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New York Times, Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Author: Neville Fogarty
Editor: Will Shortz
Neville Fogarty
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
65/3/20125/30/20171
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0131100
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1.64020

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 ... more
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 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 ... more
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 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.

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N
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C
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A
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F
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B
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K
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© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0530 ( 24,675 )
Across Down
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
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.

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