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New York Times, Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Author: John Westwig
Editor: Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
27/20/20155/3/20160
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0110000
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.72000
John Westwig

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 74, Blocks: 40 Missing: {JQW} Spans: 2 This is puzzle # 2 for Mr. Westwig. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
John Westwig notes: This puzzle's theme is a variation on a much overused one, and I hope solvers don't find it too straightforward. I remember coming ... more
John Westwig notes:

This puzzle's theme is a variation on a much overused one, and I hope solvers don't find it too straightforward. I remember coming across a puzzle from many years ago that used HARRISONSFORD as an entry, and I started wondering if there were other famous people with similarly automotive last names. I was unaware of Ichiro's last name, as his jersey features his first name rather than his last, and discovered this fact with the help of XWord Info. Furthermore, I was a bit worried that Freddie would not make the cut, since he was born Farrokh Bulsara, while the other entries featured birth names.

The fill, too, I think I could have improved, particularly those 4x4 corners — I would be interested in seeing if I could rework the grid structure to allow for longer words.

Overall, however, I'm happy to make my second appearance in the NY Times with another celebrity-based theme, probably surprising to those who know me and my pop-culture averse nature.

Hope you all enjoy!

Jeff Chen notes: Nice finds, famous people whose last names are car makes, getting an additional S to form possessives. I wasn't sure what was going ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Nice finds, famous people whose last names are car makes, getting an additional S to form possessives. I wasn't sure what was going on when I uncovered ABRAHAM'S LINCOLN — I thought that might relate to some sort of train? — but it all became clear upon solving HARRISON'S FORD. Being a Seattleite, I enjoyed seeing the great ICHIRO SUZUKI get his due … more or less.

ICHIRO'S classic sleeve tug

I like that John pushed himself, going down to 74 words. With a theme-dense 15/13/13/15 arrangement, many constructors would just go up to 78 words, the max allowed. But John works in bonus long material such as PERSIANS, TRAIN SET, BOUNCERS, as well as some mid-length goodness like ARMANI, BIOMES, HYDROX. I much appreciated getting a lift through some of these bonuses.

Generally a pretty clean grid, too, although starting the puzzle with ABED and ABAFT wouldn't be my preference. (ABED = an odd way to say "in bed," ABAFT a pretty niche term.) It's too bad, since the rest of the puzzle contains only minor blips like TEL, OSSO, ON AN. That top left corner sets the tone for me, so I started my solve with not the greatest of impressions. Luckily, the bonuses and pretty smooth solve helped correct that first impression.

Well, except for ["Hey ___" (casual greeting)]. What an odd clue.

I really liked a few clues, CURL getting elevated with a clever [Permanent thing?], i.e. part of a perm. And probably the best fill in the puzzle, TRAIN SET, got a bit of a groaner in [Something to keep track of?]. That last one felt pretty stretchy to me, but I admire the effort.

It's tough to find a neat and tidy set like these four themers, fitting so nicely into crossword symmetry. Fun to see.

1
A
2
B
3
E
4
D
5
A
6
B
7
A
8
F
9
T
10
A
11
B
12
C
13
S
14
L
E
V
I
15
R
I
D
E
R
16
L
O
U
T
17
B
E
E
S
18
M
O
O
L
A
19
E
Z
R
A
20
A
B
R
A
21
H
A
M
S
L
I
22
N
C
O
L
N
23
G
E
N
E
24
N
U
T
25
H
26
A
R
R
I
S
27
O
28
N
S
F
O
29
R
30
D
31
R
A
Z
E
D
32
R
E
E
F
33
O
U
34
T
35
C
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T
E
36
P
37
I
C
O
T
38
B
A
B
E
39
A
T
E
40
L
E
D
A
41
C
O
R
A
L
42
I
C
43
H
I
R
O
S
44
S
45
U
Z
U
K
I
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Y
E
S
47
O
N
A
N
48
F
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R
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E
D
D
I
51
E
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S
M
E
R
C
53
U
54
R
55
Y
56
R
E
A
R
57
A
R
U
B
A
58
E
T
A
L
59
O
S
S
O
60
N
I
M
E
S
61
R
A
G
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62
S
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Y
X
63
S
C
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64
S
H
A
M
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0503 ( 24,283 )
Across Down
1. Laid up : ABED
5. Toward a boat's wake : ABAFT
10. Kindergarten lesson : ABCS
14. Big name in denim : LEVI
15. Equestrian, e.g. : RIDER
16. Lummox : LOUT
17. Wax makers : BEES
18. Dough : MOOLA
19. Political columnist Klein : EZRA
20. How the Great Emancipator got around? : ABRAHAMSLINCOLN
23. Controversially patented thing : GENE
24. Source of a common allergy : NUT
25. How the star of the Indiana Jones films got around? : HARRISONSFORD
31. Leveled : RAZED
32. See 41-Across : REEF
33. "Leave!" : OUT
35. Give proper attribution : CITE
36. Embroidery loop : PICOT
38. "Hey, ___" (casual greeting) : BABE
39. Gobbled up : ATE
40. Mother of Helen : LEDA
41. With 32-Across, place to snorkel : CORAL
42. How a Seattle Mariner great got around? : ICHIROSSUZUKI
46. "Sure" : YES
47. ___ empty stomach : ONAN
48. How Queen's former frontman got around? : FREDDIESMERCURY
56. Word before window or end : REAR
57. Its capital is Oranjestad : ARUBA
58. List-ending abbr. : ETAL
59. ___ buco : OSSO
60. City near Avignon : NIMES
61. All the ___ : RAGE
62. Underworld river : STYX
63. Something a composer composes : SCORE
64. Bogus : SHAM
1. Actress Jessica : ALBA
2. Channel that airs "Sherlock," with "the" : BEEB
3. ___ since : EVER
4. Clash (with) : DISAGREE
5. Giorgio of fashion : ARMANI
6. Wetlands and tundra, e.g. : BIOMES
7. Kerfuffles : ADOS
8. Cut down : FELL
9. Something to keep track of? : TRAINSET
10. One of the Furies : ALECTO
11. Buffoon : BOZO
12. Permanent thing? : CURL
13. "South Park" boy : STAN
21. What's rounded up in a roundup : HERD
22. "___ said!" : NUFF
25. Where Toussaint L'Ouverture led a revolt : HAITI
26. Coyolxauhqui worshiper : AZTEC
27. Penguin predators : ORCAS
28. Prefix with realism : NEO
29. Howard ___, "The Fountainhead" protagonist : ROARK
30. Home of the world's tallest building, completed in 2009 : DUBAI
31. Panasonic competitor : RCA
34. ___ Avivian : TEL
36. Xerxes' people : PERSIANS
37. Swear words? : IDO
38. They might bar bargoers : BOUNCERS
40. Emulated Pinocchio : LIED
41. Peter the Great, for one : CZAR
43. Longtime Oreo competitor : HYDROX
44. Like the mood in a losing locker room : SOMBER
45. Agita : UNEASE
48. Big dos : FROS
49. Staff break? : REST
50. Like one-star puzzles : EASY
51. "South Park" boy : ERIC
52. ___ wrestler : SUMO
53. Salt flats location : UTAH
54. Music of Mumbai : RAGA
55. Proto-matter of the universe : YLEM

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle.

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