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New York Times, Saturday, July 22, 2017

Author: Zhouqin Burnikel
Editor: Will Shortz
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5611/13/20129/21/201819
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519165452
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1.56281
Zhouqin Burnikel

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 70, Blocks: 32 Missing: {XYZ} This is puzzle # 45 for Ms. Burnikel. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes: Great craftsmanship in this puzzle. A common critique I have for C.C.'s puzzles is that they contain a little too much crossword glue ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Great craftsmanship in this puzzle. A common critique I have for C.C.'s puzzles is that they contain a little too much crossword glue for my taste, but that didn't apply today. With just SHA, TAS, TMEN as minor blips, it's well under my threshold for crossword glue in a themeless. Okay, DEEPS is odd in the plural, but still, four dabs of mostly negligible glue makes for a smooth puzzle.

And C.C. manages to retain her trademark, a ton of fresh fill spread throughout her grid. Her themed puzzles are always chock full of great bonuses, and this themeless shines with snazzy material like EPIC WINS, LATTE ART (with a fun clue referring to the heart shapes many baristas form), TSA AGENT, TWITTER ALERTS, FRIEND REQUEST, etc.

I didn't know what BITMOJIS were, but it was a fun term to learn. One day I'll get on Snapchat … (That's the day that everyone else realizes it's not cool anymore.)

FOAM HATS! Oh, wait. FOAM … HAND? Right, the oversized novelty things you see at ballparks. It felt like there had to be a better, more catchy term for that, but alas, no. My gut originally said "foam fingers" was more in the language. But that doesn't make sense, given that it's not just a single foam finger.

Though the puzzle was expertly made, I didn't end up giving it the POW! because I felt far outside out of the target solving audience. I appreciate a FRIEND REQUEST. I don't totally know what TWITTER ALERTS are, but that entry makes sense. Throw in BITMOJIS though ... three feature entries focused on one area of life felt like too many to me.

I can certainly see how social media wonks would love this one, though.

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© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0722 ( 24,728 )

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Students & seniors
Across Down
1. Time-tested : CLASSIC
8. Being tried : ATBAR
13. Pouring one's heart out at a coffeehouse? : LATTEART
15. Lead female role on Netflix's "House of Cards" : CLAIRE
16. Sweepstakes exhortation : ENTERNOW
17. Radiance, in England : LUSTRE
18. Exhibit flexibility : ADAPT
19. Biting words? : SICEM
21. Descend upon en masse : MOB
22. "What is ___?" : THIS
23. Wearer of an "H"-inscribed hat : ASTRO
24. Snapchat's ghost, e.g. : LOGO
25. Pluto, to Saturn : SON
26. Home to the Museum of El Greco : CRETE
27. Lieutenant of 1970s TV : KOJAK
28. "___ Fancy has been quelled": Longfellow : ERE
29. Awesome successes : EPICWINS
31. Attempt to establish an online connection : FRIENDREQUEST
34. What some caddies carry : LOOSETEA
35. The ___ Store : UPS
36. Smoother, now : EASED
37. Much-mimicked entertainer : ELVIS
39. Budgeter's concern : CAP
42. Dodgers' pursuers : TMEN
43. Like H-U-M-O-U-R : SPELT
44. Monastery head : LAMA
45. 1950s song syllable : SHA
46. Major port near the Persian Gulf : BASRA
47. Sticks in the mud : MIRES
48. Maker of hospital cuts : LANCET
50. Airport monitor : TSAAGENT
52. Hard-wired : INNATE
53. Words next to an X : SIGNHERE
54. Heavens : EDENS
55. Key : CENTRAL
1. Slip preventers : CLEATS
2. Shore line? : LANDHO
3. Reach : ATTAIN
4. Manual sequence : STEPS
5. Rockefeller Center muralist : SERT
6. Actor Hunter or singer Hunter : IAN
7. Sports stick : CROSSE
8. Application to a cut : ALUM
9. U. 2's? : TAS
10. Cartoon avatars on Snapchat : BITMOJIS
11. Confident to a fault : ARROGANT
12. Some athletic footwear : REEBOKS
14. Certain social media notifications : TWITTERALERTS
15. Big role for Liz Taylor : CLEO
20. Bistro offering : CREPE
23. Fail to be : ARENT
24. Big-box store founded in 1946 : LOWES
26. Seminary study : CREED
27. Single-serve coffee holders : KCUPS
28. Sportscaster Rich : EISEN
30. Cry of exasperation : IQUIT
31. Bit of sports fan paraphernalia : FOAMHAND
32. Show for which Laurie Metcalf won three Emmys : ROSEANNE
33. Ocean areas : DEEPS
34. Does not disturb : LETSLIE
38. Competitor of Mt. Olive : VLASIC
39. Drive like hell : CAREER
40. Ankh-holding deity : AMENRA
41. Baby blue, e.g. : PASTEL
43. Be adequate for : SATE
44. Word before or after green : LIGHT
46. Over and under, e.g. : BETS
47. Michael who directed "The Insider" : MANN
49. Fire : CAN
51. Sensitive conversation topic : AGE

Answer summary: 7 unique to this puzzle.

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