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New York Times, Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Author:
Sharon Delorme
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
79/29/20084/1/20150
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0131200
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.56000
Sharon Delorme

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 38 Missing: {X} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 7 for Ms. Delorme. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
As a practical joker, I dug this theme. Appropriate for April Fool's Day! Each of the props is a common enough gag, and all of them ... read more

As a practical joker, I dug this theme. Appropriate for April Fool's Day! Each of the props is a common enough gag, and all of them work well as snappy crossword entries. JOY BUZZER is such a lively entry, plus it has all those juicy Scrabbly letters in it. Fun stuff. I'd make a "pull my finger" joke, but that isn't exactly NYT-suitable. (Sadly.)

They knew how to have a good time back in 1932

Speaking of those Scrabbly letters, Sharon does a nice job of grid layout to facilitate smooth filling around the J and the pair of Zs. The blocks right below the J and the Z help her section things off, and there are a lot of three-letter options ending with either J or Z (TAJ, HAJ, RAJ, etc. / ADZ, TAZ, BOZ, etc.). Really only the MAZDA slot provides any sort of difficulty, and Sharon does well to fill that corner smoothly.

Usually, themers are alternated (left-right-left-right) to reduce the amount of overlap between adjacent pairs, but Sharon aligns both JOYBUZZER and DRIBBLE GLASS to the right. That's less of an issue if there are two (or more) rows between themers, but with just one row here, there are bound to be some challenges. Once you get the nice COBWEB in place along with TAJ, it's pretty hard to avoid something like ABOO.

Another challenge in the west and east sections, curiously. There's no hate in LOVE/HATE for me, just a beautiful entry. And I appreciated getting RIVIERA crossing it! That does constrain the east section though, resulting in NEBR. Similar sort of thing going on in the west, with OEN and ON UP as the price to pay. Overall, I think the trade-offs are reasonable, though. I liked GAG ORDER and IMELDA enough that those little OEN / ON UP bits didn't bother me much.

Finally, beautiful clue for ABBOT. Who but the head of an abbey would be a keeper of brothers? Great repurposing of a common "my brother's keeper" saying.

1
S
2
O
3
B
4
I
5
G
6
T
7
A
8
L
9
C
10
A
11
M
12
I
13
E
14
A
R
O
M
A
15
A
B
O
O
16
D
A
D
A
17
S
T
I
E
G
18
J
O
Y
B
19
U
Z
Z
E
R
20
H
O
L
L
O
21
W
22
M
A
W
S
23
D
A
N
24
D
R
I
25
B
B
L
E
G
26
L
A
S
S
27
B
28
R
29
O
A
D
E
N
30
B
A
A
31
O
E
N
32
E
S
A
33
U
34
L
35
O
36
N
37
E
38
S
Q
U
39
I
R
T
I
N
40
G
41
F
42
L
O
W
E
R
43
E
S
P
N
44
C
I
A
O
45
I
B
M
46
D
47
O
48
A
49
R
I
V
50
I
E
R
A
51
T
52
R
53
I
C
K
C
54
A
55
N
D
L
E
S
56
Y
U
P
57
O
T
R
O
58
S
H
O
59
A
60
L
61
S
62
P
R
A
63
N
K
S
T
E
64
R
65
A
B
B
O
T
66
E
A
S
E
67
A
O
N
E
68
T
A
B
B
Y
69
A
L
S
O
70
S
O
D
A
71
E
R
A
S
E
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0401 ( 23,885 )
Across
1
1925 Pulitzer Prize winner for Edna Ferber : SOBIG
6
Barber's sprinkle : TALC
10
Gallic girlfriend : AMIE
14
Drawing of a bakery? : AROMA
15
Ending with peek : ABOO
16
One a baby may cry out to : DADA
17
Larsson who wrote "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" : STIEG
18
"Put 'er there, pal!" : JOYBUZZER
20
Insincere : HOLLOW
22
Monsters' mouths : MAWS
23
Rowan of "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" : DAN
24
"Here, have a drink" : DRIBBLEGLASS
27
Expand : BROADEN
30
Welcome to the fold? : BAA
31
Wine: Prefix : OEN
32
Kate's kisser in a classic tongue twister : ESAU
34
"___ Survivor" (2013 war film) : LONE
38
"Smell my corsage" : SQUIRTINGFLOWER
43
Channel turned to at many bars : ESPN
44
Hello or goodbye : CIAO
45
"Smarter Planet" co. : IBM
46
___ double take : DOA
49
Region off the Côte d'Azur : RIVIERA
51
"Happy birthday! Make a wish and blow" : TRICKCANDLES
56
"Sho' nuff!" : YUP
57
Spaniard's "other" : OTRO
58
Boating hazards : SHOALS
62
Speaker of the clues for 18-, 24-, 38- and 51-Across : PRANKSTER
65
Brother's keeper? : ABBOT
66
What you might solve a puzzle with : EASE
67
Dynamite : AONE
68
Meower : TABBY
69
"One more thing ..." : ALSO
70
Purchase with popcorn : SODA
71
Start over with a clean slate? : ERASE
Down
1
Clothing item worn diagonally : SASH
2
"___ put it another way ..." : ORTO
3
Be hot under the collar : BOIL
4
Well-heeled Marcos? : IMELDA
5
Silencer : GAGORDER
6
Atlantic City casino, with "the" : TAJ
7
Manhattan Project project, informally : ABOMB
8
True : LOYAL
9
Sign of disuse : COBWEB
10
Cooper's tool : ADZ
11
Toyota competitor : MAZDA
12
Some of the best ones are crazy : IDEAS
13
Really works for : EARNS
19
Links org. : USGA
21
Dianne of "Law & Order" : WIEST
25
___ B'rith : BNAI
26
Film composer Schifrin : LALO
27
Big name in audio equipment : BOSE
28
Not electives: Abbr. : REQS
29
Curtis Mayfield's "Move ___" : ONUP
33
Cuz's father : UNC
35
Cut or scrape, in totspeak : OWIE
36
Neighbor of Colo. : NEBR
37
Funny Bombeck : ERMA
39
Visiting the Library of Cong., say : INDC
40
Encircle : GIRD
41
Holds back a grade : FAILS
42
Kind of relationship : LOVEHATE
47
"All right, already!" : OKOK
48
Impersonates : ACTSAS
50
Weather line : ISOBAR
51
Not laid-back : TYPEA
52
Lacking Verizon coverage, maybe : RURAL
53
"No bid for me" : IPASS
54
Threepio's buddy : ARTOO
55
Ceaselessly : NOEND
59
Group with the hit 1978 album "The Album" : ABBA
60
Slo-pitch pitches : LOBS
61
Eyelid annoyance : STYE
63
Prefix with classical : NEO
64
___ Irvin, first art director of The New Yorker : REA

Answer summary: 1 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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