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New York Times, Saturday, April 2, 2016

Author:
Doug Peterson and Brad Wilber
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
452/20/20069/26/201925
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
3273212142
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.63300
Doug Peterson
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
522/19/20056/10/201925
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
011201434
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.60001
Brad Wilber

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 70, Blocks: 27 Missing: {QXZ} This is puzzle # 39 for Mr. Peterson. This is puzzle # 48 for Mr. Wilber. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Constructor notes:
BRAD: So it falls to Doug and me to refute the dire promise of yesterday's puzzle! HOORAHS for us. Will provided delicious tweaks to ... read more

BRAD: So it falls to Doug and me to refute the dire promise of yesterday's puzzle! HOORAHS for us. Will provided delicious tweaks to clues for 19A (GENE) and 56D (HARE).

I think this is one of the few times we've placed a seed entry at 1A. I usually try to tuck them in a few rows down. I always think of David Letterman when I think of the 1A descriptor, but Doug came up with two different cluing options — the one you see here and also Chaucer's Wife of Bath.

DOUG: I'm going to predict that Jeff comments on ALTERATION at 63-Across because it's a bland sort of entry in a long slot. And, assuming he does, he's got a good point. I like the rest of our longs, especially the HOGWARTS stack in the lower left. After placing DRACO MALFOY in a 2014 New York Times grid, Brad and I were taken to task because neither of us has read the Harry Potter series. Well, I recently bought the entire jillion-page series for my Kindle, and I'm planning to dive into it soon. I can't wait to find out what the heck a HORCRUX is.

Jeff Chen notes:
I love seeing Doug and Brad on a single byline. They're two of my favorite people in crosswordland, and the sheer diversity of answers ... read more

I love seeing Doug and Brad on a single byline. They're two of my favorite people in crosswordland, and the sheer diversity of answers they exhibit as a team is stunning. I really like puzzles that have something for everyone, and it's pretty tough to beat them in that aspect. From the classic ETHAN FROME to the recent HOGWARTS, from the kooky GEWGAW to the bizarre-looking BUSHSR (think: Bush #41!), there's such a huge range of entries. Sometimes I feel like a single puzzle is focused too much on baseball or pop culture or stuff from the 1950s or whatever. Not the case for a Wilberson.

Please not Slytherin, please not Slytherin

And as usual, they bring a bevy of clever clues. [Gondola settings] made me think about speed or position of chairs, but it meant the background setting of SKI RESORTS. [What you might have for bad eyesight] had to be SPEX or CONTACTS or even a LOUPE? No, it's your GENEs. And my favorite, [Little sweater] so innocently makes you think about a piece of clothing, but it's a PORE.

Brad and Doug always bring a ton of great fill to their themelesses. I count about 15 assets — GUITAR SOLO and HOGWARTS my favorite — that's outstanding work. There are a few entries like ALTERATION which I don't count as assets (ADDED NOTE: Doug knows me too well), as they're more everyday words than colorful ones, but Doug/Brad started with enough long slots that if they didn't convert one or two into something great, the asset count is still a big number.

All of that, with virtually no gluey bits! What can you even point out? Some might argue UPCS (Universal Product Code, in merchandising lingo) is a liability? But I think as long as an acronym is very well-known and in popular usage, it's fine. Maybe not everyone knows what they are by name, but who wouldn't recognize the thick/thin black bars on virtually every product sold?

I personally measure themelesses by [assets minus liabilities], and a fine themeless scores at least 10. Here, with a score of 15 = another Wilberson winner. If it hadn't been for Peter Gordon's hilarious April Fool's Day puzzle yesterday, this would would easily been the POW.

