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New York Times, Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Author:
Robyn Weintraub
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
223/28/20116/21/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
02320123
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.58000
Robyn Weintraub
The Doctor will see you now

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 38 Missing: {JQX} This is puzzle # 5 for Ms. Weintraub. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Robyn Weintraub notes:
This is my 5th published New York Times puzzle — I'm half way to double digits! Currently I'm away on a family vacation in ... read more

This is my 5th published New York Times puzzle — I'm half way to double digits! Currently I'm away on a family vacation in Europe, and I am especially excited this time around to see my puzzle in The International New York Times.

I don't remember much about what inspired this theme. It's just one of those silly phrases that got stuck in my head, and fortunately the letters cooperated on the grid. I played with various combinations of TV docs/actors (determined to include at least one female doc/actress who was widely known, Jane SEYMOUR) and eventually it all came together. Hopefully George CLOONEY and Patrick DEMPSEY also appreciate their appearance in the puzzle. If they would like to share their appreciation, they should definitely give me a call to let me know!

Happy Tuesday!

Jeff Chen notes:
It's always fun to see a constructor's sparkle come through on a puzzle, and this one has a great punchline. IM NOT A DOCTOR / BUT / I ... read more

It's always fun to see a constructor's sparkle come through on a puzzle, and this one has a great punchline. IM NOT A DOCTOR / BUT / I PLAY ONE ON TV could have fallen into the "quote puzzle" arena, but Robyn does well to include four famous TV doctors to round out the theme. Big smile when I uncovered those three central theme entries.

Even though each theme entry is relatively short, having seven of them makes for a packing challenge. It's an unusual layout problem. I like Robyn's skeleton — cramming the "quote" in the center and spacing out the four doctors into the corners — as it creates a lot of space between themers. Hitting the punchline pretty early in the solve did feel a bit premature, though. Knowing what to expect so early on made for a somewhat anticlimatic finish. I'm not sure if there's another way to present it so the revealer comes later — perhaps running the "quote" vertically instead of horizontally would have helped?

A couple of blips in the fill, not surprising to see them where a down entry crosses two theme entries (DID I between SEYMOUR and IM NOT A DOCTOR, ON OR between I PLAY ONE ON TV and KLUGMAN). And as much as I like NUTELLA (both the entry and the product), DEN / ULE / EDS / ON CD (next to ON OR and ON TV) feels like a heavy price to pay for it. Tough call though — NUTELLA is so delicious. I see where Will is coming from on accepting short duplicated short words (TO, IN, AT, etc.) but three in such close proximity feels like a lot.

Fun idea; neat that Robyn managed to find four relatively well-known TV doctors with symmetrical lengths.

1
A
2
H
3
A
4
E
5
N
6
D
7
R
8
A
9
T
10
T
11
L
12
E
13
D
E
M
14
P
S
E
Y
15
S
E
Y
M
O
U
R
16
A
R
I
E
T
T
A
17
I
M
E
A
N
I
T
18
M
O
N
T
E
19
D
20
I
D
I
21
N
Y
S
E
22
S
N
O
R
E
23
D
24
N
E
N
25
E
26
I
M
N
27
O
T
A
D
O
28
C
29
T
30
O
31
R
32
A
33
D
34
Z
35
A
R
R
36
S
N
O
O
P
Y
37
C
R
E
38
A
39
M
40
B
U
41
T
42
S
W
O
R
E
43
T
I
A
R
A
44
S
45
D
O
46
G
47
L
Y
S
48
I
P
L
A
Y
O
49
N
E
O
N
50
T
51
V
52
O
N
O
R
53
P
R
I
54
M
55
P
56
S
57
A
58
F
59
A
60
R
61
A
L
S
62
O
63
I
D
I
O
T
64
R
E
G
A
65
T
T
A
66
N
67
U
T
E
L
L
A
68
K
L
U
G
M
A
N
69
C
L
O
O
N
E
Y
70
S
T
A
S
I
S
71
D
E
N
72
E
D
S
© 2014, The New York TimesNo. 0812 ( 23,653 )
Across
1
Cry after an epiphany : AHA
4
Butt : END
7
Toy in a crib : RATTLE
13
*"Grey's Anatomy" actor Patrick : DEMPSEY
15
*Actress Jane who was a "Medicine Woman" : SEYMOUR
16
Short opera piece : ARIETTA
17
"No kidding!" : IMEANIT
18
Three-card hustle : MONTE
19
"Where ___ go wrong?" : DIDI
21
Wall St. initials : NYSE
22
Annoyed one's bedmate, perhaps : SNORED
24
Hawaii's state bird : NENE
26
With 40- and 48-Across, much-mocked ad phrase that could have been said by the answers to the four starred clues : IMNOTADOCTOR
32
Wood shaper : ADZ
35
Sheet music abbr. : ARR
36
Brown beagle? : SNOOPY
37
Whip ... or something that can be whipped : CREAM
40
See 26-Across : BUT
42
Said with one's hand on a stack of Bibles : SWORE
43
Sparkly headwear : TIARAS
45
Follow closely : DOG
47
Fleur-de-___ : LYS
48
See 26-Across : IPLAYONEONTV
52
___ close to schedule : ONOR
53
Attends to hair and makeup, say : PRIMPS
57
A long way off : AFAR
61
And : ALSO
63
Bonehead : IDIOT
64
Offshore race : REGATTA
66
Chocolaty spread since 1964 : NUTELLA
68
*Actor Jack who was "Quincy" : KLUGMAN
69
*"ER" actor George : CLOONEY
70
Equilibrium : STASIS
71
Lair : DEN
72
Publishers' hirees, for short : EDS
Down
1
Douglas who wrote "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" : ADAMS
2
Long-legged bird : HERON
3
Acid in proteins, informally : AMINO
4
Look up to : ESTEEM
5
Fishbowl accessory : NET
6
Set of two : DYAD
7
Jogs, in a way : REMINDS
8
Yes : AYE
9
Counterfeiter fighter : TMAN
10
U.S. equivalent to the U.K.'s Laurence Olivier Award : TONY
11
San ___ Obispo, Calif. : LUIS
12
Art Deco icon : ERTE
14
___ dish : PETRI
15
"I Want to Hold Your Hand" through "All My Loving," on "Meet the Beatles!" : SIDEA
20
Crashers, e.g. : INTRUDERS
23
___ lab : DNA
25
A seeming eternity : EONS
27
Celestial sphere : ORB
28
Milk dispenser : COW
29
Handyman's belt item : TOOL
30
Nashville site, familiarly : OPRY
31
Bartender's stock : RYES
32
Prologue follower : ACTI
33
Reason to call a plumber : DRIP
34
Gusto : ZEAL
38
Coach Parseghian : ARA
39
Potato salad ingredient, informally : MAYO
41
And : TOO
44
32 Beethoven pieces : SONATAS
46
Econ. indicator : GNP
49
Hall-of-Fame pitcher Ryan : NOLAN
50
King in "The Little Mermaid" : TRITON
51
Single accompanier : VIDEO
54
Kanga and Roo creator : MILNE
55
Propelled, as a raft : POLED
56
Remains behind : STAYS
57
Temple receptacles : ARKS
58
Arts and crafts material : FELT
59
Rain, in Spain : AGUA
60
Cleaning cloths : RAGS
62
How much 1990s music was issued : ONCD
65
"Eww, I don't want to hear about it," in a text : TMI
67
Diminutive ending : ULE

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle.

Found bugs or have suggestions?