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New York Times, Monday, July 18, 2016

Author:
Jacob Stulberg
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
3012/25/20131/2/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
3449640
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.597100
Jacob Stulberg

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 36 Missing: {FJQXZ} This is puzzle # 12 for Mr. Stulberg. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jacob Stulberg notes:
Delighted to be making my Monday NYT debut! Among this puzzle's original clues: 'Driving range?' for ROADWAY, 'Event for those who ... read more

Delighted to be making my Monday NYT debut! Among this puzzle's original clues: "Driving range?" for ROADWAY, "Event for those who know the ropes?" for REGATTA, and "Where many shots land" for BARS. Apologies to those who thought the Seinfeld character was named "Neuman" and wrote "DUI" at 61-Down. (Since partial phrases longer than five letters are generally frowned upon in crosswords, I chose not to clue 63-Across as "I feel like a ___!")

Jeff Chen notes:
OP-ED COLUMN interpreted as 'entries hiding OPED within.' Nice touch to have them going downward … in the COLUMNs of the grid! ... read more

OP-ED COLUMN interpreted as "entries hiding OPED within." Nice touch to have them going downward … in the COLUMNs of the grid! I particularly liked HOPE DIAMOND, which has all sorts of lore associated with it. EUROPE DAY was interesting too — I had no idea that it was a thing, but I'd bet it's quite a bit more well-known in ... well, Europe.

Very nice grid, with some wide-open corners in the upper right and lower left. That allows Jacob to work in some entries Monday solvers probably haven't seen much of. There wasn't anything super exciting other than HAYRIDES, but it's pretty neat to come across a little COURAGE and SPRINTS. APPROVED!

I also like how much care and attention Jacob put into his short fill. It's not easy to work with five themers, especially when you have a middle one of 11-letters splitting the grid in half. But Jacob keeps everything very smooth. DWI is about the only gluey bit I could find, but that's a common enough acronym. Driving while intoxicated / driving while impaired / driving under the influence are confusing to keep straight ... as demonstrated by my getting the acronyms wrong in my first draft of this blog post (thanks for the catch, Kevin Loughrey and Jon Markman!)

I did find the puzzle more of a stop and start than a usual Monday, but that was more due to tougher vocabulary and names. That's okay with me as long as all the crossings are fair. Shirley EATON is pretty hard, and ODESSA isn't something beginning solvers will likely know. These both are common(ish) in later-week crosswords due to their friendly letter patterns, but it's really important that every crossing is gettable when they're in a Monday puzzle. Jacob does well in this regard.

Some nice mid-length fill in NEWMAN! OH STOP, COP CAR, SEA DOG. It's all worked in so smoothly.

PIANO PEDAL didn't hit my ear very well (don't you just call it a pedal?), and SLOPE DOWN is one of those less-interesting add-a-preposition phrases, so I didn't care for them as much as the colorful HOPE DIAMOND. A well-crafted puzzle though, with the added bonus of having those OPEDs all being within downward COLUMNs.

1
C
2
O
3
P
4
C
5
A
6
R
7
S
8
T
9
E
10
W
11
P
12
A
13
N
14
O
R
I
O
L
E
15
C
O
U
R
A
G
E
16
S
E
A
D
O
G
17
H
A
Y
R
I
D
E
S
18
T
O
N
19
E
A
20
T
O
N
21
O
N
S
E
T
22
O
23
H
S
T
O
P
24
M
P
G
25
C
26
A
P
O
27
T
E
E
28
H
E
E
29
O
30
R
31
S
32
O
D
E
S
33
S
A
34
D
O
W
D
35
P
E
T
36
M
O
D
E
L
37
H
I
P
38
A
39
L
E
V
E
40
I
R
A
41
O
42
D
E
A
43
E
Y
E
D
U
P
44
C
E
L
45
P
U
M
M
46
E
L
47
A
C
E
S
48
V
E
E
49
O
V
E
50
R
D
O
51
B
52
A
53
S
E
D
54
K
N
A
V
E
55
L
56
C
57
D
58
A
P
P
R
O
59
V
E
D
60
E
N
61
D
U
R
E
62
R
O
A
D
W
A
Y
63
N
E
W
M
A
N
64
S
P
R
I
N
T
S
65
S
W
I
N
G
S
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0718 ( 24,359 )
Across
1
Police vehicle : COPCAR
7
Vessel for slow cooking : STEWPAN
14
Baltimore ballplayer : ORIOLE
15
Bravery : COURAGE
16
Sailor, informally : SEADOG
17
Harvest festival events : HAYRIDES
18
Heavy weight : TON
19
Bond girl Shirley : EATON
21
Beginning : ONSET
22
"C'mon, quit it!" : OHSTOP
24
Fuel efficiency fig. : MPG
25
Mafia bigwig : CAPO
27
Snicker : TEEHEE
29
Workplaces for R.N.s : ORS
32
City on the Black Sea : ODESSA
34
Pulitzer-winning writer Maureen : DOWD
35
Dog, cat or maybe a parrot : PET
36
Professional on a catwalk : MODEL
37
With it : HIP
38
"All Day Strong. All Day Long" sloganeer : ALEVE
40
Glass of public radio : IRA
41
Ancient Greek theaters : ODEA
43
Assessed visually : EYEDUP
44
Animation frame : CEL
45
Pound repeatedly : PUMMEL
47
King toppers : ACES
48
Victory symbol with the fingers : VEE
49
Take too far : OVERDO
51
___ on a true story : BASED
54
Scoundrel : KNAVE
55
TV screen option, in brief : LCD
58
O.K.'d : APPROVED
60
Survive : ENDURE
62
Surface to drive on : ROADWAY
63
Seinfeld's neighbor whose name is spoken as an epithet : NEWMAN
64
Short, quick runs : SPRINTS
65
Some playground equipment : SWINGS
Down
1
Price : COST
2
Black-and-white cookie : OREO
3
One of three at the base of a Steinway : PIANOPEDAL
4
North Atlantic fish : COD
5
Succulent flowering plants : ALOES
6
Yachting competition : REGATTA
7
Make a digital image of : SCAN
8
Yo-yo or doll : TOY
9
Annual celebration when a 12-star flag may be flown : EUROPEDAY
10
Twist, as a wet towel : WRING
11
Cushions : PADS
12
Pulitzer-winning James : AGEE
13
Home composed of twigs : NEST
17
Large gem in the Smithsonian : HOPEDIAMOND
20
Body part with a nail : TOE
23
Extension from a fire truck : HOSE
24
Kitten's cry : MEW
25
Joke teller : COMIC
26
Love to bits : ADORE
28
Use a pogo stick : HOP
29
Place for airing an opinion ... or what five of this puzzle's Down answers contain? : OPEDCOLUMN
30
"Side by Side by Sondheim," e.g. : REVUE
31
Stairs : STEPS
33
Decline, as a ramp : SLOPEDOWN
37
___ and haw : HEM
39
Pb, to a chemist : LEAD
42
Word before north or after payment : DUE
43
High dice rolls : ELEVENS
46
"Uncle Tom's Cabin" girl : EVA
48
"La Traviata" composer : VERDI
50
Extend, as a subscription : RENEW
51
Taverns : BARS
52
Each : APOP
53
Argue (with) : SPAR
54
Janitor's ringful : KEYS
56
Steep, rugged cliff : CRAG
57
Paneled rooms, maybe : DENS
59
Brewery container : VAT
61
Bad record for a motorist, for short : DWI

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 2 debuted here and reused later.

Found bugs or have suggestions?