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New York Times, Monday, July 6, 2015

Author: Lynn Lempel
Editor: Will Shortz
Lynn Lempel
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7812/9/19796/13/20171
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654122130
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1.610712
Puzzle of the Week

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 32 Missing: {QXZ} This is puzzle # 71 for Ms. Lempel. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick NYT links: Across Lite PDF

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Lynn Lempel notes: I think it was WALK AROUND that got this one started, when I somehow saw the phrase as walking a round of golf. Then came the ... more
Lynn Lempel notes:

I think it was WALK AROUND that got this one started, when I somehow saw the phrase as walking a round of golf. Then came the realization that there are quite a few adverbs of this sort starting with the letter "a" that can be parsed as "a something-or-other." So I was off and running. Some puzzles almost create themselves — without brain-twisting efforts to come up with theme answers — and this was one of them.

Definitely Will's biggest change was in the clue for 25A. I never once thought of a lav connection. My clue was [Sketch some ideas for one's self-portrait?]. And for 51A, I was thinking along the lines of moving a product in the sense of selling it. So my clue for that one was [Sell lots of fries?].

As I've said here before, I know I tend toward Tuesday clueing in Monday puzzles. Easy is fine and I do aim for it, but I rebel against blatantly dead giveaways. So for HOUR at 16A, I submitted the simple and admittedly boring [Happy ___], which Will changed to "One of 24 in a day." Otherwise, this was probably a typical mix of my clues and Will's.

The puzzle was submitted exactly a year ago. I hope you've enjoyed it.

Jeff Chen notes: A fun theme that can appeal to young and old; executed with skill, achieving both smooth and colorful fill. Top notch work. I ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

A fun theme that can appeal to young and old; executed with skill, achieving both smooth and colorful fill. Top notch work.

Man oh man I had a crush on Samantha

I don't expect much out of Monday puzzles, and when I filled in WALK AROUND without even reading the clue (I had most of the crossings), I shrugged. But it was a great a-ha moment when I realized it was actually WALK A ROUND. And my pleasure skyrocketed when discovering PLAN AHEAD was the hilarious PLAN A HEAD!

Clever wordplay is a pleasure to see, and it's especially nice when it's done at a level that almost all solvers can appreciate. I really enjoyed Joel's recent Twitter wordplay, but I did get some shrugs from people who couldn't relate because they didn't know or care about Twitter. Today's puzzle does such a nice job of playing to a wide audience.

Lynn is so tight with her consistency. Five common phrases, with the second word's A broken out. They're all in the same verb tense, and each themer is two words becoming three. Perfect.

Lynn is so careful about avoiding the ugly gluey bits, too. I'm always so impressed at how she manages to keep the number of liabilities down to well under five, and she never uses an egregious one. I have a feeling she stops and resets many a time in order to achieve such silky work.

The four 7x3 stacks in the corners can be difficult to fill with color and smoothness, but Lynn does a nice job of deploying her black squares to make each section manageable. I love that NW corner, with BEWITCH / ALA MODE / ILL PASS — and with all the crossings astonishingly smooth.

The SW corner contains my favorite entry, JAVA MAN, but cramming in COMCAST and APOSTLE does come with a slight compromise in CSA and SGT. CSA is more iffy to me than SGT, since SGT is so common, but CSA is still pretty minor. I also like how Lynn's glue is usually in the three-letter length. A five-letter ugly — ITS NO or SSTAR, for example — is so much more noticeable.

Loved this one.

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© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0706 ( 23,981 )
Across Down
1. Get-out-of-jail money : BAIL
5. Commits a pitching infraction : BALKS
10. One of the 40 in a farmer's "back 40" : ACRE
14. Singer Fitzgerald : ELLA
15. "Farewell, Françoise" : ADIEU
16. One of 24 in a day : HOUR
17. Decline to use the golf cart? : WALKAROUND
19. Rice who has written about werewolves, mummies and vampires : ANNE
20. Forces into action : IMPELS
21. Sound from a pound : YAP
23. Miami's home: Abbr. : FLA
24. "Here's to the happy couple!," e.g. : TOAST
25. Design the lav? : PLANAHEAD
28. Common '90s music purchases : CDS
29. Pungent bulb : ONION
31. Computer command after copy : PASTE
32. Gas brand with a green-and-white logo : HESS
34. What a checkout scanner scans, briefly : UPC
35. Not as important : LESSER
36. Accept one of the acting roles? : TAKEAPART
39. Wheedle : CAJOLE
42. ___ chi : TAI
43. Winged archer of myth : EROS
47. Drawings that deceive : OPART
48. U.S. gymnast Strug who clinched the 1996 team gold on a hurt ankle : KERRI
50. The "madam" in "Madam, I'm Adam" : EVE
51. Pass the coleslaw or potato salad? : MOVEASIDE
53. Cut into small cubes : DICED
55. The South in the Civil War: Abbr. : CSA
56. Relieved (of) : RID
57. Nissan compact : SENTRA
58. Bank $$$ dispensers : ATMS
60. Pan the boxing match? : KNOCKABOUT
63. Smelting residue : SLAG
64. Vietnam's capital : HANOI
65. Irish Gaelic : ERSE
66. Camp shelter : TENT
67. Dog-tired : SPENT
68. Colored, as Easter eggs : DYED
1. Place a hex on : BEWITCH
2. Served with ice cream : ALAMODE
3. "Not for me, thanks" : ILLPASS
4. Land of 10,000 ___ (Minnesota) : LAKES
5. Taverns : BARS
6. Bustle : ADO
7. "Kill Bill" actress Lucy : LIU
8. Nairobi resident : KENYAN
9. Egypt's southern neighbor : SUDAN
10. "So that's it!" : AHA
11. Admit (to) : CONFESS
12. Be behind schedule : RUNLATE
13. Portable device for book lovers : EREADER
18. One above a tenor : ALTO
22. Journal or Post : PAPER
25. "___ down!" ("Quiet!") : PIPE
26. Found, as on a map : LOCATED
27. Waste maker, proverbially : HASTE
30. Zap : NUKE
33. Keep in the attic, maybe : STORE
35. Den : LAIR
37. Spot to tie the knot : ALTAR
38. Trim, as costs : PARE
39. Internet and cable giant : COMCAST
40. John, James or Judas : APOSTLE
41. Human/ape "missing link" found in Indonesia in 1891 : JAVAMAN
44. Minister's residence : RECTORY
45. Rely on excessively : OVERUSE
46. Tranquilized : SEDATED
48. Seize for ransom : KIDNAP
49. Brainchild : IDEA
52. Turbaned Punjabis : SIKHS
54. Still sleeping : INBED
57. "S.N.L." bit : SKIT
59. The Beatles' ___ Pepper : SGT
61. Word just before "blastoff" : ONE
62. Pro's opposite : CON

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle.

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