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New York Times, Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Author:
Emily Carroll
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
68/22/20161/30/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0113100
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.57130
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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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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