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New York Times, Saturday, June 20, 2015

Author: Kyle T. Dolan
Editor: Will Shortz
Kyle T. Dolan
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65/22/20122/22/20170
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1.57020

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 29 Missing: {Z} This is puzzle # 5 for Mr. Dolan. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Kyle T. Dolan notes: I'm very happy to have my second themeless puzzle published in the Times! The seed for this puzzle was the bottom stack HAVE A ... more
Kyle T. Dolan notes:

I'm very happy to have my second themeless puzzle published in the Times! The seed for this puzzle was the bottom stack HAVE A BEER/OPEN TABLE/PINTEREST. As I mentioned in the notes to my last puzzle, clue writing is a skill I've been working on improving. Thus, I was pleased to see 38 of my submitted clues used in their original form or with minor changes. Original clues include 1A, 35A, 54A, 1D, 8D, 30D, and 49D.

I learned the word SPANDRELS from an evolutionary biologist friend several years ago. In that field, according to Wikipedia, it refers to a "characteristic that is a byproduct of the evolution of some other characteristic, rather than a direct product of adaptive selection." Some have argued that human language might be a spandrel resulting from the evolution of our brain. I chose to use the more common architectural definition, but I hope solvers who are interested in evolutionary biology will enjoy finding SPANDRELS and DARWIN together in the puzzle!

Jill Denny notes: Somehow this puzzle managed to feel modern yet not quite bleeding edge (to the extent that I could even recognize bleeding edge), ... more
Jill Denny notes:

Somehow this puzzle managed to feel modern yet not quite bleeding edge (to the extent that I could even recognize bleeding edge), which makes me wonder if there was a lag between acceptance and publication. There must be a very narrow window where entries like WASSUP, WIN AT LIFE, Brienne of TARTH, and PINTEREST are common enough to be recognizable, yet not stale or dated. Also known as Item #47 on the List of Why No Single Crossword Will Please All Solvers.

Setting aside sweet-spot questions, I liked this one. It was a smooth solve, and the proper nouns were quirky and fun. A few of my favorites:

  • Brienne of TARTH is one of the more intriguing characters from "Game of Thrones," and Gwendoline Christie plays her brilliantly. At 6'3", she makes everyone else on screen look like flyweights, a LeBron James effect.
  • The IRAQ clue (Country created by the Treaty of Sèvres, 1920) is a solid piece of trivia. Reading up on the post-WWI distribution of the Middle East is fascinating and appalling.
  • HORUS, the Egyptian god of war, came by his aggression naturally. His mother was the goddess Isis, married to Osiris, the king of the afterlife and the underworld. Osiris' brother, Set, was envious of Osiris' throne, so he murdered and dismembered Osiris, scattering his various body parts throughout Egypt. Isis gathered up all the pieces of Osiris but could not find his phallus (rumored to have been eaten by a catfish, according to Plutarch), so she conjured up a golden phallus and briefly resurrected Osiris with a magical spell that lasted just long enough for Osiris to impregnate her. Horus was born of that brief encounter.
1
W
2
I
3
N
4
A
5
T
6
L
7
I
8
F
9
E
10
T
11
A
12
R
13
T
14
H
15
A
M
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N
O
A
C
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D
16
A
W
A
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E
17
S
P
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D
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18
P
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C
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19
S
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G
20
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21
E
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22
U
S
A
23
F
24
A
X
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25
O
M
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26
C
P
A
27
P
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28
L
29
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D
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30
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31
S
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32
D
33
G
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34
D
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D
35
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36
Q
37
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B
38
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B
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Y
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43
L
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D
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W
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P
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S
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J
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F
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54
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G
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P
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K
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V
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H
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H
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A
61
B
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N
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© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0620 ( 23,965 )
Across Down
1. Be successful, well-liked, etc. : WINATLIFE
10. Brienne of ___, "Game of Thrones" protagonist : TARTH
15. Glutamine, e.g. : AMINOACID
16. Informed : AWARE
17. Architectural features above arches : SPANDRELS
18. Common pie flavor : PECAN
19. Lose crunchiness, as breakfast cereal : SOG
20. Speed-skating venue : OVAL
21. Gently enter : EASEIN
22. Service begun in 1947, for short : USAF
24. Truths : AXIOMS
26. B-school grad, perhaps : CPA
27. Rising sea levels, e.g. : PERIL
29. Medical prefix with -scope : ENDO
30. Level, to a Brit : RASE
31. Introductory course? : SALAD
33. Like "hostess" and "comedienne" : GENDERED
35. Country created by the Treaty of Sèvres, 1920 : IRAQ
37. Tesla, e.g. : SERB
38. It produces a flavorful crust on some meat : STEAKRUB
42. Interest, e.g. : YIELD
45. Old Crayola color akin to Tropical Rain Forest : TEAL
46. Cry : WAIL
48. Bargains for time? : PLEAS
50. Binge : JAG
51. Have ants in one's pants : FIDGET
53. Untouched? : SANE
54. Subject of the campaign slogan "Fifty-four forty, or fight!" : OREGON
56. Place in New York City? : PARK
58. Man's nickname composed of three Roman numerals : VIC
59. Egyptian god of war : HORUS
60. Kick back while watching the ball game, say : HAVEABEER
62. Zeroes : NULLS
63. Hostess offering : OPENTABLE
64. Panache : STYLE
65. Social media debut of 2010 : PINTEREST
1. "How's it goin'?" : WASSUP
2. Is obtrusive : IMPOSES
3. Falls on the border : NIAGARA
4. ___ Wilson, lead singer for Heart : ANN
5. Brouhaha : TODO
6. Woolly bear, e.g. : LARVA
7. Scaling tool : ICEAXE
8. Aid in restoring a crown : FILLING
9. Some deadline setters, in brief : EDS
10. With 61-Down, grazing locale : TAPAS
11. Throws for a loop : AWES
12. Pit sight : RACECAR
13. Wander : TRAIPSE
14. Like some tattooed hands : HENNAED
21. Bitcoin, e.g. : EMONEY
23. Son- or daughter-related : FILIAL
25. Output of Thomas Gray : ODES
28. It's just for fun : LARK
30. Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, e.g. : REBELS
32. Capital of Australia's Northern Territory : DARWIN
34. Echoing sound in a cave : DRIP
36. Area of study? : QUAD
38. Capital of Antigua and Barbuda : STJOHNS
39. Depart in a cloud of dust, perhaps : TEAROUT
40. On tenterhooks : EAGERLY
41. 2013 World Series M.V.P., to fans : BIGPAPI
43. Stop troubling : LEAVEBE
44. Jack ___ : DANIELS
47. Lighten up : LEAVEN
49. Confidence : SECRET
51. Chicago-born choreographer : FOSSE
52. ___ Dilfer, Super Bowl XXXV-winning QB : TRENT
55. Dock figure : GULL
57. Feminist author Millett : KATE
60. Short flight : HOP
61. See 10-Down : BAR

Answer summary: 7 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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