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New York Times, Monday, April 3, 2017

Author:
Agnes Davidson and Zhouqin Burnikel
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
24/3/20171/15/20182
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0200000
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.61000
Agnes Davidson
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
6411/13/20126/26/201919
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
620187472
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.56281
Zhouqin Burnikel

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 38 Missing: {DJQXZ} Spans: 1 This is the debut puzzle for Ms. Davidson. This is puzzle # 40 for Ms. Burnikel. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Constructor notes:
AGNES: Prior to December 2015, my only experience with crossword puzzles was solving them, a pastime that I've enjoyed since the late ... read more

AGNES: Prior to December 2015, my only experience with crossword puzzles was solving them, a pastime that I've enjoyed since the late 1970's. Through C.C.'s generous invitation to collaborate, I'm enjoying the challenges and rewards of the nuts and bolts of construction. Most of all, I'm enjoying working with C.C. whom I consider both a friend and mentor. I'm very excited about our New York Times debut.

C.C.: This puzzle was accepted last Sept. Agnes and I were fairly conservative in our grid design due to theme entry length. I started making puzzles with Agnes in Dec. 2015 and we've had a few puzzles published by Rich (Jeff: Rich Norris, the LA Times editor). Agnes was eager to learn, and she learned so fast. She also works incredibly hard and is unfailingly kind, patient and accommodating of my background. I enjoy very much working with her.

Jeff Chen notes:
Debut! Great to see C.C. work with so many new constructors. Baseball theme, a BATTER, COACH, PITCHER, and a FAN making up ... read more

Debut! Great to see C.C. work with so many new constructors.

Baseball theme, a BATTER, COACH, PITCHER, and a FAN making up BALLPARK FIGURES. I liked how they concealed those words by using different meanings, i.e. BATTER as a coating, not as a hitter. BEER BATTER was my favorite — a snazzy phrase, and one that threw me off the scent.

It would have been nice to get the revealer, BALLPARK FIGURES, at the very end, though. Right in the middle of the puzzle is a logical spot to place that entry, but that did give away the game halfway through my solve.

I usually prize consistency, and one form of consistency is having all plural or all singular themers. In this case, though, it felt odd with just a lone FAN. Perhaps this represents a Dodgers game. Hey-o! (Lifelong Giants fan here.)

Getting multiple FANS in could have been done with WINDOW FANS, but that phrase doesn't resonate as well for me. (Perhaps it's because my two-year-old has a strange fascination with CEILING FANs. Don't ask.)

Tough to build around five long themers. Looking at the layout of black squares before starting, I guessed that two of the roughest spots would be in the north and the south — those are areas where there's a lot of overlap between themers.

In the north, PATEK is tough, and I don't think Cheri OTERI has made a crossworthy mark yet. In the south … as much as I love Superman, I'm not sure it's fair to expect most novices to get the KALEL / LEA / TOILE crossings.

I did appreciate the effort to incorporate some long fill — RACHAEL RAY and ILL BE THERE are both nice additions. They make for some difficult filling challenges, since they both intersect two theme answers apiece, but the results are pretty good, especially in the lower left. Very smooth there.

I'm not sure the prices of INE / NATL / RHEAS / SCRAG (those last two are tough vocab for a Monday) are worth RACHAEL RAY, but I'm sure her fans will disagree.

Well-disguised theme plus a spot-on revealer makes for a nice Monday puzzle.

