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New York Times, Monday, May 15, 2017

Author:
Peter Gordon
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1159/5/19898/19/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
842241411619
ScrabRebusCirclePangramPre‑WS
1.5891611
Peter Gordon

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. ... read more

"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.

1
P
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E
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A
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R
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E
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B
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O
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N
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Y
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M
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O
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R
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A
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L
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B
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A
M
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C
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N
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S
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L
E
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G
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P
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R
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V
A
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E
25
E
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N
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T
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E
29
A
L
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C
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N
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D
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S
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M
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S
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P
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C
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F
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S
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G
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S
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F
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S
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A
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Q
49
W
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K
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B
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O
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A
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D
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A
H
M
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55
D
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T
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T
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I
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N
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H
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L
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D
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A
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S
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I
D
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R
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T
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P
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© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0515 ( 24,660 )
Across
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
Down
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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