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New York Times, Monday, May 8, 2017

Author:
Zhouqin Burnikel
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
6611/13/201210/28/201919
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622187472
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1.56281
Zhouqin Burnikel

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
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 disguise ... read more

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
O
T
69
A
G
E
N
T
70
T
E
X
A
S
71
Q
T
S
© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0508 ( 24,653 )

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Across
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
Down
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, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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