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New York Times, Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Author:
Zhouqin Burnikel
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
6611/13/201210/28/201919
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
622187472
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.56281
Zhouqin Burnikel

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 38 Missing: {QX} This is puzzle # 64 for Ms. Burnikel. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
Brilliant themes don't come around often. The way they get presented can make them stand out even further, or hold them back. Today's ... read more

Brilliant themes don't come around often. The way they get presented can make them stand out even further, or hold them back. Today's puzzle hit on all cylinders, an auto-POW! pick.

Discovering HEBREWS → He brews → male who makes beer is a constructor's dream. The muse blesses you with her benevolence! How to execute a full theme set in a 15x15 crossword, though? Some might take it in a "dictionary theme" direction, with a grid entry like PERSON MAKING BEER. Others might put HEBREWS into the grid, with a clue of [Headline: "Male Makes Beer!"]

Even if you landed on the optimal solution of choosing a colorful phrase to describe "Hebrews" – BEERMAKER is great – you might write the clue as [Hebrews?], or [Hebrews, in a way]. Putting HEBREWS in all caps was a touch of genius, shouting to solvers that something odd was going on. A question mark might do that, but the CLUE YELLING IN MY FACE made me take special attention. There was zero doubt that I was going to review what the heck was going on once I filled in the last square.

I was annoyed that I finished without hitting a revealer to explain everything, but it didn't take long to figure it out. HE BREWS, WE AVER, SHE RIFFS, I RATE, all with snazzy, in-the-language phrases describing them? That's as big a WITT (wish I thought of that) moment as I've had this entire year.

Along with strong grid execution – extras in BEEN THERE, POOR TASTE, CAMISOLE, EN GARDE, MARS RED, FAN BELT, and not much crossword glue – it's a work of top-notch craftsmanship.

THE NERVE of C.C., making me feel so pleasantly jealous. It's no wonder that she's near the top of my POW! list. I give her strong odds to take over the top spot in the next few years.

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© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 0626 ( 25,432 )
Across
1
Spanish newborn : BEBE
5
Store offering that can be free : APP
8
Produce producers : FARMS
13
Complete : OVER
14
Help around the house : MAID
16
Sans-serif font choice : ARIAL
17
HEBREWS : BEERMAKER
19
"American ___ Warrior" (NBC competition series) : NINJA
20
Condescending sort : SNOOT
21
One of the first five inductees at Cooperstown : COBB
23
Break down : SOB
24
WEAVER : TRUEBELIEVERS
27
Flicked bit : ASH
29
Go after, in a way : SUE
30
Take it easy : LOLL
31
"What chutzpah!" : THENERVE
34
"Cut that out!" : STOPIT
38
Big name in snow blowers : TORO
39
Paycheck abbr. : YTD
41
"Holy guacamole!" : GOSH
42
Alfred Nobel and others : SWEDES
45
Top with spaghetti straps : CAMISOLE
48
Airing : ONTV
50
Little bit : TAD
51
Sleep study stage : REM
52
SHERIFFS : JAZZGUITARIST
57
Be behind : OWE
58
"Toy Story" boy : ANDY
59
Oldest golfer to win a P.G.A. Tour event (at 52 years 10 months) : SNEAD
61
Birthing : LABOR
63
IRATE : APPRAISER
66
In need of a break, say : TIRED
67
Come up short : LOSE
68
Canine command usually spoken slowly in a low voice : STAY
69
Compete in a no-blinking contest : STARE
70
Down : SAD
71
Insignificant : MERE
Down
1
Short cut : BOB
2
Special holiday periods : EVES
3
Empathetic comment : BEENTHERE
4
What autocorrect corrects : ERROR
5
College athlete, e.g. : AMATEUR
6
Land east of Iran: Abbr. : PAK
7
One-___ (modest bathing attire) : PIECE
8
Part of an auto engine : FANBELT
9
Melber of MSNBC : ARI
10
Light wash : RINSE
11
Something a college junior has that a freshman usually doesn't : MAJOR
12
Big hunks : SLABS
15
Whimsically witty : DROLL
18
Clicking device : MOUSE
22
Bits of writing often accompanied by headshots : BIOS
25
Group of quail : BEVY
26
Some recurring YouTube journals : VLOGS
27
Figures on USA's "Suits": Abbr. : ATTS
28
Third place : SHOW
32
Help for pulling an all-nighter : NODOZ
33
And the like: Abbr. : ETC
35
What connoisseurs don't have, by definition : POORTASTE
36
Key with a chain, maybe : ISLE
37
The enemy : THEM
40
Help in supporting (or refuting) a hunch : DATA
43
"Get ready!" : ENGARDE
44
Knock for a loop : STUN
46
Shade akin to rust : MARSRED
47
___ Menzel, Tony-winning actress for "Wicked" : IDINA
49
Author of "Burr" and "Lincoln" : VIDAL
52
Sudden shocks : JOLTS
53
Look forward to : AWAIT
54
Two-tone beast that sleeps standing up : ZEBRA
55
Printed slips : TYPOS
56
Great shakes? : SEISM
60
Precious : DEAR
62
Contraction in "Jingle Bells" : OER
64
Spot for a good cause, for short : PSA
65
Whiskey choice : RYE

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later.

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