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New York Times, Monday, May 22, 2017

Author:
Gary Kennedy
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
32/12/20095/22/20172
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0100200
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.62000
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 ... read more

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 ... read more

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
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
Down
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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