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New York Times, Friday, July 14, 2017

Author:
Patrick Berry
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
2297/11/199911/4/20182
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
741241679512
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.54980
Patrick Berry

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 64, Blocks: 34 Missing: {JQZ} This is puzzle # 223 for Mr. Berry. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
Solid PB offering, three juicy answers stacked atop each other in HARBORMASTERS / TEN GALLON HATS / TURKEY DINNERS. PB has such a ... read more

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.

1
S
2
A
3
D
4
S
5
A
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C
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K
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D
9
I
10
S
11
C
12
U
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S
14
C
L
U
T
C
H
E
15
S
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O
N
T
A
P
E
17
R
I
G
A
T
O
N
I
18
A
L
Y
S
S
A
19
A
B
U
T
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P
O
L
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N
E
X
T
T
O
22
P
I
P
E
23
S
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V
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E
S
T
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A
A
A
27
B
E
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E
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F
E
D
30
S
N
I
T
31
H
A
R
B
O
R
M
32
A
33
S
T
E
R
S
34
T
E
N
G
A
L
L
O
N
H
A
T
S
35
T
U
R
K
E
Y
D
I
N
N
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36
O
R
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U
N
D
O
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S
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E
T
A
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H
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O
P
I
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T
Y
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P
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S
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T
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F
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F
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T
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N
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H
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L
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S
H
A
W
51
A
R
T
I
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G
O
O
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D
T
O
G
O
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G
R
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A
S
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S
C
R
E
E
N
E
R
56
S
O
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T
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57
K
E
N
M
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© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0714 ( 24,720 )
Across
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
Down
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: 7 unique to this puzzle, 2 debuted here and reused later, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?