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New York Times, Thursday, March 7, 2019

Author:
Brian Thomas
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
711/21/20178/31/20191
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0320101
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.73010
Brian Thomas

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 74, Blocks: 36 Missing: {JQZ} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 6 for Mr. Thomas. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Brian Thomas notes:
It's funny looking back at older puzzles and seeing what you'd do differently. I distinctly remember deciding what to do with the big ... read more

It's funny looking back at older puzzles and seeing what you'd do differently. I distinctly remember deciding what to do with the big northwest and southeast corners and thinking "this is gonna be a Thursday, go for the snazzy long downs!" Nowadays, I think I'd add another block in at the T of TADA and use less gluey short entries.

I was especially excited to find ROCK EM SOCK EM ROBOT for a center 15er with it's two EMs, and to debut CHIN MUSIC (although I know it as a baseball term). Hope all enjoy!

Jeff Chen notes:
A jazzy revealer – STICK EM UP! – along with four catchphrases: HANG EM HIGH, HOOK EM HORNS, KNOCK EM DEAD, and the ... read more

A jazzy revealer – STICK EM UP! – along with four catchphrases: HANG EM HIGH, HOOK EM HORNS, KNOCK EM DEAD, and the doubled-up ROCK EM SOCK EM ROBOTS – made for a great theme set. Fantastic choices.

Every time the NYT runs a "parts of answers jutting up or down," I get angry emails saying that there's something wrong in the grid. Ooh, the vitriolic barrages I got after a HOLDING DOWN THE FORT puzzle (never mind that I didn't write it). You fool, you @#$@!ed up big time! You're the biggest moron in the history of moronocy!

I've learned to spell out themes in painful detail, so that (most) everyone gets it.

I enjoyed today's in part because I won't have to do as much explaining. Tried and true "jutting" theme, but it's so easy to figure out. (We've highlighted the EMs below just in case.) Instead of relying on a long jutting string, or several different strings, it's simply EM at work.

It is true that once you've figured out the theme, it all falls quickly. But I didn't mind that. Enough of a trick to make it worthy of a Thursday slot, but easy enough to make me feel smart. It's a win when a constructor makes solvers feel smart.

Fully agreed with Brian, I could have used a slightly smoother grid. DAK Prescott, become uber-famous already! ETE MKTS TIO TMEN XCI almost made me rethink my POW! pick. But these gluey bits did allow for a lot of great WHAT A TOOL / LINE DANCE CHIN MUSIC bonuses, so I'm okay with the trade-offs.

Even after doing thousands of crosswords over the years, I still get tripped up solving these "jutting" types of puzzles. I appreciate that Brian found a simple, but colorful, effective, and easy to understand concept within this genre.

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© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 0307 ( 25,321 )

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Across
1
Forest hatchling : OWLET
6
Home of Hells Canyon and Heavens Gate Lookout: Abbr. : IDA
9
Root site : SCALP
14
Chitchat : CHINMUSIC
16
St. ___, only nation named for a woman : LUCIA
17
1968 Clint Eastwood western with six nooses on its poster : HANGEMHIGH
18
Much-trapped animal in wilderness America : OTTER
19
It's hardly a Champagne cooler : ETE
20
"Why ___?" : NOT
21
Highest peak in N.Z. : MTCOOK
22
"Sick, dude!" : RAD
23
Cheer at a Texas football game : HOOKEMHORNS
26
Exclamation usually made in a high voice : TADA
29
Enemy agency in "Get Smart" : KAOS
30
Cleaner brand with the slogan "Hasn't scratched yet!" : BONAMI
32
Dead spot : TOMB
34
91, in old Rome : XCI
37
Toy boxer in a classic two-player game : ROCKEMSOCKEMROBOT
40
Something much sold on St. Patrick's Day : ALE
41
PBS series since 1974 : NOVA
42
Some long sentences : RUNONS
43
Emcee's need : MIKE
45
Be all thumbs? : TEXT
46
"Show the world what you've got!" : KNOCKEMDEAD
52
Short-term job : GIG
54
Rob who directed "This Is Spinal Tap" : REINER
55
15-time N.B.A. All-Star Duncan : TIM
57
This, that or the other : ANY
58
Combine : ALLOY
59
"Hands in the air!" ... or a literal hint to 17-, 23-, 37- and 46-Across : STICKEMUP
62
Tall, slender wineglass : FLUTE
63
Shapes of many car air fresheners : PINETREES
64
Like computer data, with "in" : TYPED
65
London ___ : FOG
66
Cheeky : SASSY
Down
1
Fall color : OCHER
2
"Some jerk he is!" : WHATATOOL
3
Cha cha slide, e.g. : LINEDANCE
4
Lang. of 16-Across : ENG
5
Counterfeiter trackers, in old lingo : TMEN
6
"Does this seem fine to you?" : ISITOK
7
Jab : DIG
8
German cry : ACH
9
Dillydallier : SLOTH
10
Kitchen utensil brand : CUTCO
11
Best ___ : ACTOR
12
Use for a bed : LIEON
13
Partner of recreation : PARKS
15
[Gulp!] : UHOH
21
Eponymous hypnotist : MESMER
24
Classic Scottish breakfast item : OATCAKE
25
Nut : KOOK
27
___ Terr. (geographical designation until 1889) : DAK
28
"Ain't that the truth!" : AMEN
30
Clothing item with hooks : BRA
31
Chemical variation : ISOMER
33
Champagne specification : BRUT
34
Halo and Gears of War : XBOXGAMES
35
Goes on : CONTINUES
36
"___ a long story" : ITS
38
"Heroides" poet : OVID
39
Cosine of 0 : ONE
44
Bolting down, say : EATING
46
Company that merged with Heinz in 2015 : KRAFT
47
"Nervous" sort : NELLY
48
Get ready for a Mr. Universe contest, say : OILUP
49
Benjamin : CNOTE
50
Like computer data, with "in" : KEYED
51
Danglers from rear-view mirrors : DICE
53
Hit musical with the song "Everything's Coming Up Roses" : GYPSY
56
N.Y.S.E. and Nasdaq: Abbr. : MKTS
59
Tanning fig. : SPF
60
Madre's hermano : TIO
61
1970s-'80s cause, for short : ERA

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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