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New York Times, Monday, August 1, 2016

Author: Kurt Mengel and Jan-Michele Gianette
Editor: Will Shortz
Kurt Mengel
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
101/12/20048/1/20167
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0541000
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.48000
Jan-Michele Gianette
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
710/25/20048/1/20167
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0421000
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.48000

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 40 Missing: {FJKQVXZ} This is puzzle # 10 for Mr. Mengel. This is puzzle # 7 for Ms. Gianette. NYT links: Across Lite PDF

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Constructor notes: As with many of our puzzles, we come up with a revealer first and then try to build a crossword theme around it. This idea came ... more
Constructor notes:

As with many of our puzzles, we come up with a revealer first and then try to build a crossword theme around it. This idea came from a tattoo on the back of a guy's hand we saw. It said "To Do" and then had the numbers 1 through 4 listed below it. He would take a pen and write down the things he wanted to get done every day on his hand. Really. Although neither of us are going to get tattoos, we thought that we would honor such a clever idea in a crossword puzzle!

The themers we came up with were not very long so we decided to include five of them. This is tricky because we hate to use 3 letter fill and try to limit their use. There are more of them than we would prefer in this puzzle, but we felt it was worth it to get the five theme answers. The two cheater black squares in the corners were necessary to keep the open corners from having crummy stuff in them.

Hope you enjoy the puzzle.

Jeff Chen notes: TO DO LIST hinting at 'phrases that start with TO* and DO*.' I was glad to get that revealer — as I was solving, I thought ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

TO DO LIST hinting at "phrases that start with TO* and DO*." I was glad to get that revealer — as I was solving, I thought there might be a football theme going on, with six TDs. It's much harder to get TO* DO* phrases than T* D* phrases, so I liked the extra effort.

I also liked the big thinking, with those chunky upper right and lower left corners. Those roughly 6x6 areas are so tough to fill smoothly for a Monday puzzle. Some solvers/constructors are going to detest the black cheater squares at the very NE / SW of the puzzle, saying those are visually inelegant and/or too much of a crutch, but I don't mind them. If they allow a constructor to generate a more colorful, smooth section, I say by all means! (Just as long as not too many are used.)

And what great results in the NE. Nothing is a standout answer, but the entire region has nary a hitch. I wonder if some solvers will complain about RENOWN, but I'm a big fan of LESTER Brown and His Band of RENOWN, so it seems perfectly fine to me. Getting an OTTER and a DOMINO is pretty fun, too.

And even though this area is more sectioned off from the rest of the puzzle than I like — if you blacked out the H in TOOTHPASTE, you'd completely isolate the corner — at least there are two answers connecting it to the rest of the puzzle in TOOTHPASTE and TOUCHDOWN. Much better to me than one answer-type choke-offs.

The SW didn't turn out as nice. I'd expect to see a minor gluey bit or two in a big corner like this, so SNO is perfectly reasonable. So is RTE. DATER feels a bit made-up, and NOT EAT even more so. I especially didn't care for the latter since ATE is also in the grid. (This is a common dupe that drives constructors crazy, since EAT / ATE phrases are so useful, but you can't easily catch a duplication because the letter strings aren't identical.)

Darn it, now I'm thinking about eating chips while watching football. TOUCHDOWN!

