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New York Times, Friday, April 19, 2019

Author:
Caleb Madison
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
355/13/20084/19/20193
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9154565
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.62132
Caleb Madison

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 68, Blocks: 29 Missing: {JQXYZ} This is puzzle # 35 for Mr. Madison. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
GEODESIC DOMEs are so elegant. Anyone who says that math isn't cool, I yell, GEODESIC DOME! And then drop the mic. No wonder ... read more

GEODESIC DOMEs are so elegant. Anyone who says that math isn't cool, I yell, GEODESIC DOME! And then drop the mic.

No wonder people look at me funny.

ICE CREAM CONE is another great feature entry. It's a shame that the clue was so straightforward, though. Might have been fun to use the word "pastry" in there to misdirect, or to toss in a "penny lick" reference. Sometimes an interesting term or bit of trivia can make a good entry great.

Case in point: NOSEBLEED. It's pretty good if clued as NOSEBLEED seats, but using the medical term "epistaxis" entertains, too.

On the flip side, I like LION TAMER as an entry, but its clue dragged it down. I applaud the attempt at wordplay, in "whip-smart," but whipping animals – seriously? Please, no.

There aren't many long slots in this grid design (8+ letters), and some of them left potential on the table. OVERCOME, MICHAELS, WE'RE OPEN, COLD ROOM are fine entries, but not as good in my book as REAL TIME or even ECLECTIC.

And some of the mid-length slots were used well – see ONE LOVE, MWA HA HA, RIMSHOT, HOT RODS – but it was hard to SEE PAST the untapped potential of the spaces that could have held better than AEROSOL, ALTERED, RAN LATE, SCENTED, etc.

I loved one clue: TETRIS as a game in which you don't want to reach the top. Had me confused for a long moment. (You lose when the blocks hit the top of the screen.)

Good construction work, overall – a 68-word puzzle with some AMO CEN IDE SKAT is decent. But not enough juice to make it stand out.

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M
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© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 0419 ( 25,364 )
Across
1
Outburst after a nefarious plan is hatched : MWAHAHA
8
Freaks : HASACOW
15
What may be propelled by a propellant : AEROSOL
16
Classic song with the lyric "Let's get together and feel all right" : ONELOVE
17
Response to a joke : RIMSHOT
18
Rat : TATTLER
19
Steadfast determination : GRIT
20
Game where you don't want to reach the top : TETRIS
22
Mac ___ (former Bay Area hip-hop great) : DRE
23
Chemical suffix : IDE
24
P's : RHOS
25
Direction to a cellist : ARCO
26
What "epistaxis" is a fancy medical term for : NOSEBLEED
30
Play detective : SNOOP
31
Epcot's Spaceship Earth, architecturally : GEODESICDOME
33
Big business news : MERGER
36
Opera with the "Gypsy Song" : CARMEN
37
Treat with an edible container : ICECREAMCONE
41
Santa ___ : CLAUS
42
Person who's whip-smart? : LIONTAMER
46
Rightmost option in most menu bars : HELP
47
Actor Green of the "Austin Powers" movies : SETH
48
"Odi et ___" (Catullus poem) : AMO
49
It's not for real : ACT
50
Not doubting at all : SUREOF
52
Amoeba, e.g. : BLOB
53
One might be sent to a passenger's phone : ETICKET
55
Went over : RANLATE
57
Minute Maid drink : LIMEADE
58
It comes after "Coming soon ..." : TRAILER
59
Perfumed : SCENTED
60
Not get hung up on : SEEPAST
Down
1
Site for a doodle : MARGIN
2
Kook : WEIRDO
3
Large numbers : ARMIES
4
Large number : HOST
5
An end to smoking? : ASH
6
Hilarious sort : HOOT
7
Like some suits and states : ALTERED
8
Street racers : HOTRODS
9
Diarist Nin : ANAIS
10
Live musicians play them : SETS
11
Delaware has the lowest mean one in the U.S.: Abbr. : ALT
12
Food storage spot : COLDROOM
13
Triumph : OVERCOME
14
"Come on in!" : WEREOPEN
21
Pronoun in "America" : THEE
25
Girl's name in the U.S. that's a boy's name in Italy : ANDREA
27
Ceramic breakfast accouterment : EGGCUP
28
Round parts? : BEERS
29
Stories that may or may not be true : LORE
30
Meager : SCANT
32
Recognizable figure : ICON
33
Sportscaster inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 2013 : MICHAELS
34
Having a little of this and a little of that : ECLECTIC
35
Live-streamed, say : REALTIME
38
Let know : ALERTED
39
Tiny bit : MITE
40
Companions : COHORTS
43
___ Yousafzai, 2014 Nobel Peace Prize winner : MALALA
44
Performs too broadly : EMOTES
45
King in "Game of Thrones" : ROBERT
47
Nice jacket material : SUEDE
50
Three-player game : SKAT
51
Meter reading : FARE
52
It's hardly worth noticing : BLIP
54
The 2000s, e.g.: Abbr. : CEN
56
Tayside turndown : NAE

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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