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New York Times, Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Author: Daniel Raymon
Editor: Will Shortz
Daniel Raymon
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
199/23/200712/3/20170
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
02341108
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.61110

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 36 Missing: {JQ} Spans: 2 This is puzzle # 15 for Mr. Raymon. NYT links: Across Lite PDF

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Jeff Chen notes: Sometimes people ask me why alternating vowel-consonant patterns are so prized among crossword constructors, and that upper left ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Sometimes people ask me why alternating vowel-consonant patterns are so prized among crossword constructors, and that upper left corner perfectly illustrates it. The nature of the English language is such that many words tend to have this alternation, and it generally makes for easy filling if you stick to it. Entries like AGATE and TRICE are not as fun as the crazy starts of FJORD and CZARS for example, but they do tend to make for an easier job.

One day, we'll have our first duck president.

Double L doubles today, themers where both words contain an LL. I liked CHILL PILL and MILLARD FILLMORE, but it would have been nice to have a car that was more recent than the CADILLAC SEVILLE (or to have a clue that makes the entry more playful).

Interesting interlocking pattern. It is nice to see something different than the usual all-themers-run-horizontally, but I tend to value interlock less than Will does. It is pretty neat when it can happen, but sometimes it feels like it makes the themers stand out less. Also, I wonder how many non-constructors even notice the interlock.

Jim reminded me a while ago that "crosswordese" is very subjective. I was confused when he said he was perfectly fine with AGUE, but I better understand now — he's used to seeing it in many of the historical novels he reads. So although AGUE, OMOO, HIES, STERE feel gluey to me personally, they're certainly not universally to be avoided.

A couple of nice mid-length entries in EXALTED and SCHERZO. Both of them are pretty interesting in their own right, but the clues, referencing the Grand EXALTED Ruler of the Elks and SCHERZO meaning "joke" in Italian, elevated them even higher.

Often, I prefer not to have a theme revealer hit me on the head, but today I think it would have injected more pizzazz into the puzzle. Perhaps something like HOCKEY STICKS, playing on H-E-double hockey sticks = HELL? It is sort of neat to see what these five themers have in common, but a bow on the package might have been nice.

ADDED NOTE: I missed that the theme is actually double ILL. Dagnabbit! As Bill Butler wondered, there's no doubt I'm ILL-informed.

1
P
2
A
3
C
4
E
5
R
6
P
7
A
8
C
9
K
10
C
11
M
12
V
13
I
14
A
G
A
T
E
15
A
G
U
E
16
H
I
E
S
17
R
O
D
I
N
18
T
A
L
E
19
A
L
I
A
20
T
R
I
C
E
21
H
I
L
L
22
B
I
L
L
Y
23
B
A
L
K
24
W
O
N
25
A
T
A
26
L
E
27
W
I
S
28
S
29
C
H
E
R
30
Z
31
O
32
T
33
O
A
T
E
E
34
A
C
E
35
A
D
H
D
36
A
M
C
37
I
L
38
L
W
I
L
39
L
40
F
O
O
41
L
O
S
42
E
43
D
I
E
44
T
E
45
D
I
U
M
46
C
O
E
X
47
I
S
T
48
P
I
X
E
L
49
V
A
S
50
S
A
C
51
F
L
52
A
53
B
54
C
55
H
I
L
L
56
P
57
I
L
L
58
B
I
M
B
O
59
B
E
L
T
60
A
D
A
M
61
E
C
O
N
O
62
G
A
L
E
63
W
O
K
E
64
S
I
R
E
N
65
B
R
E
D
66
S
L
E
D
67
S
T
E
R
E
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0707 ( 23,982 )
Across Down
1. Indiana basketball player : PACER
6. Cigarette purchase : PACK
10. The year 906 : CMVI
14. Striped gemstone : AGATE
15. Feverish fit : AGUE
16. Goes fast : HIES
17. "The Kiss" sculptor : RODIN
18. Account from Scheherazade : TALE
19. Inter ___ : ALIA
20. Split second : TRICE
21. Hayseed : HILLBILLY
23. Penalized move in baseball : BALK
24. Brought home the gold : WON
25. ___ crossroads : ATA
26. Comedian Black : LEWIS
28. Musical piece whose name is Italian for "joke" : SCHERZO
32. Exactly : TOATEE
34. Card that may be up one's sleeve : ACE
35. Condition for the easily distracted, for short : ADHD
36. "The Walking Dead" network : AMC
37. Hostility : ILLWILL
40. Rock's ___ Fighters : FOO
41. Misplace : LOSE
43. Repeated cry when stabbing a vampire : DIE
44. Monotony : TEDIUM
46. Live in harmony : COEXIST
48. Screen unit : PIXEL
49. Anatomical tube : VAS
50. Anatomical case : SAC
51. Exerciser's target : FLAB
54. What a stressed-out person may need to take : CHILLPILL
58. Dumbbell : BIMBO
59. Asteroid ___ : BELT
60. Scott of "Parks and Recreation" : ADAM
61. Low-cost, in ads : ECONO
62. 50-mile-an-hour wind, e.g. : GALE
63. Roused : WOKE
64. Obstacle for Odysseus : SIREN
65. Engendered : BRED
66. Transport for Calvin and Hobbes : SLED
67. Cubic meter : STERE
1. Medicare section that covers flu shots : PARTB
2. Lead-in to phobia : AGORA
3. Luxury wheels until 2004 : CADILLACSEVILLE
4. Convenience at the airport : ETICKET
5. Artist Magritte : RENE
6. Sympathy : PATHOS
7. "Didn't this happen already?" : AGAIN
8. Gather : CULL
9. What's even on a ship? : KEEL
10. Beverage often flavored with cardamom : CHAITEA
11. Last Whig president : MILLARDFILLMORE
12. Cloak : VEIL
13. Cry of surprise : ISAY
22. Cry of contempt : BAH
24. Exerts : WIELDS
27. Third-century Chinese dynasty : WEI
28. Grade school subj. : SCI
29. TD Garden player : CELTIC
30. First premier of the People's Republic of China : ZHOU
31. Lamar who married a Kardashian : ODOM
32. Soothing powder : TALC
33. Melville's sequel to "Typee" : OMOO
34. Partner of shock : AWE
38. Kindled : LIT
39. Latin law : LEX
42. Grand ___ Ruler (Elks pooh-bah) : EXALTED
45. One of the D's in 35-Across : DEFICIT
47. Key, e.g.: Abbr. : ISL
48. Hid, as a coin in a magic act : PALMED
50. Satisfy, as thirst : SLAKE
52. Civil War general Doubleday : ABNER
53. Pat who co-starred in "Journey to the Center of the Earth" : BOONE
54. Classic N.Y.C. venue for punk rock : CBGB
55. Get wind of : HEAR
56. Things that big nails stick out of : PAWS
57. One with devotees : IDOL
58. Gershwin title heroine : BESS

Answer summary: 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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