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New York Times, Monday, May 30, 2016

Author:
David Woolf
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1711/15/20137/31/20180
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2322332
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.55310
David Woolf

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 38 Missing: {JQ} This is puzzle # 12 for Mr. Woolf. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
David Woolf notes:
I've come to realize that when I'm writing clues, I often have little idea how hard the clues are. For instance, in this puzzle, I ... read more

I've come to realize that when I'm writing clues, I often have little idea how hard the clues are. For instance, in this puzzle, I included, "Lethal edge?" as a clue for ELL, "It has a moving lexicon, briefly" for ASL, and "Groups in quarters?" for OCTETS. I like these clues a lot, but in retrospect they are absolutely out of place on a Monday. This is why editors exist.

Anyway, I liked this puzzle because the theme phrases are all lively and interesting, and I was able to get two good long downs in as well. Will et al. added the circles, which add to the Monday vibes of the puzzle. Hope you enjoyed it!

Jeff Chen notes:
TOSSED SALAD describing the letters S A L A D mixed up within phrases. Some nice finds, particularly SALSA DANCING (I used to do that ... read more

TOSSED SALAD describing the letters S A L A D mixed up within phrases. Some nice finds, particularly SALSA DANCING (I used to do that a lot back when I was single) and DOUGLAS ADAMS, the genius behind "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."

Austria celebrating DOUGLAS ADAMS' legacy

I also liked PINA COLADAS, but it felt like the outlier, being the only one where the mixed-up S A L A D string didn't span across the two words of the phrase. Given that S A L A D are pretty friendly letters to anagram in various ways, it would have been nice for all of them to span across phrases.

Nice gridwork, especially considering David worked with six themers. Not an easy feat, and David went above and beyond to include some long bonus entries in LAZY SUNDAY and KEEP IT REAL, both strong, colorful answers.

Smooth grid, given how many places have to work with two or three themers. The toughest sections are in the NW and SE, having to build around three themers — really well done around the SATYR/CRAWL/WOO area. Similarly in the symmetrical spot, although OSAMA … historically important, but not the kind of downer I typically like to see in my crossword.

The only place I thought was not as strong as the rest was the east section, with OTT, NOV, ELL, EDO. All of them are super minor, and a case can be made for each of them as perfectly acceptable. Still, they collectively are the price of the awesome KEEP IT REAL, and I think it's a fine trade-off, even for a Monday puzzle. Every one of the crossings are fair, so even novices who don't know about OTT's crossword ubiquity can still achieve a successful finish.

Fun start to the week.

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© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0530 ( 24,310 )

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Students & seniors
Across
1. Funny Groucho or Harpo : MARX
5. Lover of Tristan, in legend : ISOLDE
11. Place with R.V. hookups : KOA
14. Swear : AVER
15. GoDaddy purchase : DOMAIN
16. 90° bend : ELL
17. Tropical drinks often served with umbrellas : PINACOLADAS
19. ___ Period (time in Japanese history) : EDO
20. Lustful deity of myth : SATYR
21. Rooster's mate : HEN
22. Store sign during business hours : OPEN
23. Spicy ballroom activity? : SALSADANCING
27. Communication for the deaf, in brief : ASL
30. Try to win, as a lover : WOO
31. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Mel : OTT
32. Finishing eighth out of eight, say : DEADLAST
35. Strain the body too much : OVERDO
38. Stupefy : DAZE
39. Baby horses : FOALS
41. Nipple : TEAT
42. Rococo and Postmodernism : STYLES
44. Application to highways before a winter storm : ROADSALT
46. Take to court : SUE
47. Actress Thurman : UMA
48. Zodiac lion : LEO
49. "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" author : DOUGLASADAMS
55. Boleyn, Brontë or Bancroft : ANNE
56. Prof helpers : TAS
57. Earl or baron : NOBLE
61. 2012 #1 album for Taylor Swift : RED
62. Common first course ... or what's literally contained in 17-, 23-, 32-, 44- and 49-Across? : TOSSEDSALAD
65. Maker of the Optima and Sorento : KIA
66. "Hey!," from someone who's hiding : INHERE
67. Wander : ROVE
68. Foxy : SLY
69. Butcher's implement : MEATAX
70. The Ugly Duckling, actually : SWAN
Down
1. Rand McNally items : MAPS
2. Big name in running shoes : AVIA
3. $2,000 for Boardwalk, with a hotel : RENT
4. Penetrating looks? : XRAYS
5. Declaration made with a raised right hand : IDO
6. Note between fa and la : SOL
7. Warren Buffet, the Oracle of ___ : OMAHA
8. Stowed on board : LADED
9. Singer Ross with the Supremes : DIANA
10. Coast Guard rank: Abbr. : ENS
11. Stay authentic, colloquially : KEEPITREAL
12. Of yore : OLDEN
13. See 18-Down : ALONG
18. With 13-Down, move at a snail's place : CRAWL
22. Groups of eight : OCTETS
24. Hangs around and does nothing : LOAFS
25. Just all right : SOSO
26. Thanksgiving's mo. : NOV
27. Does sums : ADDS
28. Bench or chair : SEAT
29. Relaxing time after church, say : LAZYSUNDAY
33. Downpour : DELUGE
34. Paver's supply : TAR
35. Target of a decade-long manhunt, informally : OSAMA
36. Over hill and ___ : DALE
37. Germany's ___ von Bismarck : OTTO
40. Eardrum-busting : LOUD
43. Squirmy fish : EEL
45. Curses : DAMNS
49. Opposite of whites, laundrywise : DARKS
50. Longtime NBC newsman Roger : ONEIL
51. Do penance (for) : ATONE
52. An Obama girl : SASHA
53. Thing in the plus column : ASSET
54. Goes way, way up : SOARS
58. Erupt : BLOW
59. What a volcano erupts : LAVA
60. Biblical garden : EDEN
62. Dickens's Tiny ___ : TIM
63. Long, long time : ERA
64. Showtime's serial killer protagonist, familiarly : DEX

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle.

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