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New York Times, Monday, May 14, 2018

Author:
Andrea Carla Michaels
Editor:
Will Shortz
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616/12/20008/6/201833
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64292200
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1.63217
Andrea Carla Michaels

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 36 Missing: {JQXZ} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 60 for Ms. Michaels. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Andrea Carla Michaels notes:
This is the kind of puzzle that used to just need three long themers, but Will has challenged me to go for at least four including a ... read more

This is the kind of puzzle that used to just need three long themers, but Will has challenged me to go for at least four including a reveal. This one has four PLUS a punchline. Lots of theme fill to get into a Monday.

I had never heard of a BITEVALVE, but I needed a BITE other than BITE-SIZED so it would have a different meaning for BITE. Proud it's not been used.

Recently went to hear David Mamet speak and he pointed out TSELIOT was an anagram of TOILETS. That was my takeaway from the Pulitzer Prize winner!
(And appears as 38-Down)

Jeff Chen notes:
FIGHT CLUB! Now that was a movie that surprised and delighted me, in oddly unexpected ways. Acme plays on it today, hiding fighting ... read more

FIGHT CLUB! Now that was a movie that surprised and delighted me, in oddly unexpected ways. Acme plays on it today, hiding fighting words at the starts of phrases. KICK and PUNCH … them's fighting words!

Don't groan. You knew I was going to say it.

BITE and SCRATCH weren't as apt for me, as they don't seem very FIGHT CLUB to me. Man, that movie was violent! BITE and SCRATCH seem more appropriate for a Three Stooges routine.

Of the themers, I liked PUNCH BOWL best, because it hides the meaning of PUNCH completely ... unless you're Tyler Durden, in which case you might actually punch a PUNCH BOWL. Talk about anger management issues.

KICKSTART also hid the KICK meaning a little, since "kickstarting" a project goes away from a kick starter on a motorcycle. You do sort of kick a motorcycle's kick starter, though.

BITE and SCRATCH don't hide their meanings at all within BITE VALVE and SCRATCH AND SNIFF. You bite a BITE VALVE to get water to throw. So again, I wasn't a fan of these two themer choices.

THROW is in the fill? I'd have greatly preferred to keep it out, especially since THROW is much more Durden-esque than SCRATCH. (Hmm, THROW RUG?)

A couple of blips in the fill, noticeably ARTE, OBLA, OFA right off the top. I think the latter two could have been avoided by spacing out the themers more. Putting KICK START in row five (instead of row four) would have allowed for a couple of black squares separating BITE VALVE and KICK START, allowing them to play more nicely together.

EOSIN is such a toughie. Normally I don't classify anything as "not Monday material" – if the crossings are fair, what's the harm in forcing solvers to learn one new thing? But even having a pharma background, EOSIN feels like it could elicit an "I have to know trivia to do crosswords?" response from newbies. No Bueno!

All in all, a good memory jog to a movie I enjoyed. Some missteps in execution, though.

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© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0514 ( 25,024 )
Across
1. Wolfish look : LEER
5. Lead-in to "di" or "da" in a Beatles song : OBLA
9. Fowl raised for food : POULT
14. Commedia dell'___ : ARTE
15. Gas, oil or coal : FUEL
16. Port St. ___, Fla. : LUCIE
17. End of a drinking hose : BITEVALVE
19. Rand McNally volume : ATLAS
20. Diving gear : SCUBA
21. Get going, as an old motorcycle or a new company : KICKSTART
23. Spheres, in poetry : ORBS
25. Angsty music genre : EMO
26. Rapper with the 1996 double-platinum album "Hard Core" : LILKIM
29. Handyman's inits. : DIY
31. What sirens do : WAIL
35. Enero begins it : ANO
36. Certain red dye : EOSIN
38. Having a high metallic sound : TINNY
39. Like some magazine perfume ads : SCRATCHANDSNIFF
42. Ill-tempered : SURLY
43. Borden milk's cow : ELSIE
44. 6-3 or 7-6, e.g. : SET
45. Cy Young Award winner Hershiser : OREL
46. Faux ___ : PAS
47. Tribal leaders : ELDERS
49. Like non-Rx drugs : OTC
51. Female friend of François : AMIE
52. Party vessel with a ladle : PUNCHBOWL
57. "There ___ to be a law!" : OUGHT
61. Loud, as a crowd : AROAR
62. 1999 Brad Pitt movie hinted at by the beginnings of 17-, 21-, 39- and 52-Across : FIGHTCLUB
64. Planet demoted to "dwarf planet" in 2006 : PLUTO
65. Woman of the Haus : FRAU
66. Fishes that may shock you : EELS
67. Good ___ (repaired perfectly) : ASNEW
68. Appear (to be) : SEEM
69. Go bananas : SNAP
Down
1. Parts of science courses : LABS
2. "Spamalot" creator Idle : ERIC
3. Caesar's rebuke to Brutus : ETTU
4. Nike competitor : REEBOK
5. Birds ___ feather : OFA
6. Gains muscle, with "up" : BULKS
7. Blue jeans pioneer Strauss : LEVI
8. Trump portrayer Baldwin : ALEC
9. Blood fluid : PLASM
10. Not just playing for fun : OUTTOWIN
11. The N.C.A.A.'s Bruins : UCLA
12. Word repeated before "pants on fire" : LIAR
13. Word repeated while tapping a microphone : TEST
18. Magazine of show business : VARIETY
22. Code breaker : KEY
24. Fellow who might be senior class president, for short : BMOC
26. Rope in a Wild West show : LASSO
27. Run up, as expenses : INCUR
28. Peter of "The Maltese Falcon" : LORRE
29. Uses a rotary phone : DIALS
30. Bed-and-breakfasts : INNS
32. Licorice flavoring : ANISE
33. Derive by logic : INFER
34. Alternatives to Ubers : LYFTS
37. Mets' former ballpark : SHEA
38. Poet whose work inspired "Cats" : TSELIOT
40. Distribute, as resources : ALLOCATE
41. Carpe ___ (seize the day: Lat.) : DIEM
46. Banned pollutant, in brief : PCB
48. Cards that may be "wild" in poker : DEUCES
50. Lose on purpose : THROW
51. Fish tank gunk : ALGAE
52. "___ Was a Rollin' Stone" (Temptations hit) : PAPA
53. Addresses that may be linked on the web : URLS
54. Person, place or thing : NOUN
55. Murders, mob-style : OFFS
56. Hide a mike on : WIRE
58. Campbell who sang "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" : GLEN
59. Hawaiian dance : HULA
60. Recipe measure: Abbr. : TBSP
63. Vocalize on a kazoo : HUM

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle.

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