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New York Times, Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Author:
Natan Last, Andy Kravis and the J.A.S.A. Crossword Class
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
277/17/200710/9/20186
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
5122098
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.60350
Natan Last
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1211/3/201310/9/20188
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
3122112
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.64040
Andy Kravis

This puzzle:

Rows: 16, Columns: 15 Words: 75, Blocks: 42 Missing: {JQ} Spans: 2 This is puzzle # 24 for Mr. Last. This is puzzle # 6 for Mr. Kravis. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Constructor notes:
NATAN: This puzzle was such a treat to make, even by the standards of the already lovely JASA process. The people, for one: we're ... read more

NATAN: This puzzle was such a treat to make, even by the standards of the already lovely JASA process. The people, for one: we're joined by new faces, like Andy Kravis up at the lectern, who's so encyclopedic we barely need to research for clues anymore, and new constructors like Susan, Tom, Joe, and more, who're injecting even more humor and breadth into these collaborations.

For another thing, this was one of those puzzles where students became teachers — the JASA class came up with the revealer, brainstormed the best theme pairs, drew up the skeleton of the grid, and even bailed us out of a bad fill moment by dropping in OH MY LORD where we'd had OH MY WORD and were coming up empty or trivial.

We were also able to keep a wide-open construction with some nice long entries. Hope y'all like it!

ANDY: This was my first puzzle with the JASA class, and I'm looking forward to making many more with them.

Jeff Chen notes:
Kooky-looking grid! I like seeing something different, and those huge chunks of black squares in the NW / SE corners certainly ... read more

Kooky-looking grid! I like seeing something different, and those huge chunks of black squares in the NW / SE corners certainly qualified.

PARALLEL PARKING … two car brands lined up in parallel? But why are some of them doing it in the middle of the puzzle? Watch out, MINI and OPEL, you're blocking traffic! You too, SMART and HONDA!

Wait, what? SMART is a brand of car?

No, seriously, what is it?

Really? It's an actual brand?

In all lower-caps, as in "smart"? Huh.

I've certainly seen "smart cars" around Seattle … I just thought it was a general term, like "smart phone"? Don't smart cars do all sorts of fancy stuff for you, like picking up your clothing automatically and buying your groceries from Amazon? No?

WELL, HOW SMART ARE THEY REALLY, THEN?!

Okay, so now I know that "smart" is a brand. Still, I'd have much preferred a more well-known brand, like ACURA, DODGE or TESLA. CONCRETE SLAB, perhaps?

With so much theme material, there are bound to be compromises in the fill. It ended up much better than I feared, not much more than some ESS, TRAC, OTOE, spread around. The only real sticking point I had was MOLLS – hard to believe that's an actual term. So, pretty darn good execution, given the layout. OH MY LORD I was relieved to get less crossword glue as I expected!

Overall though, the concept would have felt apter if PARALLEL PARKING had been in the middle of the puzzle, with just two pairs of cars in the NW / SE, looking like they're actually parallel parking on the edges of the puzzle.

Would have been nice to get a more well-known brand than OPEL, as well.

Jim Horne notes:

This is the 14th published puzzle from the J.A.S.A. class. Here are the rest.

