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New York Times, Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Author: David J. Lieb
Editor: Will Shortz
David J. Lieb
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
24/7/20157/29/20150
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0011000
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.63000

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 16 Words: 81, Blocks: 36 Missing: {FQX} This is puzzle # 2 for Mr. Lieb. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
David J. Lieb notes: I don't remember the exact genesis of this theme in March 2012, but of course it was inspired by all the 'word that can follow both parts ... more
David J. Lieb notes:

I don't remember the exact genesis of this theme in March 2012, but of course it was inspired by all the "word that can follow both parts of …" puzzles that came before. I submitted the puzzle in October 2013 and it was accepted in January 2014.

My original idea for the DOUBLE DOUBLE reveal was to stack the two DOUBLES on top of each other in one answer, resulting in six adjacent rebus squares. But I couldn't get it to work, especially because of the limited possibilities for answers containing UU.

I put the puzzle aside and took my dog for a walk and was fortunate to run into my crossword consigliere, Brendan Emmett Quigley, in the park. Brendan suggested keeping it simple and to just go with the DOUBLEDOUBLE answer you see today.

With six theme answers, the first and last of which are 12 letters long, I had to widen the puzzle to 16 squares instead of the standard 15 to fit all the themers in. Perhaps another constructor could have done it with some themers going down.

This puzzle benefitted from considerable editing, with not just clues, but several answers changed in the SE corner. Two of the best new clues, IMO, are movie-related: 36-Down (American Sniper) and 48-Down (Fargo). One of my favorite clues that didn't make the cut was also movie-related: "Delta __ Chi (‘Animal House' frat)" at 69-Across, as I am an unrecovered Animal House fan. My other favorite clue that was changed: "The majority of the answer to this clue" for ESSES at 73-Across was actually improved by the clue that references the whole bottom row of the puzzle and the general crossword phenomenon that many S's tend to accumulate there. Finally, on one more movie note, I was happy to see ELI still clued in reference to my cousin, director Eli Roth. I hope Eli Manning's family is not too disappointed.

Thanks to BEQ, Will and Joel and to Jeff and Jim for XWord Info, which is a real boon to fledgling constructors!

Jeff Chen notes: I love fantasy basketball. If I didn't have other commitments, I'd spend all my waking hours (and some of my sleeping ones) analyzing data, ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

I love fantasy basketball. If I didn't have other commitments, I'd spend all my waking hours (and some of my sleeping ones) analyzing data, reading commentary, trying to pick up the smallest tidbit. So it was fun to see the DOUBLE-DOUBLE as today's revealer, pointing to phrases where both words can be followed by DOUBLE.

Jahlil Okafor, future double-doubler or bust?

I was helping a friend with a similar theme construction which recently got rejected, Will/Joel saying the NYT has run so many of this theme type that it's nearly run its course. I agree with that sentiment, although every once in a while it's fun to see a well-constructed example.

I liked all the themers in today's puzzle, although they didn't feel as snazzy as I would have liked. STANDARD TIME is in the name of a famous Wynton Marsalis album, but the general term isn't as interesting to me. TAKEOVER and BACKDATE aren't bad. And PLAYBILLS is good. All solid, but CROSSTALK is the only one which I really loved.

And it was slightly confusing to me that CARWASH looked like a themer. (There really ought to be such a thing as a DOUBLE CAR.) With a theme like this, I would have preferred for the themers to stand out on their own right. That would have meant putting a single word in CARWASH's place, or rearranging the grid such that the CARWASH slot was shorter.

Great clue for ZEBRA. I hadn't heard of a "zorse" or a "zonkey," but I'll be looking for every opportunity to use them now. Another great clue for PLANE = [It lacks depth]. I love it when math and the English language merge to create cleverosity.

As with fantasy basketball, a DOUBLE DOUBLE guy is pretty good, but there are (relatively) a lot of them out there. It's when you see the potential for a guy to notch some TRIPLE DOUBLEs that you really get excited. "Three-word phrases where all words can precede DOUBLE" … now that would be Showtime!

P.S. Anyone with a good read on Okafor or Mudiay, lemme know. They both look like they might be worth a flyer.