1
D
2
I
3
P
4
S
5
L
6
O
7
G
8
O
9
T
10
T
11
E
12
R
13
O
D
S
14
H
O
W
E
15
L
O
A
D
E
16
D
17
T
O
Y
18
D
O
L
L
S
19
D
O
M
I
N
O
20
C
O
O
L
E
S
21
T
22
T
E
T
O
N
23
A
24
C
H
E
25
T
O
U
26
C
H
D
O
W
N
27
N
E
O
28
C
29
C
S
30
R
A
P
31
R
N
A
32
Y
O
U
33
T
O
O
34
A
B
R
A
35
M
36
T
O
M
M
37
Y
D
O
R
S
E
38
Y
39
T
E
P
E
E
40
O
T
T
A
41
W
42
A
43
S
44
N
45
O
46
T
E
L
47
A
T
E
48
C
O
P
49
T
O
P
50
D
O
L
L
51
A
R
52
C
H
O
P
53
A
T
T
A
R
54
S
L
I
55
D
56
O
U
T
57
L
E
S
T
E
58
R
59
T
O
D
O
L
I
60
S
61
T
62
L
A
T
E
S
T
63
A
S
A
P
64
N
O
W
65
T
O
R
T
E
66
R
O
Y
S
67
G
L
O
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0801 ( 24,373 )
Across Down
1. Guacamole, e.g. : DIP
4. Trudge : SLOG
8. Playful animal on a stream bank : OTTER
13. Dangers for drug addicts, for short : ODS
14. Gordie ___ a.k.a. Mr. Hockey : HOWE
15. Very rich ... or drunk : LOADED
17. Barbies, e.g. : TOYDOLLS
19. Game piece with pips : DOMINO
20. Most hip : COOLEST
22. Wyoming's Grand ___ mountain : TETON
23. Dull hurt : ACHE
25. Land, as a plane : TOUCHDOWN
27. Prefix with classical : NEO
28. IV units : CCS
30. Kanye West's genre : RAP
31. Genetic carrier : RNA
32. "It's not just me?" : YOUTOO
34. The "A" in James A. Garfield : ABRAM
36. Big band trombonist : TOMMYDORSEY
39. Conical home for a Plains Indian : TEPEE
40. Canada's capital : OTTAWA
43. ___-cone : SNO
46. Business card info: Abbr. : TEL
47. Chowed down : ATE
48. Driver of a black-and-white car : COP
49. The highest price : TOPDOLLAR
52. Word after pork or karate : CHOP
53. Rose oil : ATTAR
54. Removed without much effort : SLIDOUT
57. Newsman Holt : LESTER
59. Planner's aid ... or what 17-, 25-, 36- and 49-Across are? : TODOLIST
62. What's new, with "the" : LATEST
63. "Immediately!" : ASAP
64. "I mean ... this instant!" : NOW
65. Linzer ___ (pastry) : TORTE
66. Artist Lichtenstein and others : ROYS
67. Day-___ paint : GLO
1. "i" completer : DOT
2. Words exchanged at a wedding : IDO
3. Intimidate, as before a game : PSYCHOUT
4. "Away, fly!" : SHOO
5. Laze : LOLL
6. Baby nocturnal birds : OWLETS
7. Artist's base : GESSO
8. Aged : OLD
9. Aim or Crest : TOOTHPASTE
10. Domesticated : TAMED
11. Masthead title : EDITOR
12. Fame : RENOWN
16. Woman's name that means "woman" in Italian : DONNA
18. Mother of a fawn : DOE
21. Certain jet engine : TURBO
23. Whatever : ANY
24. No. 1 in a company : CEO
26. Stick : punishment :: ___ : enticement : CARROT
28. Stop moving : COMETOREST
29. Make mandatory : COMPEL
33. Little one : TOT
34. Ending with orange or lemon : ADE
35. Big Apple opera lover's destination, with "the" : MET
37. Shouts : YELLS
38. America's Cup sport : YACHTING
41. Try to win, as for romance : WOO
42. Pokémon Go, e.g. : APP
43. Conk out, as an engine : STALL
44. Skip dinner, say : NOTEAT
45. Decides one will : OPTSTO
47. Melodic : ARIOSO
50. One doing carbon 14 testing : DATER
51. Where 2-Downs are exchanged : ALTAR
52. ___-de-sac : CUL
55. Attack time in W.W. II : DDAY
56. "My bad!" : OOPS
58. Numbered rd. : RTE
60. Note between fa and la : SOL
61. Requirement for a tango : TWO

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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