1
S
2
A
3
N
4
D
5
A
6
B
7
E
8
C
9
A
10
P
11
O
12
S
13
C
L
A
U
14
D
I
U
S
15
T
O
S
S
T
O
16
U
P
F
O
R
D
I
S
17
C
U
S
S
I
O
N
18
B
H
T
19
E
E
L
20
A
L
I
A
S
E
S
21
A
A
A
22
D
23
O
M
I
N
I
24
I
25
T
S
H
O
P
E
L
26
E
27
S
28
S
29
T
30
E
31
A
R
O
O
M
S
32
L
E
O
33
T
E
N
P
E
N
N
Y
34
A
35
W
36
R
A
T
S
37
R
A
T
E
D
G
38
L
39
U
C
R
E
T
I
A
40
A
C
E
41
D
O
N
T
E
V
E
N
42
C
H
R
43
I
44
S
45
M
A
R
T
I
N
46
S
H
O
N
D
A
47
N
48
A
49
B
50
S
51
H
52
A
L
A
L
A
53
P
54
E
55
A
56
O
N
E
57
P
A
R
A
L
L
E
58
L
P
A
R
59
K
I
N
G
60
E
Z
I
N
E
S
61
L
E
T
M
E
S
E
E
62
D
Y
A
D
S
63
C
D
S
64
N
E
X
T
© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0307 ( 24,956 )
Across
1. Beach makeup : SAND
5. Japanese P.M. Shinzo ___ : ABE
8. Heads of families : CAPOS
13. Mocker of Hamlet's "unmanly grief" : CLAUDIUS
15. Throw in the direction of : TOSSTO
16. On the table : UPFORDISCUSSION
18. Controversial food preservative, for short : BHT
19. That's a moray! : EEL
20. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid : ALIASES
21. Like the baseball of the New Orleans Baby Cakes : AAA
22. D as in dates? : DOMINI
24. "I give up" : ITSHOPELESS
29. Cozy places? : TEAROOMS
32. Emmy- and Oscar-winning Melissa : LEO
33. Denoting a 3" nail, so-called from its original cost : TENPENNY
34. "Doggone it!" : AWRATS
37. Like family-friendly films : RATEDG
38. Women's rights activist Mott : LUCRETIA
40. Nail : ACE
41. "You're really testing my patience right now ..." : DONTEVEN
42. Lead singer of Coldplay, once married to Gwyneth Paltrow : CHRISMARTIN
46. Rhimes who created "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal" : SHONDA
47. Nail : NAB
50. Refrain syllables : SHALALA
53. Item under a fairy tale princess' mattress : PEA
56. Impersonal "you" : ONE
57. Driving test challenge ... or a hint to this puzzle's circled letters : PARALLELPARKING
60. Web issues : EZINES
61. Chin stroker's comment : LETMESEE
62. Couples : DYADS
63. Music purchases of the 1990s and early 2000s : CDS
64. First in line : NEXT
Down
1. Kind of gear for a diver : SCUBA
2. Top dog : ALPHA
3. Pact inveighed against by Trump : NAFTA
4. Couple : DUO
5. Congressional staffer : AIDE
6. Uses as a foundation : BUILDSON
7. Start of something? : ESS
8. Secant's reciprocal : COSINE
9. Attack : ASSAIL
10. Trident-shaped letters : PSIS
11. Early tribe met by Lewis and Clark : OTOE
12. Some heirs : SONS
14. Eazy-E collaborator, informally : DRE
15. Dutch export : TULIP
17. Paintball gear, familiarly : CAMOS
23. "Heavens!" : OHMYLORD
24. Plenty angry : IRED
25. Chinese secret society : TONG
26. Send : ELATE
27. Take effect : SETIN
28. Slugger Sammy : SOSA
29. Head of a classroom, in slang : TEACH
30. Put in : ENTER
31. Gibbon, e.g. : APE
33. ___ II (Gillette razor) : TRAC
34. It starts when an overture's over : ACTI
35. Carolina ___ (state bird) : WREN
36. Power (up) : REV
39. Not yet used : UNTAPPED
41. Mother of Perseus : DANAE
43. Singapore, e.g. : ISLAND
44. Sources of oil : SHALES
45. Gangsters' gals : MOLLS
47. Statistical distractions : NOISE
48. Take without asking : ANNEX
49. Sire : BEGET
50. Hit 100, say : SPED
51. Blurred : HAZY
52. Gershwin's "Summertime," e.g. : ARIA
54. Grub : EATS
55. Branch : ARM
58. Business letters? : LLC
59. He's a doll : KEN

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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