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New York Times, Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Author:
Neville Fogarty
Editor:
Will Shortz
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95/3/201210/25/20183
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1131210
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1.64020
Neville Fogarty

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 40 Missing: {JQW} This is puzzle # 6 for Mr. Fogarty. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Neville Fogarty notes:
I wanted to try to bring new life to a familiar crossword gimmick with this puzzle. We see circles in crossword grids every so often ... read more

I wanted to try to bring new life to a familiar crossword gimmick with this puzzle. We see circles in crossword grids every so often to highlight hidden words or letter patterns. Less frequently, shaded squares are used in the same capacity. Why one and not the other? With a theme of "notable Greys," I had a real reason for picking shaded squares over circles for a puzzle. Of course, just because I had a concept did not mean I could execute it, but when I found TV's Dr. MEREDITH Grey inside of HAMMERED IT HOME, I knew that I could actually construct such a puzzle.

Mr. Shortz and his team did a fine job editing this puzzle, including removing the entry AND (now ANN) when I also had A AND E in the grid. That said, one of my favorite clues didn't quite make the cut: [15-year-old video game player?] for XBOX. But hey, you can't be too tricky on a Tuesday!

Jeff Chen notes:
GRAY MATTER played on today … wait, what? GREY MATTER? Ah, a riff on 'gray matter,' featuring famous(ish) people with the last ... read more

GRAY MATTER played on today … wait, what? GREY MATTER? Ah, a riff on "gray matter," featuring famous(ish) people with the last name GREY. I knew EARL and ZANE Grey off the top, and MEREDITH seemed fair enough, given that the show was titled "GREY's Anatomy." "AGNES Grey" may not be as famous as other of the Bronte sisters' work, but hey, a Bronte is a Bronte.

What a fantastic find in MEREDITH across HAMMERED IT HOME! I love those sorts of discoveries — it's seemingly impossible to hide an eight-letter entry across three words ... or is it! Beautiful.

EARL in REARLIT was decent, although REARLIT didn't jump out and scream I'M JUICY ENOUGH TO BE A CROSSWORD THEME ANSWER! to me.

I'm not as big a fan of words entirely hidden inside other words, i.e. AGNES in MAGNESIA or ZANE in LIPIZZANER. Granted, Neville needed AGNES and ZANE to bulk up the puzzle, and what kind of phrase can you stretch these names across? (If only PIZZA NEMESIS and/or CHAMPAGNE SWIGGER were real things.)

As usual, Neville delivers a strong grid. Not easy to work around that middle section especially, what with MILK OF MAGNESIA / REARLIT / HAMMERED IT HOME compacted in there. Beautiful work, only ADLAI slightly iffy (no one remembers the losers …).

With just ATAB of crossword glue, Neville's grid easily passes muster for a silky-smooth early-week product. Even with the high theme density, Neville tosses in a bit of GORETEX and BASE TEN (he has his Ph.D. in math!) for spice too.

Would have been nice to get a little more long fill, though — I'm curious what Neville could have come up with by removing the black square between USED and SERUM. That would have been tough, given all those pesky themers to work around, but a guy can wish …

The theme lost me a bit since AGNES and MEREDITH Grey didn't mean much to me (fans of "Grey's Anatomy," don't kill me!), but neat concept and fun wordplay in the GREY MATTER revealer.

