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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
287/17/20072/3/20196
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
6122098
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.60350
Natan Last
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1311/3/20131/13/20198
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
4122112
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.

Found bugs or have suggestions?