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New York Times, Friday, May 2, 2014

Author:
Brendan Emmett Quigley
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1838/7/19964/28/201916
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1.635213
Brendan Emmett Quigley

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 70, Blocks: 28 Missing: {QXZ} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 162 for Mr. Quigley. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Brendan Emmett Quigley notes:
In my Twitter feed, fellow puzzlemaker and UNH alumni Mike Nothnagel is always retweeting posts from the website at 35-Across. Lookee ... read more

In my Twitter feed, fellow puzzlemaker and UNH alumni Mike Nothnagel is always retweeting posts from the website at 35-Across. Lookee here. It's fifteen letters long and I got a snappy clue to hide the capital letter. That makes BEQ happy. And a happy BEQ means, he's going to be making puzzles. Technically, an unhappy BEQ is going to be making puzzles because it's my job, but whatever.

For whatever it's worth, speed solver extraordinaire Stella Zawistowski suggested I use 1-Across sometime. The fact that I managed to get a boss clue for it as well, even better.

Jeff Chen notes:
Some beautiful stuff from the master today. FIVE THIRTY EIGHT is a great entry in itself, but BEQ's awesome clue makes it really ... read more

Some beautiful stuff from the master today. FIVE THIRTY EIGHT is a great entry in itself, but BEQ's awesome clue makes it really shine. That and CLICKBAIT (when advertisers pop up racy pictures / headlines in order to draw in gullible readers, unlike me) gives the puzzle a really fresh, recent feel. Classic BEQ. His puzzles do a lot to make the NYT feel up-to-date.

Huh? Whoops, I'm back. No, I didn't click on that lurid picture! Ahem.

One notable aspect of the grid is that BEQ doesn't just stop at four sets of triple-stacked 8's or 9's like most themeless constructors. Not only does he incorporate FIVE THIRTY EIGHT straight across the center, but he crosses ANOINTED ONE and appropriately CROSSED EYES through everything. Instead of being able to work with four mostly separated corners, everything is interlocked. Change one of your ANOINTED ONE type answers and the ripple effect is devastating. It's a wonder BEQ got everything to fall into place.

Not only did he get everything to stitch together, but he also managed to work in some nice little details. The crazy letter pattern MLKJR crossing another crazy one, JLO? Don't mind if I do! What a great way to spice up a grid.

With such an immensely constrained grid, Brendan ends up with ADAYS, ATIME, RESEWN, LATH, none of which by itself is too bad. But all taken together, it feels a little heavy. And I really liked INSOMNIAC and FACES OFF, but some of the other long stuff (OUTSPOKEN, HENRIETTA) were a bit workmanlike in comparison to the juicier entries. And VARDALOS feels a bit dated since that movie was such a long time ago. As I've mentioned before, I tend to focus a more critical eye when a master builder is up to bat. It's probably unfair, but expectations are expectations.

Finally, two clues I really liked. [It's by no means a long shot] is fun for PUTT (never mind that some putts can be awfully long — I'm about (ahem) 50% on a one-foot putt). And I often balk at straight-up trivia, but I really liked [Skateboard trick named after its inventor] for OLLIE (when you jump up so the board kicks into the air with you). Some pieces of trivia I find tedious, but this (to me) was not one of them. I always wondered why skaters called it an Ollie. Fun to read up on Alan "Ollie" Gelfand.

Jim Horne notes:
Statistician Nate Silver of FIVETHIRTYEIGHT.com famously predicted 49 of 50 states in the 2008 U.S. presidential election, and then 50 ... read more

Statistician Nate Silver of FIVETHIRTYEIGHT.com famously predicted 49 of 50 states in the 2008 U.S. presidential election, and then 50 of 50 in 2012. The blog name comes from the number of electors in the U.S. electoral college.

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© 2014, The New York TimesNo. 0502 ( 23,551 )

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Across
1
Modern traffic director? : CLICKBAIT
10
Punk theme : ANGST
15
London's ___ Barnett School : HENRIETTA
16
News anchor O'Donnell : NORAH
17
One who's not out all night? : INSOMNIAC
18
Steer : DRIVE
19
T-Pain and Ice-T output : RAPS
20
Time's 1963 Man of the Year, informally : MLKJR
22
Pick up : NAB
23
John or James : APOSTLE
26
Fashion designer Marshall : LEANNE
28
Et ___ : CETERA
29
Back : AGO
31
Ship captained by Vicente Yáñez Pinzón : NINA
32
West of Nashville : DOTTIE
34
"Martin Chuzzlewit" villain : JONAS
35
Silver screen name? : FIVETHIRTYEIGHT
39
"___ Pleasure" (Charlie Chaplin movie) : ADAYS
40
Fixed, as lining : RESEWN
41
Abdominal and lower-back muscles, collectively : CORE
42
Embarrassed : RED
43
Unleashes on : LETSAT
47
Writes a Dear John letter, say : ENDSIT
49
Novelist Isabel : ALLENDE
50
Where one might take a bullet: Abbr. : STA
51
Some seaweeds : KELPS
54
Actor Franco of "Now You See Me" : DAVE
55
Skateboard trick named after its originator : OLLIE
57
Not reserved : OUTSPOKEN
60
Female lead in "Brigadoon" : FIONA
61
They'll never hold water : STRAINERS
62
Big celebrations : FESTS
63
Paid a visit : STOPPEDBY
Down
1
President beginning in 1995 : CHIRAC
2
Delaware Valley Indians : LENAPE
3
Hip place : INSPOT
4
Strabismus : CROSSEDEYES
5
1901 Kipling book : KIM
6
Big ___ : BEN
7
Words before "to be born" and "to die" in Ecclesiastes : ATIME
8
Not this type?: Abbr. : ITAL
9
Change course at sea : TACK
10
Physicist ___-Marie Ampère : ANDRE
11
Common conjunction : NOR
12
Looking sheepish, say : GRINNING
13
Southern city that's the setting for "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" : SAVANNAH
14
Beauty's partner : THEBEAST
21
Celeb who got the 2,500th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2013 : JLO
24
Easy runs : TROTS
25
Trellis strip : LATH
27
Messiah : ANOINTEDONE
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Hung out to dry : AIRED
30
Groks : GETS
33
Kind of pump : TIRE
34
Beauty : JEWEL
35
Goes head to head : FACESOFF
36
"Trust me" : IDONTLIE
37
"My Big Fat Greek Wedding" writer/star : VARDALOS
38
"Go, team, go!," e.g. : YELL
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GPS line: Abbr. : RTE
44
Wove (through) : SNAKED
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Sooner or later : ADVERB
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Wee : TEENSY
48
U.S. chain stores since 1985 : IKEAS
49
Cartoon dog : ASTRO
52
Setback : LOSS
53
It's by no means a long shot : PUTT
56
Football stat: Abbr. : INT
58
Scammer's target : SAP
59
Mark on a card : PIP

Answer summary: 7 unique to this puzzle, 2 debuted here and reused later, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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