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New York Times, Monday, April 17, 2017

Author: Peter Gordon
Editor: Will Shortz
Peter Gordon
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1029/5/198911/20/20170
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
837181310619
ScrabRebusCirclePangrampre-WS
1.5891611

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 74, Blocks: 38 Missing: {JQX} This is puzzle # 99 for Mr. Gordon. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Peter Gordon notes: The theme for this puzzle was too easy for FireballCrosswords.com, my superhard subscription puzzle. Left on the cutting room ... more
Peter Gordon notes:

The theme for this puzzle was too easy for FireballCrosswords.com, my superhard subscription puzzle.

Left on the cutting room floor were JUJUMUSIC, TOOTOOSOLID (from a Hamlet soliloquy), and ZUZUBAILEY (George Bailey's daughter with the petals in "It's a Wonderful Life").

Jeff Chen notes: OOH OOH, I know what the theme is! Nice examples of that OOH OOH pattern. LULULEMON is big here in Seattle, what with so many ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

OOH OOH, I know what the theme is!

Nice examples of that OOH OOH pattern. LULULEMON is big here in Seattle, what with so many people in yoga. I grew up on Yogi and BOO BOO BEAR. I've even had a PU-PU PLATTER, staring at it with GOO-GOO EYES. Fun stuff.

I only learned what VUVUZELAS are through crosswords, though. It's a neat word but man, am I glad that Peter made all his crossings fair. (Tom SEAVER might be tough for some, but VON is easy enough to figure out so that second V should be gettable due to the theme pattern.)

At first, I thought the theme was a bit loosey-goosey for my taste, since LULULEMON is one word, and BOO BOO BEAR is three. But it turns out that Peter chose a tight set, the first and last themers being one word, and the others being two (all with a hyphenated first word).

I liked getting a couple of extras in RAMROD, URANIUM, PINOCHLE, even AP BIO. I wasn't as hot on SNARLER, sort of an arbitrary -ER word. Toss in AMUSERS and BUDGETER … some of these three may be legit, but they do draw attention to each other. Not ideal to pile on one type of iffy crossword entry.

NERFS usually is an odd plural. But in gamerspeak, it's used as a verb to describe reducing a weapon's damage potential. The first time I saw someone write "the wizard got nerfed" I had to do a double-take. I love that usage now, and try to sneak it into daily conversation.

VUVUZELAS felt like it could have put the puzzle out of reach for beginners, those solvers who finish correctly still staring at that bizarre word. (Could have used a nerfing.) But some nice examples of this OOH OOH! pattern.

1
W
2
D
3
S
4
C
5
D
6
R
7
O
8
M
9
A
10
P
11
B
12
I
13
O
14
I
R
A
15
A
W
A
R
E
16
C
L
U
C
K
17
L
U
L
18
U
L
E
M
O
N
19
H
A
D
E
S
20
S
N
A
R
L
E
R
21
L
O
N
G
S
22
O
K
R
A
23
B
O
24
O
25
B
O
O
B
E
A
26
R
27
N
S
Y
N
28
C
29
D
U
A
L
30
T
W
O
31
I
O
32
S
33
R
B
I
34
R
E
S
T
35
P
U
P
U
36
P
L
A
T
37
T
E
R
38
P
39
R
I
M
40
R
E
A
41
A
I
L
42
I
O
N
43
E
T
D
44
S
45
P
A
46
L
47
E
48
S
49
G
O
O
50
G
51
O
O
E
Y
E
52
S
53
P
I
T
A
54
S
C
A
R
F
55
A
M
56
U
S
E
R
S
57
E
T
H
I
C
58
V
59
U
V
U
Z
E
L
A
S
60
D
E
L
T
A
61
O
T
E
R
I
62
O
D
E
63
D
R
E
S
S
64
N
E
R
F
S
65
W
E
D
© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0417 ( 24,632 )
Across Down
1. Dict. entries : WDS
4. Spinner in a PC drive : CDROM
9. H.S. class for a future doctor, maybe : APBIO
14. Good name for a tax adviser? : IRA
15. In the know : AWARE
16. Sound from a hen : CLUCK
17. Big name in athletic wear : LULULEMON
19. Underworld, in Greek mythology : HADES
20. Mean dog, at times : SNARLER
21. Pines (for) : LONGS
22. Gumbo vegetable : OKRA
23. Jellystone Park toon with a bow tie : BOOBOOBEAR
27. "Girlfriend" boy band : NSYNC
29. ___ personality (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde trait) : DUAL
30. Bill with Jefferson's portrait : TWO
31. Siri runs on it : IOS
33. Sac fly result : RBI
34. Breather : REST
35. Assortment of appetizers at a Polynesian or Chinese restaurant : PUPUPLATTER
38. Stiffly formal : PRIM
40. Stephen of "The Crying Game" : REA
41. Be under the weather : AIL
42. Particle accelerator particle : ION
43. Flight deck guesses about takeoff, for short : ETDS
45. Loses color : PALES
49. Amorous look : GOOGOOEYES
53. Bread dipped in hummus : PITA
54. Winter neckwear : SCARF
55. Court jesters, e.g. : AMUSERS
57. Set of moral principles : ETHIC
58. Noisemakers at the 2010 World Cup : VUVUZELAS
60. Letter after gamma : DELTA
61. Former "Saturday Night Live" regular Cheri : OTERI
62. Horatian creation : ODE
63. Gown : DRESS
64. Some squishy balls : NERFS
65. Marry : WED
1. President during W.W. I : WILSON
2. Boozehounds : DRUNKS
3. $400,000/year, for the U.S. president : SALARY
4. Telephone : CALL
5. Social misfit : DWEEB
6. Implement for a muzzleloader : RAMROD
7. Acapulco gold : ORO
8. Three Wise ___ (Magi) : MEN
9. Sneezing sound : ACHOO
10. Backup strategy : PLANB
11. Person in charge of fiscal decisions : BUDGETER
12. Arctic fishing tools : ICESAWS
13. Approvals : OKS
18. Radioactive element : URANIUM
21. Novel narrated by Humbert Humbert : LOLITA
24. Title for the Virgin Mary : OURLADY
25. ___ ghanouj : BABA
26. Decompose : ROT
28. Beat patroller : COP
32. Having no doubt about : SUREOF
34. Medical setback : RELAPSE
35. Game played with a 48-card deck : PINOCHLE
36. Tennis great Sampras : PETE
37. Gratuity : TIP
38. Bacon source : PIG
39. One sounding "cock-a-doodle-doo" : ROOSTER
44. Pitcher Tom nicknamed "The Franchise" : SEAVER
46. Keep out of sight : LIELOW
47. Investment company whose commercials once had talking babies : ETRADE
48. Mouthed off to : SASSED
50. Manners of walking : GAITS
51. Killer whales : ORCAS
52. Blue toon whose enemy is Gargamel : SMURF
56. Commando weapons : UZIS
57. TV announcer Hall whose credits include "The Tonight Show" : EDD
58. Germany's Otto ___ Bismarck : VON
59. Sport-___ (rugged vehicle) : UTE

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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