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New York Times, Monday, June 13, 2016

Author:
Lynn Lempel
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
8512/9/197912/3/20182
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
660132130
ScrabRebusCirclePangramPre‑WS
1.610812
Lynn Lempel

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 38 Missing: {JQWXZ} This is puzzle # 75 for Ms. Lempel. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Lynn Lempel notes:
Maybe I've finally gotten the message about writing sufficiently easy clues, because this puzzle is hardly changed from what I ... read more

Maybe I've finally gotten the message about writing sufficiently easy clues, because this puzzle is hardly changed from what I submitted. Yes, there were a few slight rewordings and a few rewrites—but nothing I'd consider significant.

Once I realized that "fool around" had good crossword potential, I was happy to find four reasonably common phrases that worked—and mostly for words of five letters (i.e., not too short, like ASS or OAF).

I sent in this puzzle just before Christmas, so it's been in the queue less than six months. You never know how long it will take. I hope you had fun fooling around with this one.

Jeff Chen notes:
FOOL AROUND = synonyms for FOOL 'wrapped around' phrases. CHEST BUMP is a colorful base phrase — neat that CH/UMP happens to be ... read more

FOOL AROUND = synonyms for FOOL "wrapped around" phrases. CHEST BUMP is a colorful base phrase — neat that CH/UMP happens to be wrapped around it. And I thought the juxtaposition of MOTOR NEURON and MORON was particularly amusing, the latter not using a ton of the former.

Quite the cabinetmaker, apparently

I wasn't as taken with DORK around DOUBLE PARK. The dictionary definition is "a dull, slow-witted, or socially inept person," but I'm more used to (and partial to) DORK as a compliment, as in "that dorky girl has some serious nerd cred!" Perhaps this explains a lot about me.

DUNCAN PHYFE … whoo, that was a toughie to put together. Thankfully Lynn took her usual care to make all the crossings gettable. I did struggle with the SNIFF AT crossing, but mostly because that PHYFE last name looked so odd. I was curious if any other phrases were available for DUNCE — one I liked was the DEAD CAT BOUNCE, an investing term related to a technical chart pattern. Usually I'd prefer to stay away from nasty-sounding terms, especially ones referring to death, but given that DEATH is already in the grid …

DUE DILIGENCE could have worked too.

Not that DUNCAN PHYFE is bad, but it sure is tough for a Monday and may not do much for non-furniture enthusiasts like myself. I did appreciate that the clue was interesting enough that it made me want to look him up.

I did find it un-Lympelian to get an assortment of crossword glue: CSA, ATA, ASSN, ISR, ENGR, ETTE, and especially SERE. Thankfully it was spread around the grid so it didn't seem overwhelming in any one spot, but as a whole, it was a good bit more than we usually see in her puzzles.

This type of grid arrangement often does cause construction difficulties, what with those four biggish corners plus the fact that so many regions have to interact with two themers. So I did appreciate Lynn working in some nice mid-length fill such as ID SAY SO, SUMATRA, FERRARI. Pretty good use of those 7-letter slots, helping to make up for some of the gluey bits.

Jim Horne notes:

This is the 75th NYT puzzle for Ms. Lempel.

