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New York Times, Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Author:
Allan E. Parrish
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
397/1/20025/19/20150
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
014147211
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.65032
Allan E. Parrish

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 36 Missing: none – this is a pangram. This is puzzle # 39 for Mr. Parrish. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
Anagrams today, ANGEL to ANGLE to LANGE to NAGEL. I didn't know that last one, but some research shows that he's gridworthy, what with ... read more

Anagrams today, ANGEL to ANGLE to LANGE to NAGEL. I didn't know that last one, but some research shows that he's gridworthy, what with his giant filmography as well as his hosting of two Academy Award ceremonies. I might have preferred to have him as a piece of fill rather than a themer, but I couldn't think of another ANGEL anagram to take his place.

Billy Crystal ain't got nothing on Conrad Nagel

Two nice pieces of long fill today, AGGREGATE and LETS DANCE. See how both of these run through only one themer? And how they (more or less) sit in their own corner? This grid design gives high flexibility to make those long entry sing. With very few constraints, there should be many possibilities that are both colorful and allow the surrounding area to be filled cleanly.

LETS DANCE works great for me. My pop music knowledge is abysmal, but I know David Bowie. And I even (sorta kinda) could hum the tune before looking it up! Catchy bugger; I'd count that as an asset to the puzzle.

AGGREGATE isn't as strong to me. Yes, it's a fine word, but I'd count it as a neutral entry rather than chalking one up in the assets column. Not only is a common, not-super-colorful word, but the clue is definitional. Perhaps if it had a clever wordplay element, I would think of it differently. But why not choose something as strong as LETS DANCE in the first place?

I did appreciate the effort to work in good mid-length entries: BOLSHOI, REDHEAD and NEST EGG. Even ICICLE added to my experience, with its nice [Emotionally distant person, metaphorically] clue. Anything that points out the beauty and zest woven into the English language is a positive in my book.

For a puzzle with average theme density (four medium length entries), I expect a nearly clean grid. Not enough constraints to justify more than three or four bits like ENDO, ETE, and the partialish FA LA LA. I'd have loved to see OOX worked out of the grid, maybe changing ANNALS to the spicy ANDALE!

1
S
2
L
3
O
4
B
5
S
6
B
7
R
8
I
9
E
10
F
11
A
12
Z
13
T
14
A
E
I
O
U
15
R
I
A
T
A
16
G
E
O
17
F
A
L
L
E
18
N
A
N
G
E
L
19
G
R
R
20
E
V
E
S
21
E
N
D
O
22
A
23
P
R
O
N
24
R
E
D
H
25
E
A
D
26
S
L
O
E
27
O
B
L
I
28
Q
29
U
E
A
N
G
30
L
31
E
32
A
33
D
34
L
I
B
35
U
G
G
36
Y
A
Y
A
37
M
O
E
38
S
39
O
40
M
E
H
O
41
W
42
T
N
T
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A
S
T
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I
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N
I
L
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A
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M
E
N
S
48
J
E
S
S
49
I
C
A
L
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A
51
N
G
E
52
D
A
C
E
53
N
E
S
T
54
E
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G
56
G
57
K
58
H
A
K
I
59
A
60
C
N
E
61
H
A
L
O
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N
A
N
63
C
64
O
N
R
A
D
65
N
A
G
E
L
66
O
T
C
67
L
O
Y
A
L
68
O
N
E
A
L
69
W
E
E
70
E
X
A
M
S
71
G
E
R
M
Y
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0519 ( 23,933 )

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Across
1
Messy sorts : SLOBS
6
Lawyer's filing : BRIEF
11
HIV-treating drug : AZT
14
Group that ends "... and sometimes Y" : AEIOU
15
Gaucho's rope : RIATA
16
1990s G.M. make : GEO
17
Lucifer, notably : FALLENANGEL
19
Menacing sound from a hound : GRR
20
Night times, in classifieds : EVES
21
Inner: Prefix : ENDO
22
Garment that might say "World's Best Cook" : APRON
24
Conan O'Brien or Chuck Norris, e.g. : REDHEAD
26
Popular gin flavoring : SLOE
27
It's not right : OBLIQUEANGLE
32
What the Marx Brothers often do in their films : ADLIB
35
Big name in boots : UGG
36
1961 #1 R&B hit for Lee Dorsey : YAYA
37
One of the Three Stooges : MOE
38
One way or another : SOMEHOW
42
What can make molehills out of a mountain? : TNT
43
___ Spumante : ASTI
45
It's nothing : NIL
46
Responses to sermons : AMENS
48
Oscar-winning actress for "Blue Sky" : JESSICALANGE
52
Small freshwater fish : DACE
53
Rainy day protection : NESTEGG
57
Alternative to denim : KHAKI
59
Something no one wants to face? : ACNE
61
Popular first-person shooter video game since 2001 : HALO
62
Tandoori bread : NAN
63
Greta Garbo's "The Mysterious Lady" co-star : CONRADNAGEL
66
Not Rx : OTC
67
True (to) : LOYAL
68
7'1" Shaquille : ONEAL
69
Minute : WEE
70
Semester enders, usually : EXAMS
71
Like bathroom doorknobs : GERMY
Down
1
Less dangerous : SAFER
2
Go away : LEAVE
3
Like a smooth-running machine : OILED
4
Moscow-based ballet company : BOLSHOI
5
File a civil action against : SUE
6
Soccer's Chastain : BRANDI
7
Cantaloupe cover : RIND
8
"Otello" baritone : IAGO
9
Automne preceder : ETE
10
Part of the "Deck the Halls" refrain : FALALA
11
Pile up : AGGREGATE
12
It's nothing : ZERO
13
Unable to decide : TORN
18
Actress Patricia : NEAL
23
Ride at a kids' fair : PONY
25
Recedes : EBBS
26
State flower of Utah : SEGO
28
Bring under control : QUELL
29
"Disgusting!" : UGH
30
City between Boston and Gloucester : LYNN
31
Vittles : EATS
32
Key of Mozart's "Turkish" Concerto: Abbr. : AMAJ
33
5 milliliters of medicine, say : DOSE
34
Hit David Bowie single and album of 1983 : LETSDANCE
39
Never before, never again : ONCE
40
Soccer's Hamm : MIA
41
Jokers : WAGS
44
Dinesen who wrote "Out of Africa" : ISAK
47
Coal miner's concern : METHANE
49
Emotionally distant person, metaphorically : ICICLE
50
Yearly records : ANNALS
51
Must have : NEED
54
Not just ready : EAGER
55
Twinkle : GLEAM
56
"Well, jeepers!" : GOLLY
57
Minneapolis radio station that carries a lot of news, appropriately : KNOW
58
___ speech : HATE
59
Writer Seton : ANYA
60
Overstuff : CRAM
64
Losing tic-tac-toe row : OOX
65
Drink often served with a ladle : NOG

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle.

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