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New York Times, Monday, June 22, 2015

Author:
Joel Fagliano
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
6210/22/200911/18/20186
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
15811810325
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.65351
Joel Fagliano

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 74, Blocks: 35 Missing: {V} This is puzzle # 38 for Mr. Fagliano. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Joel Fagliano notes:
Wordplay themes like this usually get slated for Tuesday/Wednesday, but I think it's nice to provide the Monday solver with a ... read more

Wordplay themes like this usually get slated for Tuesday/Wednesday, but I think it's nice to provide the Monday solver with a curveball every now and then. The repetitive nature of the joke here worried me a little, but I remembered really enjoying Michael David's puzzle from 2012 that had a similarly repetitive theme.

I also liked that this theme felt modern, but didn't really require knowing anything about Twitter beyond that @ symbols are used. Hopefully, that would make it appeal to solvers of all ages.

Finally, I'm continuing my crusade of low word count Mondays. I wasn't able to get to 72 this time, but I think this is a pretty smooth 74-worder (the middle-left with OTRA/GRATA/SANTO is probably the choppiest section, but they're all Monday-easy). I couldn't decide if SHUTTERFLY was overdoing the Internet vibe of the puzzle, but I think the clue saves it. I was proud of the clue for TAXIDERMY, which is definitely hard for a Monday, but sometimes you come up with a perfect clue and it's hard to pass up.

Jeff Chen notes:
On Twitter, your username is prefixed by an at sign — I'm @JeffChenWrites, for example (follow me if you want useless ... read more

On Twitter, your username is prefixed by an at sign — I'm @JeffChenWrites, for example (follow me if you want useless witticisms!). Today's puzzle riffs on that, with normal words starting with AT parsed into AT + (wordplay-twisted username). I got a laugh out of many of them, AT TRACTION being a perfect one for a tire company. Michelin ought to snap that handle up. It'd be so much better than Corporate America's sad attempts (or should I say AT TEMPTS?) to get on social media and appear hip.

"I really didn't say everything I said."

It's not often we see one-word themers. Rich Norris has told me a few times that it takes a lot for him to consider themes relying on one-word entries, because they're not as lively as multi-word themers. But this one works for me, doing a nice job of playing on Twitter's syntax.

Strong execution, as we've come to expect from Joel. Those parallel downs — STATE FAIRS / YOGI BERRA and STAND TALL / SHUTTERFLY — are so hard to execute on, since they almost always require a few trade-offs in the crossings. The NE corner turned out so well, with STATE FAIRS and YOGI BERRA both stellar answers, with just a SYNS running through them. It's too bad that SYNS is at the very top of the puzzle instead of buried somewhere in the middle, but overall, it's a great corner.

Joel pointed out GRATA as one of the lesser bits in the puzzle, and some people may wonder why. It's easy recognizable as [Persona non ___], right? The problem is that there aren't many ways to clue the entry. A quick search at our Finder page shows that most of the times GRATA has been used, the clue has been exactly the same. Variety is a key to crosswords, so that makes GRATA a bit of a non grata answer.

Loved the [Professional stuff?] clue for TAXIDERMY. It took me a while to grok, since it seemed so difficult for a Monday, but I really appreciated the boost of fun. More, please!

1
A
2
Q
3
U
4
I
5
A
6
C
7
I
8
D
9
S
10
S
11
Y
12
N
13
S
14
W
A
L
T
15
S
A
M
O
A
16
T
O
O
L
17
A
T
T
E
18
M
P
T
I
N
G
19
A
G
U
A
20
K
A
R
M
A
21
A
T
T
E
22
S
T
I
N
G
23
E
R
A
24
I
25
N
C
A
S
26
W
E
B
27
S
M
E
L
T
28
I
F
E
29
A
30
R
31
J
32
O
33
S
H
34
N
Y
E
35
T
36
F
A
R
G
O
37
A
T
T
U
38
N
E
S
39
A
40
T
T
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R
E
D
41
G
R
A
T
A
42
M
43
A
X
I
44
R
A
D
S
45
S
A
N
T
O
46
L
I
N
47
U
S
48
D
E
M
49
T
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D
E
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50
Z
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A
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P
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A
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T
T
R
I
55
B
U
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E
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M
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I
A
M
I
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L
E
A
F
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A
T
T
R
60
A
C
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N
61
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L
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S
E
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M
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63
C
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64
O
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65
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66
H
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D
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0622 ( 23,967 )
Across
1. Here, to José : AQUI
5. Lemon juice and coffee, on the pH scale : ACIDS
10. Thesaurus entries: Abbr. : SYNS
14. ___ Disney Company : WALT
15. Island home of Pago Pago : SAMOA
16. Hoe or hatchet : TOOL
17. Good Twitter handle for a seductress? : ATTEMPTING
19. Océano contents : AGUA
20. "What goes around comes around" principle : KARMA
21. ... for a teacher? : ATTESTING
23. Historical period : ERA
24. Ancient Andeans : INCAS
26. Fly catcher : WEB
27. Refine, as ore : SMELT
28. Lead-in to bad news : IFEAR
31. Kid around : JOSH
34. Non : French :: ___ : Russian : NYET
36. Banking partner of Wells : FARGO
37. ... for a musician? : ATTUNES
39. ... for a sleepyhead? : ATTIRED
41. Persona non ___ : GRATA
42. Ankle-length skirt : MAXI
44. X-ray units : RADS
45. ___ Domingo : SANTO
46. "Peanuts" boy with a blanket : LINUS
48. Obama or Biden, informally : DEM
49. They go in and out and in and out : TIDES
50. Sound of a mosquito being fried : ZAP
53. ... for a eulogist? : ATTRIBUTE
56. Florida's second-largest city : MIAMI
58. It falls in the fall : LEAF
59. ... for a tire company? : ATTRACTION
61. Inform : TELL
62. 2014 Best Picture nominee based on historical events : SELMA
63. Rock's Mötley ___ : CRUE
64. Exclusively : ONLY
65. "I'm outta here!" : SEEYA
66. Group of buffalo : HERD
Down
1. Not sleeping : AWAKE
2. Persian Gulf land : QATAR
3. Michelob ___ (light beer) : ULTRA
4. Thingy : ITEM
5. Venomous snake : ASP
6. Large-scale disaster : CATACLYSM
7. Do an impression of : IMITATE
8. Taboos : DONTS
9. Wise guy? : SAGE
10. Events with Ferris wheels and livestock competitions : STATEFAIRS
11. Who said "Always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't go to yours" : YOGIBERRA
12. What "n." means in a dictionary : NOUN
13. Refinery waste : SLAG
18. Injure badly : MAIM
22. "Gulliver's Travels" author : SWIFT
25. Hawaii's state bird : NENE
27. Internet photo company named after an insect : SHUTTERFLY
29. Got on in years : AGED
30. Partners of cones in the eye : RODS
31. Sprees : JAGS
32. Other: Sp. : OTRA
33. Show pride : STANDTALL
35. Professional stuff? : TAXIDERMY
38. Actress Watts of "Birdman" : NAOMI
40. Fork part : TINE
43. Not much : ALITTLE
47. "Semper Fi" grp. : USMC
49. Private pupil : TUTEE
50. Former name for Congo : ZAIRE
51. Love affair : AMOUR
52. Yearned (for) : PINED
53. Kind of clef : ALTO
54. Fox's ___ Choice Awards : TEEN
55. Kind of clef : BASS
57. Mosquito bite annoyance : ITCH
60. Roadside assistance org. : AAA

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?