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New York Times, Monday, May 15, 2017

Author: Peter Gordon
Editor: Will Shortz
Peter Gordon
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1029/5/198911/20/20170
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1.5891611
Puzzle of the Week

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 16 Words: 77, Blocks: 42 Missing: {J} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 100 for Mr. Gordon. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes: 'Hidden word' themes used to mostly be done with just a single word — perhaps TOT hidden across SIGNIFICANT OTHER, AUTO TUNE, etc. ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

"Hidden word" themes used to mostly be done with just a single word — perhaps TOT hidden across SIGNIFICANT OTHER, AUTO TUNE, etc. — but that tends to get repetitive for solvers. Today, Peter took an apt revealer, INNER CHILD, and used it with four different synonyms of CHILD, providing both variety as well as some good a-ha moments. At first, I wasn't sure what was inside CAMINO REAL, for example … but quickly came to see MINOR inside. I've highlighted them below.

Such nice finds. It's often very easy to work with short hidden words, so there's not much of a wow factor. But INFANT across CAPTAIN FANTASTIC is, well, fantastic. And although TYKE isn't as long as INFANT, what a great discovery of TYKE across QWERTY KEYBOARD. Beautiful base phrase.

Speaking of base phrases, I wasn't sure what CAPTAIN FANTASTIC was. Even though it didn't make much at the box office, I think it's fair game, as 1.) it garnered Viggo Mortensen some important nominations and 2.) even if you don't know the title, it's made up of two regular, inferable words.

Such high theme density — 10 15 16 15 10 — would usually mean some dabs of crossword glue and/or no bonuses in the fill. But Peter spends his black squares wisely, separating themers wherever possible, and filling the tough sections with great care.

For example, most constructors would need some crossword glue in the area between CAMINO REAL and PRIVATE ENTRANCE. Beautiful work in there, not just silky-smooth, but with RAISINET and ONE SEC thrown in as bonuses.

Speaking of bonuses, this Trekkie loves the crossing of SEXTANT and STARSHIP. (Trivia: there was a real-life Jean Picard ... who was an astronomer!)

Hardly anything to nitpick in the grid. ANC could be hard for some, but educated solvers ought to know the African National Congress.

What better way to celebrate Peter's 100th NYT crossword with a POW! A nearly perfect Monday puzzle — interesting theme, silky-smooth fill, and some strong bonus entries — from one of the best in the business. If you like hard crosswords, consider subscribing to Peter's Fireball Crosswords for a delightfully tough challenge every week.

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© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0515 ( 24,660 )
Across Down
1. Fruit often seen in still lifes : PEAR
5. Black wood : EBONY
10. Fable's message : MORAL
15. Opera highlight : ARIA
16. Elaine's last name on "Seinfeld" : BENES
17. Flabbergast : AMAZE
18. Historic California route, with "El" : CAMINOREAL
20. Schmoozing gossip : YENTA
21. Bottoms of high-tops : SOLES
22. Departs : GOES
23. Desirable feature of a rented room : PRIVATEENTRANCE
29. Mathematician Turing who was the subject of "The Imitation Game" : ALAN
30. Genetic copies : CLONES
31. Forwards, as a misdelivered letter : RESENDS
35. Weaving machine : LOOM
36. Mani-pedi place : SPA
39. 2016 film for which Viggo Mortensen earned an Oscar nomination : CAPTAINFANTASTIC
42. Pig's digs : STY
43. Ancient France : GAUL
44. Navigation instrument : SEXTANT
45. Many Monty Python skits : FARCES
47. Crumb carriers : ANTS
48. Common computer peripherals : QWERTYKEYBOARDS
54. Sigher's words : AHME
55. College officials : DEANS
56. "Here's to the newlyweds!," e.g. : TOAST
58. Part of a person's psyche ... or a hidden part of 18-, 23-, 39- or 48-Across? : INNERCHILD
63. Wonderland girl : ALICE
64. Division of a play : SCENE
65. Notion : IDEA
66. Chill out : RELAX
67. Played (with) : TOYED
68. Polo mount : PONY
1. "Super" group buying campaign ads : PAC
2. One-third of pitching's Triple Crown, for short : ERA
3. Command between "Ready!" and "Fire!" : AIM
4. Chocolate-covered morsel often eaten at the movies : RAISINET
5. Virus in 2014 news : EBOLA
6. Special Forces cap : BERET
7. "Gimme a minute" : ONESEC
8. Schoolteacher's org. : NEA
9. French designer's monogram : YSL
10. With 62-Down, a spring festival : MAY
11. Symbols of resistance : OMEGAS
12. Talked incessantly : RANON
13. Quetzalcoatl worshiper : AZTEC
14. Car deal that's not a purchase : LEASE
19. Election mo. : NOV
23. Skirt fold : PLEAT
24. Hoarse : RASPY
25. "___ Enchanted" (2004 film) : ELLA
26. "High" times : NOONS
27. Govt.-issued security : TNOTE
28. Century 21 rival : REMAX
29. Paths of pendulums : ARCS
32. Bother persistently : NAGAT
33. Book with handwritten thoughts : DIARY
34. Ducked (out) furtively : SNUCK
36. Easel, e.g. : STAND
37. Pub purchases : PINTS
38. Divisions of a play : ACTS
40. Escape : FLEE
41. The Enterprise, for example : STARSHIP
45. Soft drink in a green bottle : FRESCA
46. 2000 Summer Olympics city : SYDNEY
48. Smallest OPEC nation : QATAR
49. Entire : WHOLE
50. Letter that doesn't need an envelope or stamp : EMAIL
51. Designer Geoffrey : BEENE
52. Got into a row? : OARED
53. Nelson Mandela's org. : ANC
57. ___-Mex : TEX
58. "Was ___ das?" (German question) : IST
59. Cpl., e.g. : NCO
60. Altar affirmation : IDO
61. Spy novelist Deighton : LEN
62. See 10-Down : DAY

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle.

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