1
S
2
P
3
U
4
R
5
E
6
D
7
I
8
T
9
D
10
I
11
S
12
H
13
A
L
S
O
14
V
I
S
A
15
S
16
E
D
N
A
17
D
O
U
B
18
L
E
P
A
R
K
19
A
S
I
S
20
T
R
E
E
21
A
M
I
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T
A
F
T
23
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T
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D
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U
26
N
C
A
N
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P
H
Y
F
E
28
F
E
R
29
R
A
R
I
30
C
S
A
31
S
A
N
32
O
R
S
O
33
G
P
34
A
35
L
36
O
O
T
S
37
C
38
H
E
S
T
39
B
40
U
M
P
41
S
42
A
43
N
K
A
44
A
L
P
45
E
46
A
47
S
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E
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U
M
A
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I
51
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E
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I
L
55
M
O
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56
O
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58
A
S
K
59
A
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B
61
G
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O
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T
O
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K
64
F
O
O
65
L
66
A
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O
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N
67
D
68
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U
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69
F
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P
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71
A
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© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0613 ( 24,324 )
Across
1. Spike on a cowboy boot : SPUR
5. Tweak, as text : EDIT
9. What ran away with the spoon, in "Hey Diddle Diddle" : DISH
13. As well : ALSO
14. Some passport stamps : VISAS
16. Ferber who wrote "Giant" : EDNA
17. Leave one's vehicle in a traffic lane, say : DOUBLEPARK
19. Cautionary words for a buyer : ASIS
20. Larch or birch : TREE
21. "___ the only one?" : AMI
22. President William Howard ___ : TAFT
23. Four Corners-area tribesman : UTE
24. Iconic U.S. cabinetmaker of the early 1800s : DUNCANPHYFE
28. Italian luxury carmaker : FERRARI
30. Jefferson Davis's govt. : CSA
31. ___ Andreas Fault : SAN
32. Approximately : ORSO
33. Academic record, in brief : GPA
35. Plunders : LOOTS
37. Physical expression of victory : CHESTBUMP
41. Instant decaf brand : SANKA
44. High point of a European ski trip? : ALP
45. Simplicity : EASE
49. "Gattaca" actress Thurman : UMA
50. Kibbutz locale: Abbr. : ISR
53. Spoon or spatula : UTENSIL
55. Spinal cord cell needed for muscle contraction : MOTORNEURON
58. Query : ASK
59. Song for a diva : ARIA
60. PC connecting device : USB
61. Loser in a momentous 2000 Supreme Court case : GORE
63. Grabbed : TOOK
64. Engage in some horseplay ... or a hint to the words spelled out in the circles : FOOLAROUND
68. Letter in an Anglo-Saxon script : RUNE
69. Swing wildly, as one's arms : FLAIL
70. Devious maneuver : PLOY
71. The "A" in N.B.A.: Abbr. : ASSN
72. Suffix with luncheon or kitchen : ETTE
73. Withered : SERE
Down
1. Melancholy : SAD
2. Conspiracy member : PLOTTER
3. Loan sharks : USURERS
4. Justice's garment : ROBE
5. She loses paradise in "Paradise Lost" : EVE
6. Quick swim : DIP
7. "I, Robot" writer Asimov : ISAAC
8. Airport landing area : TARMAC
9. Sudden ___ (overtime format) : DEATH
10. "Sounds about right" : IDSAYSO
11. Regard dismissively : SNIFFAT
12. Hurries up : HASTENS
15. Animal pelts : SKINS
18. "___ and the Swan" (Yeats poem) : LEDA
23. Otherworldly craft, for short : UFO
25. Prod : URGE
26. Playful bites : NIPS
27. Coconut's place : PALM
29. Scissors topper, in a game : ROCK
34. ___ snail's pace : ATA
36. Available for business : OPEN
38. Rapunzel's bounty : HAIR
39. Hazy image : BLUR
40. Until : UPTO
41. Large Indonesian island : SUMATRA
42. Romantically inclined : AMOROUS
43. Slovakia and Slovenia : NATIONS
46. Generally : ASARULE
47. "Yes sir!," south of the border : SISENOR
48. Large deer : ELK
51. Tobacco that's inhaled : SNUFF
52. Repair, as a shoe bottom : RESOLE
54. One practicing the "E" of STEM subjects: Abbr. : ENGR
56. Like an old wooden bucket of song : OAKEN
57. W.W. II German vessel : UBOAT
62. Klutz's cry : OOPS
65. Soused : LIT
66. Ginger ___ : ALE
67. Easter egg embellisher : DYE

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

Found bugs or have suggestions?