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New York Times, Monday, April 11, 2016

Author:
Ron Toth and Zhouqin Burnikel
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutCollabs
14/11/20161
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0100000
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.54000
Ron Toth
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
5611/13/20129/21/201819
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
519165452
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.56281
Zhouqin Burnikel

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 77, Blocks: 41 Missing: {JQVXZ} Grid has mirror symmetry. This is the debut puzzle for Mr. Toth. This is puzzle # 29 for Ms. Burnikel. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Constructor notes:
RON: Though not a great solver, I've been a puzzle enthusiast for a long time. Early in 2009 I discovered C.C.'s Crossword Corner ... read more

RON:

Though not a great solver, I've been a puzzle enthusiast for a long time. Early in 2009 I discovered C.C.'s Crossword Corner blog, and by the end of the year I was a contributing blogger. I now post there two Wednesdays per month. A couple of years ago she invited me to work on a puzzle with her, and we've done a few collaborations since. She's been an inspiring and generous mentor to me and several other partners in puzzle construction.

I'm a retired Materials Engineering manager from a major car company. My lovely wife Gloria and I have 11 wonderful, talented grandchildren, and following their various activities help keep us busy.

I love word play of all kinds and occasionally amuse myself by writing haiku and limericks. My other love is music. I'm an active amateur musician, playing trombone in two local jazz bands, a concert band and a symphony orchestra. The jazz bands have been willing to play some music I wrote and arranged.

C.C.:

Will & Joel asked us to remove NLE (15A) from our original grid. They also felt that PHO/OTRA (24A/36D) crossing might be hard for a Monday grid. The puzzle was officially accepted on May 6, 2015. I had fun fiddling this grid with Ron. He's incredibly patient and creative.

Jeff Chen notes:
Congrats to Ron on his NYT debut! I used to play trombone in various jazz bands, so it was fun to chat. Neat to see C.C. work ... read more

Congrats to Ron on his NYT debut! I used to play trombone in various jazz bands, so it was fun to chat.

Those are some POCKETS, all right

Neat to see C.C. work with so many folks — and she was recently honored by being chosen to write a puzzle for the ACPT! Quite an honor. Today, she and Ron give us "things with POCKETS," from CARGO / PANTS to a POOL TABLE to PITA BREAD and … a BOWLING LANE? I like to bowl every once in a while (I purposefully aim for the gutters, and I'm sticking to that story), but I had to look up what a bowling pocket was. It's that gap between adjacent pins, most notably between the one pin and the three pin, where many bowlers aim in order to increase their chances of a strike. Interesting!

I like the aesthetic of mirror layouts, and it's been neat to see C.C. use it quite often. It's a puzzle-saver in this case, because the themers don't fit within a usual pattern of symmetry: lengths of 10 / 10 / 10 and … 11 = constructor screech. It's great that CARGO PANTS splits into CARGO / PANTS 5/5, which makes mirror symmetry a real solution.

I also like how they put CARGO / PANTS in a prime location, helping it to stand out — I think it's so elegant if theme answers stand out on their own, rather than needing to be starred. In today's grid, ENCHILADAS and SOUR GRAPES are beautiful pieces of long fill, but they sure make the starring of the clues necessary. As much as I like those two entries, it might have been better to jigger the grid to shorten them, so the themers pop more.

I especially wanted that since C.C. tends to be so good with her mid-length fill. GO POOF, REAL ALE, SKI BAGS — that's really nice.

It would have been to get more diversity of "things with pockets," but all I could think of was my poor periodontal health, and gum pockets are kind of gross. So, given all the nice bonus fill along with STOA the only really fusty entry, a fun solve.

