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New York Times, Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Author:
Emily Carroll
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
58/22/20167/25/20180
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0112100
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1.59130
Emily Carroll

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 74, Blocks: 36 Missing: {JQZ} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 2 for Ms. Carroll. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Emily Carroll notes:
Classically, I think of going Dutch as going 50/50 on a bill. In an ideal world the long theme answers would be phrases that split ... read more

Classically, I think of going Dutch as going 50/50 on a bill. In an ideal world the long theme answers would be phrases that split famous Bills' last names evenly. Unfortunately, finding enough Bills with even-numbered last names that split nicely into interesting phrases proved surprisingly difficult.

Wikipedia defines going Dutch as "each person participating in a group activity pays for themselves"—so with that definition in mind, I think this theme still holds up, as long as you imagine that you just ordered salad while your date got two pre-meal cocktails and the lobster but oh-so-conveniently hasn't responded to your Venmo request yet.

Jeff Chen notes:
Emily SPLITs THE BILL today, using themers with famous Bills at their ends. Fun to get Bill GATES at the ends of GUESSTIMATES, a fun ... read more

Emily SPLITs THE BILL today, using themers with famous Bills at their ends. Fun to get Bill GATES at the ends of GUESSTIMATES, a fun word. (In my engineering days, we'd use that term in front of clients. In private, we'd use WAGs = wild-ass guesses.) Bill HADER was only vaguely familiar, but it only took a quick Googling to refresh my memory of who he is. Some nice finds.

WALL STREET CRASH … I grew up a Niners fan, so I enjoyed seeing Bill WALSH featured. But as a finance guy in a previous career, I didn't care for the reminder of 2008. Too soon!

This is a perfect example of why constructors call 12-letter themers an "awkward length." Typically, a revealer is placed in row 13 of a puzzle, which helps to maximize spacing between all the themers. But that's basically impossible with a 12-letter revealer. If you move SPLIT THE BILL down one row, those black squares on the left of it form two-letter words below. No bueno! It is possible to do this if you make your grid 16 letters wide, but that's a solution that comes with its own challenges.

What's the big deal, row 13 vs. row 12? It's a huge deal! Look at what it forces, just a single row of space separating pairs of themers. Big-time no bueno! It means that you'll have a difficult section in the west (ALERO / PLEX / ALEE), in the east (ADEAR / AEREO, in the middle-top (TIO / oddly spelled out AT AND T), in the middle-bottom (HOC / ETH). So many places of inflexibility mean there's bound to be crossword glue required.

It's possible to swap HOME INVADER and MARX BROTHER, and it's also possible to start GUESSTIMATES to the right side of the puzzle instead of the left. But that's only a few options to try out = very little flexibility.

A couple of nice bonuses in PORSCHES, CAR SEATS, and MAPLE LEAF = DYNAMITE! Much appreciated. I especially liked Emily's effort to include MAPLE LEAF and CANAVERAL, as those across bonuses are typically tough to work in. She did well filling those upper right and lower left corners smoothly.

And love it when a constructor has a sense of humor — sounds like there's a painfully amusing story behind that bad date, Emily!

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© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0412 ( 24,627 )

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Students & seniors
Across
1. "Don't be such a baby!" : MANUP
6. Divest (of) : RID
9. Easy gaits : LOPES
14. O'Connor's Supreme Court successor : ALITO
15. Comedian Schumer : AMY
16. All thumbs : INEPT
17. Longtime name on NBC's "Today" : ROKER
18. Home to the Kennedy Space Center, familiarly : CANAVERAL
20. Ballpark figures : GUESSTIMATES
22. Actors Helms and Harris : EDS
23. Opposite of trans-, with respect to gender : CIS
24. A welcome sight? : MAT
25. Ruckus : ADO
28. Unwanted guest : HOMEINVADER
31. Some run to get in it : SHAPE
35. Inc., abroad : LTD
36. Euro denomination : CENT
37. Black Tuesday event : WALLSTREETCRASH
41. Sheltered from the wind : ALEE
42. Latin word after post or ad : HOC
43. Correo ___ (Spanish airmail) : AEREO
44. Any one of the stars of "Duck Soup" : MARXBROTHER
48. Grp. once led by Arafat : PLO
49. Existential statement : IAM
50. Bonus sports periods, for short : OTS
51. W.W. II female : WAC
54. Go Dutch ... or a hint to 20-, 28-, 37- and 44-Across : SPLITTHEBILL
57. Toronto athlete : MAPLELEAF
60. Kate's sitcom housemate : ALLIE
61. Chipped in, in a way : ANTED
62. B'way posting : SRO
63. Stopwatch : TIMER
64. Eats like a rodent : GNAWS
65. Old sailor : TAR
66. Beat handily : SPANK
Down
1. Homer's love : MARGE
2. One way to think : ALOUD
3. Adidas alternatives : NIKES
4. Four Corners-area tribe : UTES
5. Cayman and Cayenne : PORSCHES
6. "To Kill a Mockingbird" theme : RACISM
7. Muslim leader : IMAM
8. "Awesome!" : DYNAMITE
9. Broadcast shown as it happens : LIVETV
10. Tip jar fillers : ONES
11. ___ capita : PER
12. Org. concerned with ecology : EPA
13. Cardinal's letters : STL
19. T-Mobile rival : ATANDT
21. Padre's hermano : TIO
25. "Be ___ ..." (request starter) : ADEAR
26. Not too quick on the uptake : DENSE
27. Prefix with -pedic : ORTHO
29. Campaign poster word : ELECT
30. Realtor's unit : ACRE
31. Overwhelm : SWAMP
32. Like much food cart meat : HALAL
33. Old Olds : ALERO
34. Movie trailer? : PLEX
38. One in bondage : THRALL
39. Least cramped : ROOMIEST
40. Buckets, perhaps : CARSEATS
45. Ostriches and kangaroos, e.g. : BIPEDS
46. Lusting after : HOTFOR
47. Biblical suffix : ETH
51. One of the Flintstones : WILMA
52. 1979 sci-fi thriller : ALIEN
53. Court employee : CLERK
54. Killed, as a dragon : SLEW
55. Gold-medal skater Lipinski : TARA
56. Dot on a radar screen : BLIP
57. Outside or InStyle, in brief : MAG
58. ___ Arbor, Mich. : ANN
59. "Harper Valley ___" (1968 #1 hit) : PTA

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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