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New York Times, Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Author: Samuel A. Donaldson
Editor: Will Shortz
Samuel A. Donaldson
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
2810/2/200810/21/20176
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
6136516
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.64120

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 34 Missing: {JQWZ} This is puzzle # 24 for Mr. Donaldson. NYT links: Across Lite PDF

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Samuel A. Donaldson notes: I sometimes worry that another constructor will beat me to print with the same theme idea. That happened here, when Jeff ... more
Samuel A. Donaldson notes:

I sometimes worry that another constructor will beat me to print with the same theme idea. That happened here, when Jeff Chen published "Break a Leg" with the CrosSynergy syndicate last October (which was several months after this puzzle had been accepted). Jeff's theme entries all use leg bones, making his theme tighter than mine; the bones in my puzzle are from all over the place. Still, the ideas here are very much the same. I prefer to think of this as a case of "great minds thinking alike." Or more accurately, "feeble mind submitted first but great mind did it better."

I wasn't sure whether this would be a Tuesday or Wednesday theme when I clued it, so maybe that explains why just 30 of my clues (38%) made the final cut. Another 16 clues (21%) were modified slightly, meaning 32 (41%) clues in the puzzle are one for which I cannot take credit. Very likely, the ones solvers like best are from that last group.

Jeff Chen notes: Few people make me laugh like Sam. His self-deprecating humor makes him one of my very favorite people in the crossworld. I can't ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Few people make me laugh like Sam. His self-deprecating humor makes him one of my very favorite people in the crossworld. I can't tell you how hard I laughed when Sam posted a series of comments from haters about one of his puzzles ... followed by "Sharpen your pencil and come see what all the accolades are about!" Dang, I love him.

Today, he gives us some BROKEN BONES after a SLIP AND FALL, using sets of diagonal black squares to represent breaks. I like how he used longish entries in which he hid his bones, TRUE LIFE and MURKIER making for a great pair to hide FE/MUR. Fun to get a few colorful entries right in the middle of the puzzle among all those theme answers, with GOTTI, RUMBA, BALDY. (One of my favorite moments at the ACPT this year was having breakfast with Sam and Doug Peterson, all three of us middle-aged (but young at heart) baldies.)

It was slightly confusing to see UL/NA/TI/BIA all "connected," but it was kind of cool how much themage Sam packed into the center of the puzzle. Four bones and eight answers is very tough to squeeze into just seven rows! Okay, I didn't like HAS AC as a theme answer — pretty arbitrary — but RESTFUL and NATTERED are fun.

Given how much Sam packed in — the eight central answers plus SLIP AND FALL and BROKEN BONES — it's a pretty smooth grid. Some NOM DE (inelegant partial), EIS (deep German), ACAD (abbr.), ROSAS (plural name or deep Spanish) is pretty good, given the constraints. And to get bonuses in CALCUTTA, SILENT I, BLABBER, GUNNER, SUN RA, is much appreciated.

I think there's something tying the four bones together — very common ones that break upon a SLIP AND FALL? — but that seemed a little macabre. Not sure that older people who've slipped and fallen want to be reminded of it. Still, a fun implementation, seeing those bones "break" across those sharp diagonal black lines.

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© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0712 ( 24,353 )
Across Down
1. Canadian beer ___ Blue : LABATT
7. Tolkien creatures : ORCS
11. ___-Man (pint-size superhero in a 2015 film) : ANT
14. Distinguished N.F.L.er : ALLPRO
15. Antioxidant berry : ACAI
16. "The Tell-Tale Heart" writer : POE
17. Take a tumble : SLIPANDFALL
19. Chicken ___ (kid's ailment) : POX
20. Winter hazard on the autobahn : EIS
21. Charges : FEES
22. Solidify, as a friendship : CEMENT
24. Tranquil : RESTFUL
26. Jazz composer with an Egyptian-inspired name : SUNRA
27. One given the red-carpet treatment : VIP
28. Went on and on : NATTERED
31. Is ready for the summer weather, for short : HASAC
34. Gambino boss : GOTTI
35. Disco ___ ("The Simpsons" character) : STU
36. Military sch. : ACAD
37. Cousin of the mambo : RUMBA
38. Statistician's concern : BIAS
39. Permit : LET
40. Chrome dome : BALDY
41. Language of Copenhagen, to locals : DANSK
42. MTV documentary series about everyday people : TRUELIFE
44. "Good Will Hunting" director Van Sant : GUS
45. "___ Hope" (1970s-'80s soap) : RYANS
46. More obscure : MURKIER
50. Owing (to) : INDEBT
52. "Game of Thrones" actress Chaplin : OONA
53. Palindromic houseware brand : OXO
54. Small brain, metaphorically : PEA
55. Injuries illustrated four times in this puzzle : BROKENBONES
58. Actress Adams of "American Hustle" : AMY
59. A Saarinen : EERO
60. Cult film heroine called "Mistress of the Dark" : ELVIRA
61. Number between uno and tres : DOS
62. Stink to high heaven : REEK
63. Laughs or cries, maybe : REACTS
1. Surgical tool : LASER
2. Rachel McAdams's character in "The Notebook" : ALLIE
3. Euphoria : BLISS
4. Modern kind of store : APP
5. Driver's excuse for being late : TRAFFIC
6. Build muscle : TONEUP
7. Klutzes : OAFS
8. It released the first 45 r.p.m. records : RCA
9. Indian home to Mother Teresa : CALCUTTA
10. Sound part of business? : SILENTI
11. Is part of the cast of : APPEARSIN
12. 12 : NOON
13. It might contain an emoji : TEXT
18. ___ Mar (California racetrack) : DEL
23. G.I. grub : MRE
25. Broadcast commercial : TVAD
26. Failed to get involved : SATBY
28. ___ plume : NOMDE
29. Itinerary data, for short : ETAS
30. Closing time for many city parks : DUSK
31. "Stop right there!" : HALT
32. Lenovo alternative : ACER
33. Times for most college football games : SATURDAYS
34. Chasms : GULFS
37. "___ County" (Elizabeth Taylor movie) : RAINTREE
38. Lie in the sun : BASK
40. Spew nonsense : BLABBER
41. Long-lasting, as goods : DURABLE
43. Body part following black or pink : EYE
44. Overly ambitious student, in slang : GUNNER
46. One of the Three Stooges : MOE
47. Architectural column style : IONIC
48. Apply, as pressure : EXERT
49. Valentine's Day flowers, in Spain : ROSAS
50. Tablet purchased without a prescription? : IPAD
51. Pixar's "Finding ___" : NEMO
52. "All right, I'll do it!" : OKOK
56. Mined metal : ORE
57. Eggs in clinics : OVA

Answer summary: 6 unique to this puzzle.

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