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New York Times, Friday, July 8, 2016

Author: Barry C. Silk
Editor: Will Shortz
Barry C. Silk
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
929/1/20037/8/20166
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
358532741
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.651215

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 30 Missing: {JQX} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 92 for Mr. Silk. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Barry C. Silk notes: I really don't have noteworthy to say about the puzzle. The only thing I remember is that I noticed BLACK FRIDAY and CYBER MONDAY ... more
Barry C. Silk notes:

I really don't have noteworthy to say about the puzzle. The only thing I remember is that I noticed BLACK FRIDAY and CYBER MONDAY had the same number of letters and I thought it would be cool to start and end a puzzle with those. I guess technically the puzzle has a mini-theme, but nothing else in the puzzle relates to those terms, so the rest of the puzzle is basically themeless.

Jeff Chen notes: A strong triple-stack of 11-letter answers kicking off the puzzle, BLACK FRIDAY / TITANIUM ORE / WAITING AREA really fun. I'm a ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

A strong triple-stack of 11-letter answers kicking off the puzzle, BLACK FRIDAY / TITANIUM ORE / WAITING AREA really fun. I'm a mechanical engineer by education, so I'm always amazed at how useful TITANIUM is. Such an incredible strength to weight ratio, and it's one of the foundations of modern orthopedics.

Stretching to fill in 15 long answers is no joke. It's especially hard to convert all those long slots into assets when you take up so much real estate with the central grid-spanner, BED AND BREAKFAST. I really like WINE STEWARD, and the MANASSAS / ANTIETAM pairing is fun, but I felt like the conversion rate today wasn't as high as I would like. GO BEFORE, TAKES LEAVE, SIGNS OVER are all fine answers, just not that colorful or interesting to me.

That's a risk themeless constructors run when trying to work with so many long entries. I generally find themelesses to be outstanding if there are at least 10 snazzy entries, so is it better to start with a ton of interlocked long slots and hope to convert most of them to assets, or start with fewer long slots and make sure every single one sings? That's the eternal question.

I'm on the fence about BTWO and R AND B types of entries these days. On one hand, they are hard to suss out and look interestingly weird in the grid. On the other, when do you ever see B TWO in real life? R AND B feels better to me (not sure why), but it was a little odd to get the full BED AND BREAKFASTS and the shortened R AND B.

ORT is harder to swallow, as one of the more notorious crosswordese words. Patrick Merrell recently started a blog using ORT in a cheeky way. Fun posts.

Overall, I like having mini-themes in themelesses, but it's often nice to have something not quite so transparent (I filled in CYBER MONDAY right after getting BLACK FRIDAY). I'd prefer to have to work a little to figure out both answers, and then earn my a-ha moment.

1
B
2
L
3
A
4
C
5
K
6
F
7
R
8
I
9
D
10
A
11
Y
12
T
13
A
14
B
15
T
I
T
A
N
I
U
M
O
R
E
16
A
S
U
17
W
A
I
T
I
N
G
A
R
E
A
18
K
H
Z
19
O
R
T
20
T
A
S
M
A
N
21
G
E
E
Z
22
M
S
G
23
G
A
24
T
O
S
25
A
26
G
27
R
A
28
L
29
A
30
S
31
S
U
B
L
32
E
33
T
34
T
R
A
N
35
S
E
P
T
36
S
37
R
E
E
S
E
38
B
E
D
A
N
D
B
R
E
39
A
K
F
A
S
T
40
A
B
A
S
E
41
S
I
G
N
S
O
V
E
R
42
T
E
R
S
E
43
R
44
P
O
T
45
R
E
N
A
46
B
A
R
E
47
R
48
I
49
C
E
50
P
51
A
L
S
52
S
A
53
W
54
Y
E
R
55
H
56
A
57
G
58
A
M
I
59
W
I
N
E
S
T
E
60
W
A
R
D
61
I
M
P
62
A
N
D
R
E
A
D
O
R
I
A
63
D
O
S
64
C
Y
B
E
R
M
O
N
D
A
Y
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0708 ( 24,349 )
Across Down
1. Preceder of 64-Across on the calendar : BLACKFRIDAY
12. It may justify things : TAB
15. Ilmenite is the chief one : TITANIUMORE
16. Winner of the first three Fiesta Bowls, for short : ASU
17. Airport terminal feature : WAITINGAREA
18. Radio frequency abbr. : KHZ
19. Scrap : ORT
20. Discoverer of New Zealand : TASMAN
21. "I can't believe that!" : GEEZ
22. Liberty's home, for short : MSG
23. 4-Downs, south of the border : GATOS
25. Site of Akbar the Great's tomb : AGRA
28. Article in El País : LAS
31. Release? : SUBLET
34. Parts of cross-shaped churches : TRANSEPTS
37. He worked for Hershey in the 1910s-'20s : REESE
38. Quaint getaway destination : BEDANDBREAKFAST
40. Bring down : ABASE
41. Officially gives up : SIGNSOVER
42. More compact : TERSER
44. Dutch oven, e.g. : POT
45. 1995 Emmy winner Sofer : RENA
46. Less adorned : BARER
48. Highway hazard : ICE
50. Laverne and Shirley, e.g. : PALS
52. Lumber mill employee : SAWYER
55. World of Warcraft figure : HAG
58. Bud abroad : AMI
59. Port authority? : WINESTEWARD
61. World of Warcraft figure : IMP
62. Name that went down in history? : ANDREADORIA
63. Buns, for example : DOS
64. Follower of 1-Across on the calendar : CYBERMONDAY
1. Vitamin a.k.a. riboflavin : BTWO
2. Story teller : LIAR
3. Having a scrap : ATIT
4. Stealthy sort : CAT
5. Sweaters and such : KNITS
6. Got via guile : FINAGLED
7. Kirmans, e.g. : RUGS
8. Certain prayer leader : IMAM
9. Rapper wrapper? : DORAG
10. 22-Across and others : ARENAS
11. Motion supporter : YEA
12. Departs : TAKESLEAVE
13. Court legend : ASHE
14. Dreaded game show sound : BUZZ
21. Antedate : GOBEFORE
22. Civil War battle site : MANASSAS
24. Largest minority in Bulgaria : TURKS
25. Single chance? : ATBAT
26. Duck lookalike : GREBE
27. Spots for air traffic controllers : RADARBLIPS
29. They may precede high-speed chases, in brief : APBS
30. Peel : STRIP
32. European city whose name means "eat" : ESSEN
33. Bright swimmer : TETRA
35. Part of a mean mien : SNEER
36. One of Utah's state symbols : SEGO
39. Civil War battle site : ANTIETAM
43. Like hashish or shoe wax : RESINY
47. Soul mate? : RANDB
49. Philosophy : CREDO
50. Bookkeeper's stamp : PAID
51. It's loaded : AMMO
53. "___ live!" : WERE
54. W.W. I battle site : YSER
55. With 60-Down, gotten by great effort : HARD
56. "Eri tu," but not "Eres Tú" : ARIA
57. Oz salutation : GDAY
59. New Mexico State's athletic grp. : WAC
60. See 55-Down : WON

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 5 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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