1
G
2
A
3
P
4
T
5
O
6
O
7
T
8
H
9
E
10
D
11
U
12
P
13
C
14
S
15
E
T
H
A
N
F
R
O
M
E
16
M
O
A
T
17
W
H
O
L
E
F
O
O
D
S
18
P
O
R
E
19
G
E
N
E
20
S
O
R
E
A
21
T
22
H
O
P
23
A
N
I
S
24
E
25
P
A
N
D
A
26
P
L
O
27
W
A
C
28
D
29
A
S
H
30
E
N
31
J
O
I
N
32
B
U
S
H
S
33
R
34
L
E
O
N
I
35
H
36
I
37
B
A
C
H
I
38
E
39
P
I
T
H
E
T
40
O
H
A
R
A
41
P
42
E
D
A
N
T
43
G
E
T
S
T
44
O
45
M
L
L
E
46
S
47
O
48
P
49
W
A
H
50
E
M
51
C
E
E
52
S
53
P
A
C
Y
54
A
R
M
55
D
E
A
R
T
56
H
57
E
V
E
L
58
R
Y
A
59
N
60
G
U
I
T
A
61
R
S
O
L
O
62
T
O
T
O
63
A
L
T
E
R
A
T
I
O
N
64
S
U
S
S
65
S
K
I
R
E
S
O
R
T
S
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0402 ( 24,252 )
Across
1
Like Michael Strahan of "Live! With Kelly and Michael" : GAPTOOTHED
11
Market IDs : UPCS
15
Mattie Silver's love, in fiction : ETHANFROME
16
Certain siege defense : MOAT
17
Trader Joe's competitor : WHOLEFOODS
18
Little sweater : PORE
19
What you might have for bad eyesight : GENE
20
Cross with : SOREAT
22
1950s gym event : HOP
23
Flavoring for springerle biscuits and cookies : ANISE
25
San Diego Zoo's ___ Cam : PANDA
26
Grp. headquartered in Ramallah : PLO
27
Service branch disbanded in 1978, briefly : WAC
28
Meet component : DASH
30
Strongly urge : ENJOIN
32
"41" : BUSHSR
34
"Madam Secretary" star : LEONI
35
Item on many a patio : HIBACHI
38
The Georgia Peach or the Sultan of Swat, e.g. : EPITHET
40
"Sir, you are no gentleman" speaker : OHARA
41
Member of the grammar police, e.g. : PEDANT
43
Bugs : GETSTO
45
Miss from Metz: Abbr. : MLLE
46
Be all wet : SOP
49
Crib note? : WAH
50
Toaster, at times : EMCEE
52
Not focused : SPACY
54
Company division : ARM
55
Want : DEARTH
57
"Being ___" (2015 documentary featuring many wipeouts) : EVEL
58
Name on 2012 campaign posters : RYAN
60
Metal staple : GUITARSOLO
62
Completely, after "in" : TOTO
63
Bridal shop service : ALTERATION
64
Puzzle (out) : SUSS
65
Gondola settings : SKIRESORTS
Down
1
Showy trinket : GEWGAW
2
Figure on many ancient Greek coins : ATHENA
3
Pronunciation-related : PHONIC
4
Things voyagers bring home : TALES
5
First of all : ONE
6
Takes out : OFFS
7
Navy vessel : TROOPSHIP
8
Shouts of victory : HOORAHS
9
Port in Lower Saxony : EMDEN
10
Bastille prisoner of 1784-89 : DESADE
11
Person staying near home : UMP
12
Discount : POOHPOOH
13
The "you" in the Neil Diamond lyric "Reachin' out, touchin' me, touchin' you" : CAROLINE
14
"Hurry!" : STEPONIT
21
Wristwatches may make them : TANLINES
24
Erudite : EDUCATED
29
Remnant in a 35-Across : ASH
31
2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee : JETT
32
Excludes : BARS
33
Kind of day : REDLETTER
35
Where Arithmancy is an elective : HOGWARTS
36
"No need to shout!" : IHEARYOU
37
Houseware purchases that may have suction cups : BATHMATS
39
Crony : PAL
42
Some commencement dignitaries : EMERITI
44
"w"-like letters in foreign writing : OMEGAS
46
French erudition : SAVOIR
47
Animal revered by ancient Peruvians : OCELOT
48
Detour markers : PYLONS
51
Contents of a do-it-yourselfer's gun : CAULK
53
Sauce traditionally made in a mortar : PESTO
56
Word in many punny Bugs Bunny titles : HARE
59
Some R.S.V.P.s : NOS
61
Hall figures, for short : RAS

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?