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New York Times, Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Author:
Zhouqin Burnikel
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
6311/13/20125/15/201919
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
620186472
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.56281
Zhouqin Burnikel

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 36 Missing: {JQVWZ} This is puzzle # 46 for Ms. Burnikel. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Zhouqin Burnikel notes:
I started with two 12s in Row 4 and Row 13, but the grid was quite crowded. So I changed direction. Initially 6-Down and 27-Down ... read more

I started with two 12s in Row 4 and Row 13, but the grid was quite crowded. So I changed direction.

Initially 6-Down and 27-Down were broken up with a pair of 8's alongside STANDING O and BITTER END.

Jeff Chen notes:
Plays on various 'collectors,' a PASSPORT collecting stamps, the GUINNESS BOOK collecting records, a CASH REGISTER collecting bills, ... read more

Plays on various "collectors," a PASSPORT collecting stamps, the GUINNESS BOOK collecting records, a CASH REGISTER collecting bills, and a PASTA BAR collecting shells. GUINNESS BOOK worked great for me, as it played upon two fairly different senses of the word "record." CASH REGISTER was also good since a cash bill and a "you owe me X" bill are different enough for my taste.

The others weren't as strong for me since some countries put actual stamps in your PASSPORT instead of just stamping it with ink. Yes, these aren't exactly the same, since you can't mail a letter with that type of stamp, but I like more wordplay rather than less. And the idea of a PASTA BAR "collecting" shells ... that was too tortured for my taste.

C.C.'s bonus fill shines, as usual — I give her a STANDING O in this regard. Along with MISS TEEN USA, MAD DASH, POINT GUARDS, BITTER END, there's so, so, so much goodness packed in. Note how C.C. so carefully spreads out her bonus fill across the puzzle's columns and alternates them up and down for good spacing — this is a great methodology for being able to incorporate a ton of snazzy fill.

With just four themers, all constructors should aim for this much great long fill. It's very doable any time you have four themers that aren't grid-spanning. Doable, meaning without a lot of crossword glue, that is. I did pick up a bit of ITAL, ISO, RTE, UNOS, but that was all so minor. Nice craftsmanship.

There was so much good stuff, I think it would have been passable if C.C. had put a black square at the E of PULSE, breaking up BITTER END, or a black square at the A of PISA, breaking up POINT GUARDS. I'm glad she didn't, since I so much appreciate all the great fill, but for more novice constructors studying C.C.'s execution today, both would be viable options that would make those tricky NW/SE sections easier to fill.

I would have liked the same level of a-ha moment I got from GUINNESS BOOK being a "record collector" from all four themers, but overall, C.C.'s strong execution kept me engaged throughout my solve.

1
I
2
N
3
S
4
E
5
A
6
M
7
S
8
T
9
A
10
B
11
P
12
H
13
D
14
T
A
T
A
M
I
15
O
H
H
I
16
H
O
E
17
A
T
A
R
I
S
18
P
A
S
S
19
P
O
R
T
20
L
E
N
21
S
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I
S
I
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T
E
N
S
E
24
D
25
U
26
E
T
O
27
P
R
A
Y
E
R
28
G
29
U
I
N
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E
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30
S
31
B
O
O
K
32
O
F
N
O
T
E
33
I
R
I
S
34
B
35
T
36
U
37
B
O
G
S
38
N
39
I
X
O
N
40
B
I
A
S
41
I
S
O
42
M
U
S
E
43
T
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O
O
T
L
E
45
C
A
S
H
R
46
E
G
I
S
T
E
R
47
P
48
A
49
G
O
D
A
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P
U
L
S
E
51
I
L
I
A
D
52
P
53
I
S
A
54
R
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T
56
E
57
P
A
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A
58
B
A
R
59
R
60
E
61
P
E
A
L
62
E
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63
S
A
C
K
64
D
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65
S
O
S
66
H
A
T
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67
S
U
N
D
A
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© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0815 ( 24,752 )

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Across
1
Line of clothing : INSEAM
7
Random guess : STAB
11
Deg. that requires a defense : PHD
14
Japanese floor mat : TATAMI
15
"Didn't see ya there!" : OHHI
16
Garden row maker : HOE
17
Old video game consoles : ATARIS
18
Stamp collector? : PASSPORT
20
"Total Recall" director Wiseman : LEN
21
Enthusiastic Spanish assent : SISI
23
Like sports crowds during a close game : TENSE
24
Because of : DUETO
27
"Hail Mary, full of grace ...," e.g. : PRAYER
28
Record collector? : GUINNESSBOOK
32
Significant : OFNOTE
33
Showy purple bloom : IRIS
34
Energy measurement, for short : BTU
37
Cranberry picking sites : BOGS
38
Who famously said "I'm not a crook" : NIXON
40
Media slant : BIAS
41
Prefix with -metric : ISO
42
Calliope or Euterpe : MUSE
43
Play a fife : TOOTLE
45
Bill collector? : CASHREGISTER
47
Tiered Eastern temple : PAGODA
50
Something measured by holding fingers on the wrist : PULSE
51
Trojan War epic : ILIAD
52
Galileo's hometown : PISA
54
A detour offers a different one: Abbr. : RTE
57
Shell collector? : PASTABAR
59
Undoing of legislation : REPEAL
62
Mobile CPR provider : EMT
63
Hit the ___ (go to bed) : SACK
64
Intimidates : DAUNTS
65
Morse code plea : SOS
66
Multiple jobs, metaphorically : HATS
67
It might come with a cherry on top : SUNDAE
Down
1
Slanted in print: Abbr. : ITAL
2
FiveThirtyEight creator Silver : NATE
3
Rousing audience response, informally : STANDINGO
4
Something popped on a plane : EAR
5
Parisian pal : AMI
6
Pageant title since 1983 : MISSTEENUSA
7
Soaks (up) : SOPS
8
Cuisine with tom kha gai soup : THAI
9
Sighed sounds : AHS
10
Places serving salades et sandwiches : BISTROS
11
Hypocrite, say : PHONY
12
Derby entrant : HORSE
13
Hold off : DETER
19
Word after mountain or before season : PEAK
22
Platform for Siri : IOS
25
Some chain pizzerias : UNOS
26
Sinus doc : ENT
27
Players bringing the ball up the court : POINTGUARDS
28
Desert along the Silk Road : GOBI
29
Subjects of some fuzzy photos, for short : UFOS
30
Philly pro : SIXER
31
___ hug : BRO
34
Final and unhappy outcome : BITTEREND
35
Fish story : TALE
36
___ interface : USER
39
Kinda sorta : ISH
40
Big enchilada : BOSS
42
Frenzied race : MADDASH
44
Coconut product : OIL
45
Wool, for a sheep : COAT
46
Short albums, for short : EPS
47
Puff pieces? : PIPES
48
San Antonio mission : ALAMO
49
Main points : GISTS
52
Treaty : PACT
53
Ticks off : IRKS
55
"Toodles!" : TATA
56
"What ___ is new?" : ELSE
58
Cry of shear terror? : BAA
60
It's in la Seine : EAU
61
The clue for 58-Down, e.g. [sorry!] : PUN

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle.

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