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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.

Found bugs or have suggestions?