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New York Times, Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Author:
Tracy Gray
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
289/8/201010/10/20196
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7445710
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.61451
Tracy Gray

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 74, Blocks: 36 Missing: {JQ} This is puzzle # 17 for Ms. Gray. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Tracy Gray notes:
The seed entry for this puzzle was the revealer EASY DOES IT which was inspired by my Maryland E-Z Pass. Phrases with the E-Z pattern ... read more

The seed entry for this puzzle was the revealer EASY DOES IT which was inspired by my Maryland E-Z Pass. Phrases with the E-Z pattern were few and far between and the puzzle sat unfinished in my Crossword Compiler for quite some time until I watched Legends of the Fall for the umpteenth time and came up with director ED ZWICK for the center entry.

The puzzle was accepted July 2015 with an email from Will and Joel that read: "Good news — we're happy to say yes on your EASY DOES IT 15x, which has a nice theme. It's not a revolutionary concept, but the revealer is fun and the set of themers you've found cover a wide range of subjects (geography, history, film, whatever category EROGENOUS ZONES is in...)."

Hope you enjoy solving my puzzle!

Jeff Chen notes:
Easy-peasy! At least, easy — EASY DOES IT describing themers starting with E and Z. Initialisms are a standard crossword ... read more

Easy-peasy! At least, easy — EASY DOES IT describing themers starting with E and Z.

Initialisms are a standard crossword theme, so I appreciated 1.) Tracy's decision to use at least one tough letter (Z) and 2.) incorporation of a good revealer. EROGENOUS ZONES is a very nice answer, and EMILIANO ZAPATA felt like it was someone I really should have been able to fill in right off the bat.

It's Edward, not ED!

EBOLA ZAIRE … talk about a downer to lead off one's crossword puzzle. Out of curiosity, I wondered what other 10-letter phrases could follow the E* Z* pattern. Surprised that I couldn't find any good ones!

ED ZWICK … this Seahawks fan might have preferred END ZONE, but there's no doubt ED ZWICK is crossworthy. I did hesitate when reading up on him (such a prolific directing career!) — seems like he goes by Edward?

Some fancy work in the NE and SW corners. A 9x4(ish) chunk is so hard to fill with color and cleanliness. I really liked the NE, with SALT PIT, FINE TUNES, and MIX IT UP (TAKE APART isn't as strong to me) at just the price of an OER. Very nice!

The SW wasn't quite as stellar for me, given that it cost ANA, ERES, and NANS in order to get not quite as many fancy entries. NANS especially stood out (the plural of NAAN is usually NAAN, yeah?), what with other awkward plurals — SOYAS and ELSAS — elsewhere in the grid.

For a standard theme type, I love having something extra; some bonus. While it's nice to get the lovely CANOODLES type of bonus, how cool would it have been to have something like EASY PEASY, with E*Z* and P* Z* phrases? Or limit all theme phrases to different makes of cars, with EASY RIDER as a revealer? That last one would almost certainly be impossible, but it's fun to brainstorm ways of elevating a standard theme type into something standout.

