It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker. Please consider supporting our site by purchasing an account.
This web browser is not supported. Use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge for best results.

New York Times, Friday, June 29, 2018

Author:
David Steinberg
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
936/16/20113/23/201917
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
66681131232
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.645163
David Steinberg

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 16 Words: 72, Blocks: 30 Missing: {JQVXZ} Spans: 6, (2 triple stacks) This is puzzle # 83 for Mr. Steinberg. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
David Steinberg notes:
BADA BING BADA BOOM! Of all the entries I've seeded into my themelesses over the years, this has to be my favorite. Optimizing the top stack ... read more

BADA BING BADA BOOM! Of all the entries I've seeded into my themelesses over the years, this has to be my favorite. Optimizing the top stack involved locking a lot of black squares into specific places, so I initially worried that I wouldn't be able to find a bottom. Fortunately, CRISTIANO RONALDO came to the rescue with his friendly letter pattern (i.e., plenty of alternating vowels and consonants). I'm also proud of the short fill. Big stacks always require trade-offs, but the only entries here I wouldn't normally use are OENO and N TEST. Hope you enjoy!

Jeff Chen notes:
OMG that top stack! Fresh, clean, snazzy. Triply love love love! BADA BING BADA BOOM nearly earned the POW! by itself. And it helps that I've ... read more

OMG that top stack! Fresh, clean, snazzy. Triply love love love! BADA BING BADA BOOM nearly earned the POW! by itself. And it helps that I've always been fascinated by the DUKE OF WELLINGTON, whose nickname was "the Iron Duke." Why can't I get a nickname like that?!

Weaving in NAWLINS (slang for New Orleans), BYLINES, ODOMETER with its beautiful clue — in the middle of a (car) dash, indeed — talk about ON TARGET!

With nary a dab of glue in sight — okay, some might struggle with ELO, Electric Light Orchestra — it's so elegantly constructed. A real beaut, that top half.

I like that David's been experimenting with 16-letter entries in his themelesses. Much easier to pick fresh-feeling ones, given that themelesses so rarely go to 16x15. I'm a big fan.

I didn't enjoy the bottom stack quite as much, given that CRISTIANO RONALDO isn't meaningful to this non-soccer fan (I know, I'm an infidel!). And MASTER CONTROLLER felt workable, but not nearly as spicy as TALENT MANAGEMENT.

Puzzles like this often don't have much zazz outside of the stacks, but I enjoyed SLURPEES, CAST LOTS, even SCIPIO. And truth be told, it didn't take much to push the top stack greatness past the threshold, earning David yet another POW!

1
B
2
A
3
D
4
A
5
B
6
I
7
N
8
G
9
B
10
A
11
D
12
A
13
B
14
O
15
O
16
M
17
I
M
A
G
I
N
A
R
Y
F
R
I
E
N
D
S
18
D
U
K
E
O
F
W
E
L
L
I
N
G
T
O
N
19
E
L
O
20
S
O
L
T
I
21
B
T
E
A
M
22
T
E
T
23
E
24
I
N
N
25
S
26
T
R
E
27
S
28
S
T
A
G
29
S
30
N
A
E
N
31
A
32
E
33
G
T
O
34
Y
A
35
M
S
36
S
L
U
R
37
P
E
E
S
38
S
39
C
40
I
P
I
O
41
D
I
S
T
R
O
42
C
A
S
T
L
O
43
T
44
S
45
R
I
C
H
46
A
P
R
47
S
T
E
E
48
L
E
49
A
A
50
R
51
G
52
H
53
R
Y
A
54
N
55
A
R
E
S
56
W
E
R
E
57
B
E
T
58
A
59
S
60
R
A
T
61
I
62
O
63
S
A
C
64
T
A
L
E
N
T
65
M
A
N
A
G
E
66
M
E
N
T
67
C
R
I
S
T
I
A
N
O
R
O
N
A
L
D
O
68
M
A
S
T
E
R
C
O
N
T
R
O
L
L
E
R
© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0629 ( 25,070 )
Across
1
"Voilà!" : BADABINGBADABOOM
17
Invisible social group : IMAGINARYFRIENDS
18
Napoleon's foe at Waterloo : DUKEOFWELLINGTON
19
"Telephone Line" band, informally : ELO
20
Knighted conductor : SOLTI
21
Reserve squad : BTEAM
22
Head of Napoleon's army? : TETE
24
They provide quarters for dollars : INNS
26
___ leches cake : TRES
28
Some bucks : STAGS
30
2014-15 dance craze : NAENAE
33
"Yeah, yeah, little ___" (repeated line in a 1964 hit) : GTO
34
Underground crop : YAMS
36
7-Eleven treats : SLURPEES
38
Hannibal's foe in the Second Punic War : SCIPIO
41
Package of Linux software, informally : DISTRO
42
Decide randomly : CASTLOTS
45
Amusingly ironic : RICH
46
Kind of financing : APR
47
Anastasia ___, woman in "Fifty Shades of Grey" : STEELE
49
"This is killing me!" : AARGH
53
Romney's 2012 running mate : RYAN
55
Lover of Aphrodite : ARES
56
Contraction that's also a past-tense verb : WERE
57
Development phases : BETAS
60
Golden ___ : RATIO
63
Ink container : SAC
64
Field for a Hollywood agency : TALENTMANAGEMENT
67
Athlete for whom Portugal's Madeira Airport was renamed : CRISTIANORONALDO
68
Overseer of all other systems : MASTERCONTROLLER
Down
1
Luxury bathroom features : BIDETS
2
Charm : AMULET
3
___ Territory : DAKOTA
4
122 is a record one : AGE
5
Features on some jackets, in brief : BIOS
6
Dope : INFO
7
Where po' boys are eaten : NAWLINS
8
___ Green, historic eloping destination : GRETNA
9
Journalists' credits : BYLINES
10
Former workers' or sports org. : AFL
11
Tiny bit : DRIB
12
"___ It Fun" (2014 Best Rock Song Grammy winner) : AINT
13
Sire : BEGET
14
Accurate : ONTARGET
15
Middle of a dash? : ODOMETER
16
Browser option : MSN
23
Land known in the Bible as Mizraim : EGYPT
25
Show filmed in Studio 8H, for short : SNL
27
Just fine : SOSO
29
Wind catchers : SAILS
31
Parent company of Lamborghini : AUDI
32
TV journalist Hill : ERICA
35
No longer important : MOOT
37
"Phooey!" : PSHAW
38
Memorable line? : SCAR
39
Cousin of a guinea pig : CAPYBARA
40
Knesset assembly : ISRAELIS
43
Sweet ___ : TEA
44
Mouth-burning chili pepper : SERRANO
45
Shutdown alternative : RESTART
48
Get support from : LEANON
50
List on eBay, say : RESELL
51
Starbucks order size : GRANDE
52
Badger : HECTOR
54
Much-criticized trial, briefly : NTEST
58
Pot grower? : ANTE
59
Rouse : STIR
61
Horror movie assistant : IGOR
62
Prefix for vintners : OENO
64
Channel for cinephiles : TCM
65
Buddy : MAC
66
French ailment : MAL

Answer summary: 7 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?