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New York Times, Thursday, May 17, 2018

Author:
David J. Kahn
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1843/15/19948/14/20195
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
4451326571326
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.5514231
David J. Kahn

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 40 Missing: {FQX} This is puzzle # 178 for Mr. Kahn. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
David J. Kahn notes:
My wife and I were vacationing in New Orleans last November and they were making plans to celebrate the 300th anniversary in May. ... read more

My wife and I were vacationing in New Orleans last November and they were making plans to celebrate the 300th anniversary in May. Since the Big Easy often evokes colorful images, it seemed like a good theme for a puzzle. Then as dumb luck would have it, I found out that San Antonio was also celebrating its 300th anniversary in May and also has 10 letters … and I could also cross two other themed answers with the cities. The tricky part was fitting the May 1718 date in the middle of the grid.

An extra twist (and one I hadn't thought of when I wrote the puzzle) is how cool it is for this puzzle to be running today. Because if you look at May 1718 a little differently, you get today's date (which is also coincidentally the 20th anniversary of a Sunday NYT crossword I wrote with my daughter Hillary, "Green Eggs and Hamlet.")

Jeff Chen notes:
Solid Thursday, using numbers as rebus squares. Who knew that NEW ORLEANS and SAN ANTONIO were founded in the same year … and ... read more

Solid Thursday, using numbers as rebus squares. Who knew that NEW ORLEANS and SAN ANTONIO were founded in the same year … and in the same month! Curious discovery, and the fact that both cities are the same length makes for a constructor's dream.

Fine rebus entries, 8 BALL the best since it's often written using the numeral. I love me my MAGIC 8 BALL — it is decidedly so! 7 UP is solid, too.

NOT 1 BIT felt wonky, as no 1 writes it that way.

For me, 1LS finished in a solid last place. It does seem to be written most commonly with the numeral, 1L = first-year law student. But it feels like a niche piece of information. Scott Turow's book, One L, might have helped popularize the term, but darn you, Chicago Manual of Style and your insistence on writing out numbers ten or less!

I liked that David bulked up the theme a bit, the ALAMODOME one of SAN ANTONIO's landmarks, and many JAZZ CLUBS found in NEW ORLEANS. It was odd that these bonuses intersected the OTHER city, but what are you gonna do?

I'll tell you what you're gonna do! Give up the entry interlock. Yes, as a constructor, it's neat for that to happen. But this solver thought it would have been a lot nicer for JAZZ CLUBS to be next to NEW ORLEANS. Shifting JAZZ BANDS up, so it started at row 1, would have achieved that.

Well-constructed grid, just some SRTAS, DAZS (how else are you going to clue this but [Haagen-___], AWNS. The part that impressed me was the BULB region, as working with four rebus entries all squished together is no joke. So clean and smooth right there, not easy at all.

Interesting finding, the simultaneous founding of the two cities. For me, it was more a "huh" moment than an "a-ha!" one. Still, a theme worth working to uncover.

Jim Horne notes:
For the second day in a row, my note is about a puzzle from 20 years ago. Green Eggs and Hamlet is near the top of my most memorable ... read more

For the second day in a row, my note is about a puzzle from 20 years ago. Green Eggs and Hamlet is near the top of my most memorable puzzles list.

This is the third appearance of 8BALL in NYT puzzles. The first was back in 1956.

