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New York Times, Monday, May 22, 2017

Author: Gary Kennedy
Editor: Will Shortz
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32/12/20095/22/20172
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Gary Kennedy

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 16 Words: 83, Blocks: 42 Missing: {JQU} This is puzzle # 3 for Mr. Kennedy. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Gary Kennedy notes: Although I was thrilled to receive Will Shortz's notification that my puzzle would publish today, I was even more thrilled to learn that my ... more
Gary Kennedy notes:

Although I was thrilled to receive Will Shortz's notification that my puzzle would publish today, I was even more thrilled to learn that my daughter in California just gave birth to a baby boy, Orion. We'll be headed out there next week.

I'm a math professor at Ohio State, two years away from retirement. This is my first solo puzzle, but I constructed a couple of Thursdays in 2009 with my son Stephen. The puzzle's theme stems from his great enthusiasm, way back in elementary school days, for Swiss Army Knives. He made a special school project full of arcane information about them, printed on the hinged paper blades of a gigantic knife.

Stephen and I went to ACPT together a few times; while I stayed consistently in the middle of the pack, he kept getting better, totally kicking my ass. We haven't managed to get back since the arrival of his own little boy Charlie, now 2 years old.

Jeff Chen notes: A little bit of everything in this puzzle, riffing on the SWISS / ARMY / KNIFE. As an engineer in my first career, I appreciate a multi-purpose ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

A little bit of everything in this puzzle, riffing on the SWISS / ARMY / KNIFE. As an engineer in my first career, I appreciate a multi-purpose tool that covers most of one's mechanical needs. And as a crossword lover, I appreciate a puzzle that covers one's solving needs: some good theme material, some good long fill, and not too much gluey short stuff.

I tried so hard to make that analogy work. Sigh. And I call myself a writer in my current career …

I liked the idea behind this one. It was wonky to get SWISS / ARMY / KNIFE split into pieces, but I'm sure it made the construction easier. It also allowed Gary to work in some great long entries like EXORCISM, RACE CARS, and NOAHS ARK, since he didn't have to work around SWISSARMYKNIFE through the middle of the puzzle. What lovely bonuses for a Monday puzzle!

The top half of the puzzle was pretty smooth. ESSES wasn't great, and that WOTAN / OTERI cross might be a killer for some. (I'd personally try to avoid that for a Monday puzzle, but I think it's fair … ish.)

But the bottom half started trickling in some STE. TRA. ANO. And the dreaded SST (supersonic transport, so outdated, and impossible for newer solvers to infer.) On the whole, not bad, but not the Monday-smoothness I prize.

Gary made a reasonable trade-off, though — a lot of long bonuses for a splattering of crossword glue — one that might have played better for a mid-week puzzle.

A neat idea here, but I would have loved an extra layer. How cool would it have been for SWISSARMYKNIFE to run across the middle, and have the implements running through it vertically! Typically, this sort of interlock is hard (to impossible) due to crossword symmetry requirements, but here's a rare case where asymmetry would have actually been desirable. Would have been such a neat visual — the odd implements sticking off the SWISS ARMY KNIFE. That would easily have won this puzzle my POW!

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© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0522 ( 24,667 )
Across Down
1. With 43- and 76-Across, camping aid : SWISS
6. 1950s prez : IKE
9. Place to play the slots : CASINO
15. Veranda : PORCH
16. They're "Red" in Boston and "White" in Chicago : SOX
17. Third-party account : ESCROW
18. "S.N.L." alum Cheri : OTERI
19. Homie : BRO
20. Heroin or Vicodin : OPIATE
21. One function of 1-/43-/76-Across : CANOPENER
23. Double curves, as on highways : ESSES
24. Mournful bell sounds : KNELLS
25. Nuts for squirrels : ACORNS
28. Chop (off) : LOP
29. Greek goddess of victory : NIKE
30. Not fooled by : ONTO
34. "___ before beauty" : AGE
37. Insect in a colony : ANT
39. Maple syrup source : SAP
40. "Purple ___" (Prince hit) : RAIN
41. Medicare drug benefit : PARTD
43. See 1-Across : ARMY
45. Band that made Justin Timberlake famous : NSYNC
46. Cole ___ (side dish) : SLAW
47. "___-la-la" : TRA
48. Sign of a sellout : SRO
50. Sault ___ Marie, Mich. : STE
51. Otherwise : ELSE
52. Org. advocating pet adoption : SPCA
54. Like baseball's Pacific Coast League : AAA
56. Removed, as chalk : ERASED
58. Resurrection figure : CHRIST
62. Fad : CRAZE
65. One function of 1-/43-/76-Across : CORKSCREW
67. "I'd be delighted" : LOVETO
69. 12 months, in Tijuana : ANO
70. Pong game maker : ATARI
71. Chef Lagasse : EMERIL
72. ___ de Janeiro : RIO
73. Arrested : RANIN
74. Came clean, with "up" : FESSED
75. Concorde, for short : SST
76. See 1-Across : KNIFE
1. "Mr." on the Enterprise : SPOCK
2. King of the gods in Wagner's "Ring" cycle : WOTAN
3. Memorable 2011 hurricane : IRENE
4. Form of a papyrus document : SCROLL
5. All a tanker can hold : SHIPLOAD
6. Library ID : ISBN
7. Cuisine with kimchi : KOREAN
8. Casting out of a demon : EXORCISM
9. Corp. head : CEO
10. "Quaking" tree : ASPEN
11. One function of 1-/43-/76-Across : SCISSORS
12. Nest eggs for later years, in brief : IRAS
13. Do, re or mi : NOTE
14. Is in debt : OWES
22. Home of "Monday Night Football" : ESPN
26. Gives the go-ahead : OKAYS
27. Agent, in brief : REP
31. "No" votes : NAYS
32. Windshield feature : TINT
33. Fairy tale's first word : ONCE
34. Altar area : APSE
35. Chutzpah : GALL
36. Historical periods : ERAS
38. Coverings pulled across infields : TARPS
42. One function of 1-/43-/76-Across : TWEEZERS
44. Indy vehicles : RACECARS
45. Refuge during the Great Flood : NOAHSARK
47. Airport screening org. : TSA
49. Pool table triangle : RACK
53. Handsome man : ADONIS
55. Inverse trig function : ARCTAN
57. Fix, as a knot : RETIE
59. Tehran native : IRANI
60. Feature lacked by Helvetica type : SERIF
61. Bale binder : TWINE
62. Word after bass or treble : CLEF
63. Where all roads lead, it's said : ROME
64. Madison and Fifth in Manhattan: Abbr. : AVES
66. Word sung three times before "for the home team" in "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" : ROOT
68. Not new : OLD

Answer summary: 1 unique to this puzzle.

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