1
E
2
G
3
O
4
S
5
V
6
A
7
P
8
O
9
R
10
I
11
R
12
I
13
S
14
B
E
R
T
15
I
R
A
T
E
16
N
A
T
L
17
B
E
E
R
18
B
A
T
T
E
R
19
E
C
H
O
20
S
K
O
A
L
21
E
R
A
22
S
23
H
A
T
24
P
U
25
M
26
P
K
I
N
C
27
O
A
C
H
28
S
29
K
30
I
31
R
O
E
32
R
H
E
A
S
33
O
I
L
34
S
35
N
A
36
S
37
A
38
A
F
L
39
B
A
L
L
40
P
A
R
K
F
41
I
G
U
R
42
E
43
S
44
B
A
E
45
S
A
L
T
46
N
A
P
A
47
A
48
L
E
V
E
49
A
C
50
T
51
Y
A
P
52
W
A
T
E
R
53
P
54
I
55
T
C
H
E
56
R
57
N
T
H
58
S
U
M
O
59
R
E
60
A
61
M
62
S
63
I
T
E
64
M
65
C
E
I
66
L
67
I
N
G
F
A
N
68
N
E
R
O
69
K
A
L
E
L
70
A
R
I
A
71
G
R
E
W
72
S
N
E
A
K
73
L
O
N
G
© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0403 ( 24,618 )
Across
1
Inflated senses of self : EGOS
5
Moisture in the air : VAPOR
10
Flower girl? : IRIS
14
Muppet with a unibrow : BERT
15
Furious : IRATE
16
The "N" of N.F.L.: Abbr. : NATL
17
Coating for fish that you might think would make you tipsy : BEERBATTER
19
Sound heard in a cave : ECHO
20
"Cheers!," in Scandinavia : SKOAL
21
Historical periods : ERAS
23
Derby or fedora : HAT
24
Cinderella's carriage : PUMPKINCOACH
28
Hit the slopes : SKI
31
___ v. Wade : ROE
32
Cousins of emus : RHEAS
33
Classical paintings : OILS
35
Org. that operates the Jupiter orbiter : NASA
38
___-C.I.O. : AFL
39
Rough estimates ... or what the ends of 17-, 24-, 52- and 65-Across are? : BALLPARKFIGURES
44
Slangy "sweetie" : BAE
45
Pepper's partner : SALT
46
California wine valley : NAPA
47
Popular pain reliever : ALEVE
49
Have a part in a play : ACT
51
Talk, talk, talk : YAP
52
Waiter's refilling aid : WATERPITCHER
57
Utmost : NTH
58
Sport for heavyweights : SUMO
59
Curses (out) : REAMS
63
Couple, in a gossip column : ITEM
65
Overhead cooler : CEILINGFAN
68
Ruler said to have fiddled while Rome burned : NERO
69
Superman's birth name : KALEL
70
Song for a diva : ARIA
71
Sprouted : GREW
72
Underhanded sort : SNEAK
73
Like marathons and maxiskirts : LONG
Down
1
Recedes, as the tide : EBBS
2
Sheldon of "The Big Bang Theory," for one : GEEK
3
Cookie that may be dipped in milk : OREO
4
Subway standee's support : STRAP
5
By way of : VIA
6
Works at a museum : ART
7
___ Philippe (Swiss watchmaker) : PATEK
8
Cheri formerly of "S.N.L" : OTERI
9
Aired, as old TV shows : RERAN
10
Suffix with serpent : INE
11
Host of TV's "30 Minute Meals" : RACHAELRAY
12
Cornell University's home : ITHACA
13
Tree huggers? : SLOTHS
18
Fuzzy picture : BLUR
22
One who's all skin and bones : SCRAG
25
Leonardo da Vinci's "___ Lisa" : MONA
26
Fruits that are a little grittier than apples : PEARS
27
"That sounds good - NOT!" : OHFUN
28
Cry big tears : SOB
29
Maker of autodom's Optima : KIA
30
Words after "Reach Out" in a #1 Four Tops hit : ILLBETHERE
34
Work like a dog : SLAVE
36
Cousin of calypso : SKA
37
Quacky insurance giant : AFLAC
40
House of Lords members : PEERS
41
Scratch target : ITCH
42
Pollution police, for short : EPA
43
Softhead : SAP
47
Store window shader : AWNING
48
___-day Saints (Mormons) : LATTER
50
Fork-tailed bird : TERN
53
Hockey discs : PUCKS
54
"Wait, let me explain ..." : IMEAN
55
French fabric : TOILE
56
Majestic : REGAL
60
Big, round head of hair : AFRO
61
Street through the middle of town : MAIN
62
Slight problem : SNAG
64
Cut the lawn : MOW
66
Pasture : LEA
67
Kind : ILK

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle.

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