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New York Times, Monday, July 24, 2017

Author:
Peter Gordon
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1139/5/19895/6/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
841231411619
ScrabRebusCirclePangramPre‑WS
1.5891611
Peter Gordon

This puzzle:

Rows: 16, Columns: 15 Words: 79, Blocks: 38 Missing: {JQ} Spans: 1 Grid has mirror symmetry. This is puzzle # 101 for Mr. Gordon. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
Rhyming phrases today — at least that's what I first thought. There's another layer to the theme, which is great since rhyming ... read more

Rhyming phrases today — at least that's what I first thought. There's another layer to the theme, which is great since rhyming puzzles have been done to death. Neat that the first four letters of each themer match the last four … and in the case of OODLES OF NOODLES, the first SIX match the last. Interesting finds.

Mirror (left-right) symmetry can be a lifesaver. Imagine you find some great phrases forming a tight, consistent theme … but their lengths don't pair up. It's such a frustrating experience. Mirror symmetry won't always save you, but it can work wonders if you have unmatched themers with odd-numbered lengths. Today's 15 / 11 / 11 / 11 pattern of themer lengths makes for a great mirror symmetry layout.

With early-week puzzles, I sometimes hardly pause to think about the theme as I fill in the grid. I liked that today's concept forced me to spell EVEL KNIEVEL correctly — hopefully no more spelling it as KNEIVEL from now on!

But even with two little kids, ABBY CADABBY didn't come easy. In fact, it came wrong, as ABBY CASABBY, giving me the first error I've had in a Monday puzzle in ages. Doesn't [Regard] sort of fit both DEEM and SEEM? SEEM, sort of as in "appear to be," which sort of SEEMs like "regard"?

Okay, there were a lot of "sort of" qualifiers in there, so it's probably on me instead of on the puzzle. Still, I wonder if others will make this frustrating mistake.

A couple of AMO and TOK dabs of crossword glue, but as always, Peter produces a quality grid. AIR TRAVEL and EVEN PAR make for some nice bonuses, too. I've never been to SHEBOYGAN, but it's so much fun to say (okay, I'm easily amused).

I did wonder about SLABBING--so odd in verb usage. It does have dictionary support, but … hmm.

I like puzzles featuring interesting letter patterns. I wish this one had less of a rhyme-y feel to it, but still, OODLES OF NOODLES is a great phrase. Marketing genius right there!

1
W
2
A
3
S
4
A
5
B
6
I
7
E
8
N
9
D
10
A
11
S
12
H
13
F
O
R
E
M
A
N
14
V
A
U
N
T
E
15
D
16
R
O
N
Z
O
N
I
17
E
V
E
N
P
A
R
18
O
H
O
19
S
T
20
O
L
E
21
A
R
I
22
D
O
L
23
E
24
D
25
T
O
K
26
C
27
A
U
S
E
28
O
O
D
L
E
29
S
O
F
N
30
O
O
D
L
E
S
31
F
L
O
W
32
I
N
N
S
33
P
34
E
35
A
36
A
N
I
37
S
E
E
D
38
S
39
H
40
E
41
L
A
I
42
T
Y
43
N
O
V
44
O
45
S
H
E
A
46
A
G
R
A
47
A
I
D
E
48
D
49
L
E
N
S
50
N
E
T
C
51
O
S
T
52
L
E
53
S
A
B
R
E
54
E
R
R
O
R
S
55
P
O
B
O
Y
S
56
A
B
B
Y
57
C
58
A
59
D
A
B
B
Y
60
G
61
A
V
E
62
R
A
R
E
R
63
I
G
64
G
65
Y
66
A
X
E
L
67
I
S
L
E
T
68
N
A
P
E
69
Y
E
L
L
70
A
T
O
M
S
71
G
N
A
T
© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0724 ( 24,730 )
Across
1
Green condiment served with sushi : WASABI
7
Hyphen's longer cousin : ENDASH
13
Boxer George who lost the Rumble in the Jungle : FOREMAN
14
Excessively praised : VAUNTED
16
Brand of pasta : RONZONI
17
What golfers with equal numbers of squares and circles on their scorecards shoot : EVENPAR
18
"So that's your trick!" : OHO
19
Took the wrong way? : STOLE
21
"Exodus" hero : ARI
22
Parceled (out) : DOLED
25
"TiK ___" (Ke$ha hit) : TOK
26
Effect's counterpart : CAUSE
28
Ramen product : OODLESOFNOODLES
31
Stream : FLOW
32
Overnight lodges : INNS
33
Split-___ soup : PEA
36
Ouzo flavoring : ANISEED
38
"Thar ___ blows!" : SHE
41
Churchgoers, collectively : LAITY
43
Mo. when daylight saving time ends : NOV
44
Milo of "The Verdict" : OSHEA
46
Taj Mahal city : AGRA
47
Helped : AIDED
49
Fisheye or zoom : LENS
50
Buyer's bottom line : NETCOST
52
Former full-size Buick : LESABRE
54
Mistakes : ERRORS
55
N'awlins sandwiches : POBOYS
56
"Sesame Street" Muppet with wings and a magic wand : ABBYCADABBY
60
Donated : GAVE
62
Less common : RARER
63
Punk rock's ___ Pop : IGGY
66
Figure skating jump : AXEL
67
Small bit of land in the ocean : ISLET
68
Back of the neck : NAPE
69
Shout : YELL
70
Molecule components : ATOMS
71
Annoying insect : GNAT
Down
1
Celebratory shout : WOOHOO
2
___ Palmer (drink made with lemonade and iced tea) : ARNOLD
3
"Oh, yeah? ___ who?" : SEZ
4
I love, in Latin : AMO
5
Prohibits : BANS
6
Competing with the goal of victory : INITTOWINIT
7
Daredevil in the Motorcycle Hall of Fame : EVELKNIEVEL
8
Church area : NAVE
9
"With all ___ respect ..." : DUE
10
Clothing retailer ___ Taylor : ANN
11
Capital of Minnesota : STPAUL
12
Opposite of a life coach? : HEARSE
13
Hobbit played by Elijah Wood : FRODO
15
Helps with the dishes : DRIES
20
Sound that a punch in the gut elicits : OOF
23
North Pole worker : ELF
24
Postpone : DELAY
26
Alternative to a co-op : CONDO
27
Commercials : ADS
29
Male delivery : SON
30
Pi's first digit after the decimal : ONE
33
Carpentry tool : PLANE
34
Rarin' to go : EAGER
35
Business for Delta or Southwest : AIRTRAVEL
37
Lawn section : SOD
38
Wisconsin city on Lake Michigan : SHEBOYGAN
39
Fonda or Ford : HENRY
40
Facilitates : EASES
42
Fast-food chain with the slogan "Live más" : TACOBELL
45
Applying thickly, with "on" : SLABBING
47
Ancient kingdom whose capital was Nineveh : ASSYRIA
48
Leaves : DEPARTS
51
Sphere : ORB
53
Have a bawl : SOB
57
Playbill listing : CAST
58
Folk singer Guthrie : ARLO
59
Regard : DEEM
60
The "G" of L.G.B.T. : GAY
61
Firefighter's tool : AXE
64
High no. for a valedictorian : GPA
65
Nevertheless : YET

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?