1
C
2
A
3
R
4
G
5
O
6
E
7
P
8
S
9
P
10
A
11
N
12
T
13
S
14
A
B
H
O
R
15
N
E
O
16
A
C
U
R
A
17
S
L
O
P
E
18
C
R
U
19
R
O
D
I
N
20
K
E
M
O
21
C
H
O
R
22
E
23
R
I
P
E
24
B
O
25
W
L
I
N
G
L
26
A
N
E
27
F
O
U
L
28
R
A
P
S
29
T
30
S
31
P
32
R
E
A
33
L
A
L
E
34
P
35
T
36
A
37
A
T
O
38
L
L
39
D
I
P
40
S
41
W
I
R
L
42
M
O
O
E
D
43
A
T
E
44
U
N
T
I
L
45
P
A
L
A
C
46
E
S
47
S
48
K
I
B
A
G
S
49
T
H
U
R
50
A
T
A
B
51
B
52
R
A
53
P
O
54
C
55
K
56
E
T
S
57
R
58
A
59
T
60
L
A
B
61
S
62
I
R
I
S
H
63
L
E
N
O
64
U
G
L
Y
65
C
A
N
T
I
66
O
A
T
S
67
R
U
E
D
68
A
W
G
E
E
69
O
D
E
S
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0411 ( 24,261 )

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Students & seniors
Across
1. *With 9-Across, loose-fitting bottoms : CARGO
6. Mini-albums, briefly : EPS
9. *See 1-Across : PANTS
14. Hate : ABHOR
15. Prefix with liberal or conservative : NEO
16. Legend automaker : ACURA
17. Incline : SLOPE
18. Grade of wine : CRU
19. Who thought of "The Thinker" : RODIN
20. ___ Sabe (the Lone Ranger, to Tonto) : KEMO
21. Tedious task : CHORE
23. Ready for picking : RIPE
24. *Where you can hear a pin drop : BOWLINGLANE
27. Kind of tip, in baseball : FOUL
28. Emulates Jay Z : RAPS
29. Small recipe amt. : TSP
32. Unfiltered and unpasteurized brew : REALALE
34. Grp. holding after-school events : PTA
37. Island ring : ATOLL
39. Guacamole or salsa : DIP
40. Soft-serve ice cream shape : SWIRL
42. Sounded like a cow : MOOED
43. Corroded : ATE
44. Up to the point that : UNTIL
45. Versailles and others : PALACES
47. Vacationers to Vail may carry them : SKIBAGS
49. Wed. follower : THUR
50. Run up ___ (owe) : ATAB
51. Maidenform product : BRA
53. Keeps for oneself ... or features of the answers to all the starred clues : POCKETS
57. Snitch (on) : RAT
60. Features of biology classes : LABS
62. "Kiss me, I'm ___" (T-shirt slogan) : IRISH
63. Jay who preceded Jimmy Fallon : LENO
64. Hideous : UGLY
65. "Won't you let me?" : CANTI
66. The "O's" of Cheerios : OATS
67. Deeply regretted : RUED
68. "Oh, shucks!" : AWGEE
69. Poetic paeans : ODES
Down
1. Poe's "The ___ of Amontillado" : CASK
2. Having what it takes : ABLE
3. Diamond shape : RHOMB
4. Magically vanish : GOPOOF
5. It might be found in a deposit : ORE
6. Stuffed tortillas : ENCHILADAS
7. Evita of "Evita" : PERON
8. Reaction from a sore loser : SOURGRAPES
9. 4, maybe, on a golf hole : PAR
10. Nuts from oaks : ACORNS
11. Skin flick : NUDIE
12. Stumble : TRIP
13. Rational : SANE
21. One of 77 in this puzzle : CLUE
22. Carrier to the Holy Land : ELAL
25. Quadrennial soccer event : WORLDCUP
26. Hairy Halloween rentals : APESUITS
29. Drive (down) : TAMP
30. Athenian colonnade : STOA
31. *Where you might be behind the eight ball : POOLTABLE
33. Illuminated : LIT
34. *Falafel holder : PITABREAD
35. Pre-calc course : TRIG
36. "___ fair in love and war" : ALLS
38. Wife of Jacob : LEAH
41. Lady hoopsters' org. : WNBA
46. Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 : EROICA
48. ___ Lee Gifford (morning TV host) : KATHIE
51. Image of a speeding car, maybe : BLUR
52. Prego competitor : RAGU
54. Stick in one's ___ : CRAW
55. Double-decker checker : KING
56. Villa d'___ : ESTE
58. Get into a poker game, say : ANTE
59. Something to do to a salad or coin : TOSS
61. Hip-hop's ___ tha Kyd : SYD
63. Place to go in Britain? : LOO

Answer summary: 1 unique to this puzzle, 2 debuted here and reused later.

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