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New York Times, Monday, May 8, 2017

Author: Zhouqin Burnikel
Editor: Will Shortz
Zhouqin Burnikel
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5011/13/201212/5/201718
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517145342
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1.56281
Puzzle of the Week

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 38 Missing: {JVZ} This is puzzle # 41 for Ms. Burnikel. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. NYT links: Across Lite PDF

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Zhouqin Burnikel notes: I was hesitant putting MALIK in 36D spot, afraid that he might stump some. That was a knotty area. Quite a few unexpected knotty spots in this grid.
Jeff Chen notes: LGBTQ getting its due today — that's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning — using homophones to ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

LGBTQ getting its due today — that's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning — using homophones to disguise those five letters. How fortuitous that each letter has a real-word sound-alike! It's so common for a constructor to get a beautiful idea … but a single element ruins the idea. Thank goodness it's not LGBTR or LGBTM.

Excellent selection of themers, GEE, YA THINK? my favorite. Those colloquial ones pop for me. CUE THE MUSIC was fun too. Not familiar with BEE BALM — BEE STINGS or BEE POLLEN might be better — but it's much, much easier to work with a central 7-letter answer than a central 9-, 11-, 13-, or 15-letter one.

BEEHIVE might have been more known, but it is a single word, which would make the theme slightly inconsistent. Better to have each of the key homophones be single words.

Speaking of consistency, it would have been so perfect to have each homophone be exactly three letters — ELLE sticks out in this way. But sometimes you have to make do with what you have. I did like that C.C. made the effort to work in two themers with three words, rather than just a single one — something about a two/three split that's so much more pleasing than a one/four split.

I know, I'm so anal!

I normally like revealers to be placed in an elegant spot — the lower right corner, or dead center of the puzzle — but there's something nice about crossing LGBTQ through one of the themers.

I didn't remember MALIK right off the top, but he does seem to be crossworthy. So even for a Monday-puzzle, I think that's fine, considering how easy the crossing answers are.

The only real hitching point for me was in the north. Ian McEwan's "Atonement" was big enough to warrant crossworthiness, but OTERI, not so much. And GOL … oof.

But overall, a well-executed tribute to the LGBTQ community. Love it.

1
G
2
P
3
A
4
M
5
A
6
G
7
O
8
O
9
S
10
C
11
O
12
W
13
S
14
O
L
D
15
C
L
O
T
H
16
I
O
N
I
A
17
B
A
D
18
E
L
L
E
F
19
A
N
N
I
N
G
20
I
N
L
21
A
W
22
R
U
N
23
C
O
D
E
24
G
E
E
Y
A
25
T
26
H
I
N
K
27
E
N
C
28
E
N
Y
A
29
H
30
A
R
S
H
31
A
32
N
33
T
S
34
P
R
35
O
36
M
37
I
N
O
I
38
L
39
S
E
E
40
B
E
E
B
A
41
L
M
42
U
M
A
43
K
I
T
44
T
Y
45
S
I
L
O
46
A
P
E
X
47
L
E
A
S
48
E
49
I
N
50
S
T
51
Y
A
K
52
T
53
E
54
A
K
E
T
T
55
L
56
E
57
S
58
N
O
T
E
59
T
L
C
60
A
N
G
L
E
61
C
U
E
T
62
H
E
M
U
63
S
64
I
C
65
B
I
C
66
A
N
T
E
S
67
S
T
A
R
K
68
T
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69
A
G
E
N
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70
T
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X
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71
Q
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S
© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0508 ( 24,653 )
Across Down
1. 4.0 is a great one : GPA
4. Nearsighted cartoon Mr. : MAGOO
9. Garbage-carrying boats : SCOWS
14. Superannuated : OLD
15. Denim or linen : CLOTH
16. Ancient land near Lydia : IONIA
17. Not good : BAD
18. "Super 8" actress, 2011 : ELLEFANNING
20. Relative who might visit for the holidays : INLAW
22. Hightail it : RUN
23. Secret language : CODE
24. "Thanks, Captain Obvious!" : GEEYATHINK
27. Ltr. addition : ENC
28. One-named New Age singer : ENYA
29. Rough, as criticism : HARSH
31. Industrious little marchers : ANTS
34. Spring school dance : PROM
37. How sardines are often packed : INOIL
39. "Get the picture?" : SEE
40. Flower that attracts pollinating insects : BEEBALM
42. Actress Thurman : UMA
43. Money in the middle of a poker table : KITTY
45. Farm tower : SILO
46. High point : APEX
47. Auto deal for nonbuyers : LEASE
49. Caltech, e.g.: Abbr. : INST
51. Talk, talk and then talk some more : YAK
52. Whistlers in the kitchen : TEAKETTLES
58. Brief letter : NOTE
59. Dr. Mom's attention, for short : TLC
60. Each one in a square is 90° : ANGLE
61. Order to get a soundtrack ready : CUETHEMUSIC
65. Popular pen : BIC
66. Money in the middle of a poker table : ANTES
67. ___ raving mad : STARK
68. Toddler : TOT
69. Deal negotiator for athletes : AGENT
70. State where the Cotton Bowl is held : TEXAS
71. There are four in a gallon: Abbr. : QTS
1. Not hold back : GOBIG
2. Air Force One, for one : PLANE
3. Bewilder : ADDLE
4. Ian who wrote "Atonement" : MCEWAN
5. Every last bit : ALL
6. Fútbol score : GOL
7. Onetime "S.N.L." regular Cheri : OTERI
8. "That sounds good ... NOT!" : OHFUN
9. Envy or lust : SIN
10. Worry : CONCERN
11. Dish in a bowl often served au gratin : ONIONSOUP
12. Tinkler on a porch : WINDCHIME
13. Wise man : SAGE
19. Egyptian cross : ANKH
21. Thumbs-up votes : AYES
25. Variety : TYPE
26. Relatives of rabbits : HARES
30. "We ___ to please!" : AIM
31. Word before "and ye shall receive" : ASK
32. Singer with the 1972 hit "Heart of Gold" : NEILYOUNG
33. One-on-one talk : TETEATETE
35. Sash for a kimono : OBI
36. Pop singer Zayn formerly of One Direction : MALIK
38. Opposite of strict : LAX
40. Fly-___ (Blue Angels maneuvers) : BYS
41. Lacking company : LONE
44. Rest for a bit : TAKETEN
46. Abbr. before a name on a memo : ATTN
48. Suffix with cigar : ETTE
50. Groups of poker chips, typically : STACKS
53. Locale of a film "nightmare": Abbr. : ELMST
54. Less than 90° : ACUTE
55. Modern movement initialism ... or a hint to the starts of 18-, 24-, 40-, 52- and 61-Across : LGBTQ
56. "The Waste Land" poet : ELIOT
57. Religious offshoots : SECTS
58. March Madness org. : NCAA
62. President before D.D.E. : HST
63. Jazz instrument : SAX
64. Savings for the golden years, for short : IRA

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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