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New York Times, Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Author:
Zhouqin Burnikel
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
6211/13/20123/26/201919
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
620185472
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.56281
Zhouqin Burnikel

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 74, Blocks: 36 Missing: {QXZ} Spans: 2 This is puzzle # 44 for Ms. Burnikel. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Zhouqin Burnikel notes:
I tried to remove OPE, but I did not like any of the versions I had in the upper right corner. Quite a few hesitating moments when I ... read more

I tried to remove OPE, but I did not like any of the versions I had in the upper right corner. Quite a few hesitating moments when I filled this grid, including EL CHAPO, who was just recaptured when I made this grid. I did not have circles in my submission.

Jeff Chen notes:
POWER COUPLE interpreted as 'phrases with an AC and a DC in them.' Too bad the puzzle doesn't have the awesome lightning bolt found in ... read more

POWER COUPLE interpreted as "phrases with an AC and a DC in them." Too bad the puzzle doesn't have the awesome lightning bolt found in the AC/DC (rock band) logo! How cool would that have been?

I love the phrase POWER COUPLE, so snazzy. I wish it had related more strongly to the themers though — finding phrases with an ACDC string in them (no break) would have been perfect. As is, these feel like the POWER COUPLEs are far apart. Maybe that's how it is in real life, especially with movie stars spending so much time physically apart while filming movies?

There's the little matter of no phrase containing the *ACDC* (unbroken) string, too. Right. The crossword gods strike again.

I did like C.C.'s selection of phrases, each one so juicy. SACRED COW is great. ACTED COOL is fun, maybe because I used to go around saying "Aaaaaa!" like the Fonz. (Needless to say, I wasn't popular.) There are surprisingly few other phrases that contain an AC and a DC in that order — MAC AND CHEESE was the only other great one — which makes C.C.'s presentation even more impressive. It'd be too easy to give up and go with ACID CELL or something equally dull.

C.C. always does so well injecting color into her puzzles, both through theme choices and bonuses. Love OPULENCE, DNA LABS, PEAT BOG. EL CHAPO also made me pause, but he is no doubt newsworthy. So much packed in; such great use of those mid-length slots.

A couple of blips here in there on short fill, but nothing egregious. OPE, AGA, OPTO is all passable, well worth the price of all those great bonuses in the fill. This is especially appreciated given how tough it can be to get a grid to behave with five themers, the middle one such an awkward 11-letter length.

Overall, a strong construction, but I would have liked the themers better tied to the revealer. The separation of AC and DC makes me a little sad for these POWER COUPLES.

1
P
2
A
3
S
4
S
5
J
6
D
7
A
8
T
9
E
10
A
11
T
12
I
13
T
14
A
R
T
I
15
P
I
N
O
N
16
F
I
N
I
17
P
E
A
C
18
H
E
S
A
N
D
19
C
R
E
A
M
20
A
N
N
21
A
G
A
22
I
O
U
23
S
W
E
24
Y
A
C
25
H
T
26
S
27
A
C
R
E
28
D
C
O
W
29
A
S
H
E
30
A
T
V
31
N
O
R
A
32
R
33
O
M
E
O
34
H
35
O
A
R
D
S
36
P
O
W
E
R
C
37
O
U
P
L
E
38
P
39
E
R
I
L
S
40
A
P
N
E
A
41
E
L
O
N
42
D
U
G
43
B
44
A
45
N
46
D
47
A
C
T
E
48
D
49
C
50
O
O
L
51
E
S
S
I
E
52
T
H
E
53
O
A
F
54
E
55
O
S
56
P
E
C
57
B
A
C
58
K
G
R
O
59
U
N
D
C
60
H
E
C
K
61
O
P
T
O
62
P
L
A
C
E
63
I
C
E
E
64
G
O
S
S
65
I
D
L
E
S
66
P
T
S
D
© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0711 ( 24,717 )

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Across
1
Make the grade : PASS
5
Matchmaking site since 1997 : JDATE
10
Working hard : ATIT
14
Introductory painting class : ARTI
15
Assign, as blame : PINON
16
Done, in Dijon : FINI
17
Hunky-dory : PEACHESANDCREAM
20
___ Arbor, Mich. : ANN
21
Turkish for "lord" : AGA
22
Borrower's letters : IOU
23
Perennially strong entrant at the Winter Olympics: Abbr. : SWE
24
America, for example, which has a "Cup" named after it : YACHT
26
Untouchable one : SACREDCOW
29
Tennis star Arthur : ASHE
30
Off-road wheels, briefly : ATV
31
Screenwriter Ephron : NORA
32
Ladies' man : ROMEO
34
Stockpiles : HOARDS
36
Victoria and David Beckham, e.g. ... or what 17-, 26-, 47- and 57-Across each have, in a way : POWERCOUPLE
38
Dangers : PERILS
40
Sleep clinic concern : APNEA
41
SpaceX founder Musk : ELON
42
Found really neat : DUG
43
The Rolling Stones or Smashing Pumpkins : BAND
47
Stayed calm : ACTEDCOOL
51
Big name in nail polish : ESSIE
52
Something that's definite? : THE
53
Numbskull : OAF
54
Canon camera : EOS
56
Workout target, for short : PEC
57
Pre-employment screening : BACKGROUNDCHECK
61
Vision: Prefix : OPTO
62
Come in second : PLACE
63
Cold drink at Burger King : ICEE
64
Former C.I.A. director Porter ___ : GOSS
65
Kills time : IDLES
66
War vet's affliction, for short : PTSD
Down
1
Fruit in som tam salad : PAPAYA
2
Sports centers : ARENAS
3
Stem the flow of : STANCH
4
[not my mistake] : SIC
5
Picture file format : JPEG
6
"Twister" or "San Andreas" film genre : DISASTER
7
Santa ___ winds : ANA
8
Gin's partner : TONIC
9
Home of the Ewoks : ENDOR
10
Togo's home: Abbr. : AFR
11
No-win situation : TIESCORE
12
Briefly : INAWORD
13
"I remember when ..." : TIMEWAS
18
Bowler, e.g. : HAT
19
Stage signal : CUE
25
Katniss Everdeen, in "The Hunger Games" : HEROINE
27
California roll ingredient : AVOCADO
28
Swab analysis sites : DNALABS
30
Iowa college town : AMES
33
A fly-by-night? : OWL
34
Like some juries : HUNG
35
Unlock, to a poet : OPE
36
Guards : PROTECTS
37
Luxury : OPULENCE
38
Natural fuel source : PEATBOG
39
Nickname of the Mexican drug lord Joaquín Guzmán : ELCHAPO
44
Facet : ASPECT
45
"Uncle!" criers, maybe : NIECES
46
Punched out : DECKED
48
Follow relentlessly : DOG
49
Wrist bones : CARPI
50
Long past : OFOLD
51
YouTube full-screen mode exit key : ESC
55
Laudatory poetry : ODES
58
Boxing victories, briefly : KOS
59
Delta competitor: Abbr. : UAL
60
Trendy : HIP

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle.

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