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New York Times, Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Author:
Susan Gelfand
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1711/3/20088/27/20180
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0952100
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.69102
Susan Gelfand

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 36 Missing: {Q} This is puzzle # 13 for Ms. Gelfand. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Susan Gelfand notes:
Money talks. As I recall, seemingly out of nowhere, MONEY TALKS popped into my head. Instead of viewing it as the idiom it is — ... read more

Money talks. As I recall, seemingly out of nowhere, MONEY TALKS popped into my head. Instead of viewing it as the idiom it is — meaning money can have great influence — I looked at it literally as "the musician Eddie Money talks." I then thought it could be clued as MUSICIAN SPEAKS and it seemed to have possibilities as the start of a theme. From there, I compiled a list of other potential theme entries in which this same type of clueing would work. So although MONEY TALKS never made it into the grid, I guess you could say it was influential in its own way...

Jeff Chen notes:
Normal phrases interpreted as '(famous person X) does Y.' I like the consistency here, all the themers being two-word phrases where ... read more

Normal phrases interpreted as "(famous person X) does Y." I like the consistency here, all the themers being two-word phrases where the second word is a present tense verb. I had seen BACON STRIPS somewhere before, but in the sense of [Philosopher's breakfast?], so it brought an amusing picture to my mind. Same with Leontyne PRICE tagging a wall with a spray can, her face covered bandito-style. Vivid imagery.

How about loosening that neck ruffle, Sir Francis?

With PRICE TAGS separating the grid into a top and a bottom half, I like what Susie did with the four corners. It can be very tricky to get good material into three adjacent seven-letter slots. None of these 7s are an absolute stunner of an answer, but they all do the trick. OBELISK / MANATEE / ANSWERS in particular is pretty strong. It's tough to get zing out of one-word answers, but Susie worked in some good ones, without resorting to any real clunkers.

I like how she worked in her Scrabbly letters, too, choosing spots that can easily accept them without feeling forced. That 1-Across / 1-Down crossing spot is Scrabbly gold, with a J easily slotting in. And the X of WAX is perfect, smoothly sliding into place. Those intersections of two three-letter words often offer up this opportunity.

It felt to me like Susie took a lot of care to produce a smooth grid; much appreciated during my solve. This arrangement of five themers with a long middle one can often require globs of glue to hold everything in place. With only a few things like ARRS and NOI dotting the perimeter, I hardly noticed them.

Overall, I might have liked more tightness in the theme, given that there are so many celebs whose last name can double as a common noun. It would have been neat to see all comedians, or all sports figures, or even celebs starting with the same letter. But then again, having a hodge-podge — a comedian, a poet, an opera singer, an actress, and a philosopher — does provide nice variety. Something for everyone.

1
J
2
A
3
R
4
S
5
C
6
O
7
T
8
A
9
R
10
O
11
M
12
A
13
A
B
E
14
H
O
T
S
15
G
R
O
B
A
N
16
B
A
R
17
R
O
C
K
18
G
A
R
D
E
N
S
19
L
O
20
S
E
R
21
A
B
S
22
L
A
W
23
P
O
U
N
D
S
24
I
25
G
N
S
26
B
I
T
E
27
A
N
T
I
S
28
M
A
G
29
P
O
S
E
R
30
W
E
E
P
31
T
A
Z
32
W
I
L
K
E
S
33
P
34
R
I
C
E
35
T
A
G
S
36
A
37
B
38
B
E
Y
S
39
L
O
X
40
T
41
O
42
D
43
D
44
C
R
E
T
E
45
S
L
O
46
S
E
R
I
O
47
R
A
T
S
48
F
I
E
L
49
D
T
R
I
P
S
50
O
V
A
51
A
U
F
52
E
A
S
E
L
53
B
A
C
54
O
N
S
T
55
R
56
I
P
S
57
N
O
58
I
59
A
D
A
P
T
S
60
A
M
O
I
61
T
M
C
62
T
O
M
E
S
63
O
P
T
S
64
S
A
Y
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0630 ( 23,975 )

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Students & seniors
Across
1. Peanut butter holder : JAR
4. Kilt wearer : SCOT
8. Coffee lure : AROMA
13. Penny prez : ABE
14. Have the ___ for : HOTS
15. Singer Josh whose self-titled 2001 debut album went 4x platinum : GROBAN
16. Milky Way, for one : BAR
17. Comedian cultivates flowers? : ROCKGARDENS
19. Schlub : LOSER
21. Toning targets, for short : ABS
22. What a court interprets : LAW
23. Poet inks a contract? : POUNDSIGNS
26. Nosh : BITE
27. The opposition : ANTIS
28. GQ or S.I. : MAG
29. Conundrum : POSER
30. Exhibit some grief : WEEP
31. Looney Tunes devil, for short : TAZ
32. Assassin John ___ Booth : WILKES
33. Opera singer scrawls graffiti? : PRICETAGS
36. Monasteries : ABBEYS
39. Bagel topper : LOX
40. Sondheim's "Sweeney ___" : TODD
44. Land of Minos : CRETE
45. ___-pitch softball : SLO
46. Prefix with comic : SERIO
47. Squealers : RATS
48. Actress stumbles? : FIELDTRIPS
50. Egg cells : OVA
51. "___ Wiedersehen" : AUF
52. Supporter of the arts? : EASEL
53. Philosopher removes his clothes? : BACONSTRIPS
57. "___ don't!" : NOI
59. Adjusts to one's environment : ADAPTS
60. "Tout ___" ("All mine": Fr.) : AMOI
61. Cable inits. for film buffs : TMC
62. Weighty books : TOMES
63. Elects : OPTS
64. Word after "you might" or "you don't" : SAY
Down
1. Poke : JAB
2. Ornamental shell source : ABALONE
3. Send on a detour, say : REROUTE
4. Tatters : SHREDS
5. "As cold as the Rockies" sloganeer : COORS
6. Non-Rx : OTC
7. Disapproving cluck : TSK
8. Flight board column: Abbr. : ARRS
9. Fishing shop purchase : ROD
10. Bunker Hill Monument, for one : OBELISK
11. Everglades mammal : MANATEE
12. They cross in a crossword : ANSWERS
15. Yaks : GABS
18. Crew : GANG
20. Tiny excerpts : SNIPPETS
23. Part of the Iams logo : PAW
24. Apple variety : IMAC
25. Graceful antelope : GAZELLE
26. Gives support : BOLSTERS
29. Squealer : PIG
31. "___ the season ..." : TIS
32. Medium for Madame Tussaud : WAX
34. New York city with an amusement park that's a National Historic Landmark : RYE
35. Plane, for one : TOOL
36. Trapeze artist, e.g. : ACROBAT
37. Impressive show of courage : BRAVADO
38. Early Sony recorder : BETACAM
41. Gives new-employee training, e.g. : ORIENTS
42. Item on many a doctor's wall : DIPLOMA
43. Spanish couple : DOS
45. Search (through) : SIFT
46. Equilibrium : STASIS
48. Commotion : FUSS
49. The Home ___ : DEPOT
51. Some "giants" in "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" : ANTS
54. Unlock, to a bard : OPE
55. 1990s Indian P.M. : RAO
56. Little handful : IMP
58. Like Arctic waters : ICY

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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