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New York Times, Monday, April 22, 2019

Author:
Bruce Haight
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
511/3/20137/29/20195
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315149460
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1.59043
Bruce Haight

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 38 Missing: {JQZ} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 47 for Mr. Haight. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Bruce Haight notes:
My initial submission had ROOM SERVICE as a theme entry, clued as 'Paris Hilton tennis shot maybe?' I must say I really liked the ... read more

My initial submission had ROOM SERVICE as a theme entry, clued as "Paris Hilton tennis shot maybe?" I must say I really liked the misdirection where Paris Hilton could refer to a person or a hotel room. The editors, unfortunately, did not share my enthusiasm for this entry - they thought it was too far-fetched.

I think the original plan was to release this around the time of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, but I see that the WTA Stuttgart and the ATP Barcelona have both just started, so that's certainly good enough for me!

A big thanks to the editors for fine tuning the clues and keeping most of my attempts at humor. I imagine some might find my humorous clue for BIGAMY a bit edgy, but I think most would be OK with it. Hope solvers enjoy the puzzle!

Jeff Chen notes:
My feeling toward this puzzle can be summed up by part of the final entry: LOVE. Now, is that the 'adore' meaning, or the 'zero' ... read more

My feeling toward this puzzle can be summed up by part of the final entry: LOVE.

Now, is that the "adore" meaning, or the "zero" one?

I landed well toward the former, amused by the theme phrases as interpreted by a tennis nut. I grew up in the John McEnroe era, so CONTEMPT OF COURT gave me a big laugh.

Solid gridwork, as always with Bruce these days. I appreciate the care he takes in putting together grids that are both colorful and clean. INSERT COIN + ACT NATURAL – virtually no crossword glue = admirable craftsmanship.

Only two minor nits today:

  1. I could have done with just one cross-reference. SARA / LEE works well – who doesn't LOVE her? (Pretty sure the marketing team was going for the "adore" meaning.) But BACK / NINE confused me a touch, as a golf cross-reference inside a tennis puzzle was a touch confusing.
  2. I'd have liked Bruce to push himself, to go down to 76 words (it's at 78), so he could add in another pair of great bonuses in the fill. Even with five themers, it's usually possible to get a long bonus worked into each corner. One great player in each of the four corners ... sort of in the vein of a doubles match!

(Sort of. Okay, that was a stretch.)

Newb-friendly Monday offering, I like it. Not quite LOVE, as I'd heard some of the themers or their variants before, but like. Let's say, like like.

(Darn it, doesn't "like like" mean love? Who invented this kooky English language?)

1
A
2
V
3
E
4
R
5
T
6
B
7
I
8
L
9
L
10
I
11
L
12
K
13
S
14
P
I
X
A
R
15
I
S
E
E
16
N
E
O
N
17
P
O
P
S
I
18
N
G
L
E
S
19
S
A
R
A
20
S
L
O
P
21
A
A
A
22
N
E
V
E
R
23
G
I
M
M
24
E
25
A
B
R
E
A
K
26
B
27
A
28
N
29
A
L
L
Y
30
L
S
A
T
31
A
L
I
C
E
32
A
M
I
33
C
34
H
35
U
36
G
37
C
O
N
T
E
38
M
39
P
T
O
F
40
C
O
U
R
T
41
K
E
E
N
42
O
I
L
43
L
I
N
G
O
44
A
45
M
O
S
46
S
47
P
O
N
G
E
S
48
W
49
H
50
A
T
A
R
A
51
C
K
E
T
52
H
A
M
U
P
53
A
I
D
54
O
55
H
56
M
57
Y
58
I
B
A
R
59
F
60
A
L
L
I
61
N
L
O
V
E
62
N
I
N
A
63
I
T
L
L
64
A
D
O
P
T
65
E
T
A
L
66
B
E
S
S
67
P
E
P
S
I
© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 0422 ( 25,367 )
Across
1
Turn away, as one's gaze : AVERT
6
Bird's beak : BILL
10
Varieties : ILKS
14
"Toy Story" studio : PIXAR
15
"Point taken" : ISEE
16
Ne, on the periodic table : NEON
17
Tennis with dad? : POPSINGLES
19
With 8-Down, dessert brand that "nobody doesn't like" : SARA
20
Messy meal for pigs : SLOP
21
Motorists' org. : AAA
22
"Not in a million years!" : NEVER
23
Losing tennis player's prayer? : GIMMEABREAK
26
In a trite way : BANALLY
30
Exam for a future atty. : LSAT
31
Wonderland girl : ALICE
32
"___ making myself clear?" : AMI
33
Guzzle down : CHUG
37
Dislike for tennis? : CONTEMPTOFCOURT
41
Sharp as a tack : KEEN
42
ExxonMobil business : OIL
43
Jargon : LINGO
44
Famous ___ (cookie brand) : AMOS
46
Things for cleaning dishes : SPONGES
48
"Wow, no wonder you're playing such great tennis!"? : WHATARACKET
52
Overdo, as a stage role : HAMUP
53
Assistance : AID
54
"Good heavens!" : OHMY
58
Letter-shaped beam : IBAR
59
Lose every set of a tennis match 6-0? : FALLINLOVE
62
Ship of 1492 : NINA
63
"___ be over soon" : ITLL
64
Take home from the shelter, say : ADOPT
65
And others: Abbr. : ETAL
66
"Porgy and ___" : BESS
67
Soda in an old blind taste test : PEPSI
Down
1
Smartphone downloads : APPS
2
Relative of a cello : VIOL
3
Big fair : EXPO
4
Speak with a gravelly voice : RASP
5
First "T" in TNT : TRI
6
Problem with more than one marriage? : BIGAMY
7
Ayatollah's faith : ISLAM
8
See 19-Across : LEE
9
"___ Miz" : LES
10
Arcade game instruction before playing : INSERTCOIN
11
Depart : LEAVE
12
Locale for Pyongyang and Seoul : KOREA
13
Snide remarks : SNARK
18
Hammer's target : NAIL
22
Org. for the Suns and the Heat : NBA
23
Tickled-pink feeling : GLEE
24
Ticklish Muppet : ELMO
25
"You wish!" : ASIF
26
With 28-Down, part of a golf course : BACK
27
___ vera : ALOE
28
See 26-Down : NINE
29
"Pretend nothing just happened" : ACTNATURAL
32
Home to the world's busiest airport: Abbr. : ATL
34
Like Christmas decorations and some juries : HUNG
35
Egg on : URGE
36
Sporty Pontiacs introduced in the '60s : GTOS
38
Boggy wasteland : MOOR
39
Italian city you might be "leaning" toward visiting? : PISA
40
Congeal, as blood : CLOT
45
Something with a "You are here" arrow : MAP
46
Listings on a résumé : SKILLS
47
Mani-___ (spa offering) : PEDI
48
Complain annoyingly : WHINE
49
Nun's wear : HABIT
50
Kitchen appliance brand : AMANA
51
"Let" and "Fault," from a chair umpire : CALLS
54
Quaint, as a shoppe : OLDE
55
Circular kind of earring : HOOP
56
Some postseason awardees, for short : MVPS
57
Hairy Himalayan humanoid : YETI
59
Little lie : FIB
60
Gobbled up : ATE
61
Catch a few Z's : NAP

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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