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New York Times, Thursday, June 7, 2018

Author:
Bruce Haight
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
511/3/20137/29/20195
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315149460
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.59043
Bruce Haight

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 38 Missing: {QVX} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 39 for Mr. Haight. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Bruce Haight notes:
I got the basic kernel of this theme idea from my buddy Erik Agard, but unfortunately, I was unable to talk Erik into co-construction. ... read more

I got the basic kernel of this theme idea from my buddy Erik Agard, but unfortunately, I was unable to talk Erik into co-construction. He and I did collaborate on another interesting puzzle currently in the NYT queue, and I can tell you he comes up with an amazing number of ingenious ideas.

I knew from the getgo I wanted four theme drinks with at least two O's (bubbles) each. I remember worrying that COKE ZERO was changing its name to Coke Zero Sugar soon, and worrying that JOLT COLA was popular too long ago (It was re-introduced late in 2017, but still is not real well known). I was determined to come up with a revealer that had no O's, and then I had to avoid O's in the rest of the puzzle.

It's always harder for me to work with vertical themers, and I knew this would be a Thursday, so I wanted a word count less than 78.

I love this weird but intriguing theme concept, and I hope solvers find it challenging but fair.

My submitted clue for FILL (at 53-Across) was not "Crossword constructor's pride" or some such thing, but still, I found it hilarious when the first draft of clues from the editors changed it to "Contents of a trash heap." I was a little disappointed that the final draft upgraded my FILL to "Dirt in a dump truck, perhaps" — too funny!

Jeff Chen notes:
Creative idea, BUBBLES UP meaning that the Os in soft drinks rose to the top. Fun to see those O-shaped bubbles! The annoying ... read more

Creative idea, BUBBLES UP meaning that the Os in soft drinks rose to the top. Fun to see those O-shaped bubbles!

The annoying engineer in me wondered why oxygen bubbled up, though. It's carbon dioxide! CO2! NOT O2! IT'S WRONG! WRONG WRONG WRONG! IF IT'S JUST O-SHAPED BUBBLES, WHY IS EACH THEMER IMPLYING OXYGEN BY PROVIDING EXACTLY TWO OS?

Man, that engineer is annoying. Just enjoy the O-shaped bubbles, will you?

I liked that Bruce found so many themers, without repeating a key word like SODA or COLA. Tough task.

Solid grid, lots to love in MALL RATS, SLY WINKS, RAW DATA, CAT TREAT, AD BIZ. Bruce is getting so good at injecting long bubbly fill into his grids.

(EEE WIDTH ... not so much. We'll look the other way for that one.)

Yeah, there's some AMAT ANOS EINE in the short fill, but I'm okay with these as prices to pay for all the great long bonuses. And considering Bruce had to build around five themers, I think he did well!

The one real flaw: the BDAY / BENNET crossing. I expect a good deal out of educated solvers, but knowing all 100 senators seems unrealistic. With DDAY, VDAY, and BDAY all fine answers for an [Annual celebration, for short], a more specific clue was badly needed.

Maybe that's just sour grapes, as I guessed VENNET. It seemed plausible at the time.

Fun a-ha moment when I realized what was going on with the O-shaped bubbles — after beating down the annoying engineer complaining about accuracy, that is.

