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New York Times, Monday, August 1, 2016

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

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
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 ... read more

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 there ... read more

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 )

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Students & seniors
Across
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
Down
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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