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New York Times, Monday, July 23, 2018

Author:
Todd Gross
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
179/13/20097/23/20185
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
4211513
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.54130
Todd Gross

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 34 Missing: {JQXZ} Spans: 2 This is puzzle # 17 for Mr. Gross. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Todd Gross notes:
I have a few confessions to make about this crossword: I didn't know ORDERS OF THE DAY until I looked it up because I needed ... read more

I have a few confessions to make about this crossword:

  1. I didn't know ORDERS OF THE DAY until I looked it up because I needed another theme entry.
  2. I had to look up PERSON OF THE YEAR to be sure that is how TIME referred to their annual honoree. Especially given that in 2017 (and 2014, and other times) the award went to multiple people.
  3. My first version of this puzzle had the theme entries closer together, which was harder to fill. I only moved the entries farther apart when Will's comments on my second version made it clear I couldn't fill the puzzle cleanly that way. See Deb's Wordplay article for a more thorough confession about my problems there.
  4. Yeah, DID TOO is making its NYT debut today. Another playground retort no one asked for. DID NOT has appeared twice in the NYT, but both are pre-Shortzian and neither is clued as smack talk from a pre-teen.

Given all that, despite this crossword's theme, I have no expectation of getting PUZZLE OF THE WEEK. Disappointment of the Day, maybe.

Jeff Chen notes:
I enjoy tight theme sets, and Todd did a great job of identifying four 'X OF THE (time period)' phrases. Better yet, he got them in ... read more

I enjoy tight theme sets, and Todd did a great job of identifying four "X OF THE (time period)" phrases. Better yet, he got them in increasing order, from MOMENT to DAY to MONTH to YEAR. Almost perfect!

It would have been perfect to swap out the MOMENT phrase for an HOUR one, but the only possibility I could find was MAN OF THE HOUR. That would work, if it weren't for the pesky crossword gods and their symmetry regulations (MAN OF THE HOUR, at only 12 letters, wouldn't balance PERSON OF THE YEAR). Curse ye, oh mocking black and white deities!

It would have been too similar to PERSON OF THE YEAR, anyway. And SPUR OF THE MOMENT is a snazzy phrase. So I like Todd's theme set a lot; likely the best one available.

(ORDERS OF THE DAY wasn't as familiar to me, but it's well supported by the Goog and Robert's Rules of Order.)

Rarely a lead-pipe cinch to work with four super-long themers. I appreciated the long fill bonuses in IN THEORY and NO HITTER – beautiful selections.

GUN USERS … is that a real phrase? I suppose so, but isn't it usually just "hunters" or the like? I don't imagine people go around saying BOW AND ARROW USERS or SLINGSHOT FIRERS.

And the short gluey bits, SEM ESS OLA IER AFTA IN YOU. I did like that most of them are gettable, especially the partial IN YOU. But there's way too much to consider this an elegant grid.

See that set of three black squares below the end of ORDERS OF THE DAY? For a theme set like this, I usually find that it's better to move those up two rows. That causes a huge cascade of changes, but it does avoid problems in the tricky NE corner Todd had to deal with (see: IER).

Overall, a strong theme set. Another round of revisions on the grid could have helped out, though.

1
E
2
M
3
C
4
E
5
E
6
I
7
S
8
I
9
S
10
M
11
I
12
C
13
E
14
L
A
R
A
M
15
N
O
S
E
16
E
B
O
N
17
S
P
U
R
O
18
F
T
H
E
M
19
O
M
E
N
T
20
E
S
S
21
T
A
H
O
E
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N
E
R
V
E
23
A
24
D
E
L
E
25
I
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V
E
27
I
E
R
28
O
29
R
D
E
R
S
O
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F
T
H
E
31
D
A
Y
32
L
I
E
N
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E
R
A
34
F
Y
I
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A
P
R
I
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L
37
Y
I
38
N
39
E
D
40
G
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A
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R
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R
I
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B
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N
O
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B
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T
U
N
A
48
B
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O
O
K
O
50
F
T
H
E
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M
O
N
T
H
52
L
O
S
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E
W
E
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I
N
Y
O
U
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A
L
I
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A
S
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L
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A
T
C
H
59
S
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M
61
U
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P
E
R
S
O
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N
O
F
T
H
E
64
Y
E
A
R
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E
R
I
K
66
A
N
T
E
67
R
E
R
U
N
68
L
O
S
S
69
T
S
A
R
70
O
A
S
I
S
© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0723 ( 25,094 )

