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New York Times, Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Author:
Tom McCoy
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
3211/14/201310/7/20180
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
17815100
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.61362
Tom McCoy

This puzzle:

Rows: 14, Columns: 16 Words: 78, Blocks: 38 Missing: {QVXZ} Spans: 2 This is puzzle # 14 for Mr. McCoy. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Tom McCoy notes:
To find themers, I wrote a program to generate a list of English words made entirely from the letters A, H, I, M, O, T, U, V, W, X, and Y. (I ... read more

Tom's mirror image To find themers, I wrote a program to generate a list of English words made entirely from the letters A, H, I, M, O, T, U, V, W, X, and Y. (I was conflicted about including U because my handwritten U's are not symmetric, but I decided to go with the letters that are symmetric in type.)

Then, since most of the single words were not very lively (with some exceptions, like HOITY-TOITY), I brainstormed phrases containing those symmetrical words. Probably the hardest part was making sure no two theme entries had any words in common.

After this puzzle was finished, I spent more time than I would like to admit looking at my computer in a mirror.

Jeff Chen notes:
Themers whose letters all exhibit mirror symmetry. A couple of months ago, Jim and I submitted a similar theme to Will, who let us know we got ... read more

Themers whose letters all exhibit mirror symmetry. A couple of months ago, Jim and I submitted a similar theme to Will, who let us know we got scooped. McCoy! (shaking fist)

Not sure why people don't call me "The Wizard of Seattle" (hint hint)

Ah well, it happens all the time. Jim and I had created a long list of possibilities, including WHAT A HOOT, OUT WITH IT, MAMMA MIA, and even MAHI MAHI. It was a little odd to see that last entry in the grid, but not thematically.

TOMAYTO TOMATHTO was not on our list — very cool one; a fun pseudo-spelling of the famous phrase from "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off." It looked bizarre at first, but it sure is more snazzy and accurate-sounding than TOMATO TOMATO (whose letters all also exhibit mirror symmetry!).

Given the theme, it would have been nice to get a grid whose black squares also exhibited mirror symmetry. More elegant that way, methinks. And SELF-REFLECTION is a pretty good revealer, but it didn't quite hit for me, as it doesn't totally get at "an object which appears the same in the mirror." Then again, MIRROR SYMMETRY is accurate, but not nearly as colorful as SELF-REFLECTION. Always the trade-offs.

Love the cluing today, right on my wavelength. Warren Buffett's awesome "The Wizard of OMAHA" nickname, the physically weak but strong-willed Aunt MAY from "Spider-man," and the GLORIOUS Leader, Kim Jong-un = lots of fun. I'm curious if Kim Jong-un can beat his father's record for most consecutive holes-in-one (478 at last count).

And a buddy of mine calls the MRS "Wifey," which I think is hilarious. My wife sadly doesn't agree. Harrumph.

So overall, some nice finds in the themers, especially TOMAYTO TOMAHTO, the effect muted a bit for me by getting scooped. Again … MCOY!

1
B
2
U
3
T
4
M
5
A
6
Y
7
T
8
W
9
I
10
G
11
S
12
T
13
Y
14
U
N
O
15
A
R
E
16
O
H
N
O
17
E
R
E
18
R
P
M
19
M
R
S
20
P
A
N
G
21
O
L
I
N
22
M
I
A
23
S
M
A
24
J
E
T
S
O
F
F
25
A
N
Y
W
A
Y
26
A
K
A
27
S
T
R
28
I
29
P
30
T
I
M
31
O
M
A
H
32
A
33
E
P
A
34
G
35
L
O
R
I
36
O
U
S
37
O
P
38
T
39
S
F
O
R
40
O
U
T
L
A
S
T
41
T
O
E
H
O
L
D
S
42
L
A
O
43
A
W
44
A
I
T
45
A
L
E
46
F
U
M
47
E
48
D
49
I
L
L
50
S
T
A
C
51
H
52
E
53
A
L
I
54
T
T
L
E
55
T
A
R
T
A
R
56
M
57
A
H
I
M
A
H
I
58
M
A
W
59
I
R
A
60
A
C
T
61
E
R
I
E
62
E
R
A
63
O
P
S
64
N
E
O
65
S
E
T
S
66
T
R
Y
67
N
Y
E
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0812 ( 24,018 )
Across
1
Word after which a parent might interrupt a child : BUT
4
Peter Parker's aunt in "Spider-Man" : MAY
7
Branchlet : TWIG
11
Grimy abode : STY
14
Card game call : UNO
15
"Rules ___ rules" : ARE
16
"Not that!" : OHNO
17
Before, in poetry : ERE
18
Turntable measure, in brief : RPM
19
Wifey, with "the" : MRS
20
Scaly anteater : PANGOLIN
22
Unpleasant atmosphere : MIASMA
24
Leaves in a hurry : JETSOFF
25
Subject-changing word : ANYWAY
26
Letters on a wanted sign : AKA
27
Cartoonist's work : STRIP
30
Curry of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" : TIM
31
The Wizard of ___ (nickname of Warren Buffett) : OMAHA
33
Org. whose resources partly go to waste? : EPA
34
Adjective for North Korean leader Kim Jong-un : GLORIOUS
37
Picks : OPTSFOR
40
Stay longer than : OUTLAST
41
Points of entry : TOEHOLDS
42
Southeast Asian language : LAO
43
Be there for : AWAIT
45
Tankard contents : ALE
46
Was furious : FUMED
49
"___ bite" : ILL
50
Something just under one's nose, slangily : STACHE
53
Not much : ALITTLE
55
___ sauce : TARTAR
56
Fish also known as a dorado : MAHIMAHI
58
Big mouth : MAW
59
Glass of "This American Life" : IRA
60
Have a part : ACT
61
City of NW Pennsylvania : ERIE
62
15-Across backward : ERA
63
Roman equivalent of Rhea : OPS
64
Classical start? : NEO
65
Match makeup : SETS
66
Encouraging word : TRY
67
Bill in a bow tie : NYE
Down
1
"The Bridge on the River Kwai" locale : BURMA
2
Remove from a bulletin board, say : UNPIN
3
*"Same difference" : TOMAYTOTOMAHTO
4
*Musical that includes the song "Take a Chance on Me" : MAMMAMIA
5
Panoply : ARRAY
6
Encouraging word : YES
7
19th-century Midwest rail hub : TOPEKA
8
*"That sure was funny!" : WHATAHOOT
9
Overnight stops on the road : INNS
10
Group with the 1981 #1 album "Beauty and the Beat" : GOGOS
11
Activity on Lent or Yom Kippur ... or a quality of every letter in the answer to each starred clue : SELFREFLECTION
12
Start for cycle : TRI
13
Nikkei 225 unit : YEN
21
Frequently : OFT
23
Feature of a soft-serve ice cream cone : SWIRL
24
Predicaments : JAMS
28
Apple's ___ Touch : IPOD
29
Some scores in 34-Down : PARS
31
*"Stop hemming and hawing!" : OUTWITHIT
32
Copycat : APE
34
See 29-Down : GOLF
35
Party with poi : LUAU
36
Spanish she-bear : OSA
38
*Where "they went," in old westerns : THATAWAY
39
___ power : SOLAR
41
Bananagrams game piece : TILE
44
Axis foe : ALLIES
47
Giant Manning : ELI
48
Smallest coins : DIMES
50
Rock's All-___ Band : STARR
51
Monster encountered by Aeneas : HARPY
52
Wipe out : ERASE
54
Scale deduction : TARE
56
"Wow!" : MAN
57
Hotshot : ACE
58
Came across : MET

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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