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New York Times, Thursday, July 14, 2016

Author:
David J. Kahn
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1813/15/199412/12/20185
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
4451224571326
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.5514211
David J. Kahn

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 36 Missing: {JQ} This is puzzle # 168 for Mr. Kahn. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
David J. Kahn notes:
This theme works because the eight letters in PHONETIC are all different and the eight code words spelling out PHONETIC can be placed ... read more

This theme works because the eight letters in PHONETIC are all different and the eight code words spelling out PHONETIC can be placed symmetrically in the grid.

I also had fun writing some of the clues, especially the T.S. Eliot quip.

Jeff Chen notes:
David uses the NATO PHONETIC alphabet today, working in every one of the eight words spelling out PHONETIC. Not easy to incorporate ... read more

David uses the NATO PHONETIC alphabet today, working in every one of the eight words spelling out PHONETIC. Not easy to incorporate eight answers into a single grid — nine actually, counting PHONETIC!

What a cool, fortuitous coincidence, that all nine words could be placed to exhibit crossword symmetry. And what nice intersections of TANGO and NOVEMBER, and OSCAR and PHONETIC — in symmetrical locations! I've highlighted the nine words below. Touch of elegance.

Impressive how clean David executed on his grid, considering how many words he needed to work around. Okay, CDEF is pretty egregious — although it does technically start the C major scale, no musician would play just those four notes. (Try singing them to a musician to see him/her writhe, waiting for that G resolution. It's amusing.) But other than that, there's only a minor EDO, EST, APPT, etc. Not bad at all, considering those big chunks of white space he worked with in the upper right and lower left corners.

Nice ELBA clue. Idris ELBA is an impressive actor, stunning in his role on "The Wire" and pretty darn captivating in "Pacific Rim." Great for us constructors to have a new way to clue the isle of Napoleon's exile.

And a great TS ELIOT clue. Jim and I often talk about writing, as I'm an aspiring novelist and he's taking classes to explore the craft. I've found that it's roughly ten times as hard to sell a book than it is to sell a crossword — and selling a crossword is not easy. It could be seen as dispiriting that so many writers are "failed writers," but just as with anything, people with real grit come out on top. (That's what I've been telling myself after six years of writing and not having sold a book yet, anyway.)

Interesting concept today, but I would have liked a more powerful punch at the end. PHONETIC revealing P H O N E T I C jumbled up seemed like there was some potential left on the table — the NATO phonetic alphabet seems ripe for more crossword creativity.

1
A
2
P
3
P
4
O
5
S
6
E
7
T
8
A
9
P
10
E
11
D
12
E
13
C
14
K
15
W
E
A
V
E
R
16
A
L
A
N
A
L
D
A
17
A
P
P
E
A
R
18
N
O
V
E
M
B
E
R
19
Y
E
A
R
S
20
A
G
E
E
21
A
F
T
22
T
O
23
R
S
O
24
R
25
H
26
O
27
C
28
H
I
N
U
P
29
T
S
E
L
30
I
31
O
32
T
33
L
O
O
P
34
T
H
35
A
I
36
R
E
N
Z
O
37
E
S
T
38
C
H
A
R
L
39
I
E
40
D
A
D
41
S
M
E
42
L
L
43
L
E
T
S
44
B
I
R
D
45
S
O
L
O
A
46
C
T
47
S
T
48
R
E
A
K
49
T
W
O
50
O
A
S
E
S
51
A
52
S
53
H
54
R
55
E
S
T
56
A
T
57
E
58
A
59
T
60
P
H
O
61
N
62
E
T
I
C
63
C
L
I
C
H
E
64
P
A
S
A
D
E
N
A
65
U
T
A
H
A
N
66
T
H
E
B
O
X
E
R
67
M
Y
L
O
S
S
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0714 ( 24,355 )

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Across
1
Put next to : APPOSE
7
Audio player : TAPEDECK
15
Relative of a finch known for building intricate nests : WEAVER
16
"Bridge of Spies" actor : ALANALDA
17
Surface : APPEAR
18
*When daylight saving time ends : NOVEMBER
19
See 49-Across : YEARS
20
1940s film critic James : AGEE
21
In the back : AFT
22
Where the heart lies : TORSO
24
Aristotle character : RHO
27
"Don't let it get to you" : CHINUP
29
Poet who said "Most editors are failed writers - but so are most writers" : TSELIOT
33
Air show maneuver : LOOP
34
Cuisine with curry : THAI
36
___ Piano, designer of The New York Times Building : RENZO
37
Forecast fig. : EST
38
*Angels' leader : CHARLIE
40
Stay-at-home ___ : DAD
41
Whiff : SMELL
43
"Oh, why not?!" : LETS
44
Frequent tweeter : BIRD
45
Ex-band member, maybe : SOLOACT
47
Run out of clothes? : STREAK
49
With 19-Across, U.S. representative's term : TWO
50
Spring breaks? : OASES
51
Gray color : ASH
54
Balance : REST
56
Bothered no end : ATEAT
60
Like the alphabet that includes the answers to the starred clues ... and an anagram of the eight circled letters : PHONETIC
63
You've heard it many times before : CLICHE
64
Annual parade locale : PASADENA
65
Brigham Young, e.g. : UTAHAN
66
1969 Simon & Garfunkel hit in which "lie-la-lie" is repeatedly sung : THEBOXER
67
"Too bad for me!" : MYLOSS
Down
1
On vacation : AWAY
2
Pet form of José : PEPE
3
*___ John's : PAPA
4
Be generous to a fault, in a way : OVERTIP
5
Three-month period : SEASON
6
Go off track : ERR
7
*Dance craze of the 1910s : TANGO
8
What may come as a relief? : ALOE
9
Ones laying down 20-Down : PAVERS
10
Chemistry suffix : ENE
11
Montana's Hungry Horse ___ : DAM
12
Mandela player in a 2013 biopic : ELBA
13
Scale opening : CDEF
14
Go-___ : KART
20
Supply for 9-Down : ASPHALT
23
Legendary #3 on the diamond : RUTH
25
"Now see ___!" : HERE
26
Ring encouragement : OLE
27
Hearst mag : COSMO
28
*Part of a vacation package : HOTEL
29
Battles against : TILTSAT
30
*Origin of the game Parcheesi : INDIA
31
County seat on the Arkansas River : OZARK
32
Newsman Chuck : TODD
33
Diminished by : LESS
35
To be for you? : ARE
38
Gripper : CLAW
39
Adherents : ISTS
42
Auction tableful : LOT
44
Inhuman : BESTIAL
46
Part of the cerebrum : CORTEX
48
Land : REALTY
50
*To get one, act now! : OSCAR
51
Calendar notation: Abbr. : APPT
52
Onetime royal : SHAH
53
Bamboozle : HOSE
55
One from Germany : EINE
57
*Quick comeback? : ECHO
58
Epiphanies : AHAS
59
Some bills : TENS
61
Collar : NAB
62
Honshu's ___ River : EDO
63
___ laude : CUM

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?