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New York Times, Saturday, July 28, 2018

Author:
Natan Last, Andy Kravis and The J.A.S.A. Crossword Class
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
277/17/200710/9/20186
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
5122098
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.60350
Natan Last
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1211/3/201310/9/20188
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
3122112
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.64040
Andy Kravis

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 68, Blocks: 36 Missing: {KQV} This is puzzle # 25 for Mr. Last. This is puzzle # 10 for Mr. Kravis. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Constructor notes:
We started this puzzle trying to get three lively entries to stack nicely in the center, and I think we succeeded with FASHION POLICE ... read more

We started this puzzle trying to get three lively entries to stack nicely in the center, and I think we succeeded with FASHION POLICE / JUICE CLEANSES / GENDER STUDIES. We love brainstorming tricky clues with the JASA class, so we spent a lot of time coming up with clues for these three marquee entries, and we came up with a few beauties that hit the cutting room floor:

  • [Ones who monitor patterns / Group that's strongly averse to clashing / Group that may cramp your style?] for FASHION POLICE;
  • [They're drunk and flush? / Digestive fluids?] for JUICE CLEANSES;
  • [Butler did it / Wave theory field?] for GENDER STUDIES.

We also really liked [Root cause?] for TEAM SPIRIT.

We were very happy with how the grid turned out — there were lots of fun long entries (PAD THAI, JEOPARDY, FUN SPONGE, DC COMICS, NEURO LABS) and very little junk.

Jeff Chen notes:
You had me at FASHION POLICE / JUICE CLEANSES / GENDER STUDIES! Now that's a fantastic triplet to anchor this 'stair stack' themeless. ... read more

You had me at FASHION POLICE / JUICE CLEANSES / GENDER STUDIES! Now that's a fantastic triplet to anchor this "stair stack" themeless. It's a tad unusual to weave long downs through a stair stack, so I greatly appreciated WWII EPICS running the gauntlet. Beautiful middle of the puzzle!

And I like what the authors did with the SW / NE, usually the toughest parts of a stair stack to make shine. FUN SPONGE is so fun, and the clue for DC COMICS makes that one even better. Misdirecting from the Penguin (the Batman baddie) to Penguin Books is flat out brilliant. Along with a smile-inducing clue about JEOPARDY — once hosted by Pat Sajak for April Fools — these are great corners.

The NW / SE corners didn't have quite as much pizzazz as I usually want out of a stair stack, but TEAM SPIRIT, DO OR DIE (with its funny-looking DOOR DIE sequence), INLAID TILE – no reason to say OH SORRY!

There was enough crossword glue to make me slightly pause before slapping down the POW! – DMC, ERTE, ESS, NAOH, RHEE – but some of those are defensible. Especially RHEE – educated folks ought to at least recognize the names of important foreign leaders, yeah?

ESS, not so much, especially with a clue that's trying too hard. I don't imagine I'll see many dictionaries with a section marked ESS.

And a couple of fantastic clues to even further elevate the solving experience. TESLA is something you might charge for the ride – not a fare, but an electric charge. And FASHION POLICE was great as an entry on its own right, but using "dressing down" and "dressing up" in the same breath makes it even better.

Such an enjoyable solving experience. Go to the head of the (JASA) class!

Jim Horne notes:

This is the 15th puzzle from the J.A.S.A. Here's the complete set.