1
A
2
T
3
B
4
A
5
T
6
K
7
A
8
T
9
E
10
S
11
O
12
F
13
T
14
W
A
L
L
S
15
O
L
A
V
16
A
V
I
A
17
E
B
O
L
A
18
Z
A
I
R
E
19
L
U
N
K
20
S
L
O
T
21
O
L
E
22
F
T
L
E
E
23
E
M
I
24
L
I
A
N
25
O
26
Z
A
P
A
T
A
27
M
O
C
28
M
I
X
I
T
U
P
29
D
30
I
31
C
E
D
32
I
N
N
33
T
I
N
A
34
A
N
A
35
E
36
D
37
Z
W
I
C
38
K
39
O
E
R
40
N
A
N
41
S
42
C
E
O
43
E
44
R
N
S
T
45
C
R
O
U
46
T
O
N
47
I
N
A
48
E
R
O
G
E
N
O
49
U
50
S
Z
O
N
51
E
52
S
53
S
E
D
G
E
54
P
O
O
55
G
L
E
56
E
57
T
A
L
E
58
E
59
A
S
Y
D
60
O
E
S
I
T
61
E
R
E
S
62
S
H
E
A
63
D
R
A
N
O
64
P
S
S
T
65
P
A
T
S
66
E
S
S
E
N
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0614 ( 24,325 )
Across
1
Baseball slugger's datum : ATBAT
6
Duchess of Cambridge, to friends : KATE
10
Like a cashmere sweater : SOFT
14
Much of a maze : WALLS
15
The People's King of Norway : OLAV
16
Athletic footwear brand since 1979 : AVIA
17
Dangerous virus strain named for its original outbreak location : EBOLAZAIRE
19
Galoot : LUNK
20
Token opening : SLOT
21
Barcelonan bravo : OLE
22
N.J. city at the west end of the George Washington Bridge : FTLEE
23
Mexican revolutionary : EMILIANOZAPATA
27
Comfy shoe : MOC
28
Engage in a brawl : MIXITUP
29
Cut up into small cubes : DICED
32
Traveler's stopover : INN
33
Fey or Turner : TINA
34
Santa ___, Calif. : ANA
35
"Legends of the Fall" director, informally : EDZWICK
39
'Neath's opposite : OER
40
Indian flatbreads : NANS
42
Jeff Bezos, for Amazon : CEO
43
Young partner? : ERNST
45
Caesar salad ingredient : CROUTON
47
Big fish ___ small pond : INA
48
Sensual areas : EROGENOUSZONES
53
Grasslike perennial : SEDGE
54
Nanki-___ of "The Mikado" : POO
55
Feeling upon winning the lottery : GLEE
57
Fish story : TALE
58
"Not too hard now" ... or a homophonic hint to 17-, 23-, 35- and 48-Across : EASYDOESIT
61
You are, in Yucatán : ERES
62
Old home of the Mets and the Jets : SHEA
63
Liquid-Plumr competitor : DRANO
64
Sound before passing a note in class : PSST
65
Super Bowl XLIX champs, to their fans : PATS
66
Krupp ironworks city : ESSEN
Down
1
Amazes : AWES
2
Periodic ___ : TABLE
3
Boutonniere part : BLOOM
4
Never-surpassed : ALLTIME
5
Org. with a 3-1-1 rule for carry-on liquids : TSA
6
Eucalyptus-eating marsupial : KOALA
7
Many a "Guardians of the Galaxy" character : ALIEN
8
Sticky cigarette stuff : TAR
9
Garden of Eden dweller : EVE
10
Seawater evaporation site : SALTPIT
11
Part of the menstrual cycle : OVULATION
12
Makes small adjustments to : FINETUNES
13
Dismantle : TAKEAPART
18
Geological period suffix : ZOIC
22
Obsolescent means of sending a document : FAX
24
Mineral vein : LODE
25
Marriott competitor : OMNI
26
Mineral contained in oysters : ZINC
29
Move taught by a choreographer : DANCESTEP
30
Overdue, as rent : INARREARS
31
Makes out : CANOODLES
32
___ Jima : IWO
36
Big name in rodent control : DCON
37
Greek philosopher of paradox fame : ZENO
38
Casino game : KENO
41
Propose : SUGGEST
44
Madison Square Garden team : RANGERS
46
Capital of Texas? : TEE
47
Preppy clothing line : IZOD
49
Surprising victory : UPSET
50
Forage beans : SOYAS
51
Many "Frozen"-inspired Halloween costumes : ELSAS
52
What the Left Bank is a bank of : SEINE
56
Harrow and Radley rival : ETON
58
Clairvoyant letters : ESP
59
Epiphany word : AHA
60
Ceremonious verse : ODE

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?