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New York Times, Saturday, June 4, 2016

Author:
Byron Walden and Brad Wilber
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
9511/23/200110/19/201914
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
1101292637
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.58321
Byron Walden
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
522/19/20056/10/201925
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
011201434
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.60001
Brad Wilber

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 68, Blocks: 26 Missing: {JKQXYZ} This is puzzle # 81 for Mr. Walden. This is puzzle # 49 for Mr. Wilber. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Constructor notes:
BYRON: Fun as always to work with Brad. He's so meticulous in his craft, but always in an easygoing manner. I love the things you ... read more

BYRON: Fun as always to work with Brad. He's so meticulous in his craft, but always in an easygoing manner. I love the things you learn when you construct, and the story behind 15A (CESAR ROMERO) may be one of my all-time favorites. MARTI pops up in crosswords often enough that I was quite surprised I hadn't run into that fascinating bit of trivia before.

BRAD: This puzzle began its life as a solo submission of mine with UPSET VICTIM / NATURE DEITY / FRAGILE EGOS in the upper left. The 1A had a misdirecting sports-related clue, but Will felt that the entry was not quite in-the-language enough to green-light. My subsequent revision hinged on at least one abbreviation he had decided to relegate permanently to the "no" list. The whole thing sat for a while, and on a whim, I sent the stack from the opposite corner across the country to see if Byron liked it (FINESSE SHOT / TROMBONISTS / the Ayn Rand title "WE THE LIVING.") Byron replaced the literary reference with WATER-LOVING to spare everyone involved ERI at 60D, and we were off.

I don't consider wordplay clues my strength, but I think I chipped in 31D and 53D to try to keep pace with Byron's brilliant 25A and others like 13D. It's also nice to scan the puzzle and see validation of our combined relish for pumping life into common entries with trivia-based clues. (In case you were wondering, a puzzle with that old NW did find favor at another venue.)

Jeff Chen notes:
So much fun to see these guys work together. I really enjoyed their secret initialisms puzzle, each of them contributing a BW phrase. ... read more

So much fun to see these guys work together. I really enjoyed their secret initialisms puzzle, each of them contributing a BW phrase.

Great to get such exciting entries as TECHNO MUSIC, THE BURBS, FINESSE SHOT, BOHEMIANS. TROMBONISTS might have been my favorite one, especially with the misdirecting [Ones using slides] clue, since I was a trombonist for a long time. I'm still waiting for someone to incorporate SAD TROMBONE, a juicy answer in my personal word list, into a grid …

A far cry from the Heath Ledger Joker ...

I always learn something from a Wilber puzzle, and the same goes for a Walden. Not surprising that the effect more than doubled today, some sort of synergistic effect from the two of them teaming up. That piece of CESAR ROMERO trivia was really interesting. BARBICEL was tougher to grok, but the crossings were fair (perhaps I'll use it in discussions with my toddler, who's becoming obsessed with birds). And the ancient Egyptians have always fascinated me, so I enjoyed picking up that the SCARAB was used as some pharaohs' seal of office.

Perhaps a little too much learning in one sitting for my taste, though. I follow the NBA pretty carefully, but Dan ISSEL is outside of my knowledge base. OLEAN plays poorly to the black hole that is my deficiency in geography. RAMON Novarro similarly falls into my lacking knowledge of older actors. They're all fair(ish), but it felt like a lot in total.

This is one time where I understand some people telling me they like entries akin to ADIT. I'm sure Brad and Byron struggled against including one of the worst old-timey crossword glue entries, but it did help me break open the right half of the puzzle. Still, ADIT is hard to swallow.

Great clues:

  • What kind of series could possibly start and end with S? MTWTF, bookended by Sunday and Saturday.
  • It took me forever to figure out why [Common Allen wrench?] would mean ANGST. Makes much more sense when you think about that capitalized A, and Woody Allen.

A challenging puzzle with a bit too much crossword glue for my taste. Still, quite a few fun entries, and I did learn a lot.