1
A
2
D
3
E
4
L
5
E
6
W
7
E
8
B
9
B
10
D
11
A
12
D
13
S
14
C
U
R
E
S
15
W
A
R
E
16
E
C
C
E
17
T
E
A
M
S
18
P
I
R
I
T
19
M
A
C
E
20
E
T
T
U
21
H
I
N
E
S
22
O
D
O
N
23
D
O
O
R
24
D
I
E
25
F
Y
26
I
27
E
M
O
28
E
S
P
29
N
30
R
31
E
M
I
T
32
F
33
A
S
H
I
O
34
N
35
P
O
L
I
C
E
36
J
U
I
C
E
C
L
E
A
N
S
E
S
37
G
E
N
D
E
R
S
T
U
D
I
E
S
38
R
O
S
E
N
39
E
R
T
E
40
A
P
P
41
D
42
I
43
X
44
O
H
S
45
O
46
R
47
R
48
Y
49
N
A
O
50
H
51
T
E
52
S
L
A
53
R
H
E
E
54
D
R
N
O
55
I
N
L
A
I
56
D
T
I
L
E
57
E
D
G
E
58
N
O
O
B
59
M
I
N
I
S
60
R
Y
E
S
61
A
N
T
S
62
C
Z
E
C
H
© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0728 ( 25,099 )
Across
1. Astaire with steps : ADELE
6. Onetime Virginia senator Jim : WEBB
10. "My Two ___" (1980s sitcom) : DADS
14. French parish priests : CURES
15. Piece of merchandise : WARE
16. "___ homo" : ECCE
17. Camaraderie : TEAMSPIRIT
19. Autumn spice : MACE
20. Words to the disloyal : ETTU
21. Cheryl of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" : HINES
22. Binge-watch, maybe : ODON
23. Like a Hail Mary : DOORDIE
25. "By the way ..." : FYI
27. "Nothing Feels Good: Punk Rock, Teenagers and ___" (2003 book) : EMO
28. Channel with several spinoff channels : ESPN
30. Pay : REMIT
32. Ones who may dress down those dressing up? : FASHIONPOLICE
36. Some detox diets : JUICECLEANSES
37. Modern college major : GENDERSTUDIES
38. Former Giants G.M. Al : ROSEN
39. Big name in Art Deco : ERTE
40. Many a time suck : APP
41. Social reformer Dorothea : DIX
44. Comment after a bump : OHSORRY
49. Caustic soda, chemically : NAOH
51. What you might charge for a ride : TESLA
53. Onetime Korean statesman Syngman : RHEE
54. Movie villain whose first name is Julius : DRNO
55. Part of many an N.Y.C. subway station wall : INLAIDTILE
57. Lip : EDGE
58. Video game neophyte, informally : NOOB
59. Mod bottoms : MINIS
60. Kvass grains : RYES
61. Workers on the hill : ANTS
62. Brno-born, e.g. : CZECH
Down
1. Made (like) : ACTED
2. On account of : DUETO
3. Mythical figure often depicted holding a lyre : ERATO
4. Arboreal primate : LEMUR
5. Largest section of the dictionary : ESS
6. "Dunkirk" and "Pearl Harbor," for short : WWIIEPICS
7. Merit : EARN
8. Court submission : BRIEF
9. She convinced George to switch to five-pointed stars, in American legend : BETSY
10. Show : DEMO
11. Places of learning : ACADEMIES
12. Distributor of Penguin classics? : DCCOMICS
13. What an asterisk may mean : SEENOTE
18. "Nigerian prince," often : PHISHER
24. Sink : DESCEND
26. Some of life's twists and turns : IRONIES
29. Nick of Hollywood : NOLTE
31. Part of a programmer's conditional : ELSE
32. One who sucks the joy out of the room : FUNSPONGE
33. Worker on the Hill : AIDE
34. Places where brain waves are analyzed : NEUROLABS
35. Panang curry alternative : PADTHAI
36. Show that once had an April Fools' Day episode hosted by Pat Sajak : JEOPARDY
37. More sweeping : GRANDER
42. Book that's the basis for the movie "What's Love Got to Do With It" : ITINA
43. Gas in arc lamps : XENON
45. Actress Ana of "Devious Maids" : ORTIZ
46. River crossed in 1945's Operation Plunder : RHINE
47. Thing often described redundantly as "of the past" : RELIC
48. "Gimme a break!" : YEESH
50. Prepares a bed? : HOES
52. Tab's counterpart : SLOT
56. Hip-hop's Run-___ : DMC

Answer summary: 7 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later.

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