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New York Times, Saturday, June 11, 2016

Author:
Andrew Kingsley
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
164/29/20169/15/20193
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1213054
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.55020
Andrew Kingsley

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 68, Blocks: 33 Missing: {QVZ} This is puzzle # 2 for Mr. Kingsley. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Andrew Kingsley notes:
I am surprised by how quickly my second puzzle appeared. It couldn't have come at a more fitting time. I'll be graduating from ... read more

I am surprised by how quickly my second puzzle appeared. It couldn't have come at a more fitting time. I'll be graduating from Dartmouth College tomorrow! Crosswording has always provided a needed break from all the essay writing. It was also the way I began writing for the school's newspaper. I mostly just published the puzzles Will rejected (sorry, Dartmouth solvers). After my puzzles started getting accepted, I didn't have much material to send to the paper, so I became the film critic instead. Go figure. I can't wait to construct a few this summer on our back porch with my cat sunbathing next to me.

This one was accepted in April of last year. It was my first foray into the sub-70-worder realm and it was actually not as nightmarish as I had anticipated. The seed entry was SELFIE STICK (or as my friend aptly calls it, the narcissistick). Unfortunately, David Steinberg beat me to it with his February 6th puzzle. But I'm much happier seeing selfie stick used in a crossword than in real life.

I was pleased to get MALL SANTA, I CAN EXPLAIN, and SAME SEX in there as well. Will and Joel were uneasy about SO DOPE, but we all felt like it's tossed around enough to be included, which is so dope!

Jeff Chen notes:
Some great feature answers, MALL SANTA and I CAN EXPLAIN my favorites. Nice to see these answers spread throughout the grid. Although ... read more

Some great feature answers, MALL SANTA and I CAN EXPLAIN my favorites. Nice to see these answers spread throughout the grid. Although Andrew only has 12 slots that are eight letters or more, it felt like there were more, since I seemed to keep hitting them no matter what part of the grid I was working on. Along with the nice grid flow — a bunch of answers connecting each corner to the rest of the puzzle — it made for a good solving experience.

Apparently some amusement parks have banned SELFIE STICKS, because people take them out during rides

I might have said a great experience, if it hadn't been for that western section. There is a ton of mid to long stuff all running through it, so it's a tough region to fill. Starting with A TON OF, connecting to DEFORESTS to NO PULP (ironic crossing) to SITE MAP to TOO LATE to MALL SANTA, that's a huge amount of material that needs to congeal. RARA and ERST running through PARI and ACCURST is unfortunate ... if that all had been spread through the grid, maybe it wouldn't have stood out to me.

One thing I've found surprising about corners like the NE/SW is that it's surprisingly difficult to work with stacks of 6-letter answers intersecting stacks of 8s. Seems like it shouldn't be that tough, but getting strong or even neutral 6-letter answers to work makes things tricky. Andrew does really well in the SW, with COUS-COUS and COMPADRE intersecting SO DOPE (I think that's still in use, yeah?), executed really cleanly. The NE is pretty good too, although AMIENS is rough if you're not a history or geography buff. It's so crossword-friendly though, what with its common letters. That terminal ENS is crossword construction gold.

Not sure I like the visual of the four black squares in the four corners, but Andrew does take advantage of those adjacent slots — SAME SEX, ST KITTS, SALAMIS, and ATHEISM are all pretty nice entries.

1
S
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A
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X
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0611 ( 24,322 )

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Across
1
Ones hanging around a deli? : SALAMIS
8
One face in the crowd? : WALDO
13
Poison also called white arsenic : RATSBANE
14
French siege site of 1597 : AMIENS
16
Children's song about avian anatomy : ALOUETTE
17
Lot : KISMET
18
Barrel holder : GUN
19
Something held at arm's length : SELFIESTICK
21
Neighbor of Windsor Castle : ETON
23
Priceline possibilities : INNS
24
I have, to Henri : JAI
25
Converts to pastureland, say : DEFORESTS
29
Nature : SORT
30
Equal: Prefix : PARI
31
Post-stunt provocation : TOPTHAT
34
Ill-fated, old-style : ACCURST
37
Aims : INTENTS
38
After the fact : TOOLATE
39
Grub for a grub : LEAF
40
Zebu feature : HUMP
41
One might start working on Black Friday : MALLSANTA
46
Debatable ability : ESP
47
Really go up : SOAR
49
Aye's opposite, poetically : NEER
50
"Hear me out" : ICANEXPLAIN
55
Whacking tool : GAT
56
Way cool, in modern lingo : SODOPE
57
Like lingerie : INTIMATE
59
James who edited the O.E.D. : MURRAY
60
Bare-bones : SKELETAL
61
Bobby who co-founded the Black Panthers : SEALE
62
Like some unions : SAMESEX
Down
1
Toast, e.g. : SALUTE
2
Untold : ATONOF
3
Where Shaq won the Adolph Rupp Trophy : LSU
4
Two of them are worth a sawbuck : ABES
5
Winning move : MATE
6
Involving multiple states: Abbr. : INTL
7
Deem appropriate : SEEFIT
8
Stir : WAKEN
9
Off : AMISS
10
Tilt : LIST
11
Home brewing vessel : DEMIJOHN
12
About 2% of the Hope Diamond : ONECARAT
13
Was spitting nails : RAGED
15
One of the Leewards : STKITTS
20
Establish gradually : INSTILL
22
Tropicana label specification : NOPULP
26
Hardly seen, to Seneca : RARA
27
Way back then, way back when : ERST
28
Certain Internet diagram : SITEMAP
29
Fatsis who wrote the best-selling "Word Freak" : STEFAN
32
Student taking Civil Procedure, most likely : ONEL
33
Some car wash grps. : PTAS
34
"The vice of a few intelligent people," per Voltaire : ATHEISM
35
Alternative to quinoa : COUSCOUS
36
Sancho Panza, to Don Quixote : COMPADRE
42
Third-ever Best Actor Oscar winner : ARLISS
43
Nix : NEGATE
44
Source of resentment in the Colonies in the 1770s : TEATAX
45
Soviet co-op : ARTEL
47
Monkshood flower's "hood" : SEPAL
48
Baroque window : OXEYE
51
Dunn formerly of "S.N.L." : NORA
52
"Annette Sings ___" (1960 pop album) : ANKA
53
Couple : ITEM
54
Elephantine Island is in it : NILE
58
Mayo, for one : MES

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 3 debuted here and reused later, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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