1
A
2
D
3
O
4
L
5
E
6
S
7
C
8
E
9
N
10
T
11
S
12
M
13
A
14
D
15
C
E
S
A
R
R
O
M
E
R
O
16
I
R
E
17
T
E
C
H
N
O
M
U
S
I
C
18
S
T
P
19
I
R
A
T
E
20
E
S
T
21
I
22
S
S
E
L
23
V
E
R
I
S
24
M
O
25
E
26
C
O
C
I
D
E
27
T
O
P
28
C
A
T
29
A
D
I
T
30
B
31
A
32
R
33
B
I
C
E
L
34
S
35
T
R
A
T
I
36
O
L
E
A
N
37
N
I
38
T
39
W
A
H
O
O
40
H
I
N
D
E
41
R
42
O
H
43
I
O
B
O
R
N
44
E
M
E
R
45
E
46
L
S
E
I
F
47
M
O
G
A
48
M
B
O
49
B
I
O
50
D
51
A
52
T
53
A
54
I
N
E
P
T
55
S
56
M
U
57
R
A
M
O
N
58
A
I
D
59
W
60
A
T
E
R
61
L
O
V
I
N
G
62
N
E
O
63
T
R
O
M
B
O
N
I
S
T
S
64
S
S
N
65
F
I
N
E
S
S
E
S
H
O
T
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0604 ( 24,315 )
Across
1
Growing group : ADOLESCENTS
12
Extremely, in modern lingo : MAD
15
Hollywood star whose grandfather was the Cuban patriot José Martí : CESARROMERO
16
Home of the city and county of Waterford: Abbr. : IRE
17
1980s electronic innovation from Detroit : TECHNOMUSIC
18
Sprint Cup Series sponsor : STP
19
Steamed : IRATE
20
Many an attendance fig. : EST
21
Basketball Hall-of-Famer Dan : ISSEL
23
Opera genre for "Tosca" and "Pagliacci" : VERISMO
25
Green curtains? : ECOCIDE
27
Cartoon crony of Fancy-Fancy and Choo-Choo : TOPCAT
29
Mine entrance : ADIT
30
Hooked projection on a bird feather : BARBICEL
34
Drizzling clouds : STRATI
36
New York city near the Pennsylvania border : OLEAN
37
___ Season Tip-Off (annual hoops event) : NIT
39
"Hurray!" : WAHOO
40
Thwart : HINDER
42
Like seven of the 12 presidents between 1869 and 1923 : OHIOBORN
44
Part of E.M.S.: Abbr. : EMER
45
Conditional construct in computer programming : ELSEIF
47
Clark Gable film that was a remake of his "Red Dust" : MOGAMBO
49
Personal info such as education and work history : BIODATA
54
Like Homer Simpson or Herman Munster : INEPT
55
Big D campus : SMU
57
Novarro who played Ben-Hur : RAMON
58
E.M.S. offering : AID
59
Hydrophilic : WATERLOVING
62
Prefix with -lithic : NEO
63
Ones using slides : TROMBONISTS
64
Doubly hyphenated ID : SSN
65
Half-volley in tennis, e.g. : FINESSESHOT
Down
1
When "Double, double toil and trouble" is chanted in "Macbeth" : ACTIV
2
Largest employer in the Midwest's Quad Cities, for short : DEERE
3
NATO alphabet letter : OSCAR
4
Actress Christine : LAHTI
5
Lily Tomlin character with a headset : ERNESTINE
6
Show sign : SRO
7
Burst, in a way : COMEOPEN
8
Birds whose eggs are incubated by males : EMUS
9
AriZona competitor : NESTEA
10
Half of hex- : TRI
11
Prefix with linguistics : SOCIO
12
Pride of Moscow? : MISSIDAHO
13
One making People look good? : ARTEDITOR
14
Ozone layer issue : DEPLETION
22
Seal of office for some pharaohs : SCARAB
24
Bit of footwear, for short : MOC
26
Price abbr. : CTS
28
Awards that have had a Healthcare category since 2009 : CLIOS
30
Unconventional sorts : BOHEMIANS
31
Tender towards one's exes? : ALIMONIES
32
Failed to honor : RENEGEDON
33
Defendant's complaint : BADRAP
35
Good deal : TWOFORONE
38
Area with lawns and picket fences, informally : THEBURBS
41
Follower of 50-Down : REB
43
Super Bowl whose pregame show honored the Apollo astronauts : III
46
Unappreciated by : LOSTON
48
Series often seen with S's on the ends : MTWTF
50
'60s president : DAVIS
51
Some drivers with "slow-moving vehicle" reflectors : AMISH
52
Sidekick of film and TV : TONTO
53
Common Allen wrench? : ANGST
56
Ice Bucket Challenge, e.g. : MEME
60
N.L. West team, on scoreboards : ARI
61
Start of many California place names : LOS

Answer summary: 11 unique to this puzzle, 2 debuted here and reused later.

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