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New York Times, Friday, June 7, 2019

Author:
Michael Hawkins
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
171/23/20148/17/20195
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1215152
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.63100
Michael Hawkins

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 33 Missing: {QXZ} This is puzzle # 16 for Mr. Hawkins. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Michael Hawkins notes:
This is by far my most resubmitted puzzle. The editors rejected my first try due to BSMETER which was 'not usable, amusing as it is.' ... read more

This is by far my most resubmitted puzzle. The editors rejected my first try due to BSMETER which was "not usable, amusing as it is." (Constructor Sam Trabucco and I will have a legitimate complaint if someone snags it as a debut ahead of us.) The second attempt received an "Almost yes!" designation which requested that I scrub the "slightly dated term BRIDEZILLA." out of the top half of the grid. I emailed back a rewrite a few weeks later. After a couple of months of hearing nothing back, I reworked it again featuring a more interesting pair of answers in the top but a tough RZA/OROZCO cross. They suggested a tweak to a more solver-friendly cross which resulted in the final grid you see here.

Many of my clues were lost in the edit, but they kept my favorite at 20-Across: "They fall apart when the stakes are raised" so I can't complain.

Jeff Chen notes:
JUST SO nice to have so much sparkling color throughout the grid. I don't often sit up while doing themelesses, but entries like DO ME ... read more

JUST SO nice to have so much sparkling color throughout the grid. I don't often sit up while doing themelesses, but entries like DO ME A SOLID, VOICE ACTOR, STORY ARC, DON'T I KNOW IT, DINE AND DASH made for an attention-getting, juicy solve.

Great fun in the wordplay clues, too:

  • TENTS fall apart when the "stakes are raised." That's the kind of groan I love.
  • [More than nods] had me thinking about signs of agreement, but it was referring to nodding off into NAPS.
  • Did you skim over TELLY as a [Flat screen?] It's worth another look. Get it, "flat" as in a British apartment, where one would watch the telly?
  • Similarly, you might have missed the laugh with POTATO, a thing that's an [Eye site], playing on "eyesight."
  • Even the usually ignorable AYE got elevated by [Answer to one's mate]. That's a seagoing mate, not a life partner!
  • And the best one, a STORY ARC as something that might build character over time. Brilliant!

So many fantastically entertaining clues. I might have picked this for the POW! on that merit alone.

Two entries made me pause: ECUMENISM and NAPERY. I'm not a religious person, so the former didn't come easily. It was a word that I could dig out of the back of my head, though, and it was neat to read up on a movement to promote unity among all the sects of Christianity.

NAPERY. Man, did I stare at that one for a long time. Hasn't been used in the Shortz era since 2000 — almost two decades ago! The Goog shows NAPERY has a lot of usage, albeit more olden-style and perhaps outside the US. A bit of an oddball, but not so much so to ding the entire puzzle from the POW! race.

Bracing for the onslaught of hate mail from linen enthusiasts …

Great craftsmanship, only IMA for crossword glue. Not quite as many colorful long entries as I want in a 72-word puzzle, but their quality was so high. Along with the outstanding amount of clever wordplay, it gets my POW!

1
N
2
O
3
R
4
A
5
F
6
A
7
T
8
H
9
A
10
D
11
A
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T
13
A
14
A
R
E
Y
15
O
U
G
O
O
D
16
I
D
O
L
17
D
O
M
E
A
S
O
L
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D
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N
U
L
L
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I
M
A
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T
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T
S
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T
E
L
L
Y
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R
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I
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D
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D
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T
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H
A
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S
O
N
O
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F
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E
C
U
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M
E
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I
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S
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M
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N
A
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P
S
34
P
A
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D
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R
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J
36
U
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S
T
S
O
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L
E
D
G
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S
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E
N
T
I
T
L
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E
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E
L
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A
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B
O
O
K
C
L
U
43
B
S
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A
S
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P
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E
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N
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R
N
A
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R
O
S
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S
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H
O
D
A
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M
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A
Y
O
R
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O
N
E
I
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L
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T
I
P
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I
S
A
W
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O
P
E
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D
E
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B
A
T
E
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S
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R
I
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V
O
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C
E
A
C
T
O
R
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T
A
C
T
63
A
P
N
E
A
64
C
O
R
Y
© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 0607 ( 25,413 )

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Across
1
Ibsen heroine : NORA
5
Nickname in early jazz piano : FATHA
10
Mining target : DATA
14
"Is there anything else I can help with?" : AREYOUGOOD
16
Rocker, perhaps : IDOL
17
"I'd really appreciate this favor" : DOMEASOLID
18
Of no value : NULL
19
"___ mess" : IMA
20
They fall apart when the stakes are raised : TENTS
21
Flat screen? : TELLY
22
John ___, secret identity of the Lone Ranger : REID
24
Assembly : DIET
25
Outline in the Arby's logo : HAT
26
What "Mac" means : SONOF
28
United Christendom movement : ECUMENISM
32
More than nods : NAPS
34
Western sidekick : PARDNER
35
To a tee : JUSTSO
38
Overlooks : LEDGES
39
Warrant : ENTITLE
41
Wife of Albert Einstein : ELSA
42
They discuss texts : BOOKCLUBS
44
Western city that shares its name with a tree : ASPEN
48
Kind of replication : RNA
49
One of the friends on "Friends" : ROSS
51
Kotb on morning TV : HODA
52
Key presenter : MAYOR
54
Baseball's Buck : ONEIL
56
Track advantage : TIP
57
Dr. Seuss's "And to Think That ___ It on Mulberry Street" : ISAW
58
All-comers' discussion : OPENDEBATE
60
Popular assistant : SIRI
61
One who's seen but not heard? Just the opposite! : VOICEACTOR
62
Delicacy : TACT
63
Sleep ___ : APNEA
64
"Boy Meets World" boy : CORY
Down
1
Depths : NADIRS
2
Famous play call? : OROMEO
3
One side in the Brexit vote : REMAIN
4
Answer to one's mate : AYE
5
Became one : FUSED
6
Great pains : AGONIES
7
Early Nahuatl speaker : TOLTEC
8
Elevate, redundantly : HOISTUP
9
Mention as an afterthought : ADD
10
Stiff a restaurant : DINEANDDASH
11
Doing grown-up things, in modern lingo : ADULTING
12
Ring : TOLL
13
Entente member : ALLY
15
Lead-in to a meal? : OAT
21
May in England : THERESA
23
"No kidding!" : DONTIKNOWIT
27
Speedster : FASTCAR
29
___ of America : MALL
30
Take in : SEE
31
Questionnaire check box option : MRS
33
Exit ___ : POLL
35
Bush in Florida : JEB
36
Game with a discard pile : UNO
37
Something that might build character over time? : STORYARC
40
Ace of Base genre : EUROPOP
41
Heart : ESSENCE
43
Steak option : BONEIN
45
Eye site : POTATO
46
One going over the line : EDITOR
47
Table linens : NAPERY
50
The Beatles' "Hey Jude" vis-à-vis "Revolution" : SIDEA
52
Navigation hazard : MIST
53
Land east of the Suez Canal : ASIA
55
Verdant expanse : LEA
58
Results of oogenesis : OVA
59
Include surreptitiously, in a way : BCC

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle.

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