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New York Times, Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Author: Sarah Keller
Editor: Will Shortz
Sarah Keller
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
5210/2/20006/1/20172
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
020255200
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.51110

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 42 Missing: {JQXZ} This is puzzle # 51 for Ms. Keller. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes: Fun idea, themers starting with the refrain E-I-E-I-O. I love E PLURIBUS UNUM, such a snazzy phrase, and the I FORMATION is excellent ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Fun idea, themers starting with the refrain E-I-E-I-O. I love E PLURIBUS UNUM, such a snazzy phrase, and the I FORMATION is excellent football lingo. E STREET BAND is fun too, even this pop music idiot recognizing Springsteen's band. Really nice to have EIEIO tucked in the perfect spot, the final across answer neatly wrapping up the puzzle.

Lined up in the I FORMATION

I initially wasn't a huge fan of O HENRY TWIST. It sounded made-up to my ear, an answer manufactured to match E STREET BAND's length. But after looking it up, I've slowly been cottoning to it. It doesn't Google well (in quotes), but it does make intuitive sense. I'm still undecided as to whether or not I'd ever use it in one of my own crosswords.

That EIEIO in the bottom right is much harder to work in than it might seem — there's a reason why so many constructors place their short revealer in some odd position rather than in an elegant one. Check out how much constraint it places upon the grid, what with TWIST fixed in place just two rows above it. Not a lot of flexibility, forcing things like STYE SEI TSO. None of those are that bad, but in aggregate, it's the only section in the grid that feels a bit gritty.

The EIEIO placement also hamstrings you by making it tough to incorporate longer bonus fill. Without it, the black square between NOSH and WII might not have been necessary, allowing for a nice eight-letter entry in that space. I did appreciate Sarah's efforts to get some bonus material like MARACAS and MAESTRO, but a little more would have been nice. (I know, I always want a little more.)

And AO SCOTT … it's a nice entry, with that bizarre AOSC start. But I feel like its placement doesn't work well with today's theme, making me see E I AO E I O. So many single vowels. It's a minor point, since the E I E I O are placed at the start of the longest grid entries.

Otherwise though, a tidy theme with generally nice grid execution.

1
I
2
M
3
O
4
F
5
F
6
M
7
T
8
I
9
D
10
A
11
S
12
M
13
U
14
C
R
U
D
E
15
O
A
R
E
D
16
T
A
R
17
E
S
T
R
E
18
E
T
B
A
N
D
19
U
G
G
20
T
R
I
O
21
E
D
G
E
22
S
23
K
24
Y
25
Y
26
I
F
O
27
R
28
M
29
A
T
I
O
N
30
P
L
E
A
31
S
E
S
32
A
O
S
C
O
T
T
33
H
E
L
L
O
34
L
G
B
T
35
E
P
L
U
36
R
37
I
B
U
S
U
38
N
39
U
40
M
41
R
E
L
O
42
T
O
P
I
43
C
44
M
45
A
46
R
47
A
C
A
S
48
M
49
A
E
S
T
R
O
50
I
L
O
V
E
P
A
51
R
I
S
52
H
O
O
P
53
S
A
M
E
54
O
C
H
55
S
56
E
S
C
57
O
58
H
59
E
N
R
Y
T
60
W
61
I
62
S
63
T
64
R
K
O
65
W
A
L
D
O
66
Y
I
K
E
S
67
S
A
M
68
N
Y
L
O
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69
E
I
E
I
O
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0531 ( 24,311 )
Across Down
1. "Gotta run!" : IMOFF
6. Cretan peak: Abbr. : MTIDA
11. Home of George W. Bush's library, for short : SMU
14. Potty-mouthed : CRUDE
15. Rowed : OARED
16. ___ and feather : TAR
17. Bruce Springsteen's group : ESTREETBAND
19. Sheepskin boot name : UGG
20. Jazz combo, often : TRIO
21. Advantage : EDGE
22. Vodka brand : SKYY
26. Offensive football lineup : IFORMATION
30. Makes happy : PLEASES
32. Longtime New York Times film critic : AOSCOTT
33. Adele song with the lyric "I must have called a thousand times" : HELLO
34. Letters associated with a rainbow flag : LGBT
35. Phrase on the back of a buck : EPLURIBUSUNUM
41. Move, in real-estate lingo : RELO
42. Subject of discussion : TOPIC
44. Gourd-shaped rattles : MARACAS
48. Respectful term for a conductor : MAESTRO
50. Cole Porter classic from "Can-Can" : ILOVEPARIS
52. Earring shape : HOOP
53. "___ here!" : SAME
54. Folkie Phil : OCHS
56. Top-left button on most keyboards : ESC
57. Surprise ending, as in "The Gift of the Magi" : OHENRYTWIST
64. 11-Down that made "King Kong" : RKO
65. Picture book character lost in a crowd : WALDO
66. "Oh no!" : YIKES
67. Frodo's best friend : SAM
68. Fishline material : NYLON
69. Children's song refrain found at the starts of 17-, 26-, 35-, 50- and 57-Across : EIEIO
1. ___ Palace (Elsa's hide-out in "Frozen") : ICE
2. "___ Doubtfire" : MRS
3. Publicly 34-Across : OUT
4. New Deal prez : FDR
5. Pedicure targets : FEET
6. Recurring musical ideas : MOTIFS
7. No-no : TABOO
8. Glass of "This American Life" : IRA
9. Lion's hide-out : DEN
10. Stir in : ADD
11. Where to find a soundstage : STUDIO
12. Housefly larva : MAGGOT
13. Subject heading for an important email : URGENT
18. Buffalo's county : ERIE
21. "Yadda, yadda, yadda" : ETC
22. Globe shape: Abbr. : SPH
23. "Red Balloon" painter Paul : KLEE
24. App with restaurant reviews : YELP
25. Informal pronoun : YALL
27. Prego alternative : RAGU
28. Unruly crowds : MOBS
29. Quick on the uptake : ASTUTE
31. Reporter's contact : SOURCE
34. Corp. takeover : LBO
36. Gather what's been sown : REAP
37. Ingrid Bergman's "Casablanca" role : ILSA
38. Snack : NOSH
39. "What've you been ___?" : UPTO
40. Joan of art : MIRO
43. Bobby : U.K. :: ___ : U.S. : COP
44. Scrooge types : MISERS
45. U.S. state closest to the International Date Line : ALASKA
46. "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" or "When Harry Met Sally ..." : ROMCOM
47. "___ Maria" : AVE
48. One-millionth of a meter : MICRON
49. Like a barbecue pit : ASHY
51. Last movement of a sonata : RONDO
55. Eye irritation : STYE
57. Part of B.Y.O.B. : OWN
58. Cushion material for some horse-drawn rides : HAY
59. Building wing : ELL
60. Rival of Xbox : WII
61. "I Like ___" (old campaign slogan) : IKE
62. Due x tre : SEI
63. Chinese menu general : TSO

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later.

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