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New York Times, Monday, May 11, 2015

Author:
Joe DiPietro
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1328/26/19959/8/20191
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
291072242283
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.59326
Joe DiPietro

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 38 Missing: {JQVX} This is puzzle # 122 for Mr. DiPietro. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
Pattern matching today, a consistent adherence to the ?ALL OF ???? pattern. Nice choice on themers, all sparkly phrases — FALL ... read more

Pattern matching today, a consistent adherence to the ?ALL OF ???? pattern. Nice choice on themers, all sparkly phrases — FALL OF ROME I found particularly punchy. CALL OF DUTY I might call punchy, except my friends barred me from playing first-person shooters after my abysmal showing one "Halo" night. I was even bad at "hiding under a rock so the other team wouldn't shoot me so fast."

Quick, find the rocks to hide under!

I normally don't care for cross-referenced answers, but TYSON and KOS worked well for me. Not only are they strongly linked (talking about punchy, anyone remember his five-second "fights"? Yikes!) but they're right atop each other. Elegant touch.

The LLAMAS / INCA link didn't work as well for me. It's true that LLAMAS are important in Peru's history and culture — one appears on Peru's coat of arms — but a link between INCA and MACHU PICCHU or SUN GOD or even SUN would have been stronger in my eyes. And the fact that the two entries are as far apart in physical distance as California and New Hampshire … I wasn't interested in searching out INCA when I hit that clue for LLAMAS.

I appreciated the color added by SMALL WORLD (great colloquial clue in "I can't believe we both know him") and GENE SISKEL, of whom I have fond memories. RIP SIskel and Ebert. When a puzzle only has two long pieces of fill, it's important to make sure they both are good enough to get two thumbs up.

Curious find, four distinct themers fitting that quirky ?ALL OF ???? pattern. I tried to see if I could find any others, and the only other one was WALL OF FAME (think: restaurants that take pics of people who finish the five-pound burger). Then maybe HALL OF FAME could have been HALL OF ODIN, but that feels like a stretch. So, I like that this set of four feels complete.

It would have been an elegant touch to have the four themers alphabetized from top to bottom, but that might just be the OCD organizer in me speaking.

1
B
2
O
3
O
4
M
5
S
6
P
7
D
8
A
9
S
10
G
11
I
12
F
13
I
M
S
E
T
14
O
R
C
A
15
M
E
N
U
16
C
A
L
L
O
17
F
D
U
T
Y
18
O
N
C
E
19
S
N
O
O
K
I
20
B
U
S
21
D
E
A
L
22
D
E
B
23
T
24
A
N
25
A
I
S
26
E
27
A
28
S
Y
29
B
A
30
L
L
O
F
F
I
31
R
32
E
33
R
P
M
34
S
E
R
A
35
T
Y
S
O
N
36
I
N
A
37
T
R
O
U
38
N
39
C
E
40
K
O
S
41
C
E
L
42
L
O
43
R
U
H
R
44
E
M
U
45
H
A
L
L
O
46
F
47
F
A
M
E
48
E
L
S
E
49
W
A
L
L
E
50
B
A
51
R
N
52
W
53
H
O
M
54
U
M
55
P
56
P
A
W
57
S
58
A
59
T
60
H
O
R
A
61
F
A
L
62
L
O
F
R
O
M
E
63
I
L
L
S
64
F
L
O
E
65
T
A
S
E
R
66
Z
E
D
67
Y
E
T
I
68
S
P
A
S
M
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0511 ( 23,925 )
Across
1
Sounds made by supersonic planes : BOOMS
6
Palmtop organizers, for short : PDAS
10
Internet image file, familiarly : GIF
13
"That's plenty, thanks" : IMSET
14
Killer whale : ORCA
15
Restaurant handout : MENU
16
Shooter video game franchise : CALLOFDUTY
18
A single time : ONCE
19
"Jersey Shore" pal of JWoww : SNOOKI
20
Schoolkids' transport : BUS
21
Donald Trump's "The Art of the ___" : DEAL
22
Amount in an i.o.u. : DEBT
24
Diarist Nin : ANAIS
26
___ as pie : EASY
29
Very lively sort : BALLOFFIRE
33
Tachometer abbr. : RPM
34
Word sung twice after "Que" : SERA
35
Boxing's Iron Mike : TYSON
36
___ nutshell (basically) : INA
37
Beat decisively : TROUNCE
40
Stats for 35-Across : KOS
41
Instrument for Yo-Yo Ma : CELLO
43
German industrial locale : RUHR
44
Bird on the Australian coat of arms : EMU
45
Cooperstown or Canton destination : HALLOFFAME
48
"If all ___ fails ..." : ELSE
49
2008 Pixar robot : WALLE
50
Square dance venue : BARN
52
To ___ it may concern : WHOM
54
Official behind home plate, for short : UMP
56
Clumsily touches : PAWSAT
60
Jewish wedding dance : HORA
61
Empire collapse in A.D. 476 : FALLOFROME
63
Misfortunes : ILLS
64
Ice chunk at sea : FLOE
65
Stun gun : TASER
66
End of the alphabet, in Canada : ZED
67
Himalayan legend : YETI
68
Involuntary twitch : SPASM
Down
1
Popular ballpoints : BICS
2
Neighbor of Yemen : OMAN
3
Norway's capital : OSLO
4
Tune : MELODY
5
Stir up and feed, as a fire : STOKE
6
Pea's home : POD
7
Beat decisively : DRUB
8
Real : ACTUAL
9
Refuses to give permission : SAYSNO
10
Onetime colleague of Roger Ebert : GENESISKEL
11
Early Peruvian : INCA
12
Uranium or plutonium, for a nuclear reactor : FUEL
15
Alter partially : MODIFY
17
One telling little lies : FIBBER
23
Plant used in making poi : TARO
25
"... lived happily ever ___" : AFTER
26
Psychoanalyst Fromm : ERICH
27
Sleep disorder : APNEA
28
"I can't believe we both know him" : SMALLWORLD
30
Dern of "Jurassic Park" : LAURA
31
Hotel units : ROOMS
32
Occur next : ENSUE
34
Tavern seat : STOOL
38
Under the effects of Novocain : NUMB
39
Tightwad : CHEAPO
42
Pack animals for 11-Downs : LLAMAS
46
Common cat name : FLUFFY
47
One with XX chromosomes : FEMALE
48
Bundle up : ENWRAP
51
Travels through the Grand Canyon, say : RAFTS
52
Cheez ___ : WHIZ
53
One of 18 on a golf course : HOLE
55
Parcel of land : PLOT
57
Sammy who was the 1998 N.L. M.V.P. : SOSA
58
Iowa college town : AMES
59
Four years, for a president : TERM
62
Luau neckwear : LEI

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?