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New York Times, Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Author:
Lynn Lempel
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
9112/9/19793/3/20202
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664152130
ScrabRebusCirclePangramPre‑WS
1.610912
Lynn Lempel

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 34 Missing: {JQZ} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 76 for Ms. Lempel. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Lynn Lempel notes:
After coming up with the idea for this one, I found acceptable examples surprisingly hard to find. There were plenty of phrases with ... read more

After coming up with the idea for this one, I found acceptable examples surprisingly hard to find. There were plenty of phrases with two R's and two D's, but I was being picky here: the first word had to have exactly two R's and no D's; and the second word had to have exactly two D's with no R's.

This was one of the rare puzzles I had to redo. The deal-breaker was the theme entry BROTHER ODD, the title of a Dean Koontz book and a recurring character in his novels. I hadn't been real happy with that, but clued it with reference to a "strange" name, hoping to give a major hint to the "odd" part. But Will thought it was too obscure…and it was back to the drawing board. I can't find the original puzzle, but the change to this version was the inclusion of NARROWLY DEFINED in the middle, which I wasn't exactly thrilled with either.

I will have to get busy because I'm pretty sure this is my last puzzle in the NYT hopper. I need a big influx of both ideas and time!

Jeff Chen notes:
Everyone's favorite / most annoying sci-fi bot, R2D2 inspiring today's puzzle, each theme phrase containing a word with two Ds + ... read more

Everyone's favorite / most annoying sci-fi bot, R2D2 inspiring today's puzzle, each theme phrase containing a word with two Ds + another with two Rs. Growing up in California and thinking of myself as a surfer (I'm barely passable even on a long board), I loved SURFER DUDE. The rest of the themers were solid, although to Lynn's point, NARROWLY DEFINED felt more dry; like something out of one of my b school textbooks.

Some beautiful long fill today, the conversational DO YOU MIND my favorite — it brings up some interesting imagery. CAR DEALER is a nice two-word phrase too.

People ask me sometimes why I prefer multi-word phrases (as opposed to one-worders) when it comes to long fill. Generally, I find that multi-word phrases tend to be more colorful — putting words together in interesting ways can produce great effect — plus it's fun as a solver to figure out where words break within a phrase.

Contrast DO YOU MIND with ABANDONED, which to me is an everyday piece of language, serving as sort of a nail or screw holding the English language together.

But no doubt, there are definitely great one-word answers. CRUSADERS for example is beautiful, laden with all sorts of historical context and stories about Richard the Lionheart. What a nickname! During my solve, I stopped to admire the answer, wanting to go read up on this subject. To me, that's one mark of what can make for a great piece of long fill.

As usual, a smooth offering from the master of the early-week puzzle. There's just a tad of glue — SDAK, ACCT, SRTA, PERI — which isn't surprising since Lynn uses the "parallel downs" structure in DO YOU MIND / ABANDONED. It's so tough to put two long downs right next to each other like that and come out squeaky clean. Notice where three of the four gluey bits (SDAK, ACCT, PERI) are …

My initial reaction was that I wanted a tighter theme — or more snazzy themers in general — since there are a ton of two-word phrases that fit this D D + R R theme pattern. So it was really nice to hear from Lynn; her self-imposed constraint about having no Ds in the first word or Rs in the second is not something I ever would have thought of. Much tougher than I had thought!

