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New York Times, Thursday, July 2, 2015

Author:
Timothy Polin
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
4912/11/20111/3/20192
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
74962102
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.626140
Timothy Polin

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 16 Words: 79, Blocks: 34 Missing: {JQX} This is puzzle # 15 for Mr. Polin. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
I love me some Thursday trickery, forcing me to work for my a-ha moment. Tim does just that with INVISIBLE INK making the -INK letters ... read more

I love me some Thursday trickery, forcing me to work for my a-ha moment. Tim does just that with INVISIBLE INK making the -INK letters disappear in clues, leaving only single letters. [P] baffles, but when you add in the (invisible) INK, PINK indeed hints at MEDIUM RARE.

Are we SURE his first name doesn't start with G? Granklin, maybe?

I like that Tim chose NOT to use all possible "?INK" words — MINK and RINK are missing — getting a complete set would have been tempting, but would have likely forced many rough spots to fill. Seven themers is a huge task as it is.

I wouldn't expect much colorful fill given the difficulty of packing in seven themers, but I love Tim's arrangement, leaving the upper right and lower left corners ripe for good material. I didn't know DR. MARIO but it's fun. Along with REAR END and I HEAR YA, that's a lot of bonus material in just the two corners.

Tim also did well in selecting themers colorful enough that I'd expect to see them in themelesses. SPLIT SECOND, MEDIUM RARE, and STOOL PIGEON are all beautiful. FOUNDER and CONNECT didn't do a lot for me, but FOUNDER gave me a real head-scratching moment as GO UNDER felt much more fitting to the [S(INK)] clue.

Are we SURE there wasn't a President with initials = GDR?

No doubt, there are compromises. Between STOOL PIGEON and INVISIBLE INK is one obvious place I'd expect some glue, as there are so many answers that need to cross both themers. I never like seeing the odd ENROL, as I only see it as ENROLL outside crosswords. ORISON crossing IVES will likely cause some trouble too.

And in the symmetrical position, DARE ME sounds a bit made up. YOU DARE ME? sure. DARE ME, not so much. Generally though, I think Tim did a good job of navigating the trade-offs, using a whole lot of themers and keeping the gluey bits to a reasonable number considering the constraints.

Most of all, I appreciated the innovation and clever thinking behind the trick today. Hooray for tricksy Thursdays!

1
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© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0702 ( 23,977 )
Across
1
Father of Erebus and Nyx, in Greek myth : CHAOS
6
Depression common during childhood : DIMPLE
12
New Deal prez : FDR
15
Tropical vine : LIANA
16
Mountain overlooking Yerevan : ARARAT
17
Buried treasure? : ORE
18
K : ECCENTRICITY
20
Actress Thurman : UMA
21
Buddy : ACE
22
Bit of derring-do : DEED
23
Advanced course : SEMINAR
25
Invalid : NULL
27
Protein constituent, informally : AMINO
29
"My Dinner With ___" (1981 film) : ANDRE
30
W : SPLITSECOND
33
Frank refusal? : NEIN
34
Endeavor : ESSAY
35
Studio fee : RENT
37
Part of a fasces : ROD
38
P : MEDIUMRARE
43
Word after open or hot : MIC
46
Overnight, say : SEND
47
Postgraduate ordeals : ORALS
51
"I'm dead" : UHOH
53
F : STOOLPIGEON
57
Trivial Pursuit edition : GENUS
59
Opposite of drop out : ENROL
60
Ectoplasm, e.g. : OOZE
61
Family feud? : GANGWAR
63
James Merritt ___, pioneering lithographer : IVES
65
Setting for a grassy knoll : LEA
66
Choler : IRE
67
What six of this puzzle's clues have been written with? : INVISIBLEINK
70
Where DeWitt Clinton was mayor: Abbr. : NYC
71
Easily attachable : SNAPON
72
Semblance : IMAGE
73
Roscoe : GAT
74
"Arrivederci!" : SOLONG
75
Professional pitch man? : TUNER
Down
1
Detox, e.g. : CLEANSE
2
Affliction with many folk remedies : HICCUPS
3
Needs for many digital cameras : AACELLS
4
United : ONE
5
Beach blanket? : SAND
6
Cocksure challenge : DAREME
7
Containing element #77 : IRIDIC
8
Buddy : MAC
9
Kidnappee, e.g. : PRISONER
10
Partner of great : LATE
11
Root words : ETYMA
12
S : FOUNDER
13
Classic Nintendo game similar to Tetris : DRMARIO
14
Hit back? : REAREND
19
Society affairs : TEAS
24
Caravansary : INN
26
Novelist O'Flaherty : LIAM
28
What par isn't for most golfers : NORM
31
Sailors' ropes : TYES
32
Code material : DNA
36
Onetime lover of Riker on "Star Trek: T.N.G." : TROI
39
Some of the French? : DES
40
Octave, for one : INTERVAL
41
Soba alternative : UDON
42
By that logic : ERGO
43
Slice of ham? : MUGGING
44
"Tell me about it!" : IHEARYA
45
L : CONNECT
48
Wind-blown : AEOLIAN
49
Tough pill to swallow? : LOZENGE
50
Puma, e.g. : SNEAKER
52
Bear ___ : HUG
54
Devout supplication : ORISON
55
Enamored with : LOVING
56
Proletarian : PLEB
58
Deli selection : SWISS
62
Word on a headstone : ANNO
64
Use a scalpel on : SLIT
68
Corp. milestone : IPO
69
Big bird : EMU

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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