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New York Times, Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Author:
Sean Dobbin
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
54/19/20126/8/20160
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0101201
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.49000
Sean Dobbin

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 38 Missing: {JQVXZ} This is puzzle # 5 for Mr. Dobbin. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Sean Dobbin notes:
I'm happy to see BERN clued as something other than the Swiss city, and I wish I could take credit for it. Nope. This puzzle was ... read more

I'm happy to see BERN clued as something other than the Swiss city, and I wish I could take credit for it. Nope. This puzzle was constructed a full two weeks before Bernie Sanders announced his candidacy, and it was Will who made the apt edit.

Jeff Chen notes:
Neat idea, an -ING ending changed to a short -EN or -ON sound. Consistently executed, each two-word phrase morphed from something ... read more

Neat idea, an -ING ending changed to a short -EN or -ON sound. Consistently executed, each two-word phrase morphed from something colorful, i.e. (HOLDING TANK), to (celeb) + (noun) = HOLDEN TANK.

I really wanted it to be HOLDEN'S TANK, since HOLDEN is strange when used as an adjective, but HOLDING to HOLDEN'S would be even weirder.

William HOLDEN

Such an impressively executed grid. I didn't have even a minor hitch the entire way through — incredibly smooth for any puzzle, but even more so for a theme-dense puzzle also containing a ton of long, snazzy fill. Sean uses the dreaded 11-letter answer in the middle of the grid, which sort of splits the grid in half, plus calls for "Utah blocks" on the sides. Makes construction tough, leaving some chunky, wide-open corners to fill.

Beautiful work in the toughest areas, the NE and SW. The HAIR DYE / UMPTEEN combo is gold, and Sean finishes out that corner with nary a gluey bit. (NYT solvers absolutely should know their world leaders, so EHUD Barak doesn't even give me slight pause.) And NEW AGER / A LA MODE / DIAL TONE — three beautiful answers! Sure, it came with the cost of ELA and AM TOO, but considering how clean the rest of his grid is, that's a good trade-off in my eyes.

And the mid-length stuff: UTOPIA, CELEBS, LL BEAN, even SOLACE and BUCKO = excellent use of those often neglected 5- and 6-letter slots.

I had no idea what the NAME clue meant: [Arnold, Ronald, or Roland]. Was Arnold Ronald Roland some famous rapper or Silent Era actor? I think it's just getting at the fact that they're anagrams of each other.

The kooky end results didn't totally sizzle for me since LANDON GEAR feels like such a forced phrase. (If only there had been some way to make it into LANDON'S GEAR!) But all five answers were done consistently, using five snappy base phrases. And the grid execution really heightened my overall solving experience.

1
B
2
U
3
C
4
K
5
O
6
A
7
N
8
T
9
I
10
E
11
H
12
U
13
D
14
S
T
E
E
R
15
T
E
A
R
16
N
A
M
E
17
H
O
L
D
E
18
N
T
A
N
K
19
D
I
P
S
20
A
P
E
S
21
B
I
T
22
F
O
R
T
E
23
R
I
B
24
B
A
C
O
25
N
26
P
O
W
D
E
R
27
P
A
S
28
S
E
29
U
A
E
30
Y
E
T
31
C
R
32
A
33
T
34
E
R
S
35
M
E
N
S
36
D
A
N
S
O
N
S
H
37
O
E
S
38
N
39
A
I
R
40
I
N
S
E
A
M
S
41
E
L
A
42
G
A
G
43
S
A
44
L
45
S
46
A
47
W
A
L
48
K
E
N
S
49
T
50
I
51
C
K
52
L
O
L
53
A
M
T
O
O
54
O
N
E
55
A
B
L
E
56
G
O
O
D
57
L
58
A
N
D
O
59
N
G
E
A
R
60
E
D
N
A
61
A
S
T
I
62
T
R
A
C
T
63
R
E
E
K
64
W
H
O
A
65
H
A
N
E
S
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0608 ( 24,319 )

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Students & seniors
Across
1. Young fellow : BUCKO
6. Contrarian : ANTI
10. Former Israeli P.M. Barak : EHUD
14. Beef on the hoof : STEER
15. Go like heck : TEAR
16. Arnold, Ronald or Roland : NAME
17. Military vehicle for actor William? : HOLDENTANK
19. Ballroom motions : DIPS
20. Gibbons, e.g. : APES
21. Part of a comedy routine : BIT
22. Strong suit : FORTE
23. Part of a certain cage : RIB
24. Makeup for actor Kevin? : BACONPOWDER
27. So last year : PASSE
29. Burj Khalifa's home: Abbr. : UAE
30. Nevertheless : YET
31. Much of the moon's landscape : CRATERS
35. Department store department : MENS
36. Footwear for actor Ted? : DANSONSHOES
38. Product that can maintain a bikini line : NAIR
40. Tailoring measures : INSEAMS
41. She, in Lisbon : ELA
42. [That is so disgusting!] : GAG
43. Chalupa go-with : SALSA
47. Cudgel for actor Christopher? : WALKENSTICK
52. Texter's reaction to a joke : LOL
53. Playground retort : AMTOO
54. Xbox ___ : ONE
55. Up to it : ABLE
56. Not too shabby : GOOD
57. Equipment for actor Michael? : LANDONGEAR
60. Krabappel of Springfield : EDNA
61. City ESE of Turin : ASTI
62. Proselytizer's handout : TRACT
63. Need a bath badly : REEK
64. "Hey, take it easy!" : WHOA
65. Beefy-T brand : HANES
Down
1. C's equivalent : BSHARP
2. Perfect place : UTOPIA
3. People people : CELEBS
4. Sneakers that come in over a hundred designs : KEDS
5. Metallurgist's sample : ORE
6. Dormered area, maybe : ATTIC
7. "Fantabulous!" : NEATO
8. Color similar to Crayola's Tumbleweed : TAN
9. Bug big-time : IRK
10. Supply, as a chair : ENDOW
11. Salon supply : HAIRDYES
12. A zillion : UMPTEEN
13. Jumps ship : DESERTS
18. Draft org. : NBA
22. Moriarty, to Holmes : FOE
24. "Feel the ___" (2016 campaign slogan) : BERN
25. Tend to : NURSE
26. Ottoman title : PASHA
28. Sign of past trauma : SCAR
32. Like Mongols : ASIAN
33. Patio grill accessory : TONGS
34. Two of nine? : ENS
35. Badlands sight : MESA
36. Feature of a landline, but not a cellphone : DIALTONE
37. Trans-Siberian Railway city : OMSK
38. Practitioner of aromatherapy and astrology, maybe : NEWAGER
39. How birthday cake may be served : ALAMODE
42. ___ Metro (bygone car) : GEO
44. Competitor of The North Face : LLBEAN
45. Comforting words : SOLACE
46. "Fore!" and others : ALERTS
48. Big employer in Rochester, N.Y. : KODAK
49. Classic TV sidekick : TONTO
50. Where Uttar Pradesh is : INDIA
51. Onetime title for Carly Fiorina : CEO
55. Uttar Pradesh city : AGRA
57. "The ___ is a ass": Dickens : LAW
58. Baseball bat material : ASH
59. Ultimate degree : NTH

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle.

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