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New York Times, Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Author:
Jules P. Markey
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
185/10/201210/30/20180
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0155700
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.58461
Jules P. Markey

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 36 Missing: {QZ} Spans: 3 This is puzzle # 6 for Mr. Markey. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jules P. Markey notes:
This puzzle was one of two that I constructed with this theme. The original idea of NEWSPAPER COLUMN as the reveal came while I was ... read more

This puzzle was one of two that I constructed with this theme. The original idea of NEWSPAPER COLUMN as the reveal came while I was thinking about vertically themed puzzles, which unlike horizontal themes almost always have their verticality as an integral part of the theme. The other version included "THE" in its three 15-letter themers, as in: THE SUN ALSO RISES; THE GLOBE THEATER; and THE POST EXCHANGE, the latter of which did not pass muster with Will. Readers usually refer to their papers as "the Post", "the Times" etc., so I did like that version, however I had a difficult time coming up with enough suitable theme entries, thus I went with the version you see today.

I like the published version for its four theme entries, several of which are debuts. TIMES TABLE CHART might be a bit weaker than the others, however I think most people are familiar with the term from their elementary school days, or their children's. The rest of the fill is fairly clean, so all in all I'm happy with the result, as I hope you are too.

Finally, thanks to Will for accepting this puzzle and improving some of my underwhelming clues, although I think my clue for 42-Across is a nice bit of misdirection.

Jeff Chen notes:
NEWSPAPER COLUMN, how meta! Today's puzzle gives us four 'literal' (quasi-literal?) themers, each of which starts with a stereotypical ... read more

NEWSPAPER COLUMN, how meta! Today's puzzle gives us four "literal" (quasi-literal?) themers, each of which starts with a stereotypical name of a newspaper (TIMES, GLOBE, POST, SUN). I'm not sure if I'm missing an added layer? The revealer refers to the entirety of each of the four themers, so perhaps TABLE, CHART, OFFICE, etc. are also the names of famous papers?

Anyway, a nice construction, given the high constraints. Not many people are brave enough to try a 15/12/15/12/15 skeleton, because it's a bear to tackle. (Excuse me, it's an OSA!) As would be expected, there are signs of stress due to all the across entries which span two or more themers: EMERGENTS felt off as a "real thing," and hints of OSA, OSE, ESTER, HIERO, etc. crop up. It's the typical trade-off of more theme / more corresponding crossword glue vs. a less ambitious approach with cleaner fill.

Laying out a grid like this is tough. I bet Jules spent a lot of time considering his crossings even before starting to fill. The only two places I might have tinkered further with: where ORAL B and IRREG sit. The ??A?B and I?R?? sequences are unfriendly letter patterns, so perhaps a little more playing around with black squares could have been beneficial. That IRREG / HIERO section is about the best it could be with the given skeleton, but it did give me a little hitch as I solved. It's so tricky to work with five long themers — it's almost inevitable to have one or more trouble spots in the crossings.

Finally, a beautiful clue, especially nice to see on an early-week puzzle: [Places to put ones dough] for OVENS is fantastic. I thought through SAFES, VAULTS, MATTRESSES, etc. before head-slapping myself. Perfect, absolutely perfect; awesome that the clue didn't need a giveaway question mark which would have foiled all the cleverness.

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© 2014, The New York TimesNo. 0429 ( 23,548 )
Across
1. Sticks (out) : JUTS
5. Cocoon contents : PUPA
9. More balanced : SANER
14. Man's Brest friend? : AMIE
15. Atop : UPON
16. In ___ (unborn) : UTERO
17. Agatha Christie title : DAME
18. "Parade ___!" : REST
19. Inexperienced in : NEWAT
20. Ones coming into view : EMERGENTS
22. Trash : WASTE
23. Trash : DIS
24. 2014 TV retiree : LENO
25. Splendor : POMP
26. ___ Ski Valley, N.M. : TAOS
28. Jamie of old TV : FARR
30. ___ carte : ALA
33. Brand in a bathroom cabinet : ORALB
35. Big dos : AFROS
36. Wrinkly-faced dog : PUG
37. Russian money : RUBLE
38. Fell for an April fool, say : BIT
39. Prefix with glyphic : HIERO
41. Unagi, in sushi : EEL
42. Stay in the fight? : TRUCE
44. Kind of verb: Abbr. : IRREG
45. Suffix with verb- : OSE
46. Miles per hour, e.g. : RATE
47. Indonesia joined it in 1962 ... and left in 2008 : OPEC
48. Be too sweet : CLOY
50. Auger : BORE
52. Mexican mama bear : OSA
55. Drum kit part : HIHAT
57. Some work clothes : COVERALLS
59. Before: Fr. : AVANT
60. Rink jump : AXEL
61. Sticks in the rec room : CUES
62. Brink : VERGE
63. Writes indelibly : PENS
64. Word said just before opening the eyes : AMEN
65. Nitroglycerin, e.g. : ESTER
66. In ___ (actually) : ESSE
67. Writes indelibly : INKS
Down
1. Feeling "been there, done that," say : JADED
2. One of the five basic tastes : UMAMI
3. Multiplication aid : TIMESTABLECHART
4. Reader of tea leaves, e.g. : SEER
5. Makes smoothies, e.g. : PUREES
6. Phila. school : UPENN
7. Mail holders : POSTOFFICEBOXES
8. Sources of formic acid : ANTS
9. Ardent beachgoer : SUNWORSHIPER
10. Elite group : ATEAM
11. Place to express an opinion ... or a literal description of 3-, 7-, 9- and 21-Down? : NEWSPAPERCOLUMN
12. Part of Q.E.D. : ERAT
13. Memorization : ROTE
21. Basketball showman : GLOBETROTTER
25. See 27-Down : PRO
27. With 25-Down, football star : ALL
29. Prado works : ARTE
31. Tackle item : LURE
32. On the edge of one's seat : AGOG
33. Cookie that's kosher : OREO
34. Laments : RUES
35. Share a border : ABUT
40. Wrath : IRE
43. Beam : RAY
47. Ominous end of a threat : ORELSE
49. Hope in Hollywood : LANGE
51. Places to put one's dough : OVENS
53. Aerodynamic : SLEEK
54. Federations: Abbr. : ASSNS
55. Eat : HAVE
56. Composer Charles : IVES
57. ___ Verde Islands : CAPE
58. Palm fruit : ACAI

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later.

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