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New York Times, Monday, July 22, 2019

Author:
Lynn Lempel
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
9012/9/197912/2/20192
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
664142130
ScrabRebusCirclePangramPre‑WS
1.610912
Lynn Lempel

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 36 Missing: {JQXZ} This is puzzle # 87 for Ms. Lempel. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Lynn Lempel notes:
I was wondering about a word or phrase I could break up as the beginnings of theme answers—which I don't remember doing ... read more

I was wondering about a word or phrase I could break up as the beginnings of theme answers—which I don't remember doing before—and RUMPELSTILTSKIN is what immediately popped into my head. It came out of nowhere but seemed perfect, being the answer to a riddle-type question that could serve as a revealer. The crossword gods were definitely smiling.

The main construction issue was deciding where the breaks would come, with RUM- or RUMP- having to be 11 letters for symmetry's sake. I wasn't real thrilled with PELICAN STATE, but it must have worked out the best.

I had fun with this one and was happy with the way it turned out. I hope it's a fun solve.

Jeff Chen notes:
Impeccable gridwork. Perfect for newbs – smooth as silk, ANAT as the only speed bump, and such a feature-filled solve. The ... read more

Impeccable gridwork. Perfect for newbs – smooth as silk, ANAT as the only speed bump, and such a feature-filled solve. The crappy crossword you get in your local newspaper (which might even be computer-generated) would never contain an embarrassment of bonus riches like IDIOT PROOF, POPULATION, DISCERN, VISITOR, BISECT, DOGNAP, EUROPA. While it's true that editors prize multi-word phrases for their color, how often do you see something as interesting as EUROPA as an incidental?

Textbook Monday construction. Space out your themers, alternating them left-right. Use a couple of long downs in opposite corners. Then carefully select mid-length entries, while testing, testing, testing to make sure you can fill the last regions without crossword glue.

As for the theme, most Monday solvers won't remember a previous RUMPELSTILTSKIN puzzle. Heck, neither will most regular solvers.

Double heck, some Monday solvers might not even know that crosswords have themes. Fie on you!

It's a shame that my dang brain immediately lasered in on the previous puzzle, recalling not just the author but some of the theme phrases, roughly when it was published, and the fact that I gave it my POW!

I liked Bruce's interpretation better, RUMP EL STILT SKIN as stand-alone words. Lynn's works too, but it's not as impressive. So many phrases start with RUM, for example, that it feels much easier to do this way.

POW!-level gridwork. POY!-level even. Crème de la crème, exactly how a Monday solving experience should be. A shame that the other puzzle bested it – and a shame that I'm likely one of the three people remembered it (me, Bruce, and that guy who keeps emailing me with snide comments YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE BUDDY BOY OH YEAH YOU BETTER BELIEVE YOU'RE STILL BLOCKED).

1
C
2
A
3
P
4
D
5
E
6
E
7
R
8
D
9
O
10
D
11
G
12
E
13
D
14
R
I
O
15
I
D
L
E
16
O
R
I
O
L
E
17
E
S
P
18
R
U
M
M
19
A
G
E
S
A
L
E
20
E
L
U
21
D
E
22
U
R
N
23
C
L
A
P
24
P
E
L
I
C
25
A
26
N
S
T
A
27
T
E
28
A
E
T
N
A
29
P
E
R
30
I
31
L
32
S
33
R
34
A
T
S
35
A
D
36
O
37
S
38
E
N
D
O
W
39
A
L
I
40
S
T
I
L
T
41
O
N
42
I
R
A
43
S
T
O
44
V
E
45
R
E
U
P
46
P
O
E
M
47
P
O
N
I
E
48
D
49
D
E
50
B
I
T
51
S
K
I
52
N
53
N
Y
D
I
P
P
54
E
55
R
56
A
57
U
58
D
I
59
S
A
O
60
S
E
R
T
A
61
W
H
A
T
62
S
M
Y
N
63
A
64
M
E
65
O
U
T
66
E
U
R
O
P
A
67
O
P
E
C
68
O
D
E
69
S
H
E
R
Y
L
70
S
E
N
T
71
F
E
D
© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 0722 ( 25,458 )
Across
1
Mushroom part : CAP
4
___ Xing (road sign) : DEER
8
Managed to avoid : DODGED
14
South America's Carnaval city, informally : RIO
15
Not doing anything : IDLE
16
Baltimore bird : ORIOLE
17
Psychic ability, in brief : ESP
18
Yard event to clear out the attic : RUMMAGESALE
20
Manage to avoid : ELUDE
22
Big coffee holder : URN
23
Applaud : CLAP
24
Louisiana's avian nickname : PELICANSTATE
28
Giant in health insurance : AETNA
29
Mortal dangers : PERILS
33
"Phooey!" : RATS
35
Commotions : ADOS
38
Provide with continuing funds : ENDOW
39
Athlete who said "Silence is golden when you can't think of a good answer" : ALI
40
Strong-smelling cheese made in England : STILTON
42
Investment for the golden yrs. : IRA
43
Cook's workspace : STOVE
45
Enroll for another year of duty : REUP
46
Work by Wordsworth or Whitman : POEM
47
Coughed (up) : PONIED
49
Ledger entry on the minus side : DEBIT
51
One barely in the water? : SKINNYDIPPER
56
German carmaker : AUDI
59
___ Paulo, Brazil : SAO
60
Big name in mattresses : SERTA
61
Fairy tale question whose answer is spelled out in the starts of 18-, 24-, 40- and 51-Across : WHATSMYNAME
65
Fast asleep : OUT
66
Mythical beauty who lent her name to a continent : EUROPA
67
Oil producers' grp. : OPEC
68
"___ to Joy" : ODE
69
Singer/songwriter Crow : SHERYL
70
Shipped : SENT
71
Gave a meal to : FED
Down
1
Slimeball : CREEP
2
Supermarket section : AISLE
3
China's is around 1.4 billion : POPULATION
4
Without stopping en route : DIRECT
5
Part of a campus URL : EDU
6
"Slippery" tree : ELM
7
Co-founder of Rome with Romulus : REMUS
8
Run off with a boxer, maybe? : DOGNAP
9
Gold waiting to be discovered : ORE
10
Recognize, as differences : DISCERN
11
Objective for a soccer player : GOAL
12
Fitzgerald of jazz : ELLA
13
Profound : DEEP
19
The "A" of MoMA : ART
21
Conks out : DIES
25
Med school subj. : ANAT
26
Low point : NADIR
27
Juliet Capulet or Holden Caulfield, agewise : TEEN
30
Impossible to mess up : IDIOTPROOF
31
Set of traditional beliefs : LORE
32
Got one's kicks at the pool? : SWAM
33
Hoarse voice : RASP
34
Voice above tenor : ALTO
36
Grand ___ Opry : OLE
37
Prepare for a hard test : STUDY
40
Search for : SEEK
41
Coup for a newspaper freelancer : OPED
44
Someone dropping by : VISITOR
46
Something that might spring a leak : PIPE
48
Dreary : DISMAL
50
Cut in half : BISECT
52
Vote that cancels out a yea : NAY
53
Unacceptable actions : NONOS
54
Musical practice piece : ETUDE
55
Given a PG-13, say : RATED
56
Bowls over : AWES
57
Thumbs-down response : UHUH
58
Show gumption : DARE
62
Someone not likely to show off intelligence? : SPY
63
"Great" hominid : APE
64
Word on a restroom door : MEN

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle.

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