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New York Times, Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Author:
Kyle Dolan
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
105/22/20127/23/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1031122
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.60120
Kyle T. Dolan

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 14 Words: 73, Blocks: 34 Missing: {QVZ} Spans: 4 This is puzzle # 10 for Mr. Dolan. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
JUST THE TWO WOOFUS! Phrases that contain two ARFs, right? Just joking! I didn't really think that! (Okay, I did.) ... read more

JUST THE TWO WOOFUS! Phrases that contain two ARFs, right?

Just joking! I didn't really think that!

(Okay, I did.)

I liked that Kyle stumped me at "Name that Theme." I taxed my brain for almost five minutes before giving up. Ah, two instances of ARF. GRR, I mean, US!

(See what I did there with GRR? No wonder people call me Wonder Boy.)

(Well, they should.)

I appreciated the consistency of the theme – all three themers had two words, with one US contained within each word – but it lacked tightness. If you go to our Finder and put in the search string *US*US* (the *s mean "anything"), you'll find dozens of entries that contain two USs. From our Private word list, I liked CIRCUS MUSIC, SUSHI MENUS, USUAL SUSPECTS.

It's not critical that every crossword theme is tight. This one works fine as is. But it's harder to generate a feeling of elegance without tightness.

Some delightful grid bonuses, KARAOKE with its curious / descriptive clue, "empty orchestra." ICED COFFEE. SOCCER BALL with a hilarious clue – something needed to achieve one's goals, indeed.

A lot of strong cluing work. WAX as [Material for Icarus' wings]. The drama in [Oh. My. God!] for GASP. Gives the puzzle personality.

I wasn't hot on overall execution, though. SEDUM is tough to choke down even for this die-hard solver, so I can't imagine what poor early-weekers would think. Probably something along the lines of I HAVE TO KNOW THE SPANISH WORD FOR BEAR? SRSLY? (That's what the kids say these days. Srsly.) And sadly, ST:TNG is something only old people like me know now. (Picard would kick Kirk's butt, for the record.)

A 14x15 grid sometimes brings the allure, the potential to reach for the stars, to get down to themeless-level word count. This is rarely a good idea for an early-week puzzle. A biggish SE corner + a long down in ICED COFFEE often is a recipe that requires unsavory trade-offs.

Grid concerns aside, it's still a fun, if not elegant, idea.

1
A
2
B
3
S
4
E
5
N
6
T
7
S
8
W
9
A
10
L
11
L
12
O
13
W
14
D
O
O
D
A
H
15
K
A
R
A
O
K
E
16
E
X
C
U
S
E
17
S
E
X
C
U
S
E
S
18
N
Y
C
19
M
E
D
20
R
E
D
21
E
22
S
23
T
E
R
24
D
25
Y
E
26
M
27
A
R
C
U
S
A
28
U
R
E
L
29
I
30
U
31
S
32
A
T
B
A
T
33
N
A
P
34
C
H
E
35
C
R
A
M
36
G
37
R
O
W
38
H
E
H
E
39
A
I
L
40
B
A
A
41
S
E
D
U
M
42
W
A
L
43
R
U
S
M
44
U
45
S
T
A
C
H
E
46
A
M
P
47
N
E
U
R
O
48
S
49
A
P
50
P
I
G
51
F
52
D
53
A
54
J
U
S
T
55
T
56
H
E
T
W
57
O
58
O
F
U
S
59
U
P
T
O
N
O
W
60
A
S
L
E
E
P
61
G
E
O
R
G
E
S
62
Y
O
D
E
L
S
© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 0723 ( 25,459 )

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Across
1
Missing school : ABSENT
7
Cousin of a lark : SWALLOW
14
Nonsense word repeated in Stephen Foster's "Camptown Races" : DOODAH
15
Literally, "empty orchestra" : KARAOKE
16
"Spare me your lame reasons!" : EXCUSESEXCUSES
18
Home of Wall St. and Fifth Ave. : NYC
19
"Chicago ___" (NBC drama) : MED
20
With 24-Across, food coloring in Twizzlers : RED
21
Compound with a fruity scent : ESTER
24
See 20-Across : DYE
26
Roman emperor who wrote "Meditations" : MARCUSAURELIUS
32
Waiting for a pitch : ATBAT
33
Siesta, e.g. : NAP
34
Michael of "Weekend Update" on "S.N.L." : CHE
35
Pull an all-nighter : CRAM
36
Expand : GROW
38
Giggle : HEHE
39
Be laid up in bed : AIL
40
Call to a lamb : BAA
41
Garden plant also called stonecrop : SEDUM
42
Facial hair for Sam Elliott and Wilford Brimley : WALRUSMUSTACHE
46
Equipment hauled by a roadie : AMP
47
Course covering axons and dendrites, for short : NEURO
48
Maple product : SAP
50
Chinese zodiac creature for 2019 : PIG
51
Consumer safety org. : FDA
54
1981 hit with the lyric "We can make it if we try" ... or a possible title for this puzzle : JUSTTHETWOOFUS
59
So far : UPTONOW
60
Getting some shut-eye : ASLEEP
61
Composer Bizet : GEORGES
62
Alternatives to Ho Hos : YODELS
Down
1
Mideast's Gulf of ___ : ADEN
2
Squarish : BOXY
3
Necessity for achieving one's goals? : SOCCERBALL
4
Ending with "umich." or "upenn." : EDU
5
Rapper Lil ___ X : NAS
6
Topics for book clubs : THEMES
7
Slated events, in brief : SKED
8
Material for Icarus' wings : WAX
9
Circle segment : ARC
10
Branch of the Olympics? : LAUREL
11
Misplace : LOSE
12
Gave the go-ahead : OKED
13
Anderson who directed "The Grand Budapest Hotel" : WES
17
"Buona ___" (Italian greeting) : SERA
22
Rip-off : SCAM
23
Famed child ruler, informally : TUT
24
Compete in Pictionary : DRAW
25
"You betcha!" : YEP
26
Colorful parrot : MACAW
27
Some heart chambers : ATRIA
28
Card game with suits of four different colors : UNO
29
Caffeinated summer drink : ICEDCOFFEE
30
"You betcha!" : UHHUH
31
Teacher's note that makes one go [gulp] : SEEME
36
[Oh. My. God!] : GASP
37
Piece of siege equipment : RAM
38
Get wind of : HEAR
40
Wander here and there, with "around" : BUM
41
Disco ___ ("The Simpsons" character) : STU
43
Any member of the 2019 N.B.A. championship team : RAPTOR
44
Meter or liter : UNIT
45
Mall cop's transport : SEGWAY
48
Apartment building V.I.P., in slang : SUPE
49
Regarding : ASTO
50
Benches along an aisle : PEWS
52
"Hamilton" climax : DUEL
53
Nile biters : ASPS
54
Put a cork in it! : JUG
55
"Star Trek" spinoff series: Abbr. : TNG
56
It's groundbreaking : HOE
57
Spanish for "bear" : OSO
58
Timeworn : OLD

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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