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New York Times, Monday, May 2, 2016

Author: Paula Gamache
Editor: Will Shortz
Paula Gamache
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1075/21/20023/8/20174
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
81318151217618
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.58431

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 36 Missing: {JQ} This is puzzle # 103 for Ms. Gamache. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes: ME TOO interpreted as 'me two,' i.e. two instances of ME within a single phrase. I bet there are a ton of phrases exhibiting this ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

ME TOO interpreted as "me two," i.e. two instances of ME within a single phrase. I bet there are a ton of phrases exhibiting this property, so I like that Paula tightened things up; two-word phrases where both word ends in ME. Also nice is that she managed to get two rhyming pairs and two non-rhyming pairs. How's that for a RHYME SCHEME!

The Hobbit holes look pretty lousy up close, but still, it's cool that they built them right into hills!

I often like Paula's choice of short to mid-length fill, and today is no exception. YOWZA, KAPUT, and DHARMA are all great choices. Some might say that DHARMA isn't "Monday fill," but I don't buy that argument. As long as all the crossings are gettable — and they are — most any real word ought to be fair game.

Although I'm a big fan of both counterculture and the Lord of the Rings, that SW corner was a little troubling for me. I know ABA from seeing it all the time in crosswords, but I don't know that it's something I'd expect a beginning solver, even a generally educated person, to know. It should be no problem for regular solvers and for those of us who've visited the set of LotR in New Zealand and stuck our heads through hobbit hole windows and reenacted scenes for so long that we were politely asked to leave. Ahem. But I fear that crossing is setting up some novices for failure.

OKEMO crossing DANKE seems more fair to me, since the song "Danke Schoen" is pretty famous. IN A WEEK was the only other thing that made me hitch — it sounds too much like a partial, or something arbitrary, for my taste.

But some nice theme phrases and a fun play on ME TOO.

1
P
2
E
3
P
4
S
5
I
6
A
7
F
8
R
9
O
10
A
11
N
12
D
13
S
14
A
V
I
A
N
15
S
O
P
H
16
L
E
A
H
17
T
E
S
L
A
18
P
R
I
M
19
E
T
I
M
E
20
A
W
21
A
I
T
22
Y
V
O
N
N
E
23
R
24
H
25
Y
M
E
S
C
H
26
E
M
E
27
S
S
N
28
L
O
O
I
E
S
29
L
Y
N
30
X
31
E
W
W
32
K
A
33
P
34
U
T
35
S
Y
36
N
37
C
38
S
39
S
I
Z
40
E
41
M
E
T
O
42
O
43
Z
O
L
A
44
S
E
A
L
45
Y
46
D
A
N
K
47
E
48
T
A
U
49
F
O
50
R
A
51
E
N
52
D
S
I
T
53
A
54
B
55
A
56
W
E
L
57
C
58
O
M
E
H
O
M
E
59
B
I
G
60
W
I
G
61
A
R
O
M
A
62
B
L
A
M
E
G
63
A
M
E
64
I
R
65
O
66
N
67
Y
68
I
B
I
D
69
I
D
E
O
70
E
M
C
E
E
71
E
O
N
S
72
E
S
O
S
73
S
A
T
A
N
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0502 ( 24,282 )
Across Down
1. Coke rival : PEPSI
6. Popular hairstyle in the 1960s : AFRO
10. "No ifs, ___ ..." : ANDS
14. Birdlike : AVIAN
15. Next year's jr. : SOPH
16. Wife of Jacob : LEAH
17. Electric car maker : TESLA
18. 8:00-11:00 p.m., TV-wise : PRIMETIME
20. Anticipate : AWAIT
22. Actress Strahovski of "Dexter" and "Chuck" : YVONNE
23. ABAB in a poem, e.g. : RHYMESCHEME
27. Tax form ID : SSN
28. Superiors of sarges : LOOIES
29. Wildcat with tufted ears : LYNX
31. "So gross!" : EWW
32. D-E-A-D dead : KAPUT
35. Harmonizes, informally : SYNCS
39. Large or extra-large : SIZE
41. Copycat's comment ... or, phonetically, a hint to this puzzle's theme : METOO
43. Émile of the Dreyfus Affair : ZOLA
44. Mattress brand : SEALY
46. "Thanks," in Deutschland : DANKE
48. Letter between sigma and upsilon : TAU
49. Roman marketplaces : FORA
51. Breaks off a romantic relationship : ENDSIT
53. Lawyers' org. : ABA
56. Greeting to a returning soldier, maybe : WELCOMEHOME
59. V.I.P. : BIGWIG
61. Coffee shop lure : AROMA
62. What a finger-pointer "plays" : BLAMEGAME
64. Robbery at a police station, e.g. : IRONY
68. Abbr. in a footnote : IBID
69. Prefix with -logical : IDEO
70. Roast host : EMCEE
71. Many millennia : EONS
72. Those, in Mexico : ESOS
73. One side of a Faustian bargain : SATAN
1. Butter serving : PAT
2. Night before a holiday : EVE
3. Detectives, for short : PIS
4. Deli meat : SALAMI
5. Seven days from now : INAWEEK
6. Savory jelly : ASPIC
7. "... and so on and so ___" : FORTH
8. Sch. in Troy, N.Y. : RPI
9. "Good heavens!" : OHMYMY
10. Choir voice : ALTO
11. Dresden denials : NEINS
12. Curses : DAMNS
13. Luster : SHEEN
19. Odds' opposite : EVENS
21. Indian state known for its tea and silk : ASSAM
23. Like non-oyster months : RLESS
24. Comic Mandel : HOWIE
25. "Holy moly!" : YOWZA
26. John who sang "Philadelphia Freedom" : ELTON
30. End run of the alphabet : XYZ
33. Power a bike : PEDAL
34. Tony winner Hagen : UTA
36. "On the contrary!" : NOTSO
37. Demand by right : CLAIM
38. Pan-frying instruction : SAUTE
40. Santa's little helper : ELF
42. Vermont skiing destination : OKEMO
45. "Ouch, that hurts!" : YOWIE
47. All the people attacking you : ENEMIES
50. Jackson who was on five World Series-winning teams in the 1970s : REGGIE
52. Cosmic order, in Buddhism : DHARMA
53. Hoffman of 1960s radicalism : ABBIE
54. "The Hobbit" hero Baggins : BILBO
55. Once more : AGAIN
57. One of many Hitchcock appearances in his own films : CAMEO
58. Sandwich cookies now sold by Mondelez : OREOS
60. Iraq war concerns, for short : WMDS
63. Commercials : ADS
65. Halloween mo. : OCT
66. Teachers' org. : NEA
67. Tokyo currency : YEN

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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