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New York Times, Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Author:
Daniel Raymon
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
249/23/20078/27/20190
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124411011
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1.60110
Daniel Raymon

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

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 )

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Across
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
Down
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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