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New York Times, Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Author: Peter Gordon
Editor: Will Shortz
Peter Gordon
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1089/5/19896/19/20180
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837221411619
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1.5891611

This puzzle:

Rows: 16, Columns: 15 Words: 79, Blocks: 36 Missing: {JQVX} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 108 for Mr. Gordon. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes: TRIGGER / WARNING … is what? 'A statement at the start of a piece of writing, video, etc., alerting the reader or viewer to ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

TRIGGER / WARNING … is what?

"A statement at the start of a piece of writing, video, etc., alerting the reader or viewer to the fact that it contains potentially distressing material (often used to introduce a description of such content)." Huh! I've of course seen these before, but the term TRIGGER WARNING was new to me.

Today, Peter uses it to tell us that three themers "hide" different weapons with triggers. I liked RIFLE THROUGH best, since it's a pretty colorful phrase, and it doesn't directly get at the shooting type of RIFLE.

BAZOOKA BUBBLE GUM does the same, but I've always thought of it as BAZOOKA GUM. I know, pedantic difference, plus the Wikipedia article is titled with BUBBLE in there. I'm clearly wrong here, as you can see in the pic.

RIDE SHOTGUN is the best of the themers, in terms of its snazziness, but the term originated from people in stage coaches riding up front with an actual shotgun. I suppose the term is *sort of* disguised, as these days, not many people ride in the passenger seat with a shotgun sticking out the window.

I hope!

Fortuitous how the three long themers interlocked, to form a backbone to the puzzle. I'm not sure I liked it as a solver, though. It's so much easier to read long entries from left to right, compared to top to bottom. I would have preferred to have BAZOOKA BUBBLE GUM go in the middle row, with TRIGGER / WARNING flanking it, perhaps in rows 6 and 10.

I think Peter sometimes takes too many liberties with early-week puzzles, using tough vocab or esoteric names, or using a bit too much crossword glue to achieve a low word-count puzzle. I wasn't hot on MCI, ERG, TUM, DDR, but that's mostly passable for an early-weeker.

And I did like a lot of the ALLSPICE, ZOOTOPIA, FIREPLUG, WANGLE, ASYLUM fill. Certainly, the unusual layout helped make all those entries possible. Heck, with HESSIAN, HYDRATE, ARCHWAY, EPONYM, it would almost qualify for a decent themeless puzzle!

Overall, it's still a hard solve for a Tuesday, but not in a bad way.

1
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© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0619 ( 25,060 )
Across Down
1. Shirt stiffener : STARCH
7. ___-relief : BAS
10. Classic street liners : ELMS
14. Site : LOCALE
15. Ingredient in jerk sauce : ALLSPICE
17. Hall-of-Fame QB Johnny : UNITAS
18. Hit 2016 animated film with the tagline "Welcome to the urban jungle" : ZOOTOPIA
19. Sits in the front passenger seat : RIDESSHOTGUN
21. Vice president Agnew : SPIRO
22. "Be that as it may ..." : ANYHOW
26. Cough syrup amt. : TSP
29. Invite to enter : ASKIN
31. "___ Breckinridge" (Gore Vidal novel) : MYRA
32. Morsel in trail mix : RAISIN
35. Church nook : APSE
37. East Germany: Abbr. : DDR
38. Bury : INTER
39. Pugilists' org. : WBA
40. Tornado alert : SIREN
42. Like moussaka and souvlaki : GREEK
43. Cabinet dept. led by Ben Carson beginning in 2017 : HUD
44. Company that created Pong : ATARI
45. Prefix with political and science : GEO
46. Thick slice : SLAB
48. Anne Hathaway's role in "Becoming Jane" : AUSTEN
49. Birds that lay big green eggs : EMUS
51. Glower in a hearth : EMBER
53. One 10-millionth of a joule : ERG
54. Speakers' platforms : ROSTRA
56. Things loafers lack : LACES
59. Do a hurried search in : RIFLETHROUGH
64. Short, stocky person, figuratively : FIREPLUG
67. Accomplish schemingly : WANGLE
68. French painter Henri known for "The Sleeping Gypsy" : ROUSSEAU
69. A political refugee might seek it : ASYLUM
70. "Three up, three down" threesome : OUTS
71. Rum ___ Tugger ("Cats" cat) : TUM
72. Emphatic affirmative : YESYES
1. Speak indistinctly : SLUR
2. Writer Morrison : TONI
3. Litmus paper reddener : ACID
4. Hotel posting : RATES
5. Fastener on a manila envelope : CLASP
6. Mercenary for the British in the Revolutionary War : HESSIAN
7. Candy with a comic, once : BAZOOKABUBBLEGUM
8. Boatloads : ALOT
9. "Just do it" and "Coke is it!" : SLOGANS
10. George Ferris, for the Ferris wheel : EPONYM
11. ChapStick target : LIP
12. Verizon acquisition of 2006 : MCI
13. Where the buoys are : SEA
16. Phaser setting : STUN
20. 12:00 and 1:00: Abbr. : HRS
23. Supply water to : HYDRATE
24. One who says "I'll have ..." : ORDERER
25. See 26-Down : WARNING
26. With 25-Down, caution before a potentially upsetting lecture ... or a hint to 19- and 59-Across and 7-Down? : TRIGGER
27. Italian resort on the Mediterranean : SANREMO
28. Deserving sorrow and compassion : PITEOUS
30. Apple tablet : IPAD
33. "Comprende?" : SEE
34. Bugs : IRKS
36. Jacob's twin : ESAU
39. Sound of an impact : WHAM
41. "___ a living" : ITS
47. Paper handout : LEAFLET
48. Curved entrance : ARCHWAY
50. Accent : STRESS
52. End a fast : EAT
55. Tears : RIPS
57. Clear the board : ERASE
58. Some Japanese-made TVs : SONYS
60. Waikiki party : LUAU
61. "Things might get ___" : UGLY
62. Sticky stuff : GLUE
63. Clothing lines : HEMS
64. Big do, informally : FRO
65. Debtor's letters : IOU
66. Boring routine : RUT

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle.

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