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New York Times, Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Author: Tom McCoy
Editor: Will Shortz
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3111/14/20139/2/20180
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1.61352
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 ... more
Tom McCoy notes:

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 ... more
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 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
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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
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E
62
E
R
A
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O
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64
N
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© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0812 ( 24,018 )
Across Down
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
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: 6 unique to this puzzle, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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