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New York Times, Monday, June 11, 2018

Author: Gary Cee
Editor: Will Shortz
Gary Cee
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
345/28/20096/11/20180
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11088421
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.56021

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 40 Missing: {JQXZ} This is puzzle # 34 for Mr. Cee. NYT links: Across Lite PDF

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Gary Cee notes: Coming up with a worthy idea is one thing. Pulling it off is quite another. 'DRINKS ARE ON ME' was the catalyst. Now if I could come ... more
Gary Cee notes:

Coming up with a worthy idea is one thing. Pulling it off is quite another. "DRINKS ARE ON ME" was the catalyst. Now if I could come up with four popular cocktails whose titles each had another meaning, then place them over words with an ME in the middle, then place the reveal in the center, I might be on to something.

I think I got all of this one, and it was fun to construct.

Jeff Chen notes: DRINKS ARE ON ME? What a nice offer, Gary! Make mine a quadruple – that is, four drinks literally atop the bigram ME. I had a ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

DRINKS ARE ON ME? What a nice offer, Gary! Make mine a quadruple – that is, four drinks literally atop the bigram ME. I had a nice a-ha after putting in SIDECAR as a [Motorcycle attachment], and then realizing that a SIDECAR is also a mixed drink.

The others didn't work as well for me, as the drink definitions of MIMOSA, GIMLET, and MARTINI are much more recognizable than their … whatever else they are. The MIMOSA is a tropical tree? A GIMLET is embarrassingly unrecognizable to this mechanical engineer as a [Hand tool for boring holes]?

And maybe I should know Danny DeVito's "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" role, as a character named MARTINI? It is a classic movie, I suppose. Huh.

Point is, it's much nicer when the drink is disguised in another easily recognizable form. Perhaps a SCREWDRIVER or BLOODY MARY would have been better. Tougher to build around, for sure, but more fun. Especially for a Monday puzzle that's supposed to be easy!

Speaking of tough to build around, DRINKS ARE ON ME is 13 letters, such a dread-inducing length. Plunking it down in the center of the puzzle already takes away so much precious flexibility. I can see why Gary chose to stick to shorter drinks. Much easier to wedge in MIMOSA than to jam in a long SCREWDRIVER.

That sounded a lot dirtier than it really was.

Although you can shift the ME letters left and right a lot, having those extra letters is still an additional set of constraints. Gary did pretty darn well to hold the crossword glue to just some APAR, EPS, STE. FLACKS did sound odd to me in the plural, but it does get dictionary support as [Press agents]. Huh.

A bit repetitive to fill in those MEs – once you hit the revealer, it's all too easy to fill in whatever MEs you haven't gotten to yet. But I liked the playful theme notion and really liked how Gary disguised his SIDECAR.

1
H
2
U
3
T
4
R
5
A
6
T
7
S
8
I
9
R
10
V
11
O
12
W
13
E
P
I
14
T
A
P
H
15
A
M
A
16
T
E
U
R
17
S
I
D
E
C
A
R
18
G
A
V
O
T
T
E
19
E
M
E
R
I
20
L
21
M
I
M
O
S
A
22
B
23
R
O
24
L
O
25
S
S
26
M
E
E
K
27
R
A
V
28
E
29
B
L
O
T
30
C
Y
S
T
S
31
A
N
E
M
32
I
A
33
K
I
34
L
O
35
D
R
I
N
K
36
S
A
R
E
O
37
N
38
M
39
E
40
N
E
I
L
41
F
L
A
C
K
42
S
43
S
44
A
45
R
46
I
S
47
L
I
48
S
T
49
G
E
E
K
50
I
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51
A
L
V
A
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N
S
A
53
G
I
M
L
54
E
T
55
E
L
56
D
57
E
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S
T
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N
A
M
E
T
A
60
G
61
M
A
R
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62
N
63
I
64
O
N
E
Y
A
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D
65
O
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67
L
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68
N
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69
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S
© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0611 ( 25,052 )
Across Down
1. Home made of mud and thatch : HUT
4. Mob informant : RAT
7. Knight's title : SIR
10. "I do," at a wedding : VOW
13. George Bernard Shaw wanted his to read "I knew if I stayed around long enough, something like this would happen" : EPITAPH
15. Professional's opposite : AMATEUR
17. Motorcycle attachment : SIDECAR
18. French ballroom dance : GAVOTTE
19. Chef Lagasse : EMERIL
21. Tropical tree with hot pink flowers : MIMOSA
22. Sis's sibling : BRO
24. Spreadsheet amount shown in parentheses : LOSS
26. "The ___ shall inherit the earth" : MEEK
27. Gushing review : RAVE
29. Inky mess : BLOT
30. Dermatological sacs : CYSTS
31. Result of iron deficiency : ANEMIA
33. The "k" of kHz : KILO
35. "I've got this round!" ... or a literal hint to this puzzle's theme : DRINKSAREONME
40. Moonwalker Armstrong : NEIL
41. Press agents, informally : FLACKS
43. Dresses in India : SARIS
47. Roster : LIST
49. Nerd : GEEK
50. Colored part of the eye : IRIS
51. Thomas Edison's middle name : ALVA
52. Hush-hush government org. : NSA
53. Hand tool for boring holes : GIMLET
55. One with only younger siblings : ELDEST
59. Sticker that might start "Hello ..." : NAMETAG
61. Danny DeVito's role in 1975's "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" : MARTINI
64. Minor gain in football : ONEYARD
65. Fair way to judge something : ONMERIT
66. "Cool!" : RAD
67. Back talk : LIP
68. U.S.'s largest union, with 3.2 million members : NEA
69. Short albums, for short : EPS
1. "___ Just Not That Into You" : HES
2. Longtime inits. in newswires : UPI
3. Sustain temporarily : TIDEOVER
4. 5K or 10K : RACE
5. On ___ with (even with) : APAR
6. Surge of exhilaration : THRILL
7. Droop : SAG
8. Muslim leaders : IMAMS
9. Sitarist Shankar : RAVI
10. Nixes from Nixon, e.g. : VETOES
11. Beginning : OUTSET
12. Unleashes, as havoc : WREAKS
14. President pro ___ : TEM
16. Designer Hilfiger : TOMMY
20. "Pay attention out there!" : LOOKALIVE
22. Undergarment usually fastened in the back : BRA
23. Kentucky senator Paul : RAND
25. Mix, as paint : STIR
28. Classic record label : EMI
29. Pie recipe directive : BAKE
30. Pie recipe directive : COOL
32. B&Bs : INNS
34. Pointing in this direction: <-- : LEFT
36. Window ledge : SILL
37. Chronic complainer : NAG
38. Country's Reba : MCENTIRE
39. Barely makes, with "out" : EKES
42. Some Jamaican music : SKA
43. Mister, in Milan : SIGNOR
44. Singer Grande : ARIANA
45. Horn-___ glasses : RIMMED
46. The ___ Brothers of R&B : ISLEY
48. Fish sometimes served smoked : SALMON
51. Big name in arcade gaming : ATARI
54. And others, in a bibliography : ETAL
56. Copenhagener, e.g. : DANE
57. Bombeck who wrote "Housework, if you do it right, will kill you" : ERMA
58. Sault ___ Marie, Mich. : STE
60. Meas. of a country's economic output : GDP
62. Puppy's bite : NIP
63. "___ over" ("We're done") : ITS

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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