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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
297/17/20075/19/20196
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
7122098
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.60360
Natan Last
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1511/3/20137/25/201910
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
4122213
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.63050
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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