1
I
2
N
3
C
4
A
5
F
6
I
7
N
8
I
9
S
10
B
11
U
12
C
13
K
14
L
E
A
N
15
E
V
I
T
A
16
A
S
I
A
17
L
I
P
I
18
Z
Z
A
N
E
R
19
S
E
T
H
20
S
L
O
M
O
21
N
E
M
O
22
E
D
E
N
23
A
N
24
N
25
N
26
U
T
27
M
28
I
L
K
O
29
F
30
M
31
A
G
N
E
32
S
33
I
34
A
35
M
A
S
S
36
S
L
I
D
37
I
N
E
R
T
38
U
R
L
39
R
E
A
R
L
40
I
T
41
R
A
M
42
S
L
A
43
T
E
44
M
E
A
N
45
G
U
T
S
46
H
A
M
M
E
47
R
E
D
I
T
48
H
O
M
E
49
O
D
E
50
O
U
R
51
B
52
L
53
A
B
54
G
55
O
56
S
57
H
58
L
E
59
A
60
P
61
T
62
A
U
D
I
63
G
R
E
Y
64
M
A
T
T
E
R
65
R
A
I
L
66
A
A
N
D
E
67
E
A
S
E
68
D
U
N
E
69
E
L
D
E
R
70
X
B
O
X
© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0530 ( 24,675 )
Across
1
Peruvian of long ago : INCA
5
The end : FINIS
10
Simoleon : BUCK
14
Bend to one side : LEAN
15
"Don't Cry for Me Argentina" musical : EVITA
16
Where Nepal is : ASIA
17
Horse breed known for dressage [western writer] : LIPIZZANER
19
Rogen of "Neighbors" : SETH
20
It helps you see plays in replays : SLOMO
21
"Finding Dory" fish : NEMO
22
Genesis garden : EDEN
23
Raggedy ___ : ANN
25
Bolt go-with : NUT
27
Upset stomach remedy [Brontë governess] : MILKOFMAGNESIA
35
Catholic service : MASS
36
Dropped a bit : SLID
37
Sluggish : INERT
38
Modern bookmark : URL
39
Like a silhouette [19th-century U.K. prime minister] : REARLIT
41
Chrysler truck : RAM
42
Surface for chalk writing : SLATE
44
Intend : MEAN
45
Fortitude : GUTS
46
Really made the point [TV surgeon played by Ellen Pompeo] : HAMMEREDITHOME
49
Praising poem : ODE
50
Pronoun for two or more : OUR
51
Tell all : BLAB
54
"My goodness!" : GOSH
58
Sprang : LEAPT
62
Its logo consists of four interlocking circles : AUDI
63
Brains ... or this puzzle's four shaded names? : GREYMATTER
65
Public transit option : RAIL
66
"Storage Wars" network : AANDE
67
Abate : EASE
68
Beach hill : DUNE
69
One starting a story "Back in my day ...," say : ELDER
70
___ 360 (game console) : XBOX
Down
1
Pains : ILLS
2
Justice Gorsuch : NEIL
3
Guitarist's key-changing aid : CAPO
4
Zoo collection : ANIMALS
5
Tasseled Turkish topper : FEZ
6
Boxer Drago of "Rocky IV" : IVAN
7
Highest figure in sudoku : NINE
8
List component : ITEM
9
Island wrap : SARONG
10
The decimal system : BASETEN
11
Took advantage of : USED
12
Reference : CITE
13
Madeline of "Blazing Saddles" : KAHN
18
Prize you don't want on "Let's Make a Deal" : ZONK
24
Wine quality : NOSE
26
Collection of textbook chapters : UNIT
27
An ex of Donald Trump : MARLA
28
Religion with the Five Pillars : ISLAM
29
Olympic symbol : FLAME
30
Bogged down : MIRED
31
Dwight's opponent in 1952 and '56 : ADLAI
32
Liquid hospital supply : SERUM
33
Furious : IRATE
34
20 dispensers : ATMS
35
"Let's go!" to sled dogs : MUSH
39
Clarinet piece : REED
40
Sondheim's "___ the Woods" : INTO
43
Sprint competitor : TMOBILE
45
Waterproof fabric : GORETEX
47
Ska relative : REGGAE
48
Dance at a 52-Down : HULA
51
Shakespeare, for one : BARD
52
Event with 48-Down dancing : LUAU
53
Pre-service announcement? : ADIN
55
___ exam : ORAL
56
Text message button : SEND
57
One side of a Stevenson character : HYDE
59
Open ___ (start at the bar, maybe) : ATAB
60
Mexican moolah : PESO
61
Fearsome dino : TREX
64
Debussy's sea : MER

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?