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New York Times, Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Author:
Freddie Cheng
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
77/12/20107/4/20180
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1222000
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.62000
Freddie Cheng

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 36 Missing: {QXZ} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 7 for Mr. Cheng. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Freddie Cheng notes:
Why should the top three guys get all the glory and the medals, I ask?! Go FOURTH and shine, underdogs, and May the FOURTH be with ... read more

Why should the top three guys get all the glory and the medals, I ask?! Go FOURTH and shine, underdogs, and May the FOURTH be with you... oh hang on, that's the other date....

This one started off with JULY FOURTH as the revealer, but after some wise words from Will and Joel about "July" confusing the issue, what you see now is the improved result. They also called for some topic diversity to the original set of "famous fourths," leading to the something-for-everyone current set.

Favorite entry (or should I say entrée) : SUSHIROLL. If this was followed by some ICEE / CREAM (groan) as a FINALE, then what a HAPPY FOURTH that would make eh!

Constructor's logs : this was submitted in January 2017, rejected in March and brought back to life in April after improvements. There was another July 4th themed puzzle slated for 2017 at that point, so this was moved to 2018.

Jeff Chen notes:
Such a clever idea! HAPPY FOURTH hints at the fourth item in an ordered set, i.e., NUMBERS the fourth book of the Bible, TIME the ... read more

Such a clever idea! HAPPY FOURTH hints at the fourth item in an ordered set, i.e., NUMBERS the fourth book of the Bible, TIME the fourth dimension, DELTA the fourth letter in the Greek alphabet, and MARS the fourth planet from the Sun. Love the variety!

I didn't understand the clue to HAPPY FOURTH when I first read it, but when it clicked, it really clicked. It almost had a contest puzzle feel to it, which worked well – you solve the grid, and then you still have to solve one extra piece that ties everything together. Bravo!

Loved the bonus fill, too. Freddie did so well to weave in MONORAIL, SUSHI ROLL, DON'T DO IT! And my favorite, the punnily 4th of July themed BANG UP JOB. Four out of four = BANG UP JOB, indeed!

Well, four out of six. OVERDONE and STAYED ON didn't do much for me. I might have broken those up at the D of OVERDONE and Y of STAYED ON, since that could have allowed some smoothing out of IS NO and the rough GORAN / IONA crossing.

That last one would have been a killer in an early-week puzzle, but I think more experienced solvers ought to at least have heard of one of them.

I've seen many, many 4th of July puzzles over the years. This one might be my favorite.

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© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0704 ( 25,075 )

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Students & seniors
Across
1. Indian state that exports tea : ASSAM
6. Trade blows : SPAR
10. Grade sch. class : SCI
13. John or son Julian : LENNON
15. Renée Fleming performance : ARIA
16. Still-life object : URN
17. Identifications on left-hand pages, traditionally [the Bible] : EVENNUMBERS
19. Blue expanse : SEA
20. Peace sign : VEE
21. Letter before Peter in a phonetic alphabet : OBOE
22. "Oh, hogwash!" : PSHAW
24. Something a bug might produce : ERROR
26. Setting for a popular show [dimensions] : PRIMETIME
29. Still-life object : VASE
31. Wood in some closets : CEDAR
32. Notwithstanding : ALBEIT
35. Hanoi holiday : TET
36. "___ be surprised" : YOUD
39. Dense megalopolis that includes Hong Kong, Macau and Guangzhou [Greek alphabet] : PEARLRIVERDELTA
42. Handle : TEND
43. Goddess who captured Orion, in Greek myth : EOS
44. Gobs : OODLES
45. Tennis great Ivanisevic : GORAN
47. "Money ___ object" : ISNO
48. Singer with the 2017 Album of the Year "24K Magic" [planets] : BRUNOMARS
51. Govt. debt instrument : TNOTE
55. Ran gracefully : LOPED
56. Device sold with earbuds : IPOD
58. Word with press or mess : KIT
59. Small, medium or large: Abbr. : ADJ
60. Annual greeting ... or a hint to the ends of 17-, 26-, 39- and 48-Across : HAPPYFOURTH
64. Opposite of paleo- : NEO
65. Away from the wind : ALEE
66. Showstopper, literally : FINALE
67. Male swan : COB
68. Dirty, as tricks : MEAN
69. Shock dispenser : TASER
Down
1. Motrin alternative : ALEVE
2. Cut, as ties : SEVER
3. Scoffing look : SNEER
4. Massachusetts' Cape ___ : ANN
5. Interterminal transport : MONORAIL
6. Cousin of an épée : SABER
7. ___-K : PRE
8. Bring out of the closet? : AIR
9. Spoke like Gollum in "The Lord of the Rings" : RASPED
10. Food item ordered at a bar : SUSHIROLL
11. Destroy, as an opponent : CREAM
12. Speechless, perhaps : INAWE
14. Small protuberance : NUB
18. Something one might do after an embarrassing loss : MOPE
23. Didn't leave after everyone else left : STAYEDON
25. Trite : OVERDONE
27. Summer refresher : ICEE
28. Subways : METROS
30. Netflix transmission : STREAM
32. Apropos : APT
33. Bruce or son Brandon : LEE
34. Tremendous piece of work : BANGUPJOB
35. Remote things? : TVS
37. Pac-12 athlete : UTE
38. County prosecutors, for short : DAS
40. Macbeth's Scottish burial isle : IONA
41. "Stop! You'll be sorry!" : DONTDOIT
46. Hillary Clinton's maiden name : RODHAM
47. Kids' road trip game : ISPY
48. Like some vin : BLANC
49. "It's not my first ___" : RODEO
50. Come to fruition : RIPEN
52. Plants also known as ladies' fingers : OKRAS
53. World champion, e.g. : TITLE
54. Bygone anesthetic : ETHER
57. Out of whack : OFF
61. Stout, maybe : ALE
62. Subject of early genetic study : PEA
63. ___ voce (without dissent) : UNA

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle.

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