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New York Times, Saturday, May 2, 2015

Author:
Barry C. Silk
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
929/1/20037/8/20166
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
358532741
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.651215
Barry C. Silk

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 68, Blocks: 31 Missing: {JQWZ} This is puzzle # 86 for Mr. Silk. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Barry C. Silk notes:
GOOGOLPLEX and GOOGLEPLEX were the seeds for this puzzle. My first attempt at pairing these seeds symmetrically in a puzzle used a ... read more

GOOGOLPLEX and GOOGLEPLEX were the seeds for this puzzle. My first attempt at pairing these seeds symmetrically in a puzzle used a different grid pattern with the seeds at 1-across and the last-across. That puzzle's submission resulted in a rejection from Will Shortz, but with feedback saying he liked the the pairing of these seeds. So, I decided to try again using a different grid pattern, which was subsequently accepted. I constructed this particular puzzle in December 2013, at that time neither seed had appeared in a NYT puzzle. The puzzle was accepted in April 2014.

Jeff Chen notes:
This is my type of mini-theme, the GOOGLEPLEX headquarters a play on the number GOOGOLPLEX. I love the quote from a nine-year old, ... read more

This is my type of mini-theme, the GOOGLEPLEX headquarters a play on the number GOOGOLPLEX. I love the quote from a nine-year old, GOOGOLPLEX being "one, followed by writing zeroes until you get tired."

Doesn't the Googleplex seem like it ought to have a googolplex buildings?

Many strong entries in the grid, and I liked how dispersed they were. Most themeless grids concentrate the bulk of their oomph in the four corners, but Barry spreads out the goodness today. It was really fun to drop in GOOGLEPLEX and then saunter my way to MAKE TRACKS before picking my way through ALGEBRA EXAM. Nice to get a constant, steady stream of colorful answers, rather than the concentrated stacked bursts I'm used to.

At the ACPT this year, BEQ and I were talking about borderline themeless entries, and he made a good analogy of tennis judges peering at the line, sticking their thumb slightly one way or another, and finally making a pronouncement. To me, ALL OR NONE and NEAREST EXIT feel like they're straddling that line. ALL OR NOTHING and EMERGENCY EXIT roll off my tongue, while ALL OR NONE sort of fumbles out. NEAREST EXIT is a phrase I hear before during every pre-flight announcement, but it doesn't feel like it quite sings on its own. Personal taste.

Loved the clue for CURATORS, an elegant one-word description in [Exhibitionists?]. And being the nerd engineer, I struggled to figure out what type of technical component [Some cable splitters] referred to. ROOMIES split a cable bill — clever!

Overall, the spreading out of the feature entries made my solve feel like there was so much goodness incorporated than usual. Upon closer inspection, the number of assets and liabilities is roughly on par with other NYT themelesses, so it's interesting to me that this dispersion effect enhanced my impression of the puzzle. I'm curious to experiment with this more on my own.

1
G
2
A
3
B
4
O
5
R
6
S
7
O
8
A
9
P
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A
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G
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E
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D
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U
T
E
R
O
15
A
L
L
O
16
R
N
O
N
E
17
A
R
R
A
Y
18
L
E
A
K
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D
O
U
T
19
M
A
G
N
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L
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A
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E
M
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G
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E
D
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E
L
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C
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A
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L
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G
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B
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A
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M
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E
S
T
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R
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O
M
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31
S
T
A
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M
P
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F
L
O
E
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34
K
I
L
35
T
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S
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G
N
O
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T
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E
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D
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U
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C
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P
O
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N
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A
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R
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T
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X
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H
A
L
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F
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K
R
A
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O
N
P
O
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S
T
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C
U
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A
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O
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R
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S
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M
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D
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N
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C
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V
E
T
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P
R
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K
N
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S
A
X
E
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E
M
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S
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F
S
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0502 ( 23,916 )

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Across
1
Socialite who wrote "How to Catch a Man, How to Keep a Man, How to Get Rid of a Man" : GABOR
6
It's slippery when wet : SOAP
10
Acquired wisdom, per a saying : AGED
14
In ___ diagnosis : UTERO
15
Zero-compromise : ALLORNONE
17
Computer data structure : ARRAY
18
Didn't stay secret : LEAKEDOUT
19
Image on Mississippi's state quarter : MAGNOLIA
21
Edward Snowden, notably : EMIGRE
22
Imitated a straining weightlifter : GRUNTED
24
Like many stoves: Abbr. : ELEC
25
Series of unknown challenges? : ALGEBRAEXAM
29
Ending for the most part? : EST
30
Some cable splitters : ROOMIES
31
"Approved," e.g. : STAMP
33
Labrador Sea sights : FLOES
34
Highland games gear : KILTS
37
Thou : GNOTE
40
Drawing people : DUELERS
42
U.S.C.G. rank : CPO
44
Evacuation location : NEARESTEXIT
46
Hoops division : HALF
48
Divorced title couple of film : KRAMERS
49
Acting as sentry : ONPOST
51
Exhibitionists? : CURATORS
55
1970s-'80s sitcom locale : MELSDINER
57
Itch for : COVET
58
When a daily run starts : PRESSTIME
59
Jointly attacked? : KNEED
60
Old German duchy name : SAXE
61
Reason to use the 44-Across: Abbr. : EMER
62
Ones in bondage : SERFS
Down
1
Where Chamorro is spoken : GUAM
2
Blade handle? : ATRA
3
"Lulu" opera composer : BERG
4
2003 N.C.A.A. hoops champs : ORANGEMEN
5
Subject of the 2013 musical biography "Rhapsody in Black" : ROYORBISON
6
Seat of Monterey County, Calif. : SALINAS
7
6-Across ingredient : OLEATE
8
Mimicking : ALA
9
Nudged : POKEDAT
10
"Pretty in Pink" heroine : ANDIE
11
Corporate headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. : GOOGLEPLEX
12
Hardens : ENURES
13
Pick up : DETECT
16
Acronym associated with retirement? : REM
20
Attraction : LURE
23
George Strait's "All My ___ Live in Texas" : EXS
25
A little ruff : ARF
26
Alternative to :-) : LOL
27
Vast number : GOOGOLPLEX
28
Skedaddle : MAKETRACKS
32
Turning 50, e.g. : MILESTONE
35
Prefix with axial : TRI
36
Retired runway model : SST
38
Meteorite impact product : TEKTITE
39
Place for a decorative clip : EAR
40
Less outgoing : DEMURER
41
___ name : USER
42
Doesn't eat daintily : CHOMPS
43
Sandwich chain : PANERA
45
Flower-bearing shoot : RACEME
47
Best Musical after "The Lion King" : FOSSE
50
Org. with buttons that said "There's a change gonna come" : SDS
52
In preference to : OVER
53
The Keys, essentially : REEF
54
Rule book contents: Abbr. : STDS
56
Math-based game : NIM

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

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