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Across
1
Host with a microphone : EMCEE
6
Egyptian goddess with a repetitive name : ISIS
10
Three blind creatures, in a children's rhyme : MICE
14
West Coast N.F.L. player : LARAM
15
Smeller : NOSE
16
Black, to poets : EBON
17
Unplanned : SPUROFTHEMOMENT
20
Suffix with count : ESS
21
California/Nevada border lake : TAHOE
22
Chutzpah : NERVE
23
Singer with the multiplatinum albums "19," "21" and "25" : ADELE
25
"That's all ___ got" : IVE
27
Suffix with cash or cloth : IER
28
Parliamentary agenda : ORDERSOFTHEDAY
32
Hold on property : LIEN
33
Pitching stat : ERA
34
Memo-heading inits. : FYI
35
"___ fool!" : APRIL
37
Yang's partner : YIN
39
Writer ___ Rice Burroughs : EDGAR
43
Chest protector : RIB
45
San Francisco's ___ Hill : NOB
47
Fish in some salads : TUNA
48
Literary club feature : BOOKOFTHEMONTH
52
Preceder of Alamos or Angeles : LOS
53
She's a sheep : EWE
54
"I Still Believe ___" (#1 Vince Gill country song) : INYOU
55
Pen name : ALIAS
57
Door fastener : LATCH
59
Dallas sch. with a presidential library : SMU
62
Annual Time issue : PERSONOFTHEYEAR
65
"CHiPs" actor Estrada : ERIK
66
First chip in the pot : ANTE
67
Previously aired show : RERUN
68
Profit's opposite : LOSS
69
Old Russian ruler : TSAR
70
Place for camels to rest : OASIS
Down
1
Otherwise : ELSE
2
GPS graphics : MAPS
3
One leading a fight for change : CRUSADER
4
Good listener? : EAR
5
Displayer of one's feelings : EMOTER
6
Possibly, but unlikely : INTHEORY
7
Artsy Manhattan neighborhood : SOHO
8
"Yeah, that seems plausible" : ISEEIT
9
College term: Abbr. : SEM
10
Idea that spreads popularly and widely : MEME
11
Barcelona's peninsula : IBERIA
12
Pass along : CONVEY
13
Go through the door : ENTER
18
Not true : FALSE
19
Cyclops feature : ONEEYE
24
"Raging Bull" star Robert : DENIRO
26
TV broadcast band : VHF
28
Rock-___ (jukebox brand) : OLA
29
Fabric tear : RIP
30
Like a sound that can barely be heard : FAINT
31
Playground retort : DIDTOO
36
This way : LIKESO
38
Pitcher's tour de force : NOHITTER
40
N.R.A. members : GUNUSERS
41
Insect in a colony : ANT
42
Quaint college cheer : RAH
44
Ship's front : BOW
46
Park furniture : BENCH
48
Orchestral work by Ravel : BOLERO
49
Egyptian god who's a brother of 6-Across : OSIRIS
50
Criminals : FELONS
51
"You saved me!" : MYHERO
52
Place to put an American flag pin : LAPEL
56
Poses a question : ASKS
58
Skin conditioner brand : AFTA
60
Island ESE of Oahu : MAUI
61
Large coffee holders : URNS
63
Turner who led a slave rebellion : NAT
64
Vote in favor : YEA

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle.

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