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New York Times, Monday, July 16, 2018

Author:
Erik Agard
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
5411/6/20122/7/202026
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1156784121
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.62280
Erik Agard

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 38 Missing: {HJKQZ} Spans: 2 This is puzzle # 20 for Mr. Agard. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Erik Agard notes:

This theme has been done a few times over the years, so I did my best to use answer phrases that weren't in those previous puzzles.

Jeff Chen notes:
Sometimes I wonder if I'm too critical about the quality of crossword fill, especially in early-week puzzles. Feels like I've carped ... read more

Sometimes I wonder if I'm too critical about the quality of crossword fill, especially in early-week puzzles. Feels like I've carped on a lot of Mondays and Tuesdays recently, for not enough attention to detail.

But then I do a Monday puzzle like today's, and my belief in high crossword standards is upheld. With only rare exceptions, all early-week crosswords should be as solid as this one. Beautiful long fill like PILE IT ON, ROOFTOP BAR, and SELF-CARE, with very few gluey bits?

This is what all constructors should demand out of their work.

Okay, PERMA ain't great as a prefix, and RAITA is going to be tough for some newbs. But I'm okay with people having to learn one thing from a crossword, as long as the crosses are fair. And if you haven't had RAITA before, you're missing out on the cucumbery goodness!

The theme = COCO indicating phrases where both words start with CO. I'm glad Erik included the revealer, because it's easy to think that this is just a C___ C___ phrase puzzle, much less interesting than a tougher CO___ CO___.

I wasn't familiar with COME CORRECT, but it's a proven fact that Erik is more hip than me. (The fact that I used the word "hip" probably has the young folks rolling their eyes.) SWAG Surfin' is something I learned from one of Erik's crosswords — see, you can teach an old dummy new tricks!

Occasionally, Jim will send me a "is Jeff grumpy?" note, which is extremely useful in terms of checking my OCD tendencies, and he's sent me a couple of those recently. I'm so glad that Erik gave us an example of how an early-week puzzle ought to be constructed!

1
O
2
P
3
A
4
L
5
S
6
W
7
A
8
G
9
P
10
E
11
R
12
M
13
A
14
P
A
C
E
15
T
A
L
E
16
I
M
O
U
T
17
E
L
L
A
18
O
X
E
N
19
L
O
O
M
S
20
C
O
U
N
21
T
R
Y
C
O
22
D
E
23
F
B
I
24
I
I
I
25
M
R
I
26
T
A
G
27
C
28
O
29
U
N
T
E
30
R
31
F
E
I
T
32
C
O
I
N
33
C
N
N
34
S
I
R
35
P
O
O
P
36
S
O
F
37
A
38
S
39
G
A
40
P
41
N
O
B
42
E
43
L
44
A
M
E
45
N
46
M
I
47
C
48
A
G
O
49
C
50
O
M
P
L
E
51
T
E
C
O
52
N
53
T
R
O
L
54
O
U
I
55
F
Y
I
56
R
O
E
57
A
T
L
58
C
O
M
59
E
60
C
O
R
R
61
E
62
C
63
T
64
R
A
I
65
T
A
66
E
T
O
N
67
E
V
E
R
68
S
T
A
R
R
69
R
A
C
E
70
S
I
L
O
71
E
E
R
I
E
72
S
L
O
T
73
A
L
L
Y
© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0716 ( 25,087 )
Across
1
Australia's national gemstone : OPAL
5
"___ Surfin'" (2008 rap song) : SWAG
9
Lead-in to frost : PERMA
14
Walk back and forth nervously : PACE
15
What a fisherman might bring home even if he doesn't catch any fish : TALE
16
"Later!" : IMOUT
17
Singer Fitzgerald : ELLA
18
Yoked animals : OXEN
19
Weavers' devices : LOOMS
20
Start of an overseas telephone number : COUNTRYCODE
23
Former org. for James Comey : FBI
24
Three on a sundial : III
25
Test in a hospital tube, for short : MRI
26
Classic game now sometimes played with "lasers" : TAG
27
Faux money : COUNTERFEITCOIN
33
Wolf Blitzer's channel : CNN
34
Madam's counterpart : SIR
35
Latest dope : POOP
36
Couches : SOFAS
39
Dental problem fixed by braces : GAP
41
Annual award from Stockholm : NOBEL
44
"You said it, brother!" : AMEN
46
Open ___ night (comedy club offering) : MIC
48
"Many years ___ ..." : AGO
49
What a micromanager would like to have : COMPLETECONTROL
54
"Yes, ma chérie" : OUI
55
"This might be of interest," on a memo : FYI
56
Fish eggs : ROE
57
Georgia's capital: Abbr. : ATL
58
Approach respectfully, in modern parlance : COMECORRECT
64
Indian yogurt dish : RAITA
66
Boys' school near Windsor : ETON
67
Of all time : EVER
68
Ringo of the Beatles : STARR
69
Political competition : RACE
70
Farm structure : SILO
71
Weirdly spooky : EERIE
72
Space on a schedule : SLOT
73
Friend in war : ALLY
Down
1
Oil grp. : OPEC
2
___ Alto, Calif. : PALO
3
Org. defending the Bill of Rights : ACLU
4
Move so as to hear better, say : LEANIN
5
The Empire State Building has 102 of them : STORIES
6
Like candles : WAXY
7
Smart ___ (wiseacre) : ALEC
8
Human ___ Project : GENOME
9
Add even more criticism : PILEITON
10
Music genre related to punk : EMO
11
Place to see the town while painting the town red? : ROOFTOPBAR
12
Most populous city in India : MUMBAI
13
Symbol starting a Twitter handle : ATSIGN
21
Palindromic bird : TIT
22
What icicles do : DRIP
27
Amts. of blood : CCS
28
Musical Yoko : ONO
29
Alien : UNFAMILIAR
30
Fix, as an election : RIG
31
Picture holder : FRAME
32
Dove's sound : COO
37
Item on a concert stage : AMP
38
Tending to one's own well-being : SELFCARE
40
Instagram upload, for short : PIC
42
Bigheadedness : EGO
43
[That was a funny one] : LOL
45
R&B singer with the hits "So Sick" and "Miss Independent" : NEYO
47
Princess' headwear : CORONET
49
Sandpaperlike : COARSE
50
Bested in a hot dog contest, say : OUTATE
51
Stopwatches, sand clocks, etc. : TIMERS
52
Neither's partner : NOR
53
Mother with a 41-Across Peace Prize : TERESA
59
Abbr. at the end of an abridged roster : ETAL
60
Hit 2017 computer-animated film ... or a hint to 20-, 27-, 49- and 58-Across : COCO
61
Bad, bad, bad : EVIL
62
An amoeba has just one : CELL
63
Helen of ___ : TROY
65
Prefix with -fecta : TRI

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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