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New York Times, Saturday, July 25, 2015

Author:
Kevin G. Der
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
413/12/200712/7/20193
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122124119
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.65865
Kevin G. Der

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 66, Blocks: 25 Missing: {DJKQ} This is puzzle # 34 for Mr. Der. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Kevin G. Der notes:
This grid pattern has potential for liveliness due to the extra-long entry in the 4-stacks (COURT VISION and BOUNCE HOUSE) and overall ... read more

This grid pattern has potential for liveliness due to the extra-long entry in the 4-stacks (COURT VISION and BOUNCE HOUSE) and overall a total of 20 entries that are 8 letters or longer. A previous version had only the same NW corner, but it didn't feel like a strong enough submission overall. After gathering some dust, it was reworked starting with the opposite 4-stack corner.

I hope solvers enjoy the result!

Jeff Chen notes:
Kevin has hit for the cycle, thus displaying a wide range of skills across early-week, tricksy Thursdays, themelesses, and Sundays. ... read more

Kevin has hit for the cycle, thus displaying a wide range of skills across early-week, tricksy Thursdays, themelesses, and Sundays. Impressive to be a generalist that can handle pretty much any sort of construction, but even more impressive is that he might just be the best constructor out there right now, when it comes to quad-stack themelesses.

Colony of hemi-spheres

Now, I use the term "quad-stack" differently than others, broadening the term to mean any stack of long entries of 8+ letters. It's an incredibly difficult task to pull off cleanly and colorfully. Two entries stacked atop each other is easy — even when you have a difficult letter combination, you can usually move black squares around to accommodate. Three atop each other is much harder, requiring the constructor to try many more long answers in order to generate friendly letter triplets for the crossings.

Quad stacks … hoo boy. Not quite an order of magnitude more difficult than triples, but at least a factor of three or four. So it is just amazing to see Kevin's NW corner. TIME BOMB / EGOMANIA / ALSO RANS / COURT VISION are all vivid entries, and there's not a single gluey bit running through them. Not even a minor offender!

The SE does have PERSONAL, which feels to me like it just takes up space, but Kevin more than makes up for that by running TEEN POP / BOX SCORE / WIN THE WAR ... right through the quad-stack! It's a crazy bounty of goodness down there.

The rest of the puzzle is awfully nice, too. Neat to give an insider's nod to violist Liz Gorski with VIOLA SOLO. LIBRARIAN is not a sizzling word … until you clue it with the uber-catchy Marrrrrrrrrr …. IAN! from the Music Man.

Aside from the usual suspect of ARA and the oddity of AROINT, the puzzle is squeaky clean. Liability count of just two = amazing work, especially when considering the difficulty of construction.

And a beautiful clue in [Northern hemisphere?]. Funny to think of an IGLOO as a hemi-sphere.

It'd be tough for me to find another puzzle with quad-stack regions as good as these. Stunning work and such a fun solve.

1
T
2
I
3
M
4
E
5
B
6
O
7
M
8
B
9
S
10
E
11
R
12
V
13
O
14
S
15
E
G
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M
A
N
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A
16
A
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A
L
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18
M
I
M
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C
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V
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S
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I
O
N
21
L
A
G
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H
O
L
Y
23
E
V
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T
A
24
T
A
L
E
25
B
R
A
S
S
26
B
A
S
E
S
27
F
28
L
29
A
30
G
R
A
N
T
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W
E
T
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N
E
32
O
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L
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G
S
33
B
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B
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L
O
T
34
O
B
L
A
T
E
35
T
O
N
E
R
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W
S
36
T
R
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37
T
E
X
T
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38
B
A
W
L
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F
R
E
S
H
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F
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R
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A
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N
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A
R
A
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B
O
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C
E
46
H
O
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S
E
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T
I
B
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I
A
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P
O
W
E
R
N
A
P
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H
A
L
V
E
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O
R
A
N
G
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S
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P
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© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0725 ( 24,000 )
Across
1
One waiting to go off : TIMEBOMB
9
Items in a robotics kit : SERVOS
15
Citizen Kane's affliction : EGOMANIA
16
"Begone," to Shakespeare : AROINT
17
Losers : ALSORANS
18
Sunday hangover remedy : MIMOSA
19
Hoopster's playmaking ability : COURTVISION
21
Synchronization problem : LAG
22
With 30-Down, object of a hunt : HOLY
23
1978 Olivier Award winner : EVITA
24
Minstrel's offering : TALE
25
Majors, e.g. : BRASS
26
Loaded things? : BASES
27
Glaring : FLAGRANT
31
Sloppy kiss : WETONE
32
Spots for roughnecks : OILRIGS
33
Trinket : BIBELOT
34
Shaped like Skittles : OBLATE
35
Modern composer's constructions : TONEROWS
36
"Les ___ Cloches" (Edith Piaf hit) : TROIS
37
Contacts, modern-style : TEXTS
38
Experience catharsis, in a way : BAWL
39
Impudent : FRESH
40
San ___ : FRAN
44
Neighbor of Norma : ARA
45
It's blown up at a carnival : BOUNCEHOUSE
47
They're over two feet : TIBIAS
49
Stopgap for an energy shortage : POWERNAP
50
Match parts : HALVES
51
Beverage in a pear-shaped bottle, ironically : ORANGINA
52
Something you close your eyes for : SNEEZE
53
Notation on an envelope : PERSONAL
Down
1
Lecture, say : TEACH
2
Northern hemisphere? : IGLOO
3
Capital of Iraq's Nineveh province : MOSUL
4
The Eagles of the N.C.A.A. : EMORY
5
TV character whose middle name is JoJo : BART
6
As a rule : ONAVERAGE
7
Sliding door locales : MINIVANS
8
Sting, e.g. : BASSIST
9
Home to the so-called "happy people" : SAMOA
10
___ Andrews, co-host of "Dancing With the Stars" : ERIN
11
DVD-___ : ROM
12
Feature of Berlioz's symphony "Harold en Italie" : VIOLASOLO
13
Available for purchase : ONSALENOW
14
Theater designs : STAGESETS
20
"___ Magic," Doris Day hit : ITS
24
Four-bagger : TATER
25
Derby folks : BRITS
26
Members of la famille : BEBES
27
Dog washers? : FOOTBATHS
28
Marian's occupation in "The Music Man" : LIBRARIAN
29
Kosher : ALLOWABLE
30
See 22-Across : GRAIL
31
Ultimately prevail : WINTHEWAR
33
Some sports figures : BOXSCORE
35
Music on Radio Disney : TEENPOP
37
1989 Broadway monodrama : TRU
39
Subject of the biography "All His Jazz" : FOSSE
40
Give up : FORGO
41
Altercation : RUNIN
42
Lotus position, for one : ASANA
43
Traditional birthplace of Buddhism : NEPAL
45
Performer at 1963's March on Washington : BAEZ
46
___ teeth : HENS
48
"___ had it!" : IVE

Answer summary: 7 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?