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New York Times, Monday, April 25, 2016

Author:
Betty Keller
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
23/9/20094/25/20160
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0200000
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.55000
Betty Keller

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 74, Blocks: 38 Missing: {JQV} This is puzzle # 2 for Ms. Keller. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
Singing: don't mess with Mr. In-Between! I recognized that lyric, but when I went to look up the song, Google misdirected me to a very ... read more

Singing: don't mess with Mr. In-Between! I recognized that lyric, but when I went to look up the song, Google misdirected me to a very different "Mr. In-Between" which seemed like it was the one the clue was talking about. Jim Horne had to steer me to the correct one. Then I realized that I had originally been thinking of a third song in the first place. So confusing!

I'm James ARNESS, and I endorse this blog post

Anyhoo, that MRINBETWEEN is such a kooky looking string of letters, and it makes for a good Monday revealer — phrases have MR stretched across them: BOTTOM ROW, STEAMROLLER, PALM READING, AM FM RADIO. All colorful phrases, and the one perhaps least in the language--BOTTOM ROW--getting a crossword-related clue. Nice!

Constructors often are faced with the choice of 1.) very smooth short fill but not so snazzy long stuff or 2.) really snappy long fill at the price of some short gluey bits. Today, Betty gives us a raft of wonderful bonus material, doing especially well with her mid-length answers: KABOOM!, FLUMMOX, IN ORBIT, NO, WAIT!, TWEEZE, EGG DYE. I'm usually not one to notice mid-length single-word answers, but KABOOM and FLUMMOX are especially nice.

Along with some longer fill like TORE OPEN and TITLEIST (sorry, non-golfers, but it really is a huge name in the golfing world), and a high density of theme answers, we were bound to get some compromises in the short fill. Starting off with A BANG isn't the type of bang I like, and along with LE ROI and IT IN right across the top, that's three glaring partials.

More troublesome were the ARNESS/LANTZ, LANTZ/GIZMO, ARNESS/ELS crossings. Regular solvers really ought to know James ARNESS and Ernie ELS (the "Big Easy" of golf). But I wouldn't be surprised to see a beginner get FLUMMOXed on any of those three crossings and declare them unfair. I wouldn't disagree.

Overall, nice theme concept with an enjoyable revealer, plus a ton of great mid-length fill. But given the rocky areas, I think it would have been better run as a Tuesday or Wednesday puzzle.

Jim Horne notes:

Accentuate the Positive was written by two of the greats from the American Songbook era. Music is by Harold Arlen, lyrics by Johnny Mercer.

1
A
2
B
3
A
4
N
5
G
6
K
7
I
8
T
9
E
10
I
11
T
12
I
13
N
14
L
E
R
O
I
15
A
D
I
N
16
B
O
N
O
17
L
A
N
T
Z
18
B
O
T
T
19
O
M
R
O
W
20
S
T
E
A
M
21
R
O
L
L
E
R
22
E
R
A
23
E
L
S
24
O
E
O
25
E
R
R
26
O
B
I
27
T
E
S
28
S
29
M
M
30
L
I
31
S
P
I
T
32
C
33
S
I
34
E
S
35
T
36
R
E
E
T
37
M
R
I
N
38
B
E
T
W
E
E
N
39
F
O
U
N
D
E
R
40
E
D
Y
41
C
L
U
B
42
H
Y
43
P
E
44
A
45
S
46
H
47
E
48
O
U
R
49
A
50
M
O
51
O
Z
52
S
53
T
O
G
54
L
M
N
55
P
A
L
56
M
R
E
A
57
D
I
N
G
58
A
M
F
59
M
R
A
D
I
O
60
R
I
L
E
D
61
D
O
U
R
62
M
E
N
U
63
A
N
T
S
Y
64
A
X
L
E
65
S
R
I
S
66
H
A
S
T
E
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0425 ( 24,275 )

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Across
1
Go out with ___ : ABANG
6
Toy with a tail : KITE
10
"Get ___ writing" : ITIN
14
"Vive ___!" (old French cry) : LEROI
15
Score after deuce : ADIN
16
U2 lead singer : BONO
17
Walter who created Woody Woodpecker : LANTZ
18
64-, 65- and 66-Across, in this puzzle : BOTTOMROW
20
Heavy vehicle that smooths a road surface : STEAMROLLER
22
Time in history : ERA
23
Ernie of the P.G.A. : ELS
24
Antipoverty agcy. : OEO
25
Goof up : ERR
26
Samurai sash : OBI
27
___ Trueheart, Dick Tracy's love : TESS
29
The year 2051 : MMLI
31
Rotisserie rod : SPIT
32
TV series with "NY," "Miami" and "Cyber" spinoffs : CSI
34
Thoroughfare in the name of Springsteen's band : ESTREET
37
"Don't mess with" him, per an old song lyric ... or a hint to 18-, 20-, 55- and 58-Across : MRINBETWEEN
39
College or company starter : FOUNDER
40
Big name in ice cream : EDY
41
Putter or 9-iron : CLUB
42
Promotional hoopla : HYPE
44
Court legend Arthur : ASHE
48
Thornton Wilder's "___ Town" : OUR
49
"I love," to a Latin lover : AMO
51
Sixteenths of lbs. : OZS
53
Dress (up) : TOG
54
K-O connector : LMN
55
Means of fortunetelling : PALMREADING
58
Audio feature that comes standard on cars : AMFMRADIO
60
Provoked : RILED
61
Gloomy : DOUR
62
Card with the headings "Appetizers," "Entrees" and "Desserts" : MENU
63
Overly anxious : ANTSY
64
Rotating car part : AXLE
65
Mumbai titles : SRIS
66
Proverbial waste maker : HASTE
Down
1
Completely ready : ALLSET
2
John, Paul, George or Ringo : BEATLE
3
James of "Gunsmoke" : ARNESS
4
The "N" of N.B. : NOTA
5
Thingamabob : GIZMO
6
Explosion sound : KABOOM
7
TV's discontinued "American ___" : IDOL
8
Big name in golf balls : TITLEIST
9
Exit's opposite : ENTER
10
"Let's Build a Smarter Planet" co. : IBM
11
Ripped the wrapping off : TOREOPEN
12
Circling the earth, say : INORBIT
13
"Oh, hang on a minute!" : NOWAIT
19
Former Bruin Bobby : ORR
21
Jog the memory of : REMIND
28
Use elbow grease : SCRUB
30
Apprehensive : LEERY
31
"Ciao!" : SEEYA
33
One of the seven "deadly" things : SIN
35
Pluck, as an eyebrow : TWEEZE
36
Crimson, e.g. : RED
37
Heavy-hearted : MOURNFUL
38
Witness : BEHOLDER
39
Discombobulate : FLUMMOX
41
Piña ___ (fruity drink) : COLADA
43
Permeable : POROUS
45
Beach building supports : STILTS
46
"I kid you not!" : HONEST
47
Easter dip : EGGDYE
49
Mo. before May : APR
50
Sirs' partners : MAAMS
52
Politico Palin : SARAH
56
5x5 crossword, e.g. : MINI
57
Actress Merrill : DINA
59
Field fare for a G.I. : MRE

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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