1
A
2
R
3
F
4
S
5
P
6
A
7
B
8
S
9
T
10
S
11
D
12
A
13
K
14
S
O
U
P
15
A
L
L
A
H
16
T
O
B
E
17
S
U
R
F
18
E
R
D
U
D
E
19
R
Y
A
N
20
E
G
O
21
B
E
E
T
22
S
23
P
O
O
N
24
T
H
R
25
O
B
26
R
O
27
G
E
R
M
U
D
28
D
29
U
S
30
B
31
U
S
O
32
M
O
E
33
A
34
C
35
C
T
36
M
37
I
38
N
I
39
O
40
V
I
N
E
41
N
A
R
R
42
O
W
L
Y
D
43
E
F
I
N
E
D
44
G
R
U
E
L
45
I
C
E
S
46
O
D
D
S
47
E
D
S
48
D
49
I
E
50
L
51
I
L
52
R
E
A
53
R
E
N
D
54
E
55
D
56
P
A
57
R
58
K
59
S
60
A
D
O
R
N
61
S
R
62
T
A
63
O
I
L
64
A
L
E
X
65
A
66
R
T
O
O
D
67
E
T
O
O
68
P
E
R
I
69
T
E
E
N
Y
70
P
O
S
T
71
E
R
S
E
72
E
P
E
E
S
73
A
R
K
S
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0816 ( 24,388 )
Across
1
Sounds from schnauzers : ARFS
5
Blue Ribbon brewer : PABST
10
Mt. Rushmore's state: Abbr. : SDAK
14
Bisque or gazpacho : SOUP
15
Quran deity : ALLAH
16
Fit ___ tied : TOBE
17
Guy shouting "Cowabunga!," say : SURFERDUDE
19
Romney's 2012 running mate : RYAN
20
Rational self, to Freud : EGO
21
___ greens : BEET
22
Implement for eating 14-Across : SPOON
24
Pulsate painfully : THROB
26
Onetime CBS News anchor : ROGERMUDD
29
Kind of port on a PC : USB
31
Troupe grp. : USO
32
Brother of Shemp and Curly : MOE
33
Saver's bank holding: Abbr. : ACCT
36
Revealing skirt : MINI
39
Like a ram or lamb : OVINE
41
Lacking broad application : NARROWLYDEFINED
44
Thin porridge : GRUEL
45
Sorbets, e.g. : ICES
46
Gambler's chances : ODDS
47
MS. readers at Ms., e.g. : EDS
48
Peter out : DIE
50
Like rappers Wayne and Kim : LIL
52
Rammed from behind : REARENDED
56
Gets lucky with one's car downtown, say : PARKS
60
Decorate : ADORN
61
Mex. miss : SRTA
63
De-squeaker : OIL
64
Trebek with all the answers : ALEX
65
"Star Wars" droid ... or a phonetic hint to what's found in 17-, 26-, 41- and 52-Across : ARTOODETOO
68
Prefix with -meter or -scope : PERI
69
Minuscule : TEENY
70
Blog update, e.g. : POST
71
Celtic tongue of the British Isles : ERSE
72
Olympic swords : EPEES
73
Torah holders : ARKS
Down
1
Liability's opposite : ASSET
2
Still in draft form : ROUGH
3
Uproar : FUROR
4
UV blockage no. : SPF
5
Lessen, as expenses : PARE
6
Birch relative often used in electric guitars : ALDER
7
Popeye's brawny rival for Olive Oyl : BLUTO
8
Heartsick : SAD
9
Hurdles for Ph.D.s : THESES
10
Thurmond who left the Senate at age 100 : STROM
11
"Um ... excuse me?" : DOYOUMIND
12
Deserted : ABANDONED
13
Documentarian Burns : KEN
18
Diminishes : EBBS
23
Ironclad evidence : PROOF
25
Quite bizarre : OUTRE
27
Tour leader : GUIDE
28
Ownership documents : DEEDS
30
Auto with a black, blue and white logo : BMW
33
Wrath : ANGER
34
One offering test drives : CARDEALER
35
Group led by Richard the Lionheart : CRUSADERS
37
Words before "So sue me!" : ILIED
38
Big Apple inits. : NYC
40
Cello cousin : VIOLA
42
Like 10-Down vis-à-vis any other senator in history : OLDER
43
Subj. for the foreign-born : ESL
49
Like a trait present at birth : INNATE
51
Tablet since 2010 : IPAD
53
___ Hart, lead role in "Chicago" : ROXIE
54
Lauder with a cosmetics empire : ESTEE
55
Remotely controlled flier : DRONE
57
Helicopter part : ROTOR
58
Mall stand : KIOSK
59
Job openings : SLOTS
62
Output of Santa's workshop : TOYS
64
Gorilla : APE
66
Sales worker, briefly : REP
67
Superfund org. : EPA

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?

See NYT Crosswords for info.