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New York Times, Friday, July 14, 2017

Author: Patrick Berry
Editor: Will Shortz
Patrick Berry
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
2277/11/199911/10/20172
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
721241679512
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.54980

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 64, Blocks: 34 Missing: {JQZ} This is puzzle # 223 for Mr. Berry. NYT links: Across Lite PDF

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Jeff Chen notes: Solid PB offering, three juicy answers stacked atop each other in HARBORMASTERS / TEN GALLON HATS / TURKEY DINNERS. PB has such a ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Solid PB offering, three juicy answers stacked atop each other in HARBORMASTERS / TEN GALLON HATS / TURKEY DINNERS. PB has such a knack for selecting seed answers that are both snazzy in themselves and that lend themselves to great cluing. Best example today: TEN GALLON HAT is made even better by the clever [High tops?] wordplay. I missed the puniness of [Pier group?] the first time around for HARBORMASTERS, but such nice twist on "peer group."

Too bad TURKEY DINNERS didn't get a wickedly clever clue. Feels like there's something you could riff on like "for the birds" or "giving thanks" or something. Maybe referencing the Presidential tradition of pardoning the turkey? (My attempts at Berryesque cluing are so sad …)

Nice to get SILVER LININGS running through that stair stack, too. Though again, it would have been awesome to have a less straightforward clue than [Optimists' discoveries]. Maybe something about Optimist International? Not quite sure what that would be, though.

As with most PB puzzles, there were a ton of great clues spread around. My favorite was [Pair in "Carmen"], for which I embarrassingly filled in CASTAWAYS at first. So much for my years and years of playing in symphony orchestras. Great misdirection, leading away from the musical CASTANETS knocked together.

Also as with most PB puzzles, so smooth. BEEFED got an odd clue, referring to making complaints, but BEEFED up is perfectly fine, so no complaints here. My wife alerted me that KENO isn't super well-known where she's from (Indianapolis), but if that's your weakest link in short fill, that's, well, Berryesque.

I love how Patrick's puzzles almost always feel both challenging and doable, rarely relying on esoteric answers — they're so often accessible to a huge swath of solvers, regardless of age or fresh pop culture knowledge. I have noticed that recently, his puzzles don't have as many colorful answers (akin to TEN GALLON HATS) as I like, though. Would have been great to get a few more of those in place of STATE BANKS, CLUTCHES, KENMORE, SEA OATS, etc.

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© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0714 ( 24,720 )
Across Down
1. Perennial loser : SADSACK
8. Event featured in every Summer Olympics : DISCUS
14. Automatics lack them : CLUTCHES
16. Captured by cameras, maybe : ONTAPE
17. Pasta with ribs : RIGATONI
18. "Charmed" actress Milano : ALYSSA
19. Touch : ABUT
20. Washington insider, informally : POL
21. Alongside : NEXTTO
22. Singing ability, informally : PIPES
24. Protective garment : VEST
26. S.&P. rating : AAA
27. Made objections : BEEFED
30. Pet : SNIT
31. Pier group? : HARBORMASTERS
34. High tops? : TENGALLONHATS
35. Traditional holiday meals : TURKEYDINNERS
36. Extraction targets : ORES
37. Nullifies : UNDOES
38. Greek vowel : ETA
39. Southwest language : HOPI
41. Classes : TYPES
45. Short-legged item of furniture : TUFFET
47. Montreal is part of it: Abbr. : NHL
50. Playwright who wrote "Hell is full of musical amateurs" : SHAW
51. Grammys competitor : ARTIST
52. Fully ready : GOODTOGO
54. Musical with the song "Beauty School Dropout" : GREASE
55. Advance copy sent to a critic : SCREENER
56. Mailroom device : SORTER
57. Brand sold by Sears : KENMORE
1. Throw away : SCRAP
2. Whodunit story? : ALIBI
3. Managed to find : DUGUP
4. Chartered financial institutions : STATEBANKS
5. Do one's part : ACT
6. Martial arts film hit : CHOP
7. Number-picking game : KENO
8. Popular backache remedy : DOANS
9. Blue arm : INLET
10. Moon of Pluto discovered in 2012 : STYX
11. Pair in "Carmen" : CASTANETS
12. Flight destination? : UPSTAIRS
13. Beach grass that prevents erosion : SEAOATS
15. Optimists' discoveries : SILVERLININGS
23. Fabric with diagonal lines : SERGE
25. Rostand who wrote about Cyrano : EDMOND
28. Onetime owner of Skype : EBAY
29. Opposite of spread out, as a paper : FOLDUP
30. Alpha Centauri, for one : STARSYSTEM
31. From now on : HEREAFTER
32. ___ regni : ANNO
33. Large, shallow pan : SHEET
34. Fink's portrayer in "Barton Fink" : TURTURRO
35. IDs tied to one digit : TOETAGS
39. "Siddhartha" novelist : HESSE
40. Web-footed creature : OTTER
42. Vinyl enthusiast's need : PHONO
43. Breathless : EAGER
44. Delivered an oath? : SWORE
46. Turin-based automaker : FIAT
48. Pawn : HOCK
49. Stories that might not be true : LORE
53. Winter home, perhaps : DEN

Answer summary: 9 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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