1
T
2
A
3
O
4
S
5
R
6
I
7
O
8
T
9
O
10
L
11
M
12
E
13
C
14
I
D
O
L
15
A
N
O
S
16
O
U
I
J
A
17
D
U
L
Y
18
W
I
C
K
19
J
A
N
E
T
20
E
E
E
W
21
I
D
T
H
22
C
L
U
T
C
H
23
M
I
C
A
24
A
25
M
A
T
26
S
T
Y
27
B
28
E
N
N
E
T
29
M
E
R
C
30
D
I
S
K
31
A
32
P
P
A
L
L
33
B
34
I
35
B
36
A
N
D
S
37
O
38
E
A
R
39
A
40
M
U
S
E
41
Y
E
A
42
O
43
L
D
G
A
44
G
45
A
B
E
S
46
C
A
A
N
47
I
48
L
L
B
E
T
49
F
50
A
51
R
52
K
Y
L
E
53
F
I
L
L
54
I
N
A
55
G
E
S
56
C
57
A
T
T
R
E
58
A
59
T
60
A
D
B
I
Z
61
I
L
L
S
62
A
S
T
I
63
T
R
I
B
E
64
M
E
M
E
65
T
U
R
N
66
S
E
D
E
R
67
P
R
A
T
68
S
P
A
S
© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0607 ( 25,048 )
Across
1
Southwest skiing locale : TAOS
5
Revolting scene : RIOT
9
Ancient Mexican : OLMEC
14
Fan fixation : IDOL
15
A long time, in Mexico : ANOS
16
___ board : OUIJA
17
Properly : DULY
18
What's tall when it's young and short when it's old? (old riddle) : WICK
19
Singer Jackson : JANET
20
Big foot spec : EEEWIDTH
22
Like a winning play in the final seconds of overtime : CLUTCH
23
Material in sheets : MICA
24
Word in a Latin 101 lesson : AMAT
26
Digs in the mud : STY
27
Colorado senator Michael : BENNET
29
Bygone Ford make, informally : MERC
30
Plate, e.g. : DISK
31
Horrify : APPALL
33
Bit of neckwear : BIB
36
"Therefore ..." : ANDSO
38
Something you can lend without having to part with : EAR
39
Tickle : AMUSE
41
Pro choice? : YEA
42
Stale joke : OLDGAG
45
Fins : ABES
46
James who played Sonny Corleone : CAAN
47
"Ri-i-i-ight ..." : ILLBET
49
Remote : FAR
52
Nascar's Busch or Petty : KYLE
53
Dirt in a dump truck, perhaps : FILL
54
Since way back when : INAGES
56
Something to feed the kitty : CATTREAT
60
Madison Ave. industry : ADBIZ
61
Troubles : ILLS
62
Fizzy wine option : ASTI
63
Extended family : TRIBE
64
Much-reshared post on social media : MEME
65
Dice roll, say : TURN
66
Meal with storytelling : SEDER
67
Fool, in British slang : PRAT
68
Beauty spots : SPAS
Down
1
Fab alternative : TIDE
2
For two voices in unison : ADUE
3
Carbonated beverage, spelled as 33-Down might suggest? : OOLEMNSDA
4
Knowing signs : SLYWINKS
5
Figures recorded in an experiment : RAWDATA
6
Part of a competition : INIT
7
Carbonated beverage, spelled as 33-Down might suggest? : OOCHAMPAGNECLER
8
"Naughty!" : TSK
9
Carbonated beverage, spelled as 33-Down might suggest? : OOJLTCLA
10
Feast that might include lomi-lomi salmon : LUAU
11
Thin ___ : MINTS
12
DVD player button : EJECT
13
Eponymous cartoonist Guisewite : CATHY
21
Something often added to a carbonated beverage : ICE
22
Baseball legend Yastrzemski : CARL
25
Anne of comedy : MEARA
27
Annual celebration, for short : BDAY
28
Aachen article : EINE
32
Bike : PEDAL
33
Rises, in a way : BUBBLESUP
34
"So that's what you mean" : ISEE
35
Top : BEST
37
Carbonated beverage, spelled as 33-Down might suggest? : OOCKEZER
40
Food court regulars : MALLRATS
43
Big name in chips : LAYS
44
Bundle that might come with a bow on top : GIFTSET
48
Like a happening party, in slang : LIT
49
Some Italian models : FIATS
50
"My Dinner With ___" (1981 film) : ANDRE
51
Overly enthusiastic : RABID
55
Razz : GIBE
57
Michigan college town : ALMA
58
Shaving brand : ATRA
59
Cookie containers : TINS
61
Calvin in "Calvin and Hobbes," e.g. : IMP

Answer summary: 9 unique to this puzzle.

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