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New York Times, Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Author:
Pawel Fludzinski
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
77/12/20127/19/20171
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1102210
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.53000
Pawel Fludzinski

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 33 Missing: {FJQVXZ} This is puzzle # 5 for Mr. Fludzinski. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Pawel Fludzinski notes:
Last fall while at an art fair, I ran across these Shakespeare, Socrates, Sartre and Sinatra 'quotes' twice in one day. By the second ... read more

Last fall while at an art fair, I ran across these Shakespeare, Socrates, Sartre and Sinatra "quotes" twice in one day. By the second time, I realized that the number of letters in the phrases matched — and a possible theme was born. I suspect like most readers of the constructors' comments on XWord Info, we observe things around us through a unique lens of letter counts, interesting words, and other filters of a crossword constructor.

Of course Will and Joel greatly improved my clues, changing about half of them and tweaking the grammar in a handful more. I originally assumed this puzzle would appear on a Monday (perhaps Tuesday) if accepted, so their editorial assistance tightened the consistency of the degree-of-difficulty of the clues. As a still relatively inexperienced constructor, I find setting the right tone for clues as one of the more challenging aspects of construction. I often get enamored with a possible clue, without fully appreciating whether or not it is appropriate for a given puzzle.

In the end, I hope solvers share the same moment of amusement from the theme that I did when I ran across it (twice!) last fall.

Jeff Chen notes:
Singing, strangers in the night … doo be doo be doo … wait. DOO BY DOO BY DOO? It took me a long time to figure out that ... read more

Singing, strangers in the night … doo be doo be doo … wait. DOO BY DOO BY DOO? It took me a long time to figure out that it's DOOBY DOOBY DOO. As nonsense words, there's probably no "correct" spelling. Considering the rest of the themers though — TO BE OR NOT TO BE, TO BE IS TO DO, TO DO IS TO BE — man oh man, did I want DOO BE DOO BE DOO.

Ah well.

Doo by, doo by do ... I mean, dooby dooby doo ...

A puzzle without super high theme density — four medium to long themers — can definitely be executed in just 72 words, while incorporating colorful and clean fill. If done well, it can allow the constructor to toss in a ton of snazzy bonus fill. Sometimes I wonder if it's worth it though, since constructors who chose to do this accept all sorts of compromises.

Today, I thought Pavel did a great job of this construction feat, introducing a ton of long fill like DEAR SANTA, CALL SIGNS, CIABATTA, RARE BOOK, etc. while keeping his gluey bits to a minimum. With just a bit of SSTS ABED ENTR, this 72-word puzzle turned out smooth.

I really appreciated that effort today. The theme got to be a bit repetitive, so all the bonus long fill really helped keep my attention.

The theme felt a bit loose for my taste — variations on BE — but there was something fun about the Sartre and Socrates quotes mirroring each other. I don't totally get what TO BE IS TO DO or TO DO IS TO BE means, but they sure sound philosophically deep.

1
R
2
O
3
S
4
A
5
A
6
M
7
E
8
S
9
S
10
C
11
R
12
E
13
W
14
E
N
T
R
15
M
I
N
T
16
T
I
A
R
A
17
D
E
A
R
18
S
A
N
T
A
19
L
A
R
R
Y
20
T
O
B
E
O
R
N
O
T
21
T
O
B
E
22
O
N
L
A
T
E
23
M
U
M
24
A
B
25
E
26
D
27
P
E
E
R
28
T
29
O
B
E
I
30
S
T
O
D
O
31
A
T
M
S
32
S
T
O
I
C
33
C
34
A
35
S
36
I
N
O
S
37
R
38
E
T
A
K
E
S
39
A
L
I
S
T
40
B
O
Y
S
41
T
O
D
O
I
42
S
43
T
O
B
E
44
S
45
W
46
A
47
N
48
S
T
E
T
49
I
O
N
50
H
51
O
P
E
T
O
52
D
O
53
O
B
Y
D
54
O
O
B
Y
D
O
O
55
C
56
H
O
P
S
57
C
A
L
L
S
I
G
N
S
58
O
B
O
E
S
59
A
G
E
E
60
N
I
C
E
61
T
O
R
S
O
62
R
E
O
S
63
G
E
E
S
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0511 ( 24,291 )
Across
1
Parks who sparked a boycott : ROSA
5
City of central Iowa : AMES
9
Install, as a bulb, with "in" : SCREW
14
___'acte : ENTR
15
In perfect condition : MINT
16
Prom queen's wear : TIARA
17
Start of a seasonal letter : DEARSANTA
19
N.B.A. Hall-of-Famer Bird : LARRY
20
Words from Shakespeare : TOBEORNOTTOBE
22
Airing after midnight, say : ONLATE
23
Closemouthed : MUM
24
In the sack : ABED
27
___ pressure : PEER
28
Words from Socrates : TOBEISTODO
31
Convenience store conveniences : ATMS
32
Showing no emotion : STOIC
33
Major employers on reservations : CASINOS
37
Directors' do-overs : RETAKES
39
Crème de la crème : ALIST
40
All Harrow students : BOYS
41
Words from Sartre : TODOISTOBE
44
A cygnet is a baby one : SWAN
48
[Ignore prior marks] : STET
49
Particle in a salt solution : ION
50
Possible response to "Gonna win?" : HOPETO
52
Words from Sinatra : DOOBYDOOBYDOO
55
Veal cuts : CHOPS
57
They all start with "K" and "W" in the U.S. : CALLSIGNS
58
Reed section : OBOES
59
James with a posthumous Pulitzer : AGEE
60
"I'm impressed!" : NICE
61
Sculpted body part : TORSO
62
Speedsters of old autodom : REOS
63
Turns right on a horse : GEES
Down
1
Variety of pasture grass : REDTOP
2
Common soccer draw : ONEONE
3
Horse house : STABLE
4
Overdue debt : ARREAR
5
Almond-flavored liqueur : AMARETTO
6
Sen. Al Franken's state: Abbr. : MINN
7
Lays to rest : ENTOMBS
8
Central Park's "Alice in Wonderland," for one : STATUE
9
Normandy battle site : STLO
10
Panini bread : CIABATTA
11
Bibliophile's prize : RAREBOOK
12
Flub : ERR
13
Very, informally : WAY
18
W. C. Fields persona : SOT
21
Texter's "Didn't need to hear that!" : TMI
25
Actress Falco : EDIE
26
Nonfiction films, for short : DOCS
29
Meditation sounds : OMS
30
Fliers until '03 : SSTS
31
Start to freeze? : ANTI
33
Musical with Rum Tum Tugger : CATS
34
Scads : ALOT
35
Delivery entrance, perhaps : SIDEDOOR
36
Deuterium and tritium : ISOTOPES
37
Stick up : ROB
38
Halloween mask features : EYEHOLES
40
Slavery : BONDAGE
42
Sis, for example : SIB
43
Hot Wheels product : TOYCAR
44
Mole's work : SPYING
45
Prank involving underwear : WEDGIE
46
P.D.Q. : ATONCE
47
Executioners' devices : NOOSES
51
No longer used, in a dict. : OBS
53
___ buco : OSSO
54
Prefix with resin : OLEO
55
Jail cell sight : COT
56
"Game of Thrones" network : HBO

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later.

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