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New York Times, Monday, May 4, 2015

Author:
Zhouqin Burnikel
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
6411/13/20126/26/201919
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
620187472
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.56281
Zhouqin Burnikel

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 38 Missing: {JKQUWZ} This is puzzle # 17 for Ms. Burnikel. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
Four STEPMOMs today, interpreted as M-A-M-A in a stair-step pattern. C.C.'s execution gives me all sorts of good things to discuss. ... read more

Four STEPMOMs today, interpreted as M-A-M-A in a stair-step pattern.

C.C.'s execution gives me all sorts of good things to discuss. She starts by choosing some nice themers. I wasn't familiar with the DREAM ACT, but what a great way to give important legislation some front and center attention. And HAM AND EGGS plus a SAM ADAMS is a great anytime meal!

She continues by adding in a ton of great fill, utilizing those long downs to their full potential. Often times when a constructor tries to put to long downs right next to each other, one or the other ends up being a bit dull. But LION TAMER / AS IF I CARE and RADAR BLIP / AHA MOMENT are beautiful pairs. The MAMA stairsteps don't constrain the grid that much, and C.C. takes full advantage of the flexibility.

Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!

As if that weren't enough, the mid-length fill stands out. MARCIA from the Brady Bunch, PORTIA sounding like Porsche, ARAMAIC and GOES MAD. So much texture added to my solving experience.

I would have liked the theme to be a little less apparent — perhaps spreading it out to STEPPARENTS with MAMAs and PAPAS? — since once I hit STEPMOM I could fill in each set of circles. And I AM A CAMERA … it is gridworthy, in that it won Tonys and led to "Cabaret." Its crossword-friendly alternation of vowel/consonant also makes it easy to build around, so constructors have leaned on it in the past. I wonder if it will stand the test of time.

Then again, it did earn the famous review by Walter Kerr: "Me no Leica." So I got a chuckle out of that.

I used to steer well clear of ENERO and ILO, but after researching the International Labour Organization, I think it's an org people ought to know more about. Won a Nobel Peace Prize, after all. And overall, the price of an ENERO, ILO, ILE is so worth all the great entries in C.C.'s grid. Been a pleasure watching her grid skills evolve.

1
D
2
O
3
H
4
A
5
P
6
E
7
S
8
O
9
S
10
A
11
L
12
A
13
S
14
A
V
E
R
15
E
N
E
R
O
16
R
I
S
E
17
H
A
M
A
18
N
D
E
G
G
S
19
C
O
I
L
20
L
L
A
M
A
21
M
A
Y
O
22
R
23
N
F
L
24
S
N
A
P
25
P
Y
26
C
27
I
T
I
28
I
L
O
29
D
30
R
31
E
A
M
A
C
32
T
33
T
34
R
35
A
C
E
R
36
O
A
R
37
O
M
A
R
38
A
A
H
39
S
T
40
E
P
M
O
41
M
42
E
R
E
43
D
D
A
44
Y
45
I
L
E
46
I
A
47
G
R
E
E
48
S
A
M
A
49
D
A
M
S
50
C
R
O
51
R
O
M
A
52
F
A
C
E
53
T
54
S
55
I
B
M
56
N
57
A
58
D
59
I
R
60
I
S
A
A
61
C
62
F
L
E
63
X
64
I
A
M
A
65
C
A
M
E
R
A
66
S
I
N
E
67
D
R
A
M
A
68
A
B
I
T
69
O
P
T
S
70
S
E
X
E
D
71
D
O
S
E
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0504 ( 23,918 )
Across
1
Qatar's capital : DOHA
5
Mexican coins : PESOS
10
"Sad to say ..." : ALAS
14
State boldly : AVER
15
Start of a Mexican calendar : ENERO
16
Ascend : RISE
17
Traditional breakfast combo : HAMANDEGGS
19
Spring's shape : COIL
20
Long-necked pack animal : LLAMA
21
New York's Fiorello La Guardia, once : MAYOR
23
Org. for Rams and Jets : NFL
24
Quick, as a comeback : SNAPPY
26
Commercial lead-in to bank : CITI
28
1969 Peace Prize grp. : ILO
29
Obama-supported proposal for children of undocumented immigrants : DREAMACT
33
Bullet with a trail : TRACER
36
Rowboat propeller : OAR
37
Poet ___ Khayyám : OMAR
38
"How relaxing!" : AAH
39
Wicked relative of Cinderella ... or what each set of circled letters represents? : STEPMOM
42
Before, to a poet : ERE
43
Critical time of action : DDAY
45
___-de-France : ILE
46
"Hear! Hear!" : IAGREE
48
Brew with the slogan "For the love of beer" : SAMADAMS
50
___-Magnon man : CRO
51
Locale of the Città del Vaticano : ROMA
52
Sides of gems : FACETS
55
Co. that developed the ThinkPad : IBM
56
Very bottom : NADIR
60
Newton who formulated the law of universal gravitation : ISAAC
62
Show off, as muscles : FLEX
64
Hit 1951 play that inspired "Cabaret" : IAMACAMERA
66
___ qua non : SINE
67
"Game of Thrones," e.g. : DRAMA
68
Not much : ABIT
69
Chooses, with "for" : OPTS
70
School health course, informally : SEXED
71
Amount of medicine to take : DOSE
Down
1
Roald who wrote "Fantastic Mr. Fox" : DAHL
2
Toilet seats, geometrically : OVALS
3
Macho guy : HEMAN
4
"The Passion of the Christ" language : ARAMAIC
5
___ Xing (street sign) : PED
6
Foe : ENEMY
7
Tokyo-based game maker : SEGA
8
Wild party : ORGY
9
Neither good nor bad : SOSO
10
Pigskin path : ARC
11
Whip-wielding circus performer : LIONTAMER
12
"Big deal" : ASIFICARE
13
Buy's opposite : SELL
18
Italian city where pizza originated : NAPLES
22
Record label for Justin Timberlake and Miley Cyrus : RCA
25
Shakespeare character whose name sounds like a car : PORTIA
27
Blog comment qualifier : IMO
29
Idiots : DOPES
30
Dodge logo animal : RAM
31
Beethoven's Third : EROICA
32
See 40-Down : TREE
33
Little 'uns : TADS
34
Plane's appearance on an air traffic controller's screen : RADARBLIP
35
Epiphany : AHAMOMENT
40
With 32-Down, street shader : ELM
41
"The Brady Bunch" girl : MARCIA
44
Sweet potato : YAM
47
Loses one's sanity : GOESMAD
49
Brown who wrote "The Da Vinci Code" : DAN
52
One of 10 in bowling : FRAME
53
Karate-based exercise system : TAEBO
54
Bollywood wraps : SARIS
55
"In that case ..." : IFSO
57
Lends a hand : AIDS
58
Have the nerve : DARE
59
Big-screen format : IMAX
61
Blanchett of "Blue Jasmine" : CATE
63
Crosses (out) : XES
65
Two-timing sort : CAD

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle.

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