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New York Times, Saturday, May 6, 2017

Author: Joe DiPietro
Editor: Will Shortz
Joe DiPietro
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1288/26/19955/6/20170
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
281072041283
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.59326

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 29 Missing: {JQ} This is puzzle # 128 for Mr. DiPietro. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes: One of my biggest laughs in recent crossword memory came from the mysterious clue, [One asking for Ahmed Adoudi, say]. If you don't ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

One of my biggest laughs in recent crossword memory came from the mysterious clue, [One asking for Ahmed Adoudi, say]. If you don't get it, say it out loud, in a Moe Szyslak tone of voice. Great entry, made even better with its clue. (Some solvers might find it juvenile. So I'm juvenile!) SCAM ARTIST was another standout, as was the GAZA STRIP.

A shame that Joe got scooped on ANTI-VAXXER, debuted just over a week ago. Feature entries are important in distinguishing themelesses, so seeing it again in such a short period of time wasn't great. It'd be super difficult task for Will and Joel to avoid this type of quick reshowing, but it would sure be worth it to me.

But MARK O MEARA didn't do that much for me since I gave up golf 20 years ago, and even though FROST / NIXON has sentimental value as it was the first movie Jill and I ever saw together (what a choice for a date movie, huh?), I don't remember much about it. Overall, there weren't as many assets in the puzzle as I usually hope for.

Lack of assets is a common issue for themelesses featuring seven-letter entries. I did like BEER KEG and WAFFLES, but STOMP ON, ACREAGE, ANGINAL, ADHERES are all more neutral; filler material holding the puzzle together. Maybe the RCA DOME would have been an asset back when the Colts were still playing there, but it feels fusty now.

I appreciated the effort to work in some snazz with PET TAXI, but that one didn't hit my ear very well. A quick Googling turned up countless PET TAXI services, so it seems fine. But it still seems kind of an odd phrase to me.

With some RESOAK, BANC crossing BEL (borderline unfair), EROO, outdated TROI, ENDO, it was a tad too much crossword glue for my taste.

Still, that CRANK CALLER entry/clue pair will stick with me for a long time. Ahmed Adoudi, tee hee.

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© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0506 ( 24,651 )
Across Down
1. Be on K.P., in a way : WASHDISHES
11. ___ school : GRAD
15. Sly depiction, often : ACTIONHERO
16. Breakout of a sort : ACNE
17. Play and movie about a noted 1977 series of interviews : FROSTNIXON
18. Moves unpredictably : ZAGS
19. Partners in many lesbian couples : FEMS
20. Who said "Politics is war without bloodshed" : MAO
21. Lost all patience : HADIT
22. It disappears after rising : LAP
23. Circuit : LOOP
25. "Doktor Faust" composer : BUSONI
26. Bovarism : EGO
27. 1983 7x platinum Billy Joel album, with "An" : INNOCENTMAN
29. Japanese import that debuted in 1982 : SENTRA
31. John in a suit? : DOE
32. Hinge (upon) : RELY
33. Marine fish related to the cod : HAKE
35. "Star Trek: T.N.G." counselor : TROI
37. They're not complex numbers : SOLI
40. "___ Sleeps Over" (classic children's book) : IRA
42. Some sorority women : KAPPAS
46. One asking for Ahmed Adoudi, say : CRANKCALLER
49. Setting for Red Sox games: Abbr. : EDT
50. Stick back in the water? : RESOAK
51. See 52-Across : BIGS
52. With 51-Across, two steps away from AA, informally : THE
53. Torment : AGONY
54. Acoustics unit : BEL
55. Brood : STEW
56. It may be just a bit : PART
57. Winner of the 1998 Masters and British Open : MARKOMEARA
60. Prefix with -genous : ENDO
61. One who won't give kids a shot? : ANTIVAXXER
62. It's often picked up in bars : SOAP
63. One who's gotten good marks? : SCAMARTIST
1. Isn't resolute : WAFFLES
2. Land : ACREAGE
3. Crush : STOMPON
4. Sibilate : HISS
5. Feature of only two letters : DOT
6. Overnight letter? : INN
7. President Peres : SHIMON
8. Insect, e.g. : HEXAPOD
9. Old switch extension : EROO
10. Start of a sequel, sometimes : SON
11. Intifada locale : GAZASTRIP
12. Former home of the Colts : RCADOME
13. Like some chest pain : ANGINAL
14. Lot : DESTINY
21. Vandal : HUN
23. Italian bread that's become toast? : LIRA
24. Currently into something : ONAKICK
25. Center of a blowout, maybe : BEERKEG
28. Camp sight : COT
30. Balding : THINONTOP
34. Long stretch : ERA
36. Sticks in the water? : OARS
37. Rows : SCRAPES
38. Herb of PBS's "Ciao Italia" : OREGANO
39. 1981 and 1988 World Series-winning manager : LASORDA
41. 1988 Olympics locale : ALBERTA
43. Urban lab transporter, maybe : PETTAXI
44. Bonds : ADHERES
45. Noah's predecessor : STEWART
47. Eloise creator Thompson : KAY
48. Rapper with the debut album "Hard Core" : LILKIM
54. Jurist's seat : BANC
55. Suggestive transmission : SEXT
57. What's more in Madrid? : MAS
58. Beginnings of life : OVA
59. Blemish : MAR

Answer summary: 9 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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