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New York Times, Friday, May 27, 2016

Author:
Damon Gulczynski
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
3511/8/20048/10/20180
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
14507810
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.65320
Damon J. Gulczynski

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 70, Blocks: 34 Missing: {Q} This is puzzle # 14 for Mr. Gulczynski. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Damon J. Gulczynski notes:

APIE... I really don't like APIE. Everything else looks pretty good to me.

Jeff Chen notes:
Some really colorful language spread throughout the grid today, WAXES POETIC and NO TAGBACKS! my favorites. I like how Damon ... read more

Some really colorful language spread throughout the grid today, WAXES POETIC and NO TAGBACKS! my favorites. I like how Damon distributed his feature entries so I kept on getting a burst of sparkliness here and there. There are the typical triple-stacks in the NW and SE, but check out the zigzag of REAL TROOPER to NO TAGBACKS to SKINFLICKS to LENINS TOMB to WAXES POETIC.

GERALD FORD was kind of a stud!

I also like GERALD FORD in that series of interconnected answers, but it would have been great to get a more entertaining clue for him. He was an Eagle Scout, played on two national title college football teams, fought in WWII, was part of the Warren Commission, served as the House Minority Leader, pardoned Nixon. I tend to remember him from the Chevy Chase SNL sketches, but man, this guy had a storied life.

That chain of great entries snaking through the grid does have its drawbacks. Every crossing generates a place that's a little tricky to fill around. Check out the REAL TROOPER / NO TAGBACKS crossing. Damon does pretty well in that region, except for the outdated SSR (Soviet Socialist Republic) and AME. Although, the African Methodist Episcopal Church has a gigantic membership — I'd love to hear if members actually refer to themselves as AME, which would make that entry perfectly fine for me.

The middle is the really tough section, with four long entries running through it; so tricky to get perfect. Damon almost nails it, with just IN ICE sticking out. ON ICE feels like a solid phrase to me, but IN ICE does not. I ended up with a mistake, thinking GOLLS must be some esoteric or Biblical measurement. Either a more straightforward GILLS clue, or owning up to the partial with [Packed ___ (ready for shipping, as with fresh fish], would have been my preference.

Along with APIE, LALA, ESO, there was too much crossword glue for me given that there were about 12 great entries in the puzzle (I like assets minus liabilities to be greater than 10). But still, two nice triple-stacks along with a great set of interlocking feature answers.

1
S
2
C
3
R
4
A
5
M
6
B
7
L
8
E
9
S
10
H
11
A
12
W
13
E
14
D
15
W
H
A
T
A
J
E
R
K
16
O
V
A
T
E
17
M
A
N
I
C
O
T
T
I
18
T
A
X
O
N
19
L
A
R
S
E
N
20
M
I
E
N
S
21
B
22
A
23
R
T
O
K
24
F
25
U
E
L
S
26
A
M
E
27
G
28
I
L
L
S
29
P
30
E
31
T
32
R
I
A
33
L
34
L
E
N
I
N
S
35
T
O
M
B
36
O
G
L
E
37
E
R
I
C
A
38
D
E
B
I
39
N
O
T
A
40
G
B
A
C
K
S
41
S
T
A
R
42
S
S
R
43
R
O
L
E
S
44
I
N
D
45
O
46
N
E
N
D
47
S
48
H
49
O
C
K
S
50
B
51
L
O
A
T
52
F
53
A
54
T
T
E
N
55
L
A
P
A
Z
56
O
P
I
O
N
E
57
E
58
R
59
S
60
A
L
E
C
K
61
R
I
C
O
C
A
S
E
K
62
H
A
R
P
Y
63
D
E
S
D
E
M
O
N
A
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0527 ( 24,307 )
Across
1. Anagrams : SCRAMBLES
10. Spoke hesitantly : HAWED
15. "Who the hell does he think he is?!" : WHATAJERK
16. Like basil leaves : OVATE
17. Italian for "sleeves" : MANICOTTI
18. Phylum, order or genus : TAXON
19. Don ___, 1956 World Series M.V.P. : LARSEN
20. Comportments : MIENS
21. "Bluebeard's Castle" composer : BARTOK
24. Drives : FUELS
26. Letters in some church names : AME
27. Half-cup measures : GILLS
29. Kind of classic rock? : PET
32. Coin of Iran : RIAL
34. Attraction temporarily shut down and partly moved to Siberia during W.W. II : LENINSTOMB
36. Eye : OGLE
37. Longtime "All My Children" role : ERICA
38. Mazar of "Entourage" : DEBI
39. Rule in a kids' outdoor game : NOTAGBACKS
41. Lead : STAR
42. Old atlas inits. : SSR
43. Cameos, for example : ROLES
44. Like Bernie Sanders, before 2015: Abbr. : IND
45. Turned up : ONEND
47. Mountain bike features : SHOCKS
50. Swell : BLOAT
52. Swell : FATTEN
55. Capital near Lake Titicaca : LAPAZ
56. First novel of the Great Plains trilogy : OPIONEERS
60. "Smart" guy : ALECK
61. Lead singer for the Cars : RICOCASEK
62. Hybrid woman-bird monster : HARPY
63. The "thee" in Shakespeare's line "But I do love thee! and when I love thee not, / Chaos is come again" : DESDEMONA
Down
1. Personal ad designation : SWM
2. Chinese tea : CHA
3. Published : RAN
4. Not straight up : ATILT
5. Gambling mecca : MACAO
6. Single-named musical artist : BJORK
7. Do-overs : LETS
8. Single-named artist : ERTE
9. They're marked with X's : SKINFLICKS
10. Total wreck : HOTMESS
11. Benefit : AVAIL
12. Uses flowery language : WAXESPOETIC
13. Kind of blue that's close to green : ETON
14. Animal shelters : DENS
21. Magna Carta drafters : BARONS
22. Title trio in a 1986 comedy : AMIGOS
23. One unlikely to punk out : REALTROOPER
25. Aids in raising arms? : ULNAS
27. Onetime political leader with a museum in Grand Rapids, Mich. : GERALDFORD
28. How beer at a cookout might be kept : INICE
30. Protect from an overflow, in a way : EMBANK
31. Alternatives to 'Vettes : TBIRDS
33. Bucolic setting : LEA
34. Simon of Duran Duran : LEBON
35. Goals of some drives, for short : TDS
40. Nine-time Hart Memorial Trophy winner : GRETZKY
46. Image Awards grp. : NAACP
47. Wasn't overturned : STOOD
48. Starting now : HENCE
49. Early hour : ONEAM
50. Not so hot : BLAH
51. When repeated, part of Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl" : LALA
53. Cap-___ (from head to toe) : APIE
54. Motor problems : TICS
57. That: Sp. : ESO
58. Kylo ___ of "Star Wars" : REN
59. Mighty Mighty Bosstones genre : SKA

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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