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New York Times, Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Author:
Pamela Klawitter
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
73/6/20086/10/20140
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
4011100
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.42040
Pamela Amick Klawitter

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 38 Missing: {FJQXZ} This is puzzle # 7 for Ms. Klawitter. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
What a cool find, to discover that certain famous people's names can be anagrammed to form PASSING NOTES, i.e. obits. I have to admit ... read more

What a cool find, to discover that certain famous people's names can be anagrammed to form PASSING NOTES, i.e. obits. I have to admit it took me a while to cotton to what was going on, but it was a neat a-ha moment when it came. MONROE NO MORE, NEWTON WENT ON, EDISON IS DONE... it's even neater now that I look back on it. Very cool to have a more complex theme than on an average Tuesday.

Really interesting grid design today. Instead of putting long fill in the down direction, Pam puts two long across answers into the grid, SIDESADDLE and CLOSE TO YOU. The reason we usually don't see this is that it can be much harder to incorporate these long across fillers without compromises in the short fill. Adding two extra ten-letter answers is effectively like upping the theme density. Not as hard of course, since you can change whatever those long fillers to whatever you want them to be. And Pam does a bang-up job with it, keeping all her crossings clean through those long fill entries, even giving us LEAN IN, the Sheryl Sandberg best seller. Very nice!

Those two long acrosses do produce the only offender to my own personal tastes, MDLI, though. The layout at that location results in the ?D?I pattern, which is awfully tough to fill. There's really nothing else but random Roman numerals possible, is there? I would have liked to seen black squares shifted around to avoid that dreaded pattern. I know it's just a single entry, but with only four theme entries, my OCD constructor's brain tells me that it could have been avoided. The CLOSE TO YOU entry makes that very difficult, however.

I really liked 1.) the anagramming find as well as 2.) the repurposing of the PASSING NOTES to tie the themers together. Ultimately, I felt those two ideas didn't quite mesh well enough for my taste to give it the POW, though. It could be telling that the clue for PASSING NOTES had to be super long as to almost be unreadable? Unfortunately, I can't think of a better way to weave these two ideas together. I might have preferred to see each of these ideas in a separate puzzle. Maybe one with a fourth anagram, and another with famous newspaper obit headlines?

Finally, the fill is pretty good today. Besides MDLI, there's only really SST, AER, EMS, OCTO, and WIS. None of those is bad, really. But it seems to me those isolated sections could be cleaned up, so as to have almost no glue-type entries. (I'll leave that as an exercise to the budding constructors out there. And yes, if for some reason SHANE is important to leave in, SST and AER are likely necessary.) I know it's me being picky and many solvers will gloss right over this point, but I find it difficult not to strive for absolute perfection.

Overall, two very nice theme ideas, perhaps not meshing quite as much to their potential as possible, but still producing a very enjoyable solve.

1
S
2
C
3
O
4
T
5
L
6
A
7
K
8
E
9
S
10
B
11
E
12
L
13
T
14
I
S
L
E
15
E
N
U
R
E
16
A
R
E
A
17
S
I
D
E
18
S
A
D
D
L
E
19
T
R
A
M
20
M
O
N
R
O
E
N
21
O
M
O
R
E
22
E
23
M
24
S
25
L
I
E
26
D
A
R
N
S
27
N
E
W
28
T
O
N
W
29
E
30
N
31
T
O
N
32
D
R
A
W
S
33
R
O
A
R
34
S
35
S
36
T
37
O
C
T
O
38
P
39
L
A
N
B
40
O
A
H
U
41
W
I
S
42
M
O
A
T
43
A
D
M
A
N
44
E
D
I
S
O
45
N
46
I
S
D
O
N
E
47
A
48
V
49
A
I
L
50
O
N
S
51
A
E
R
52
P
A
S
S
I
53
N
54
G
55
N
O
T
E
56
S
57
A
L
A
N
58
C
L
O
S
E
T
O
59
Y
60
O
61
U
62
R
U
D
E
63
A
U
D
E
N
64
D
A
M
S
65
T
E
A
R
66
A
T
E
S
T
67
A
P
S
E
© 2014, The New York TimesNo. 0610 ( 23,590 )
Across
1
Alexander Graham Bell, for one : SCOT
5
Places to go fishing : LAKES
10
Asteroid ___ : BELT
14
Cay : ISLE
15
Harden (to) : ENURE
16
Region : AREA
17
One way to ride a horse : SIDESADDLE
19
Vegas hotel transport : TRAM
20
Brief 1831 headline? : MONROENOMORE
22
Museum's ends? : EMS
25
Golf ball's position : LIE
26
Mends, as socks : DARNS
27
Brief 1727 headline? : NEWTONWENTON
32
Goes fishing in go fish? : DRAWS
33
"I am woman, hear me ___" : ROAR
34
Jet that once made a boom, in brief : SST
37
Prefix with -genarian : OCTO
38
Alternative if things don't work out : PLANB
40
Home of Waikiki Beach : OAHU
41
Badger's home: Abbr. : WIS
42
Castle protection : MOAT
43
Employee of TV's Sterling Cooper & Partners : ADMAN
44
Brief 1931 headline? : EDISONISDONE
47
Take advantage (of) : AVAIL
50
Switch positions : ONS
51
___ Lingus : AER
52
Secretive classroom activity ... or what 20-, 27- and 44-Across are anagrammatic examples of? : PASSINGNOTES
57
Rickman of the Harry Potter films : ALAN
58
Where the Carpenters "long to be" in a 1970 #1 hit : CLOSETOYOU
62
Ill-mannered : RUDE
63
"Funeral Blues" poet : AUDEN
64
Beaver projects : DAMS
65
Drop of melodrama? : TEAR
66
Historic event on Bikini atoll, briefly : ATEST
67
View from a pew, maybe : APSE
Down
1
Beyoncé, to Solange, or vice versa : SIS
2
CBS drama with multiple spinoffs : CSI
3
Superannuated : OLD
4
Be overflowing : TEEM
5
2013 Sheryl Sandberg best seller : LEANIN
6
Steel magnate Carnegie : ANDREW
7
Bit of praise, in modern usage : KUDO
8
Writer ___ Stanley Gardner : ERLE
9
Witnessed : SEEN
10
Gotham City V.I.P. : BATMAN
11
Bobble or fumble : ERROR
12
Get smart : LEARN
13
Busts, as broncos : TAMES
18
Arias, e.g. : SOLOS
21
Disinfectant target : ODOR
22
Set up, as a chair : ENDOW
23
Word of thanks overseas : MERCI
24
Hits a fly, say : SWATS
28
"Terrible" age : TWO
29
Clio : history :: ___ : lyric poetry : ERATO
30
Fictional opening? : NON
31
You might pick one up in a bar : TAB
34
Girl Scout cookie with toasted coconut : SAMOA
35
"The L Word" role for Katherine Moennig : SHANE
36
Piano man, maybe : TUNER
38
Luau dish : POI
39
Part of U.N.L.V. : LAS
40
Not even : ODD
42
The year 1551 : MDLI
43
It's a plus : ASSET
44
Onetime Disney chief : EISNER
45
Old West "neckties" : NOOSES
46
Something to be proven in a criminal case : INTENT
47
In different places : APART
48
Pawnshop estimate : VALUE
49
Carne ___ (Mexican dish) : ASADA
53
Org. with eligibility rules : NCAA
54
Fill to excess : GLUT
55
Lymph ___ : NODE
56
Root beer, e.g. : SODA
59
Chihuahua sound : YAP
60
Meditation syllables : OMS
61
Find a purpose for : USE

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle.

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