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New York Times, Monday, April 17, 2017

Author:
Peter Gordon
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1119/5/198912/4/20180
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
839231411619
ScrabRebusCirclePangramPre‑WS
1.5891611
Peter Gordon

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 floor ... read more

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 ... read more

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
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
Down
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: 4 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?