for short : SFO
5
Exclamation after more information is revealed : THEPLOTTHICKENS
6
Noted Civil War signature : RELEE
7
It's down the lake from Buffalo : ERIE
8
"Ara ___ Prec" (T. S. Eliot poetry volume) : VOS
9
Targeted : INTHECROSSHAIRS
10
Unesco World Heritage Site on the Arabian Peninsula : SANAA
11
Red square : TRIPLEWORDSCORE
12
Eric of magazine publishing : UTNE
13
Longtime Cotton Bowl home, informally : BIGD
18
Big maker of candy hearts : NECCO
19
Thought patterns, in brief? : EEGS
24
Places for curlers : RINKS
25
___ Mercer, originator of the palindrome "A man, a plan, a canal - Panama!" : LEIGH
27
Fast results? : PANGS
29
Lame : POOR
30
"Play it, Sam" speaker : ILSA
31
"Eat up every moment" sloganeer : IHOP
32
Part of a dashboard, for short : TACH
33
"Taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase," per M.L.K. : FAITH
34
Many a Nikolskoye native : ALEUT
40
Bridge call : IPASS
42
Deicer formula : NACL
45
Capital of France : EUROS
46
Laughter sound : TEHEE
47
Neighbor of New York's Bay Shore : ISLIP
48
x : TIMES
49
Attends : ISAT
50
Dragsters' grp. : NHRA
51
___ work (tedious tasks) : SCUT
54
Senate affirmation : YEA
55
Laughter sound : HAR

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?