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New York Times, Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Author:
Victor Barocas
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
122/9/20116/23/20197
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
6012300
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.62032
Victor Barocas

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 38 Missing: none – this is a pangram. Spans: 2 This is puzzle # 7 for Mr. Barocas. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Victor Barocas notes:
I started with the punch line (conveniently 15 letters) and wondered whether there were good examples. MOSES quickly gave ... read more

I started with the punch line (conveniently 15 letters) and wondered whether there were good examples. MOSES quickly gave WINSOMELO(SESOM)E, which I liked. The other two themers came with minimal effort, and I loved SCHW(ARZE)NEGGER — I'll be back, and all that. The fill was not too hard, and I had all of those uncommon letters in SCHWARZENEGGER, so I decided to make it a pangram. It kind of screams "look at me, I'm a pangram," with QTIP and JINX in the corners, but I still thought that it was okay.

My original had the biblical partial EATOF at 43-A and a bunch of other garbage in the S and W blocks (in its defense, it did have ZINGER crossing SUNDAE, which I probably tried too hard to keep), but Will nixed it as too clunky. The version you saw was much better. My favorite clue that Will didn't change was undoubtedly the RWANDAn 5000-franc note because any clue that mentions a large animal is better than any clue that doesn't. My favorite clue that Will inserted was probably "Put the whammy on" for JINX, but I liked his pairing of identical clues for YIPES and UHOH also. My favorite clues that didn't make it in? I'll save those for another day! I hope that everyone enjoyed the puzzle, and I'm sorry that I couldn't come up with anything with HAINAHPEZ in the middle.

Jeff Chen notes:
Amusing theme; I got a chuckle out of the TURNING A PROPHET revealer. I had no idea what was going on as I solved, so I had a nice ... read more

Amusing theme; I got a chuckle out of the TURNING A PROPHET revealer. I had no idea what was going on as I solved, so I had a nice a-ha moment at the end.

Great selection of long themers. WIN SOME LOSE SOME, ESPRESSO MAKERS, and especially SCHWARZENEGGER are all juicy entries. Typically I would like to see all of the themers be the same number of words, but the 4/2/1 progression was kind of nice. When you can't have perfect consistency, perfect inconsistency is the next best thing.

I did wonder why these prophets? A quick search turned up dozens of prophets, so it would have been nice to have some rationale as to why these three. It might have been impossible to choose three that were all related in some way (good luck finding a word/phrase with LEIKEZE), but wow, what a big bang it would have made if it had been possible.

Given that there were only four long themers, it would have been nice to see a pair of long downs in the fill. Victor does do a nice job with his sixes and sevens, MISHAP and ZAGGED and SKEWER being colorful. But having even one pair of snazzy eights would have been very welcome.

Ah, the lure of the pangram. I do like seeing Q, J, Z, V's in a grid. They do a lot to add to a puzzle's snazz. I didn't think JAS was worth the price of JAS though. Differences in philosophy — I definitely know both solvers that hate this type of trade-off and those that love it.

Finally, what a great clue for EMAIL! Perhaps a slight dig at the postal service, hmm? I enjoyed running through DHL, FEDEX, UPS, etc. before getting a smile at EMAIL. I find it baffling that the USPS is still allowed to survive in its current configuration, given its history of giant financial losses. One of you clever crossword people, get on that!

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H
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A
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M
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I
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© 2014, The New York TimesNo. 0514 ( 23,563 )
Across
1
Does damage to : HARMS
6
Little handfuls, so to speak : IMPS
10
Put the whammy on : JINX
14
Alternative to U.S.P.S. : EMAIL
15
Securely hide : BURY
16
Fig leaf wearer, in some art : ADAM
17
Words of resignation : WINSOMELOSESOME
20
Son of 16-Across : SETH
21
Advisers to players' associations : AGENTS
22
Actor Cariou : LEN
23
"Dragnet" broadcast, for short : APB
25
Dick Tracy's girl : TESS
27
Barista-operated gadgets : ESPRESSOMAKERS
34
Old televangelism org. : PTL
35
Food item in quarter-pound sticks : OLEO
36
"This is looking bad!" : YIPES
37
"This is looking bad!" : UHOH
39
Gives kudos : LAUDS
42
Like decalcified water : SOFT
43
Instrument on the Beatles' "Norwegian Wood" : SITAR
45
Sushi bar quaff : SAKE
47
Part of many French surnames : DES
48
Governor elected in a 2003 recall vote : SCHWARZENEGGER
52
Chicken-sized flightless bird : KIWI
53
"Yay!" : WOO
54
Proof-ending letters : QED
57
Bird in the crow family : MAGPIE
60
Like poor losers : SORE
64
Punny description of the circled letters in 17-, 27- and 48-Across : TURNINGAPROPHET
67
"Pumping ___" (1977 docudrama featuring 48-Across) : IRON
68
"Whip It" band : DEVO
69
What a metronome regulates : TEMPO
70
Historic resignee of 2013 : POPE
71
Drinks at sidewalk stands : ADES
72
"Come on down!" announcer Johnny : OLSON
Down
1
Takes an ax to : HEWS
2
Friend en français : AMIE
3
Long broadside : RANT
4
Bit of bad luck : MISHAP
5
___-mo : SLO
6
"___ to differ" : IBEG
7
Drug smuggler's courier : MULE
8
"Chop-chop!" : PRONTO
9
Bettor's strategy : SYSTEM
10
Pres. Madison or Monroe : JAS
11
Golden god, say : IDOL
12
File directory heading : NAME
13
Comics foes of Magneto : XMEN
18
Old phone company nickname : MABELL
19
Piece of Bacon or Lamb : ESSAY
24
Tour player : PRO
26
Biathlete's needs : SKIS
27
Set of principles : ETHIC
28
Upside-down sleeper : SLOTH
29
SpongeBob's home : SEA
30
W. C. Fields persona : SOUSE
31
Horatian work : EPODE
32
Send, as to a specialist : REFER
33
Old Air France fleet, for short : SSTS
34
Face, slangily : PUSS
38
Sharp-eyed sort : HAWK
40
Brown who wrote "The Da Vinci Code" : DAN
41
Lampoon but good : SKEWER
44
"Spider-Man" director Sam : RAIMI
46
___-surf (Google oneself) : EGO
49
Country with a gorilla on its 5,000-franc note : RWANDA
50
Did part of a slalom path : ZIGGED
51
Staple Singers genre : GOSPEL
54
Commercial swab : QTIP
55
Two-tone coin : EURO
56
Barely enough to wet one's whistle : DROP
58
___ the way : PAVE
59
N.Y.S.E. debuts : IPOS
61
Resistance units : OHMS
62
Towed-away auto, maybe : REPO
63
School for Prince Harry : ETON
65
180 degrees from SSW : NNE
66
Ear-related prefix : OTO

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle.

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