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New York Times, Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Author:
Jonathan Gersch
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
62/20/20075/24/20160
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0042000
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.58001
Jonathan Gersch

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 34 Missing: {FQ} This is puzzle # 6 for Mr. Gersch. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jonathan Gersch notes:
I don't recall how this idea first came to me, possibly when passing a bar or when looking at some PHONE LINES or something similar? ... read more

I don't recall how this idea first came to me, possibly when passing a bar or when looking at some PHONE LINES or something similar? So I made an initial grid and set of clues, and was pleased to see that Will liked it, except for one theme entry at 62 A (MAPLE TREES). After some discussion back and forth with Will, we agreed on the current entry at 62 A, and I revised the grid and clues for that affected area.

In an effort to get some nice fresh entries in the grid, I was pleased to get in DAEDALUS, GLOW WORMS, EZIO PINZA, BREWSTER, SAY WHAT,
SIZE TWO, et al. Hopefully these compensate for a number of common crossword words, such as those strewn a bit throughout the grid: NNE, VIOL, LIDO, etc.

I also liked how I was able to get two abbreviated parts of NCAA into the puzzle; I felt that was a nice plus.

I hope you all enjoy it! Hopefully you won't need all your mental RESOURCES for this one!

Jeff Chen notes:
I really enjoy wondering how theme answers are all related, and getting an a-ha moment only when I hit the revealer. It reminds me of ... read more

I really enjoy wondering how theme answers are all related, and getting an a-ha moment only when I hit the revealer. It reminds me of meta-crosswords — such a rush to suddenly figure out the answer. Today's puzzle gives us a nice example, with KEGS, PHONE LINES, SHOULDERS, RESOURCES, and MAPLE TREES being things that get tapped. I almost missed that first one — nice way to make the theme perfectly symmetrical, matching it with TAPS.

GLOWWORMS sure are pretty!

Some nice long fill, too. GLOW WORMS was one of the first entries I uncovered, and it really shines (pun intended). SAY WHAT? is such a colorful phrase, and one that I don't remember seeing recently in crosswords. Fantastic use of a seven-letter slot.

SIZE TWO doesn't do as much for me, but I wonder if women will react differently?

I really liked DAEDELUS, as I'm a huge Greek myth fan. But that crossing with LIDO … yikes, that might be tough for some. I think it's fair since DAEDELUS is a big name in Greek mythology.

LIDO crossing ENNIS though … I debated LEDO/ENNES vs. LIDO/ENNIS for the longest time. Ultimately, I've seen LIDO somewhere in crosswords before where LEDO didn't look as familiar. I got lucky. Hopefully other solvers did too. Perhaps NYT solvers really ought to know LIDO, the vacation spot? Dunno — seems kind of unfair to me.

EZIO PINZA crossing EZEK brought a similar debate to my mind. I know EZIO PINZA and EZEK(iel) from crosswords, but is that a fair crossing? Probably fine, since Ezekiel is a name that can be sussed out, and EZIO PINZA is a big star in opera.

Along with a handful of minor LAI, ATH, ASSOC type of entries, there were some spots that made me hesitate. Overall though, such a fun theme idea, and I had to wait until the very last entry to figure out the clever thread connecting all the themers. Nice a-ha moment.

1
K
2
E
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G
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R
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A
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V
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E
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D
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A
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J
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A
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H
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D
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P
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L
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A
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W
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A
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W
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B
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L
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A
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A
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B
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O
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Y
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M
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C
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R
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© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0524 ( 24,304 )

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Across
1
Frat party staples : KEGS
5
Wrote a four-star review : RAVED
10
Open a smidge : AJAR
14
TV's "___ Betty" : UGLY
15
Singer Turner's memoir : ITINA
16
Doughnut feature : HOLE
17
It can be left 10-Across : DOOR
18
"Open" things for a call-in show : PHONELINES
20
Not recommended : UNWISE
22
Resort near Venice : LIDO
23
Get rid of : AXE
24
"___ bet?" : WANNA
26
"Huh?" : SAYWHAT
28
Scare word : BOO
30
___ buco (veal dish) : OSSO
32
China's Chou En-___ : LAI
33
End in ___ (not be resolved) : ADRAW
35
Places for shawls : SHOULDERS
40
Canyon vantage points : RIMS
41
Phony : BOGUS
42
O.T. book before Daniel : EZEK
43
Coal and natural gas : RESOURCES
45
Like bratty comments : SNIDE
46
Reverse of SSW : NNE
47
Rebuke to a traitor : ETTU
49
Unusual : ODD
50
Petite dress specification : SIZETWO
54
Absorb, as gravy : SOPUP
56
"Il était ___ fois" ("Once upon a time": Fr.) : UNE
57
Kids' guessing game : ISPY
59
Some vintage photos : SEPIAS
62
Syrup comes from them : MAPLETREES
65
Suddenly lose patience : SNAP
66
Competitor of Pedigree : ALPO
67
Totally wipe out : EATIT
68
Poet Pound : EZRA
69
Blood worry : CLOT
70
Safari sighting, for short : RHINO
71
Bugle tune ... or what one does to 1-, 18-, 35-, 43- and 62-Across : TAPS
Down
1
African antelope with curvy horns : KUDU
2
Dr. ___ Spengler, "Ghostbusters" role : EGON
3
Luminescent larvae : GLOWWORMS
4
Origin of much 2015-16 emigration : SYRIA
5
Gets redder, say : RIPENS
6
N.C.A.A. part: Abbr. : ATH
7
Baroque stringed instrument : VIOL
8
___ Del Mar, "Brokeback Mountain" role : ENNIS
9
Icarus' father, in myth : DAEDALUS
10
Hawaiian yellowfin tuna : AHI
11
Biblical prophet who had a whale of a time? : JONAH
12
Vega of "Spy Kids" : ALEXA
13
Put back to 0, say : RESET
19
True-blue : LOYAL
21
Forecast eagerly awaited by schoolkids : SNOW
25
N.C.A.A. part: Abbr. : ASSOC
27
Make broader : WIDEN
28
Roseanne of "Roseanne" : BARR
29
Slobbering cartoon character : ODIE
31
"Well, I'll be!" : OHGEE
34
In unison : ASONE
36
Ejects from office : OUSTS
37
"South Pacific" co-star : EZIOPINZA
38
Comic Foxx : REDD
39
Timetable, informally : SKED
41
William ___, Pilgrim Father : BREWSTER
44
Loosen, as neckwear : UNTIE
45
Apartment building V.I.P., for short : SUPE
48
Throw at : TOSSTO
50
Poison oak cousin : SUMAC
51
Entirely : INALL
52
One of Groucho's brothers : ZEPPO
53
Show on which Dr. Phil became famous, familiarly : OPRAH
55
Surprise win : UPSET
58
Himalayan mystery : YETI
60
___ The Magazine (bimonthly with 35+ million readers) : AARP
61
Massage spots : SPAS
63
Parking area : LOT
64
German article : EIN

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

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