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New York Times, Monday, May 2, 2016

Author:
Paula Gamache
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1085/21/20021/14/20184
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
81318151217619
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.58431
Paula Gamache

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 ... read more

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
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
Down
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: 1 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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