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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 )
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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