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New York Times, Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Author:
Aimee Lucido
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
59/13/201011/21/20191
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0130100
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.60100
Aimee Lucido

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 36 Missing: {JKQXYZ} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 4 for Ms. Lucido. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Aimee Lucido notes:
It's been eight years since my last New York Times crossword puzzle, and I'm so excited to be back! I've wanted to make a new NYT ... read more

It's been eight years since my last New York Times crossword puzzle, and I'm so excited to be back! I've wanted to make a new NYT crossword ever since I decided to leave my software engineering job to focus on my writing career (check out "Emmy in the Key of Code" coming out in September!) but first I needed the right theme idea.

I'd been batting ideas back and forth with Joel for a few weeks, but nothing was sticking. And then I came up with this idea. I almost didn't send it over, because I wasn't sure if it was...er... appropriate. But I figured I'd kick myself if I didn't try, so I sent it over, and much to my surprise he liked it as much as I did!

I hope you do too!

Jeff Chen notes:
Solid. Tight. Cheeky. What? NO, I WAS TALKING ABOUT THE CROSSWORD. YOU KNOW, 'DAMN RIGHT' IS CHEEKY? Pervs. I've seen a lot ... read more

Solid. Tight. Cheeky.

What? NO, I WAS TALKING ABOUT THE CROSSWORD. YOU KNOW, "DAMN RIGHT" IS CHEEKY?

Pervs.

I've seen a lot of butts – er, butt themes – over the years, but(t) there's room for one more, especially when it has all the components that an early-week puzzle needs:

  • Consistency. The butt word is first in each phrase. The theme isn't perfectly consistent because the middle entry has three words while all the others have two, but the "the" in BEHIND THE SCENES is almost ignorable. Plus, it's a great phrase, which leads into …
  • Snazziness. Great picks for the theme entries. (I probably shouldn't use the word "pick" when writing about a butt theme, but there I went.) This MBA is all about the BOTTOM LINE – which just happens to be the lowest of the themers! No one except me will notice this, but it's a touch of elegance.
  • Tightness. (See, I told you I was talking about the crossword!) What other "butt" slang can you think of? There are words like KEISTER and HEINIE, but you can't hide those at the start of phrases.
  • Revealer. The BUTTHEADS – or BUTT HEADS – finale is so apt. Describes the concept to a tee.

I give the gridwork a rap — some might say a bum rap — due to a lot of DEUT ENE ERE MTN ETTE ELL ARAL. Thankfully, it's all minor; still passable for an early-week product. Not terrible for having five longish themers.

And the novel grid layout did allow for some great color in NUTELLA (which I can't eat right now since my son is still in the muck of diapers), DUNGEON.

All in all, it felt more American Values Crossword-ish than NYT — no surprise since Aimee is part of the team over there. DAMN RIGHT it did.

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© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 0528 ( 25,403 )
Across
1
Elizabeth of cosmetics : ARDEN
6
Residents of London's 10 Downing St. : PMS
9
Walk proudly : STRUT
14
"Go now!" : LEAVE
15
Singer Carly ___ Jepsen : RAE
16
___ bar (toffee candy) : HEATH
17
Wander locally with no plans : BUMAROUND
19
Change : ALTER
20
Blue Angels' org. : USN
21
Basement of a castle, perhaps : DUNGEON
23
Before, to bards : ERE
24
Little more than : MERE
26
Hitchcock movie with James Stewart and Grace Kelly : REARWINDOW
28
Purina alternative : IAMS
30
Water under le pont : EAU
31
Unsettled feeling : ANGST
33
"___ Stars" (long-running show in which experts appraise and buy antiques) : PAWN
36
Tuna holders : TINS
40
Backstage : BEHINDTHESCENES
43
Suffix with bachelor or kitchen : ETTE
44
Visit at 2 a.m., say, as a fridge : RAID
45
John who's the subject of 2019's "Rocketman" : ELTON
46
Place to get pampered : SPA
48
Food company with a sunburst in its logo : DOLE
49
Final amount : BOTTOMLINE
55
Asia's ___ Sea : ARAL
58
Opposite of WSW : ENE
59
Weather-related game cancellation : RAINOUT
61
Rx watchdog : FDA
62
It's a good thing : ASSET
64
Disagree ... or a hint to the starts of 17-, 26-, 40- and 49-Across : BUTTHEADS
66
Street in "Perry Mason" : DELLA
67
Basket part grabbed after slam-dunking : RIM
68
Prince Harry, to Prince George and Princess Charlotte : UNCLE
69
Suddenly stop, as an engine : STALL
70
Downed, as a sandwich : ATE
71
Have the wheel : STEER
Down
1
Photo display option : ALBUM
2
Find a second function for : REUSE
3
"Hell, yeah!" : DAMNRIGHT
4
Work done while tethered to a space station, for short : EVA
5
Superbrainy sort : NERD
6
Dried plum : PRUNE
7
Japanese comic art : MANGA
8
Passover meal : SEDER
9
Twain who sang "Man! I Feel Like a Woman!" : SHANIA
10
___ Aviv : TEL
11
Assigned stars to : RATED
12
In ___ (unborn) : UTERO
13
Intentionally lost : THREW
18
Not just mine : OURS
22
Jesse of the 1936 Olympics : OWENS
25
Like bunny slopes, among all ski runs : EASIEST
27
Chocolaty spread : NUTELLA
29
Everest, e.g.: Abbr. : MTN
31
Honest ___ : ABE
32
Final amount : NET
33
Group whose activities pick up in Sept. : PTA
34
Tuna type : AHI
35
When U.S. election results are usually published: Abbr. : WED
37
Communicate (with) : INTERFACE
38
Prefix with liberal : NEO
39
I.R.S. digits: Abbr. : SSN
41
Emmy genre : DRAMA
42
Co. leader : CEO
47
Website's access page : PORTAL
48
Book after Num. : DEUT
49
Alternative to a door between rooms : BEADS
50
Beginning : ONSET
51
Nikola who invented the induction motor : TESLA
52
Cooperative, balanced type, they say : LIBRA
53
Arctic people : INUIT
54
Response to "Who broke this?!" : NOTME
56
Confuse : ADDLE
57
Intense beam : LASER
60
Ergo : THUS
63
Right angle : ELL
65
Tonsillitis-treating doc : ENT

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle.

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