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New York Times, Saturday, May 21, 2016

Author: Jason Flinn
Editor: Will Shortz
Jason Flinn
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1310/9/20136/20/20170
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0112504
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1.54030

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 68, Blocks: 28 Missing: {QWXZ} Spans: 8, (2 quad stacks) This is puzzle # 9 for Mr. Flinn. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jason Flinn notes: I've submitted a couple of these stack puzzles in the past, and the advice that I've received from Will and Joel is to maximize the ... more
Jason Flinn notes:

I've submitted a couple of these stack puzzles in the past, and the advice that I've received from Will and Joel is to maximize the impact of the longer entries. This makes sense because the stacks restrict the entries so much in the other parts of the puzzle that it is hard to be creative. Based on that criteria, I like how both stacks in this particular puzzle came out.

GAVE IT ANOTHER GO on top of ETERNAL OPTIMIST amuses me. For 16-Across, don't blame me if you spent too long trying to remember Frodo Baggins' middle name ... well, actually, go ahead. I guess I *am* to blame :)

Jeff Chen notes: This is the 11th double quad-stack in our page of stacks. I liked a lot about this puzzle, most notably how many of the eight ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

This is the 11th double quad-stack in our page of stacks. I liked a lot about this puzzle, most notably how many of the eight grid-spanners were sparkling. I'm a giant fan of THE GREEN LANTERN — people across the universe getting chosen by different rings of power to become a member of the Green Lantern Corps. And six of the other grid-spanning entries are colorful, multi-word phrases.

Is it odd that I memorized the Green Lantern Corps' oath?

The only one I was plus/minus on was MISAPPROPRIATES. It's a fine answer, but more neutral to me than an asset. Perhaps if it had been given a really clever clue? Still, seven out of eight grid-spanners being snazzy is a very high percentage. If you compare and contrast all of the 11 double quad-stacks in that regard, I think this one does very well.

As with all of the rest, this one suffers from some gluey crossing answers. It's part of the deal, you take the bad with the neat visual impact of so much white space. I just wish that the gluey bits hadn't been so concentrated in one area that happens to be my personal bugaboo: partials. I don't mind A NIT or A SOU here or there. Toss in ON NO and that's about my threshold. I HATE and IN HIS too? It all stands out due to the concentration.

Jason brings up a good point — it's hard to work in more long material when so much of your real estate is already spoken for. So I like that he integrates FORCE FEED. Even SEVENTH DAY and TUSCALOOSA are nice bonuses running through the stacks.

I really liked the quality and quantity of the grid-spanners; so much fantastic material stacked atop each other. I love the anticipation of feeling like a puzzle might be so good that I just have to give it my POW! But alas, it was too hard for me to get past all the partials, plus the various IDENT / MTGES gluey entries.

Still, as with the other double quad-stacks, an impressive visual first impression.

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© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0521 ( 24,301 )
Across Down
1. Pockets : MISAPPROPRIATES
16. Fictional character with a ring of power : THEGREENLANTERN
17. Got back on the horse : GAVEITANOTHERGO
18. One who's always positive : ETERNALOPTIMIST
19. Cloture voter: Abbr. : SEN
20. 2016 Republican convention site: Abbr. : CLE
21. Cause of a certain dramatic departure : ASP
22. "You could've left some of that out" : TMI
24. Eastern sovereign : RANI
27. Mr. ___, protagonist in Wilde's "The Canterville Ghost" : OTIS
31. "Gotcha," in old lingo : IMHIP
33. Massage deeply : ROLF
35. She battled Lucy in "Kill Bill: Volume 1" : UMA
36. Finish better than fourth : MEDAL
37. Presidential moniker on "The West Wing" : JED
38. Stuffs one's face with : ODSON
40. It has base pairs : DNA
41. Sistine Chapel setting : EDEN
43. Totally rules : ROCKS
44. Accepts as true : BUYS
46. L'___ de droit (the rule of law) : ETAT
48. Stan's employer on "American Dad!" : CIA
49. "I forget the words" sounds : LAS
51. Amsterdam of l'Océan Indien, e.g. : ILE
53. Old French narrative poem : LAI
56. Was kind and generous : HADAHEARTOFGOLD
62. Handy sofa item : UNIVERSALREMOTE
63. "Why should I?!" : GIVEMEONEREASON
64. Film come-on : STARSTUDDEDCAST
1. They may be on the house: Abbr. : MTGES
2. Start of a lament : IHATE
3. Rest period : SEVENTHDAY
4. The presidency, notably : AGER
5. Standard : PRINCIPLE
6. Potpourri part : PETAL
7. Less of a dream : REALER
8. Anne Sexton's palindrome-inspired poem "Rats Live ___ Evil Star" : ONNO
9. Fall heavily : PLOP
10. Retro do : RATTAIL
11. "___ Steps" (best-selling religious novel) : INHIS
12. Accelerando or ritardando negator : ATEMPO
13. Girl's name that's a homophone of a cloth : TERI
14. Dyne-centimeters : ERGS
15. Impudent twerp : SNOT
23. One denoted by a cross on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, for short : MIA
25. Thunderdome, e.g. : ARENA
26. Zone, so to speak : NOD
28. Southern home of Stillman College : TUSCALOOSA
29. "Nothing's broken" : IMOK
30. Lacking : SANS
31. It gets clicks for flicks : IMDB
32. Ordering aid : MENU
34. Stuff down the throat of : FORCEFEED
37. Exec's perk : JET
39. "Boy, ___!" : DOI
42. Utah, once : DESERET
45. Middle Passage transport : SLAVER
47. Like peers : TITLED
50. They may cut a sentence short : AHEMS
52. Player of the villain in "The Man Who Knew Too Much" : LORRE
54. Los ___, Calif. : ALTOS
55. T.S.A. request: Abbr. : IDENT
56. Clasps : HUGS
57. Pick ___ (fault-find) : ANIT
58. Tantrum thrower : DIVA
59. Not worth ___ : ASOU
60. Partner in mapmaking : RAND
61. Onetime big inits. in car financing : GMAC

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle.

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