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New York Times, Friday, March 9, 2018

Author: Neville Fogarty and Doug Peterson
Editor: Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
85/3/20125/13/20183
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1131110
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.64020
Neville Fogarty
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
422/20/20063/9/201823
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
2273112132
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.63200
Doug Peterson

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 70, Blocks: 30 Missing: {QV} This is puzzle # 7 for Mr. Fogarty. This is puzzle # 42 for Mr. Peterson. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Constructor notes: We're both big fans of the Golden Age of Television, so we racked our brains to find some way to sneak a classic TV reference into ... more
Constructor notes:

We're both big fans of the Golden Age of Television, so we racked our brains to find some way to sneak a classic TV reference into this puzzle. Should we use Simon & Simon or Riptide in the DETECTS clue? How about the "L" monograms that were SEWN ON all of Laverne DeFazio's tops? We could've asked which cop show was the LEAD-IN to The Love Boat for four seasons. (T.J. Hooker. Duh.) Or maybe a shoutout to our favorite NEMESES, Jo and Blair from the Facts of Life. In the end, we decided there was simply no elegant way to refer to a '70s-'80s sitcom that ran for 9 seasons on CBS and was recently rebooted as a successful Netflix series. Maybe next puzzle!

Jeff Chen notes: I wasn't familiar with the term NIGHTMARE FUEL, but that's a good phrase to learn. Sounds like something straight out of 'Monsters, ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

I wasn't familiar with the term NIGHTMARE FUEL, but that's a good phrase to learn. Sounds like something straight out of "Monsters, Inc."! Maybe I'm not familiar with the term because researching what it meant crEEEEPED ME OUT SPIDERS AND BEDBUGS AND ICK!

All shuddering aside, the phrase-that-shall-remain-unspoken crossing ONE DAY AT A TIME made for a solid spine to the puzzle. Love KABLOOEY too, although I confidently plunked in KABLOOIE. Either makes for a happy Jeff – such a funny word.

Themelesses built off of interlocking central spines can be tough, because each of the usual stacks of long entries now has to work with those spines. I thought Neville and Doug did a nice job with the NW, getting RAT PACK, EURASIAN, and ABU DHABI intersecting with KABLOOEY / NIGHTMARE FUEL. Solid result.

A bit of wastage in the other long slots though, in ORDER OUT and DETECTS (not super interesting), ADO ANNIE (from … "Oklahoma!"?), and even MONTANA. As much as I love #16 – tons of great memories watching the Niners as a kid – just a last name isn't nearly as great as working in the full JOE MONTANA. It's pretty common to have some LUKEWARM long entries in themelesses built off intersecting spines.

I appreciated that the short fill did its job, mostly staying out of the way (ARE WE, I see you). And even chipping in, with a great clue for EDSEL – "The thrill starts with the grille" is an awesome way to add color to a puzzle.

And finally, the mid-length stuff helped raise the puzzle's impact for me, NBA JAM a favorite of my youth. Along with GROMIT (cheese!), EXOTICA, a TRUISM, and some PROZAC, the mid-length fill was in many ways the star of the show.

A lot to enjoy out of this one. If more of the longer slots had sizzled, this would have been in POW! contention.

1
R
2
A
3
T
4
P
5
A
6
C
7
K
8
N
9
B
10
A
11
J
12
A
13
M
14
E
U
R
A
S
I
A
15
N
16
Y
E
S
I
D
O
17
A
B
U
D
H
A
B
I
18
S
E
W
N
O
N
19
P
A
I
R
20
O
L
G
21
A
22
N
A
G
A
T
23
E
D
S
E
24
L
25
O
H
M
26
S
27
N
O
N
A
28
R
E
M
29
E
30
X
O
T
I
C
31
A
32
I
N
N
33
H
A
R
E
M
34
R
U
35
S
S
I
A
36
O
37
N
E
D
A
Y
A
38
T
A
T
I
M
E
39
G
R
O
M
I
T
40
R
A
P
I
D
41
A
D
S
42
N
E
43
M
E
S
E
S
44
P
45
A
46
C
47
N
E
L
48
L
49
D
A
F
T
50
M
51
A
R
S
H
52
G
R
O
A
53
N
54
S
U
E
55
Z
56
R
O
S
A
57
S
O
U
P
E
58
D
59
E
B
E
60
N
E
Z
E
R
61
T
U
C
S
O
N
62
L
U
K
E
W
A
R
M
63
A
T
H
E
N
A
64
D
E
T
E
C
T
S
© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0309 ( 24,958 )
Across Down
1. Group in the original "Ocean's 11" : RATPACK
8. Classic arcade game with lots of shooting : NBAJAM
14. Like Istanbul : EURASIAN
16. Emphatic admission : YESIDO
17. First world capital, alphabetically : ABUDHABI
18. Like clothes buttons, generally : SEWNON
19. Unexciting poker holding : PAIR
20. 2008 Bond girl Kurylenko : OLGA
22. Bedevil : NAGAT
23. Car once promoted with the line "The thrill starts with the grille" : EDSEL
25. Speaker units : OHMS
27. Prefix with -gon : NONA
28. Nocturnal acronym : REM
29. Strange things : EXOTICA
32. Super 8, e.g. : INN
33. Group of female seals : HAREM
34. Powerhouse in Olympic weightlifting : RUSSIA
36. Gradually : ONEDAYATATIME
39. Animated character who graduated from Dogwarts University : GROMIT
40. The "R" of 28-Across : RAPID
41. Circular parts : ADS
42. Formidable opponents : NEMESES
44. Campaign aid : PAC
47. "The Old Curiosity Shop" girl : NELL
49. Touched : DAFT
50. Rail center? : MARSH
52. Express stress, in a way : GROAN
54. Gulf of ___ : SUEZ
56. Santa ___, Calif. : ROSA
57. Juiced (up) : SOUPED
59. Jacob's partner in "A Christmas Carol" : EBENEZER
61. City nicknamed "The Old Pueblo" : TUCSON
62. So-so, as support : LUKEWARM
63. Acropolis figure : ATHENA
64. Spots : DETECTS
1. One going against the grain? : REAPER
2. Poem greeting the dawn : AUBADE
3. "What's past is past," e.g. : TRUISM
4. Giant competitor : PADRE
5. Last name of cosmetics giant Mary Kay : ASH
6. "See ya" : CIAO
7. Bad way to go : KABLOOEY
8. Buffalo's home: Abbr. : NYS
9. Has-___ : BEEN
10. Source of stone used to build the ancient Egyptian pyramids : ASWAN
11. Flag-waving and such : JINGOISM
12. Musical "girl who cain't say no" : ADOANNIE
13. Joe known as "The Comeback Kid" : MONTANA
15. Cause of bad dreams, in modern lingo : NIGHTMAREFUEL
21. Follower of bon or mon : AMI
24. Show immediately preceding another : LEADIN
26. Scuffle : SCRAPE
30. For adults only : XRATED
31. Special-education challenge : AUTISM
33. Bottom line? : HEM
35. Tom Sawyer's half brother : SID
36. Request for food delivery : ORDEROUT
37. Someone who's pretty darn good : NOSLOUCH
38. It could be on the tip of your tongue : TASTEBUD
39. ___ rap : GANGSTA
43. More, in México : MAS
44. O.C.D. fighter, maybe : PROZAC
45. Put forth : ASSERT
46. Enamors : CHARMS
48. Small slip : LAPSE
51. "___ done now?" : AREWE
53. Superbright : NEON
55. "The Wizard of Oz" farmhand : ZEKE
58. Helicases split it : DNA
60. Court divider : NET

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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