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New York Times, Saturday, July 2, 2016

Author: Erin Rhode
Editor: Will Shortz
Erin Rhode
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26/26/20157/2/20160
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1.42000

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 70, Blocks: 29 Missing: {JQXZ} This is puzzle # 2 for Ms. Rhode. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Erin Rhode notes: I'm very excited to show off my second ever New York Times crossword puzzle, just over one year from my first one. Perhaps I will ... more
Erin Rhode notes:

I'm very excited to show off my second ever New York Times crossword puzzle, just over one year from my first one. Perhaps I will make this an annual tradition. It has been pointed out to me that I am the first female constructor to write a Saturday puzzle since 2014. For those who are excited because a female constructor surely means fewer sports references... sorry. I was really excited when I got "AL East" in there as an atonement for including "ALers" last time, which I am well aware is a term that has been used in the real world by pretty much zero real baseball fans, of which I am very much one. Additionally, as an Oakland resident, my clue for 32-across was also sports related (and probably too hard): "Curry, for one."

The seeds for this one were FOOD COMA and BABY BUMP (which morphed into BABY MAMA when I decided that ESPNS was too much of a stretch) in the northwest and southeast and ALONE TIME (which would have been a debut at the time I submitted) and I CAN'T EVEN in the northeast and southwest, with I CAN'T EVEN probably being my favorite thing in the grid. I have mixed feelings about BABY MAMA, since, as a phrase, it reduces women down to pregnancy vessels, but I'm happy to see it clued with the Tina Fey/Amy Poehler movie, since they are both awesome (even if the movie wasn't that great).

After the seeds, I was pretty happy that the middle section gluing the four corners turned out some nice entries as well. I hadn't attempted a grid quite this open in the middle before, and was delighted to get the aforementioned sports entries, as well as ROT GUT and PEN NAME to fall out. And I hope I gave at least one person an ear worm with 36-across.

Finally, as I wrote the puzzle last fall, my clue for 46-across was obviously different. (I believe I referenced the Curious George authors.) But I'm pretty excited that Will went the Star Wars route here. Rey is easily my favorite of the new characters.

Jeff Chen notes: Such a great triple to kick off the puzzle: FOOD COMA / … AND IM OUT! / RED VINES. Totally worth the price of a RRN (random ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Such a great triple to kick off the puzzle: FOOD COMA / … AND IM OUT! / RED VINES. Totally worth the price of a RRN (random Roman numeral) in CMI and an OONA. (If only OONA Chaplin had landed a big role in "Game of Thrones," crossword constructors everywhere would have rejoiced.)

Also really dug the colloquial I CANT EVEN … Its clue, ["This is too much"], felt a bit stilted, but still, the phrase itself evokes such a vivid picture of someone shaking their head, not even sure where to start.

BABY MAMA also is a fun phrase. It'd have been great to give it a clever clue though, rather than referencing the so-so 2008 movie, since it's a commonly used. Agreed with Erin — what a disappointment that movie was, not living up to the sky-high expectations of a star vehicle featuring the great Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.

A few of the long entries didn't sing as well to me, like SEEDLESS and REPAYABLE and PASS A TEST, which all felt more neutral than assets. But Erin did do a nice job of making her mid-length material work for her, ONE LOVE, ROTGUT, TOP DOGS, and PEN NAME in particular.

Crossword glue … I would give REYS a pass, as it gets a fresh clue referencing the latest "Star Wars" movie, but the presence of other name plurals — ELMOS and DIANAS — created a disturbance in the Force for me. Along with some of the usual suspects like ENA ESTA SRTA ALTE, etc. it felt like too much in one puzzle for my taste.

I appreciated though, that there wasn't any one area which screamed out "I'm filled with crossword glue!", most of it spread out so it wasn't quite as noticeable.

JimH notes: Ms. Rhode is the first woman to have a Saturday NYT puzzle since Elizabeth Gorski in 2014. You need to go back another two years for the one before that.
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© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0702 ( 24,343 )
Across Down
1. Postprandial woe : FOODCOMA
9. Fight memento : FATLIP
15. "That's it ... too rich for me" : ANDIMOUT
16. Classical record on Norman Bates's turntable in "Psycho" : EROICA
17. Licorice candy that was originally raspberry-flavored : REDVINES
18. Ross and Spencer : DIANAS
19. John of the Velvet Underground : CALE
20. Berlin's ___ Nationalgalerie : ALTE
22. Promised lands : EDENS
23. Alex's mom on "Family Ties" : ELYSE
25. Totes : LUGS
27. Tía's title, perhaps: Abbr. : SRTA
28. Brought (up), as from the distant past : DREDGED
31. Get in the end : NET
32. Gladiator type : WARRIOR
36. Classic song with the lyric "Let's get together and feel all right" : ONELOVE
38. Rays are in it : ALEAST
39. Browns : SAUTES
40. Head honchos : TOPDOGS
42. Pie slice, so to speak : PERCENT
43. Disney aunt : ENA
44. Most insensitive : NUMBEST
46. "___ Theme," tune from "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" : REYS
48. Change colors : TURN
49. Oyster cracker? : OTTER
54. No longer crisp, in a way : STALE
56. Two-time All-Star Martinez : TINO
58. Half of a comic strip duo : ARLO
59. Put an end to : KIBOSH
61. 2008 Tina Fey/Amy Poehler comedy : BABYMAMA
63. Words said in a rush : IMLATE
64. Small show of one's feelings : EMOTICON
65. Considered to be : SEENAS
66. Barren, in a way : SEEDLESS
1. "Broad City," for one : FARCE
2. N.B.A. star with size 22 shoes : ONEAL
3. "___ enough ..." : ODDLY
4. Low bars : DIVES
5. 10th-century year : CMI
6. Chaplin of "Game of Thrones" : OONA
7. Robert ___, F.B.I. director from 2001 to 2013 : MUELLER
8. Like many retired Derby winners : ATSTUD
9. Like parking meters : FED
10. Singer India.___ : ARIE
11. Pride : lions :: knot : ___ : TOADS
12. It may be a credit to the band : LINERNOTE
13. "This is too much" : ICANTEVEN
14. Prove one's worth : PASSATEST
21. Something that may pop up in the morning : EGGO
24. Who said "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work" : EDISON
26. Some claim to have six of them : SENSES
29. Poor spirits? : ROTGUT
30. Loved by : DEARTO
32. Has fun getting towed? : WATERSKIS
33. Recharging period : ALONETIME
34. Like debts : REPAYABLE
35. Old dope? : RAD
37. Director Jacquet of "March of the Penguins" : LUC
41. Blue books? : SMUT
42. Ann Landers, for one : PENNAME
45. Sweeteners : BRIBES
47. M.I.T.'s ___ School of Management : SLOAN
50. Linguistic origin of "mulligatawny" : TAMIL
51. Whisper : TRACE
52. Ticklish dolls : ELMOS
53. They have coats with white hairs : ROANS
55. ___ noche (tonight: Sp.) : ESTA
57. Something that may be found in a pit : OBOE
60. "___ Mine" (hit of 1957 or 1995) : HES
62. Accounting abbr. : YTD

Answer summary: 6 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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