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New York Times, Thursday, June 21, 2018

Author:
Milo Beckman and David Steinberg
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
96/24/20116/21/20181
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0111411
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.58210
Milo Beckman
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
876/16/201111/2/201816
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
66681129192
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.645163
David Steinberg

This puzzle:

Rows: 13, Columns: 17 Words: 80, Blocks: 40 Missing: {JQVXZ} This is puzzle # 9 for Mr. Beckman. This is puzzle # 82 for Mr. Steinberg. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Constructor notes:
MILO: What a difference a few years makes! I originally submitted this puzzle for Flag Day 2012 (also a Thursday), and it was rejected on the grounds ... read more

MILO: What a difference a few years makes! I originally submitted this puzzle for Flag Day 2012 (also a Thursday), and it was rejected on the grounds that it was too political to run in The New York Times at the time. I tried again in 2015, after Obergefell v. Hodges, figuring the conversation had shifted enough and got a thumbs-up on the theme but a thumbs-down on the fill. (Looking back at it, just one section had ULLA, OBLA, and OOLA... ouch).

DAVID: I had so much fun working with Milo! I've been a big fan of his puzzles ever since he debuted in The New York Times as another young constructor. Anyway, Milo came up with this idea and many of the theme entries; my suggestion was switching from a 15x15 to a 17x13, which looks more like a flag. We were also able to space out the stripes more evenly that way.

The fill was a nightmare, given the constraints of all the theme entries. Milo and I went back and forth many times before settling on something close to what you see—the only difference is that (RED) PANDA is now the more familiar (RED) BARON, which I think was a nice suggestion from Will/Joel. The short fill still has more trade-offs than usual, but we hope the theme makes up for them.

Happy Pride Month!

Jeff Chen notes:
Remember that Skittles tagline, 'Taste the rainbow!' Today, we solve the rainbow. Er, solve the rainbow using a purple for indigo + violet substitution. ... read more

Remember that Skittles tagline, "Taste the rainbow!" Today, we solve the rainbow. Er, solve the rainbow using a purple for indigo + violet substitution.

So more like, solve the rainbow, but only in a manner of speaking. Esque. Ish.

It's no surprise that I stayed out of marketing.

(start sheepishness) I didn't realize this puzzle was supposed to be the rainbow flag — which has only six colors, not seven! Jim pointed that out to me after I groused about not adhering to ROY G. BIV. I'm especially embarrassed since pride month is huge here in Seattle. There are rainbow flags in every other storefront. (end sheepishness)

I enjoyed the entries that didn't work without the color. BAY PACKER means nothing by itself, but a lot of cheeseheads are going to enjoy seeing (GREEN) BAY PACKER in the grid today. Same goes for LANTERN – what a boring name for a superhero. GREEN LANTERN, now that's much better!

On the flip side, the path to an Oscar could be just a CARPET. And PEPPERS are salad items. Not completely necessary to think of these as (RED) CARPET and (YELLOW) PEPPERS, yeah? So they don't work as well as the other themers.

Interesting choice to work in ADIOS AMIGOS and OFF ONE'S GAME. Both a super solid pieces of fill. But they do masquerade as themers at first glance since they're the longest across answers. I might have preferred to break them up since AP SPANISH and PASTORATE are good enough bonuses for one puzzle.

Some nice finds, and excellent gridwork – so many short theme answers to work around. Check out how many down answers run through three themers, which usually is a huge problem. Amazing that the grid is so smooth.

Colors of the rainbow have been tapped for crosswords a bit too often, so something amazing has to be done to catch my attention. This one wasn't quite there for me. If PRIDE MONTH or RAINBOW FLAG had been in the grid somewhere (catching this unobservant idiot's attention), that could have done it. Heck, use one of those as a title, and it would have gotten some POW! consideration.

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© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0621 ( 25,062 )
Across
1. Drive follower : THRU
5. Flower part : STAMEN
11. Gilpin of "Frasier" : PERI
15. Some cross-country flights : REDEYES
16. Path to an Oscar? : REDCARPET
17. Foe of Snoopy : REDBARON
18. "Peace, y'all!" : ADIOSAMIGOS
20. ___ flu : ASIAN
21. Syracuse athletes, once : ORANGEMEN
22. Tropicana plant : ORANGETREE
23. Ingredient in a classic gin martini : ORANGEBITTERS
25. Mate's consent : AYE
26. Big acronym in Hollywood : SAG
29. A.F.L.-___ : CIO
30. Salad items picked at the midpoint of their maturity : YELLOWPEPPERS
34. Path in a hit 1939 film : YELLOWBRICKROAD
39. Cyberaddresses : URLS
40. Run ___ of : AFOUL
42. Libretto listing : ARIA
43. Lambeau Field pro : GREENBAYPACKER
46. DC Comics hero with a magic ring : GREENLANTERN
49. What you may have that I can't? : ARE
50. A traffic jam may change it, for short : ETA
52. Wrangler rival : LEE
53. Villainous army in a 1968 Beatles film : BLUEMEANIES
57. Some shopping restrictions : BLUELAWS
59. University of Delaware mascot : BLUEHEN
62. Some luxury cars : AUDIS
63. In a slump : OFFONESGAME
67. Flowery writing : PURPLEPROSE
68. Hero decorations : PURPLEHEARTS
69. Prince album that was #1 for 24 weeks : PURPLERAIN
70. Luxurious : POSH
71. Accepts a perceived flaw with pride : OWNSIT
72. Check out : OGLE
Down
1. "Go, ___!" : TEAM
2. Chicago's ___ Park : HYDE
3. Horse leader? : REIN
4. What gets the show on the road, for short? : USO
5. "Boo!" shouter : SCARER
6. Having hardly any spice : TAME
7. Start of a new year : ARIES
8. Fueling concern, in brief : MPG
9. Fair-hiring inits., as for L.G.B.T. workers : EEO
10. Grp. called in when things go off the rails? : NTSB
11. Minister's office : PASTORATE
12. Stop on Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited : ERIE
13. Tornado sound : ROAR
14. Stonewall and others : INNS
17. Dyeing art : BATIK
19. Ocular infection : STYE
24. Old transportation agcy. : ICC
25. H.S. course in which students might read Cervantes : APSPANISH
27. Emergency cry from a pilot : ABORT
28. The "me" of "Despicable Me" : GRU
30. ___ crawl : PUB
31. The Gay Nineties, e.g. : ERA
32. Wield : PLY
33. Bag, in product names : SAK
35. "___ say!" : ILL
36. Material collected in Minecraft : ORE
37. Publicize : AIR
38. L.G.B.T. activist Savage : DAN
41. Toll : FEE
44. Crop up : ARISE
45. Start to cry? : CEE
47. Home to every M.L.B. club whose name starts with "A" : ALWEST
48. Adjective-to-noun changer : NESS
51. Then: Fr. : ALORS
53. ___ v. Ohio (landmark case barring illegally obtained evidence from being used in court) : MAPP
54. Prefix with skeptic : EURO
55. Big scenes : ADOS
56. Manhattan area north of TriBeCa : SOHO
58. Prefix with discrimination : ANTI
59. Den ___, Nederland : HAAG
60. Boy's name that's a fruit spelled backward : EMIL
61. Chilean child : NENE
64. Small number : FEW
65. Rooter : FAN
66. Miracle-___ : GRO

Answer summary: 9 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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