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New York Times, Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Author: Gary Cee
Editor: Will Shortz
Gary Cee
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
345/28/20096/11/20180
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
11088421
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.56021

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 16 Words: 81, Blocks: 38 Missing: {JQXZ} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 25 for Mr. Cee. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Gary Cee notes: You don't usually see a repeated word in theme answers. Lucky for me, Will accepted this one. I hope solvers sing along. 25-Across is one of ... more
Gary Cee notes: You don't usually see a repeated word in theme answers. Lucky for me, Will accepted this one. I hope solvers sing along. 25-Across is one of my all-time favorites.

I'm happy that Will kept my clue for MACYS, which I submitted in the past but was changed to "Parade organizer." (Made sense; it was for the Sunday puzzle before Thanksgiving.) I have a distinct memory of my sister turning to me in the back seat of my parents' car as soon as we spotted a billboard you could see from the Long Island Expressway. "There it is," Jeanne would say. "If you haven't seen Macy's, you haven't seen New York." As I remember, it was just one line of block type, all capital letters, across the top of a building in Queens. It left an impression.

My crossword app is still in development and hopefully will be out by August 1st.

Jeff Chen notes: I have to admit, I was a bit worried, knowing about Gary's musical bent. Today he gives us five songs that start with DON'T, all clued as a ... more
Jeff Chen notes: I have to admit, I was a bit worried, knowing about Gary's musical bent. Today he gives us five songs that start with DON'T, all clued as a plea, encouragement, etc. And I knew four of the five songs! I consider that a tremendous victory, given my kindergarten-level knowledge of pop music. More to the point, thank you Gary, for choosing songs that if I know them, most people probably will too. Big sigh of relief!

It still was difficult for me, in that while I know most of the songs, I couldn't tell you who sang them unless I had a million monkeys playing a million guitars. Even then I wouldn't be able to put Journey together with DONT STOP BELIEVIN. (But on the plus side, I would have a monkey army to do my bidding.) Anyhoo, perhaps cluing with a famous lyric would have been more memorable? I really enjoyed one of Gary's older puzzles for this reason. I dare you not to have fun when completing: "We gonna rock down to..."

The theme did feel a bit repetitive for me, given that after two themers I could automatically fill in the first word of the rest. Generally Will doesn't allow repeated words within a single crossword, so there usually needs to be a strong reason to do so. I like the change of pace. Perhaps only four themers would have felt less repetitive?

(That last sentence sounded less idiotic in my head.)

Man oh man was I stymied by RINGALEVIO. Even after reading the wikipedia entry, I still wouldn't know how to play. Perhaps this is something like Canadians not knowing DUCK DUCK GOOSE? Might it be a regional NYC thing I really should master? I'll get my monkey army working on that.

Assuming people do actually play RINGALEVIO, I liked Gary's execution. It's a rough job to fill a 11/12/15/12/11 grid. It actually helps to have a grid-spanning middle themer, as this gives you more flexibility in placing your black squares, so bravo to Gary for choosing this central entry. I would have expected many more gluey bits, but there's nothing that jumped out at me as I solved. Impressive given the degree of difficulty; a testament to Gary's skill.

Where I expected to see some roughness was between DONT BE CRUEL and DONT WORRY BABY, as there are so many down answers which must cross both themers. And I did have all sorts of trouble with PLUTON. I sort of enjoyed learning the word, but I would have really enjoyed it if it hadn't crossed TRAM, or TRAM had an easier clue. (I personally get TRAM / DRAM / DRAY all mixed up when it comes to mine vehicles.) In the opposite spot, I had a similar difficulty with DUMONT, but here I was really glad to have easy crossings. If it were a Monday, I might balk at the ETATS crossing, but NYT-readers probably ought to know Les Etats-Unis.

Now someone go write a song called DONT IGNORE ME OR FACE THE WRATH OF MY MONKEY ARMY. Hmm, that splits nicely into 14/14/14...

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© 2014, The New York TimesNo. 0701 ( 23,611 )
Across Down
1. Dead as a doornail : KAPUT
6. Listings in a daily planner: Abbr. : APPTS
11. Marble ___ (London landmark) : ARCH
15. Justice Kagan : ELENA
16. Book leaf : FOLIO
17. Oscar winner Sorvino : MIRA
18. Appeal from Elvis, 1956 : DONTBECRUEL
20. Burden of proof : ONUS
21. Prom attendee, typically : SENIOR
22. Mine vehicle : TRAM
24. Clock-setting std. : GMT
25. Reassurance from the Beach Boys, 1964 : DONTWORRYBABY
29. "If you haven't seen ___, you haven't seen New York" (old ad slogan) : MACYS
32. Tennis star Mandlikova : HANA
33. Rapper ___ Wayne : LIL
34. Financial adviser's recommendation, in brief : IRA
35. ___ Paul (classic guitar) : LES
36. Start liking : TAKETO
39. Encouragement from Journey, 1981 : DONTSTOPBELIEVIN
44. Impoverished : INNEED
45. "Modern Family" network : ABC
46. Business monthly : INC
47. Bob Marley's "___ Love" : ONE
48. Movie that introduced the line "Bond, James Bond" : DRNO
50. Went up : AROSE
52. Plea from the Human League, 1982 : DONTYOUWANTME
56. Decline : EBB
57. ___ mater : ALMA
58. Young travelers' crash site : HOSTEL
62. Ray of light : BEAM
64. Reproach from the Buckinghams, 1967 : DONTYOUCARE
67. Capri or Wight : ISLE
68. Art house film, often : INDIE
69. Ward attendant : NURSE
70. Relate : TELL
71. Divisions politiques : ETATS
72. Quizzes : TESTS
1. Sneaker brand : KEDS
2. Sunburn relief : ALOE
3. School founded by Ben Franklin : PENN
4. Not neat : UNTIDY
5. Iconoclasts break them : TABOOS
6. Jaguars' grp. : AFC
7. ___ favor : POR
8. Mass of crystallized magma : PLUTON
9. ___ del Fuego : TIERRA
10. Certain renewable : SOLAR
11. "I love," in Latin : AMO
12. Game similar to hide-and-seek : RINGALEVIO
13. Part of a path left by Hansel and Gretel : CRUMB
14. Done in a rush : HASTY
19. Seaside eagle : ERN
23. Vietnam War locale : MYLAI
26. Kojak's first name : THEO
27. Insect with a stinger : WASP
28. Ten-speed, e.g. : BIKE
29. Skirt hemmed at the calf : MIDI
30. Elvis's middle name : ARON
31. Dive done with the arms around the knees : CANNONBALL
35. Classic Ford : LTD
36. Doting affection, briefly : TLC
37. Quaint food containers : TINS
38. Formerly : ONCE
40. Collapsible shelter : TENT
41. "It's been real!" : SEEYA
42. Eric who played Nero in 2009's "Star Trek" : BANA
43. Black, to poets : EBON
48. Groucho foil Margaret ___ : DUMONT
49. African country known as the Land of a Thousand Hills : RWANDA
50. Bill line : AMOUNT
51. Save from danger : RESCUE
52. ___ card : DEBIT
53. Very heavy : OBESE
54. Almost any doo-wop song : OLDIE
55. However, for short : THO
59. Sailors : TARS
60. Formerly, in the past : ERST
61. Some jeans : LEES
63. Brooks who has won an Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and Tony : MEL
65. Small bird : TIT
66. "I'm game" : YES

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle.

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