1
U
2
P
3
C
4
A
5
S
6
T
7
Z
8
E
9
B
10
R
11
A
12
N
13
P
14
R
15
N
O
O
G
I
E
16
E
A
R
E
D
17
E
L
I
18
S
T
A
N
D
A
19
R
D
T
I
M
E
20
G
A
G
21
T
E
E
22
A
S
A
D
A
23
R
E
N
O
24
C
25
A
R
W
A
26
S
H
27
T
A
K
28
E
O
V
E
R
29
A
B
O
30
A
R
31
C
32
L
E
S
T
33
C
R
O
34
S
35
S
T
A
L
36
K
37
S
T
I
38
G
39
M
40
A
41
T
A
M
P
A
42
H
O
Y
43
T
44
A
N
O
U
T
45
I
M
S
O
L
46
D
47
P
L
A
48
Y
B
I
L
L
S
49
O
A
R
50
S
51
E
T
A
52
D
E
E
53
B
54
A
55
C
K
D
A
T
56
E
57
T
H
58
E
59
R
E
S
A
60
E
B
A
Y
61
G
R
U
62
E
L
63
C
O
N
64
L
B
J
65
D
O
U
B
L
E
66
D
O
U
B
67
L
68
E
69
T
A
U
70
U
N
T
I
L
71
A
L
T
O
I
D
72
S
S
N
73
E
S
S
E
S
74
Y
E
S
Y
E
S
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0729 ( 24,004 )
Across Down
1. Thrown skyward : UPCAST
7. Parent of a zorse or a zonkey : ZEBRA
12. "Fresh Air" network : NPR
15. Knuckle to the head : NOOGIE
16. Lop-___ : EARED
17. "Hostel" director Roth : ELI
18. *It's divided into four zones in the contiguous U.S. states : STANDARDTIME
20. React to a stench, maybe : GAG
21. One end of a fairway : TEE
22. Carne ___ (burrito filler) : ASADA
23. Eight-year member of Clinton's cabinet : RENO
24. Common school fund-raiser : CARWASH
27. *Coup d'état, e.g. : TAKEOVER
29. Blood-typing system : ABO
30. What a line drive lacks : ARC
32. "... ___ ye be judged" : LEST
33. *Incidental chatter : CROSSTALK
37. Stain on one's reputation : STIGMA
41. Home of the Buccaneers : TAMPA
42. Knuckleballer Wilhelm : HOYT
44. Have ___ (avoid blame) : ANOUT
45. "You've convinced me!" : IMSOLD
47. *Handouts to theatergoers : PLAYBILLS
49. Regatta gear : OARS
51. Flight info, briefly : ETA
52. End to "end" : DEE
53. *Make retroactive : BACKDATE
57. Russell of "Black Widow" : THERESA
60. Site with Daily Deals : EBAY
61. Fare for Oliver Twist : GRUEL
63. Hoodwink : CON
64. Great Society inits. : LBJ
65. Statistical achievement in basketball ... or what the answer to each starred clue is : DOUBLEDOUBLE
69. Fraternity letter : TAU
70. As late as : UNTIL
71. Breath mint in a tin : ALTOID
72. Hyphenated ID : SSN
73. Half of the letters in this answer's row : ESSES
74. "Of course, that's obvious" : YESYES
1. Young ___ (tots) : UNS
2. Container for 6-Down : POT
3. Where forgotten umbrellas may accumulate : COATROOMS
4. Vice president before Ford : AGNEW
5. Half a 45 : SIDEA
6. Chai ___ : TEA
7. Sleep indicator in a British comic strip : ZEDS
8. Really get to : EATAT
9. Like some showers : BRIDAL
10. Many movies with built-in audiences : REMAKES
11. Ending with Gator : ADE
12. More than half of Israel : NEGEV
13. It lacks depth : PLANE
14. Extreme hardship : RIGOR
19. Full of school spirit : RAHRAH
23. Corkscrew-shaped pasta : ROTINI
24. Prickly pears, e.g. : CACTI
25. James ___ Garfield : ABRAM
26. Remained idle : SAT
28. Founded: Abbr. : ESTAB
31. Sound of a wooden shoe : CLOP
34. Like a haunted house : SPOOKY
35. Restaurant dish that patrons may make themselves : SALAD
36. "American Sniper" subject Chris ___ : KYLE
38. Person who can do no wrong : GOLDENBOY
39. Stubborn sorts : MULES
40. Totally disoriented : ATSEA
43. Act the snitch : TATTLE
46. Chinese New Year decorations : DRAGONS
48. "Fargo" assent : YAH
50. Walks like a peacock : STRUTS
53. Big swigs : BELTS
54. Arafat's successor : ABBAS
55. New Orleans cuisine : CAJUN
56. Ragtime pianist Blake : EUBIE
58. France's ___ des Beaux-Arts : ECOLE
59. Defeats handily : ROUTS
62. Some add-ons : ELLS
65. Expected in : DUE
66. Word repeated in "___ in, ___ out" : DAY
67. Polygraph detection : LIE
68. Some desk workers, for short : EDS

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle, 2 debuted here and reused later, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?