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New York Times, Monday, June 18, 2018

Author:
Ross Trudeau
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
142/9/20172/13/20191
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
5141300
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.58021
Ross Trudeau

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 40 Missing: {FQVX} This is puzzle # 7 for Mr. Trudeau. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Ross Trudeau notes:
The original clues for this puzzle tried to be clever, e.g.: Get London on the line? (PHONE JACK), Raise the set of a parody sitcom? ... read more

The original clues for this puzzle tried to be clever, e.g.: Get London on the line? (PHONE JACK), Raise the set of a parody sitcom? (DIAL SOAP). But looking at it with fresh eyes, I think I like it even more as a straight-ahead Monday. The word count is low for an early week puzzle, but EOS is the only answer that would have given me pause as a novice.

Jeff Chen notes:
Good set of synonyms for BUZZ, as in slang for PHONE, DIAL, CALL, RING. The term DIAL amuses me, as generations after my own probably ... read more

Good set of synonyms for BUZZ, as in slang for PHONE, DIAL, CALL, RING. The term DIAL amuses me, as generations after my own probably have no idea how much fun it was to play with a rotary DIAL phone.

Man, I had sucky toys as a kid.

I like it when I can't figure out a Monday theme until the revealer makes everything clear. I suppose I should have gotten it from the PHONE in PHONE JACK, but DIAL SOAP then obfuscated the idea well.

It's a shame that PHONE JACK was the only entry that didn't misdirect away from the, well, PHONE meaning. The leading words in DIAL soap, CALL to order, RING pops have nothing to do with the PHONE. So PHONE JACK sticks out like a sore thumb.

Or a rotary phone.

I couldn't think of a better replacement for PHONE jack, so I think I would have preferred to remove it. Might have felt thin with only four total themers, but overall, it would have made for a better theme set, each of the three synonyms very well hidden.

Ross has such strong gridwork skills. Love the bonuses of MACADAMIA, SNAIL MAIL, CANNED IT, even TEABAG, SCRIBES. Sure, there's an AMAT holding stuff together up top, but thankfully 1.) all the crossings are fair and 2.) it's the lone short offender in the puzzle.

There was a longer offender, UNICOLOR — don't most people say monochrome? It's an interesting word, but Monday puzzles ought to be super newbie-friendly. Best to avoid anything that might turn off the newbs, methinks. Mondays are so tough to construct!

I liked the idea overall, and if it hadn't been for a blip in the theme set and two blips in the grid execution, this could have entered POW! territory.

1
A
2
S
3
A
4
P
5
T
6
A
7
R
8
T
9
C
10
U
11
R
12
B
13
M
A
C
A
14
D
A
M
I
A
15
T
A
N
I
A
16
P
H
O
N
E
J
A
C
K
17
E
M
I
T
S
18
S
A
R
G
E
19
T
E
E
20
M
S
21
C
U
E
22
U
R
N
23
D
I
A
L
24
S
O
A
P
25
P
A
S
26
T
27
I
28
M
29
E
30
P
A
E
L
L
A
31
E
L
I
T
32
E
33
S
34
R
O
S
Y
35
C
A
L
L
T
O
O
36
R
37
D
E
R
38
S
39
W
A
B
40
A
S
S
O
O
N
41
C
A
N
A
42
A
43
N
44
O
N
W
A
45
T
46
C
47
H
48
R
I
N
G
P
O
49
P
50
S
51
E
R
A
52
I
K
E
53
I
S
A
A
54
C
55
A
56
C
H
E
S
57
B
I
D
58
O
N
59
B
U
Z
60
Z
W
O
R
D
S
61
E
K
I
N
G
62
S
N
A
I
L
M
A
I
L
63
S
I
T
E
64
T
A
R
P
65
A
N
T
E
© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0618 ( 25,059 )
Across
1
Letters meaning "Make it snappy!" : ASAP
5
Mouth-puckering : TART
9
Sidewalk's edge : CURB
13
Nut from Australia : MACADAMIA
15
Actress Raymonde of "Lost" : TANIA
16
Wall fixture for a landline : PHONEJACK
17
Gives off, as light : EMITS
18
Beetle Bailey's superior : SARGE
19
Abounds (with) : TEEMS
21
Stage prompt : CUE
22
Cremation vessel : URN
23
Bathroom bar offering so-called "round-the-clock" protection : DIALSOAP
25
Quilting or crossword solving, e.g. : PASTIME
30
Spanish rice dish : PAELLA
31
One-percenters and such : ELITES
34
Reddish : ROSY
35
Start, as a meeting : CALLTOORDER
38
Q-tip, for one : SWAB
40
The "A" and "S" of 1-Across : ASSOON
41
Biblical land : CANAAN
44
Doing sentry duty : ONWATCH
48
Candy suckers in the form of jewelry : RINGPOPS
51
Historical period : ERA
52
"I Like ___" (1950s campaign button) : IKE
53
Science fiction writer Asimov : ISAAC
55
Yearns (for) : ACHES
57
Make an offer for at auction : BIDON
59
Trendy, much-used lingo ... or a hint to the starts of 16-, 23-, 35- and 48-Across : BUZZWORDS
61
Barely making, with "out" : EKING
62
Postal letters, deprecatingly : SNAILMAIL
63
Location : SITE
64
Temporary rain cover : TARP
65
Chip or coin thrown in the pot : ANTE
Down
1
Excites : AMPSUP
2
African desert : SAHARA
3
Squirrel's stash : ACORNS
4
Twinge of guilt : PANG
5
___ Mahal : TAJ
6
Amo, amas, ___ ... : AMAT
7
Like not-quite-mashed potatoes : RICED
8
George of the original "Star Trek" : TAKEI
9
Filming device, informally : CAM
10
Monochromatic : UNICOLOR
11
Sacred ceremonies : RITUALS
12
Salary before bonuses : BASEPAY
14
Actor Billy ___ Williams : DEE
15
Model 3 electric car maker : TESLA
20
An "X" might "mark the spot" on one : MAP
24
Venus's tennis doubles partner : SERENA
26
Earl Grey pouch on a string : TEABAG
27
Needing medicine, say : ILL
28
Thousand thou : MIL
29
"At Last" singer ___ James : ETTA
32
Goddess of the dawn : EOS
33
Meh : SOSO
35
Stopped all that yapping : CANNEDIT
36
Presidential son Reagan : RON
37
___ Jones industrial average : DOW
38
Old-fashioned writers : SCRIBES
39
Hawaiian surfing mecca : WAIKIKI
42
Mimicking : APING
43
Rejections : NOS
45
Capital of Iran : TEHRAN
46
College degree unit : CREDIT
47
Big inconvenience : HASSLE
49
Blue Ribbon brewery : PABST
50
Place to sweat it out : SAUNA
54
Ruler until 1917 : CZAR
55
Hole-making tool : AWL
56
Result of a serious head injury : COMA
58
___ Direction (boy band) : ONE
60
Nada : ZIP

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?