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New York Times, Thursday, August 1, 2013

Author:
Timothy Polin
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
4912/11/20111/3/20192
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
74962102
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.626140
Timothy Polin

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 40 Missing: {JQ} Spans: 2 This is puzzle # 3 for Mr. Polin. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Timothy Polin notes:

Tracy Gray's clever "Infractions" puzzle was my creative inspiration here. I loved Tracy's concept of representing a third word by stacking two unrelated words, so I tried to find a new twist on that type of thematic expression.

In general, the fill in most areas of this heavily constrained grid is decent. The SE, NE and SW corners are all pretty nice. Maybe changing LODI to LOKI and re-filling the SW would be a slight upgrade. But it's hard to imagine a way to improve the SE corner, given its triple-stacked, unmovable theme answers. Nor was there anything to be done to eliminate NIC and CMI beneath DISTANCE / TIME.

I did make two indisputable mistakes:

In the NW I messed up by using SAURON at 23a, which produced the entries OBS (ungood) and ACTA (doubleplusungood). Having struggled for so long to finish the trickiness of the rest of the grid, I was slipshod in filling that section and never considered alternatives to the Dark Lord after I saw he'd fit. It evidently didn't take much for me to fall under his evil sway. I would be a terrible Ring-bearer.

The mistake at the grid's bottom (DE TROP instead of BETTOR at 64a) can be chalked up to inexperience. The reason for NOR I instead of NOT I, CDS instead of CBS and MPS instead of MRS was that I was endeavoring not to duplicate the I in DARE I / SAY. These days I wouldn't blink twice at such a repeat. DE TROP is legitimate, but BETTOR would have been a substantial improvement. The kicker to all of this, of course, was that Will ended up cluing NOR I as [Me neither] instead of [Seaweed wrapped around sushi] — creating the very duplication I had contorted the fill to avoid in the first place.

That physics-related ERG hanging out at the center of the grid? Pure happenstance. Some people liked its inclusion there as an easter egg, and others found it inelegant. Tough to say.

Jim Horne notes:

PRESSURE=FORCE/AREA, SPEED=DISTANCE/TIME, DENSITY=MASS/VOLUME

1
O
2
B
3
S
4
A
5
F
6
I
7
R
8
S
9
T
10
T
11
W
12
I
13
G
14
R
A
T
15
S
L
O
O
P
S
16
H
O
N
E
17
C
R
A
18
C
K
U
N
D
E
R
19
F
O
R
C
E
20
A
C
T
A
21
E
S
S
A
22
A
R
E
A
23
S
A
U
R
24
O
N
25
K
26
O
S
27
R
E
D
U
C
28
E
29
D
I
S
T
30
A
31
N
32
C
33
E
34
T
Y
R
A
N
T
35
T
I
M
E
36
H
37
A
38
Z
39
E
S
40
E
R
G
41
C
E
C
I
L
42
E
G
A
D
43
I
C
E
T
44
E
A
45
P
O
P
U
46
L
A
T
I
O
N
M
47
A
48
S
49
S
50
O
N
O
51
V
O
L
U
M
52
E
53
T
54
H
55
U
D
56
R
57
A
58
N
I
59
O
L
E
S
60
P
H
Y
S
I
61
C
S
F
O
R
62
M
U
L
A
S
63
C
O
M
E
64
D
E
T
R
O
P
65
E
R
E
66
P
U
N
S
67
S
T
A
I
N
S
68
N
Y
X
© 2013, The New York TimesNo. 0801 ( 23,277 )

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Across
1
Delivery specialists, for short : OBS
4
Something groundbreaking : AFIRST
10
Tiny bit of kindling : TWIG
14
Chinese calendar figure : RAT
15
Seagoing vessels : SLOOPS
16
Refine : HONE
17
With 22-Across, fail to cope with difficult circumstances : CRACKUNDERPRESSURE
20
___ Diurna (daily Roman notices) : ACTA
21
She, in Italy : ESSA
22
See 17-Across : AREA
23
Tolkien's Dark Lord of Mordor : SAURON
25
Belts boxers don't want to receive? : KOS
27
With 35-Across, highway sign meaning "slow down" : REDUCESPEED
34
Fist-pounding sort : TYRANT
35
See 27-Across : TIME
36
Ritually torments : HAZES
40
Unit of energy : ERG
41
British poet laureate ___ Day-Lewis : CECIL
42
Whimsical outburst : EGAD
43
Ingredient in an Arnold Palmer : ICETEA
45
With 51-Across, Monaco has the world's highest : POPULATIONDENSITY
50
The Yoko of "Oh Yoko!" : ONO
51
See 45-Across : VOLUME
53
Graceless landing, say : THUD
56
Hindu noblewoman : RANI
59
World Cup chorus : OLES
60
What the three sets of shaded squares in this puzzle represent : PHYSICSFORMULAS
63
Terse invitation : COME
64
Too much : DETROP
65
Poetic preposition : ERE
66
Some Groucho Marx humor : PUNS
67
Tarnishes : STAINS
68
Greek night goddess : NYX
Down
1
Black-and-white threats : ORCAS
2
Where people get loaded on a train : BARCAR
3
Center of a square, maybe : STATUE
4
See 29-Down : ASK
5
Language learner's goal : FLUENCY
6
Particle accelerator particles : IONS
7
Engine parts : RODS
8
Addressing : SPEAKINGTO
9
Old D&D co. : TSR
10
Sif's husband in myth : THOR
11
Eroded (away) : WORE
12
South America's ___ Trail : INCA
13
Plowman's command : GEE
18
Stitch : CARD
19
Express : FAST
24
Exposes a secret of : OUTS
26
German direction : OST
28
Old A. C. Gilbert toy : ERECTORSET
29
With 4-Down, reluctant questioner's opening : DAREI
30
Eroded (away) : ATE
31
Actor Cage, informally : NIC
32
Early 10th-century year : CMI
33
California's ___ River : EEL
36
What was cool in the '50s? : HEP
37
Gone by : AGO
38
Nuke : ZAP
39
Follower of brown. or auburn. : EDU
41
Hunting gear, informally : CAMO
43
Golfer Poulter : IAN
44
Form a ring around : ENVIRON
46
City in New Jersey or California : LODI
47
Dominican baseball family name : ALOU
48
Showing ill humor : SULLEN
49
Like wet paint : SMEARY
52
County bordering Cambridgeshire : ESSEX
53
10 benjamins : THOU
54
Canticle : HYMN
55
Exercises : USES
57
Colgate product for men : AFTA
58
"Me neither" : NORI
60
Hallucinogenic inits. : PCP
61
Composition of many a music library : CDS
62
Brit. legislators : MPS

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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