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New York Times, Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Author:
Zhouqin Burnikel
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
6611/13/201210/28/201919
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622187472
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1.56281
Zhouqin Burnikel

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 38 Missing: {FJKQVXYZ} This is puzzle # 15 for Ms. Burnikel. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Zhouqin Burnikel notes:
This puzzle was accepted in June 2013. I was not fond of having a 8-letter entry as a reveal. They force stacked 6's immediately (in ... read more

This puzzle was accepted in June 2013. I was not fond of having a 8-letter entry as a reveal. They force stacked 6's immediately (in the SW and NE corners) and way too many 3-letter entries for my skill level back then. Will saved me again with a clearer clue for the reveal entry.

Jeff Chen notes:
It's a trap, indeed! TRAP gets appropriately hidden in four theme answers. As a bonus, three answers are starred as types of TRAPs: ... read more

It's a trap, indeed! TRAP gets appropriately hidden in four theme answers. As a bonus, three answers are starred as types of TRAPs: BEAR trap, TOURIST trap, and RAT trap. Sometimes "a single word hidden inside theme answers" gets a bit old, so I appreciated C.C.'s effort to go one step further.

It confused me a bit to run randomly into those BEAR, TOURIST, and RAT traps, so I highlighted them below. Hey! It just dawned on me that I missed an important element: each one of the three types of trap actually intersects a hidden TRAP! It's like the TOURIST actually gets trapped in the TOURIST / TRAP. Very cool.

I feel like "The Icarus Trap" really ought to be a thing

Honestly, I thought at first that the BEAR, TOURIST, and RAT words were haphazardly placed, but now that I see this extra element, it makes me really appreciate C.C.'s extra effort. It might have been cool to get a fourth trap intersecting the revealer — maybe GREASE at 52-down? — but that might be too much to ask for.

Already, C.C.'s grid is very constrained given where the sets of themers had to go. Not a surprise to see some of the gluey bits right in those crossings — EIS right by the TOURIST / TRAP; ACS and TCI by the RAT / TRAP crossing. Before fully grokking the whole theme, I wasn't sure if those compromises were worth the price, but I have a better appreciation for the difficulties now.

Finally, I like C.C.'s use of cheater squares in the very NE and SW. Tough to cleanly fill triple-stacked 8s. Not a huge fan of OTT and ERG and EIN (especially when combined with EIS) but C.C. sure gives us a lot of good material in those corners. ABC NEWS next to RED STATE and ESCARGOT is a lively stack.

1
T
2
R
3
I
4
B
5
E
6
S
7
L
8
T
9
E
10
M
11
P
12
O
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L
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A
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P
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U
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A
N
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A
20
C
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M
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D
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G
E
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A
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H
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A
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B
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B
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U
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C
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A
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A
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I
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N
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C
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© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0408 ( 23,892 )
Across
1
Chicago paper, briefly, with "the" : TRIB
5
Subj. for a citizenship applicant : ESL
8
Largo, for one : TEMPO
13
Monotonous learning : ROTE
14
Country music's ___ Young Band : ELI
15
Coiner of the term "doublethink" : ORWELL
17
Gillette razor brand : ATRAPLUS
19
Country that's south of South Sudan : UGANDA
20
City near the only remaining wonder of the ancient world : CAIRO
21
Bryn ___ College : MAWR
23
Captain's post : HELM
24
Hot time on the Riviera : ETE
25
Mo. with Patriot Day : SEP
27
Frozen Wasser : EIS
29
Dweller along the Mekong : LAO
30
Marsh plants : SEDGES
32
Jack or jenny : ASS
33
First National Leaguer with 500 homers : OTT
34
Conductor's place : ORCHESTRAPIT
38
The "A" of BART : AREA
41
Tram's cargo : ORE
42
Dunham of "Girls" : LENA
43
Grammy category won five times by Eminem : BESTRAPALBUM
48
Org. featured in "Outbreak" : CDC
49
Carrier units, briefly : ACS
50
Alley-oop pass, maybe : ASSIST
54
U.S. counterpart to Britain's GCHQ : NSA
55
Cable co. acquired by AT&T in 1999 : TCI
56
J.F.K. posting: Abbr. : ARR
57
Miler Sebastian : COE
58
French 101 verb : ETRE
60
Calls off : ENDS
62
Royal bride of 1981 : DIANA
64
Showed some puppy love? : WAGGED
66
Warning to the answers to the three starred clues regarding the word hidden in 17-, 34- and 43-Across : ITSATRAP
68
Cheap smoke : STOGIE
69
Poop out : DIE
70
Camera setting : AUTO
71
Some British jackets : ETONS
72
"Good ___!" : ONE
73
Aspiring atty.'s exam : LSAT
Down
1
Tiny amounts : TRACES
2
Reposition, as tires : ROTATE
3
"Gave it my all" : ITRIED
4
*Tough test, slangily : BEAR
5
___ roll (sushi item) : EEL
6
Batter's nightmare : SLUMP
7
Bart's toon sister : LISA
8
*Fodor's guide buyer : TOURIST
9
Tiny bit of work : ERG
10
Sound of an air kiss : MWAH
11
Cruz with a 2008 Oscar : PENELOPE
12
Cato the Elder's language : OLDLATIN
16
Boxer Jake a.k.a. Raging Bull : LAMOTTA
18
Head-scratcher : POSER
22
Underhanded sort : WEASEL
26
"Exit full screen" key : ESC
28
One of a geog. 15, once : SSR
31
Year of the ___ (most of 2015) : GOAT
35
Joins for a ride : HOPSIN
36
Steroid ___ (1990s-early 2000s, in baseball) : ERA
37
Poor box contents : ALMS
38
Stephanopoulos's employer : ABCNEWS
39
Republican stronghold : REDSTATE
40
Mollusk on la carte : ESCARGOT
44
*Mob hit victim : RAT
45
Gives in : ACCEDES
46
Happy hour spot : BAR
47
Old nutritional fig. : USRDA
51
Wax-winged flier of myth : ICARUS
52
"Moonlight ___" : SONATA
53
Darjeeling server : TEAPOT
56
Sean of the "Lord of the Rings" movies : ASTIN
59
Toaster waffle brand : EGGO
61
First queen of Carthage : DIDO
63
Stressed type: Abbr. : ITAL
65
A, in Aachen : EIN
67
"Get it?" : SEE

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later.

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