1
C
2
L
3
A
4
P
5
A
6
G
7
A
8
V
9
E
10
S
11
A
12
M
13
E
14
H
E
R
O
15
W
E
W
O
N
16
I
L
Y
A
17
A
M
E
S
18
N
E
W
O
R
19
L
E
A
N
S
20
D
O
N
T
21
A
S
K
22
D
O
O
R
M
A
T
23
S
N
A
I
L
24
N
O
N
P
R
O
25
T
A
26
T
27
T
O
O
28
A
D
29
A
30
M
31
R
32
A
33
J
34
R
I
O
T
35
S
O
R
E
36
E
T
A
37
M
A
Y
1
38
7
39
1
40
8
41
M
E
L
42
D
A
Z
43
S
44
B
U
L
B
45
E
A
T
46
A
D
Z
E
47
R
I
P
S
A
48
W
49
B
A
50
S
51
S
E
T
52
L
A
53
S
54
T
55
S
56
I
57
N
A
W
O
R
D
58
B
59
I
L
L
N
Y
E
60
S
A
N
A
N
T
O
61
N
I
O
62
L
I
L
I
63
I
N
D
Y
64
A
N
I
O
N
65
O
D
E
S
66
S
A
S
S
67
S
E
N
S
E
68
P
E
R
M
© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0517 ( 25,027 )
Across
1
Give one a hand : CLAP
5
Mescal component : AGAVE
10
"The ___ to you!" : SAME
14
"Sully" Sullenberger, notably : HERO
15
Champs' exclamation : WEWON
16
1958 Physics co-Nobelist ___ Frank : ILYA
17
Aldrich who was a spy for the K.G.B. : AMES
18
U.S. city founded in 37-Across : NEWORLEANS
20
"Have a tough day?" answer : DONTASK
22
Stepped-all-over type : DOORMAT
23
Slowpoke : SNAIL
24
Dilettante, say : NONPRO
25
Ink spot? : TATTOO
28
Congressman Schiff : ADAM
31
Friend of Sheldon on "The Big Bang Theory" : RAJ
34
Comedy club hit : RIOT
35
Word with spot or sport : SORE
36
ORD listing : ETA
37
See 18- and 60-Across : MAY1718
41
Blount in the Pro Football Hall of Fame : MEL
42
Häagen-___ : DAZS
44
Light source : BULB
45
Make a submarine disappear? : EAT
46
Woodcutting tool : ADZE
47
Woodcutting tool : RIPSAW
49
Long-eared pet : BASSET
52
Goes on : LASTS
56
Concisely : INAWORD
58
TV personality in a bow tie : BILLNYE
60
U.S. city founded in 37-Across : SANANTONIO
62
Taylor of "Public Enemies" : LILI
63
Annual race, for short : INDY
64
Negative particle : ANION
65
"To Autumn" and others : ODES
66
Cheekiness : SASS
67
Detect : SENSE
68
Curl maker : PERM
Down
1
Polling place hangers-on? : CHADS
2
Cocktail slice : LEMON
3
AT&T Center, e.g. : ARENA
4
Something to be stuck on : POSTIT
5
Plant bristles : AWNS
6
"The Big Bang Theory" sort : GEEK
7
"How precious!" : AWW
8
Expert spelling? : VOODOO
9
Big company in 2001 news : ENRON
10
Jagged mountain range : SIERRAS
11
60-Across sight : ALAMODOME
12
One often saying "hello," maybe : MYNA
13
Three o'clock, so to speak : EAST
19
Prune : LOP
21
Cellphone feature : ALARM
24
Zero : NOT1BIT
26
___ Maria (rum-based liqueur) : TIA
27
Fiddle (with) : TOY
29
Locale : AREA
30
Wrap alternative : MELT
31
Hester Prynne's mark : REDA
32
Somewhat : ATAD
33
18-Across sights : JAZZBANDS
38
Soft drink whose logo features a red circle : 7UP
39
Law school beginners : 1LS
40
It's bad to be behind it : 8BALL
43
St. Lawrence and others : SEAWAYS
47
Changed over : REDONE
48
Belt : WALLOP
50
Icarus, to Daedalus : SON
51
Some Latinas: Abbr. : SRTAS
53
Insinuating : SNIDE
54
President who had 15 children : TYLER
55
Big shake : SEISM
56
"Aida" goddess : ISIS
57
One given to doting : NANA
58
Many Wikipedia articles : BIOS
59
One of the Nereids in Greek myth : IONE
61
"Winter of Artifice" writer : NIN

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?