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New York Times, Monday, April 24, 2017

Author:
Gary Cee
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
385/28/20095/20/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
112108421
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.56021
Gary Cee

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 40 Missing: {JKQVXZ} This is puzzle # 33 for Mr. Cee. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Gary Cee notes:
Nothing Burger. I've been hearing it again and again, especially on cable news channels which I watch way too often. Today, Nothing ... read more

Nothing Burger. I've been hearing it again and again, especially on cable news channels which I watch way too often. Today, Nothing Burger makes its NYT crossword debut. I'm serving it up with a first course, a side and dessert. Dig in.

Jeff Chen notes:
Such meaty theme entries today … and they form a meal! Starting with a WORD SALAD (a more polite term for 'word vomit'), ... read more

Such meaty theme entries today … and they form a meal! Starting with a WORD SALAD (a more polite term for "word vomit"), continuing with a NOTHING BURGER (Kevin O'Leary from "Shark Tank" uses this all the time), some COUCH POTATOES, finishing with a HUMBLE PIE. I've seen COUCH POTATOES and HUMBLE PIE used before in similar crosswords, but the first two feel nice and fresh. Well done.

Strong execution, too. I'd expect at least a pair of good bonus entries from Gary, given just four themers, and he didn't disappoint. ARPEGGIO for us classical music-lovers, I SUPPOSE, HOT MIC, PEGASUS — all of them excellent lifts as I solved.

There's a bit of arbitrary TWOAM, URI Geller (is he really crossworthy?), a singular ALP, but nothing else that dragged me down. I want smoothness in my Monday puzzles — to make them accessible to newer solvers — and Gary did well in this regard.

I usually think inconsistency is inelegant — POTATOES is the only plural food item — but in this case, I like the inconsistency. Who eats just one potato, after all? (This really should be the case for PIE. I mean, it's PIE, people!)

Only minor nit was the "Utah blocks" on the sides of the puzzle — the sets of five black squares that look like the state of Utah. Gary was already going to have a long down on each side of the puzzle, so why not do it in a way to avoid Utah blocks? Here, you could take out the three blocks after OPENS, and put one in at the E of IRATE — the long down would then be at the bottom right instead of the top right.

Solid Monday puzzle. It would have been spot-on if the meal had been a more typical menu — maybe SOUP, SALAD, BURGER, PIE? — but now I kind of want to try that BURGER followed by POTATOES gut bomb.

1
H
2
T
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M
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L
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C
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H
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E
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F
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P
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S
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A
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L
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M
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O
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W
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W
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Y
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D
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P
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T
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C
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P
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B
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G
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© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0424 ( 24,639 )
Across
1
Web designer's code : HTML
5
One wearing an apron and a puffy white hat : CHEF
9
One includes "My cup runneth over" in the Bible : PSALM
14
Has debts : OWES
15
Slight amount : IOTA
16
Like a wolf's howl in the dead of night : EERIE
17
Gobbledygook : WORDSALAD
19
Looked open-mouthed : GAPED
20
Scot's cap : TAM
21
"___ is me!" : WOE
22
Up in arms : IRATE
24
Nebraska's capital before Lincoln : OMAHA
26
Grandson of Adam : ENOS
27
Clock-setting std. : GMT
30
Big fat zero : NOTHINGBURGER
34
Like Jefferson on a list of presidents : THIRD
35
River through Paris : SEINE
36
Do laps in a pool : SWIM
39
Flower that's also a girl's name : PANSY
42
Spoonful of medicine, say : DOSE
43
Put forward, as an idea : POSIT
45
Unlocks : OPENS
47
Habitual tube watchers : COUCHPOTATOES
51
Swiss peak : ALP
52
Part in a movie : ROLE
53
Hair that hangs over the forehead : BANGS
56
Used a lever on : PRIED
58
"Golly!" : GEE
60
Promise-to-pay note : IOU
61
Capital of South Korea : SEOUL
63
What a shamed person has to "eat" : HUMBLEPIE
66
Stand on three legs? : EASEL
67
Mideast native : ARAB
68
On the ___ (recuperating) : MEND
69
Lock of hair : TRESS
70
Metal canisters : TINS
71
Hankering : URGE
Down
1
Book consulted by a do-it-yourselfer : HOWTO
2
Time in Manhattan when it's midnight in Montana : TWOAM
3
Ethel who sang "There's No Business Like Show Business" : MERMAN
4
It was often dropped in the '60s : LSD
5
"See ya!" : CIAO
6
Woodchuck's escape route : HOLE
7
Airline app datum, for short : ETA
8
On the decline : FADING
9
Flying horse of Greek myth : PEGASUS
10
"Save me a ___!" : SEAT
11
Notes of a chord played in rapid succession : ARPEGGIO
12
Fib : LIE
13
Club ___ : MED
18
Path of mowed grass : SWATH
23
Steal from : ROB
25
It might capture an embarrassing comment : HOTMIC
26
Bit of appended text : ENDNOTE
28
Store department selling suits and ties : MENS
29
Obstacle for a drone : TREE
31
Modern and cool : HIP
32
Plan that might include mutual funds, in brief : IRA
33
Body of water that separates Africa and Asia : REDSEA
36
Pet safety org. : SPCA
37
Sheep's coat : WOOL
38
"It's certainly possible ..." : ISUPPOSE
40
Hot spring : SPA
41
"The best is ___ to come" : YET
44
What amusement parks provide : THRILLS
46
2016 prize for Bob Dylan : NOBEL
48
Who wrote of "sorrow for the lost Lenore" : POE
49
Out-of-date : OLDHAT
50
Marksman with an M40 : SNIPER
54
Word cried twice before "gone" : GOING
55
Napped leather : SUEDE
57
Feels remorse over : RUES
58
F.B.I. worker, informally : GMAN
59
Recedes : EBBS
61
Ready : SET
62
Place for a bud or a stud : EAR
64
Celebrity psychic Geller : URI
65
Down Under bird : EMU

Answer summary: 1 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later.

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