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New York Times, Friday, June 5, 2015

Author:
James Mulhern
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
2411/16/20096/23/20176
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012001011
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.60000
James Mulhern

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 27 Missing: {QWXZ} This is puzzle # 14 for Mr. Mulhern. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
James Mulhern notes:
As my mom always says: if JOCK JAMS doesn't get your party started, check your guest list. Besides 1-Across, I was excited to ... read more

As my mom always says: if JOCK JAMS doesn't get your party started, check your guest list.

Besides 1-Across, I was excited to include MURSE, FAKE PUNT, REJIGGER, and OH GOD NO. JAI ALAI in its full form is kind of fun, too. Overall, I think the longer fill has a nice bounciness, or life, to it in this puzzle — lots of multiword phrases help give that feel. I hope you agree! ORLE else...

Jeff Chen notes:
Nice change of pace to get a themeless focused on seven-letter entries. These can be really difficult, since 8+ letter entries have so ... read more

Nice change of pace to get a themeless focused on seven-letter entries. These can be really difficult, since 8+ letter entries have so much more potential for color and pizzazz. But when a constructor can identify and weave in such great entries as OH GOD NO! it makes for good effect.

I like how James offset some blocks in rows 1-3 to give himself a good number of eight-letter slots. With this particular grid pattern (a big "X" in the middle — scroll down to see it), a lot of constructors have chosen to go the all-out, focus-on-seven-letter entries approach. Seven-letter entries tend to lend themselves to such neutral stuff as DONATOR and CLEANSE, so throwing in some eight-letter slots can really help to add zest.

Who's going to be the first to use JOCK JAM MEGAMIX?

Normally I find it difficult to identify colorful one-word entries in themelesses, but REJIGGER did it for me. Fun word, and one I like to use in colloquial speech. If we engineers know anything, it's failure.

That didn't come out right.

I meant, even with all the planning and groundwork, the path to perfection (or simply good enough) involves a lot of iteration, i.e. REJIGGERing.

Something Byron Walden said has been resonating with me; how he avoids putting his marquee entry at 1-Across. I do like a great start to the puzzle, but there's something to be said about stumbling upon buried treasure where you least expect it. I didn't know what JOCK JAMS was, because I knew I was looking for a feature entry, that prompted me to try some Scrabbly letters in that first answer, getting JOCK JAMS to fall a bit too easily. Whoomp, there it went!

Now, that's easier said than done. It's almost always easiest to incorporate Scrabbly words into that 1-Across slot, since so many more words start with a J than end with one (or have one in the middle). Always the trade-offs.

Finally, I liked the FAKE PUNT-style fakeout of [Printemps time], which is ALWAYS "ete." Er, make that ALMOST always. I like being forced to rejigger my thinking.

Er, "printemps" means "spring," not "summer." Drat! So much for those five years of high school French.

1
J
2
O
3
C
4
K
5
J
6
A
7
M
8
S
9
M
10
E
11
N
12
T
13
O
14
S
15
A
L
L
F
O
R
I
T
16
U
R
B
A
N
E
17
I
D
E
C
L
A
R
E
18
R
E
A
G
A
N
19
A
M
A
20
T
B
I
L
21
I
S
I
22
A
D
D
23
L
A
N
24
E
25
S
A
L
V
E
26
O
L
A
F
27
A
I
S
L
28
E
29
M
A
I
30
P
H
O
T
O
31
I
D
E
A
T
32
E
33
R
E
34
J
I
G
G
E
R
35
S
H
O
36
T
37
S
O
L
O
38
J
39
U
40
S
T
A
S
E
41
C
42
E
L
D
43
E
44
S
45
T
46
A
S
K
I
N
47
T
A
48
O
49
S
N
A
P
E
50
C
H
I
C
51
F
O
R
T
52
Y
53
O
R
L
E
54
K
E
A
55
D
O
N
A
T
O
56
R
57
B
E
N
58
A
R
R
59
E
A
R
60
F
A
K
E
61
P
U
N
T
62
S
I
E
R
R
A
63
E
V
E
N
O
D
D
S
64
S
N
A
R
K
Y
65
S
A
D
T
O
S
A
Y
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0605 ( 23,950 )

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Students & seniors
Across
1
Popular series of 1990s compilation albums : JOCKJAMS
9
Packaged candy once promoted with the slogan "The Freshmaker" : MENTOS
15
Definitely in favor : ALLFORIT
16
Cultivated : URBANE
17
"Lordy Lordy!" : IDECLARE
18
War on drugs wager : REAGAN
19
Org. with a code of ethics : AMA
20
Supreme Court of Georgia locale : TBILISI
22
Continue : ADD
23
It's between the lines : LANE
25
Mollify : SALVE
26
King in an Elgar title : OLAF
27
Seating request : AISLE
29
Printemps time : MAI
30
Snap : PHOTO
31
Get creative : IDEATE
33
Adjust : REJIGGER
35
Cappuccino unit : SHOT
37
Go it alone : SOLO
38
"Hold on" : JUSTASEC
42
First in line, say : ELDEST
46
Not leave waiting at the door : ASKIN
47
"Eternally nameless" thing : TAO
49
Dumbledore's killer : SNAPE
50
Dressed in a stunning gown with pearls, say : CHIC
51
Quadragesimal count : FORTY
53
Edge on a shield : ORLE
54
Mauna ___ : KEA
55
Philanthropist : DONATOR
57
It's big in London : BEN
58
Overdue amount : ARREAR
60
Certain trick football play : FAKEPUNT
62
Environmental publication name since 1893 : SIERRA
63
1 to 1 : EVENODDS
64
Rudely sarcastic : SNARKY
65
"Regrettably ..." : SADTOSAY
Down
1
Court sport : JAIALAI
2
Game with matches : OLDMAID
3
Purify : CLEANSE
4
Louisville-based restaurant chain : KFC
5
Give a turn : JOLT
6
Some Semites : ARABS
7
O. Henry Award-winning Truman Capote story, or either of its main female characters : MIRIAM
8
Outstanding : STELLAR
9
Metrosexual satchel : MURSE
10
"___ learn love, I'll practise to obey": Shak. : EREI
11
Houston and Dallas are in it: Abbr. : NBA
12
Language in which "maraming salamat" means "thank you very much" : TAGALOG
13
Seeing someone, say : ONADATE
14
Summon : SENDFOR
21
Brown and others : IVIES
24
Like some demand, in economics : ELASTIC
26
"That's a terrible, terrible idea!" : OHGODNO
28
Historical Allen : ETHAN
30
Irksome ones : PILLS
32
Aurora's Greek counterpart : EOS
34
Mud : JOE
36
Grand ___ : TETON
38
Jerk : JACKASS
39
Welcome : USHERIN
40
Chamonix, for one : SKIAREA
41
Red and white containers : CARAFES
43
Beats by Dre items : EARBUDS
44
Equal alternative : SPLENDA
45
Minute : TEENTSY
48
Up or down 12 semitones, in musical notation : OTTAVA
51
Sally : FORAY
52
On a farm team? : YOKED
55
Forbidding : DARK
56
Some overhead : RENT
59
Fumble : ERR
61
Cutesy ending : POO

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 2 debuted here and reused later, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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