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New York Times, Friday, June 29, 2018

Author:
David Steinberg
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
896/16/201112/8/201817
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66681129212
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
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48
L
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A
A
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R
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G
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H
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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
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O
63
S
A
C
64
T
A
L
E
N
T
65
M
A
N
A
G
E
66
M
E
N
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67
C
R
I
S
T
I
A
N
O
R
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A
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D
O
68
M
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C
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© 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.

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