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New York Times, Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Author:
Amanda Chung and Karl Ni
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
86/17/20184/23/20198
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1133000
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.60020
Amanda Chung
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
86/17/20184/23/20198
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1133000
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.60020
Karl Ni

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 34 Missing: {JQZ} This is puzzle # 8 for Ms. Chung. This is puzzle # 8 for Mr. Ni. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Constructor notes:
One of Amanda's friends frequently posts silly, punny riddles such as 'If April showers bring May flowers, then what do Mayflowers ... read more

One of Amanda's friends frequently posts silly, punny riddles such as "If April showers bring May flowers, then what do Mayflowers bring?" HOME OWNER was the answer to one such riddle (though the actual riddle has since been forgotten) and became the seed entry for this puzzle.

TWO OF A KIND and THIS SIDE UP were found pretty quickly, but we struggled to get that last entry. CHOO CHOO TRAIN was a contender but it didn't seem like owls were really pets outside of the Harry Potter books. And ZOINKS seemed a bit too short. TATTOO INK saves the day!

DANDRUFF and SPURRED ON were among the others we thought about, though they didn't span a couple of words. The Beach Boys have such great music - PET SOUNDS immediately jumped to mind as the revealer. Our original clue for 3-Down paid homage to the hamsterdance song of our college years, but the new clue is a lot more fun. Thanks as always to the editorial team!

Jeff Chen notes:
PET SOUNDS indeed, common household pets making themselves heard today. Amanda and Karl found four solid words-hidden-in-phrases, ... read more

PET SOUNDS indeed, common household pets making themselves heard today. Amanda and Karl found four solid words-hidden-in-phrases, TATTOO INK my favorite. Great discovery.

Probably not a lot of solvers will notice this, but it was elegant that Amanda and Karl picked four PET SOUNDS that were all four letters apiece. There's no rule that says this is important or even desirable, but it pleases my constructor's eye to see the consistency.

It could have been that it's tough to find a longer sound hidden within a phrase – try it with SQUEAK or CHIRP or (what do hamsters sound like?) – but still, all-four-letter-sounds was a nice touch.

I would have liked some rationale for why the sounds were hidden in phrases – at least, more than just "that's a good way to insert them into a crossword." It does work, but it's not as fist-pumpy as if there were some spot-on revealer like PET SOUNDS IN THE MIDDLE.

The gridwork … not my favorite of Amanda and Karl's products. ACRO SOTO TES XERS LARAS MUFTI clumped up, leaving me with a sense of inelegance. A shame, as the themers were interesting enough to warrant some POW! consideration.

Tough layout, what with the central TATTOO INK forcing big corners. Then you have the ??F?I pattern forcing MUFTI and then ROTI. Both of those are generally fine, but not desirable in early-week puzzles — especially crossing each other. I'd have tried moving TWO OF A KIND and THIS SIDE UP each one row away from the center, which might have helped with better spacing.

But some nice bonuses in FACE PAINT, KING TUT, HAMSTER (which muddied the theme a bit, but not so much as to be distracting) to liven up the solve.

1
E
2
C
3
H
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O
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T
6
W
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X
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F
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N
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A
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15
H
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K
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A
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M
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C
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C
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P
S
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O
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K
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L
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S
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K
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K
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S
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H
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D
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P
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A
C
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O
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R
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O
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G
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G
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D
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P
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66
D
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G
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A
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S
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D
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S
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© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 0423 ( 25,368 )
Across
1
Sound that a sound-absorbing chamber should eliminate : ECHO
5
Mars candy bar with caramel and milk chocolate : TWIX
9
Shrek's wife : FIONA
14
"___ she blows!" : THAR
15
Go backpacking : HIKE
16
Leader of the singing Chipmunks : ALVIN
17
One who may have a mortgage : HOMEOWNER
19
Traction aid on a shoe : CLEAT
20
Race loser : ALSORAN
21
Lipstick mishap : SMEAR
23
After all expenses : NET
24
Nile reptile, for short : CROC
26
End result : UPSHOT
29
Mine extractions : ORES
31
Twins : TWOOFAKIND
33
"___ Theme" from "Doctor Zhivago" : LARAS
35
Indian flatbread : ROTI
36
Your: Fr. : TES
37
Liquid supply for body art : TATTOOINK
41
"Eww!" : ICK
44
Bird that usually mates for life : SWAN
45
Word before fairy or decay : TOOTH
49
Message between two arrows on a shipping container : THISSIDEUP
53
Prefix with phobia : ACRO
54
Popular European comic book hero : TINTIN
55
Old Russian ruler : TSAR
57
Fryer contents : OIL
58
One who's doomed : GONER
60
Digitally endorsed : ESIGNED
62
How a pirouette is done : ONTOE
64
Beach Boys album with the hit "Wouldn't It Be Nice" ... or things hidden in 17-, 31-, 37- and 49-Across : PETSOUNDS
66
Pharmacy stock : DRUGS
67
Get quickly, as lunch : GRAB
68
Explorer Hernando de ___ : SOTO
69
7/4/1776 and 6/6/1944, e.g. : DATES
70
Alluring : SEXY
71
Futuristic movie of 1982 : TRON
Down
1
Gasoline additive : ETHANOL
2
García Márquez's "Love in the Time of ___" : CHOLERA
3
One with a squeaky wheel? : HAMSTER
4
___ Thins (cookies) : OREO
5
Upset, as plans : THWART
6
Narrow down : WINNOW
7
Singer Turner : IKE
8
Gen ___ (preceders of millennials) : XERS
9
Decoration for some die-hard sports fans : FACEPAINT
10
"Let me check" : ILLASK
11
Send beyond the green, say : OVERHIT
12
Actress Long : NIA
13
Member of an underground colony : ANT
18
Member of a World of Warcraft race : ORC
22
Civilian clothes for a soldier : MUFTI
25
Noble person's headwear : CORONET
27
Meaning of a raised index finger : ONE
28
Goals for QBs : TDS
30
Plopped down : SAT
32
Tic-tac-toe win : OOO
34
Cheek : SASSINESS
38
String for a cake box : TWINE
39
Smidge : TAD
40
RVer's stopover, for short : KOA
41
"The Addams Family" cousin : ITT
42
Tai ___ (martial art) : CHI
43
Jokey 1978 Steve Martin song : KINGTUT
46
First female Supreme Court justice : OCONNOR
47
Gave it a go : TRIEDTO
48
Waits a moment : HOLDSON
50
Moe, Larry or Curly : STOOGE
51
Charge for some goods bought from out of state : USETAX
52
Elapse : PASSBY
56
___ Grande : RIO
59
Final Fantasy and others, in brief : RPGS
61
Burst of wind : GUST
62
Not even : ODD
63
Big D.C. lobby : NRA
65
Before, in verse : ERE

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

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