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New York Times, Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Author:
Andrew Kingsley and John Lieb
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
174/29/20162/27/20204
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1213154
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.55120
Andrew Kingsley
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
165/14/20132/27/20206
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0432304
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.60210
John Lieb

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 74, Blocks: 34 Missing: {QUVZ} This is puzzle # 8 for Mr. Kingsley. This is puzzle # 11 for Mr. Lieb. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Constructor notes:
ANDREW: John and I both teach at The Roxbury Latin School in West Roxbury, MA. I joined the faculty last year, so it was only a matter ... read more

ANDREW: John and I both teach at The Roxbury Latin School in West Roxbury, MA. I joined the faculty last year, so it was only a matter of time before we put our heads together to create some crosswords. This one began as a themeless which included the entry SPIN CLASS. John came up with the idea of people who spin things for a living, and we were off from there (although neither of us is a big fan of this exercise regimen). As a duo, we found we work nicely together, especially since we can pop into each other's office during free periods and talk shop. Look out for more Kings-Lieb puzzles soon!

JOHN: This puzzle was Puzzle #2 at Boswords, a crossword tournament that Andrew and I co-directed at our school on Sunday August 6. We are grateful to Will for allowing us to use this puzzle at the tournament, which had 149 competitors. It was a blast to both write this puzzle and to organize this tournament with Andrew! More information on the tournament can be found at boswords.org and we look forward to running it again next summer. The rest of the tournament puzzles, plus a few bonus ones, are available for purchase (for an Abe) at the site.

Jeff Chen notes:
I love it when 1.) I can't guess the theme, even after seeing all the themers, and 2.) when it immediately comes to me after ... read more

I love it when 1.) I can't guess the theme, even after seeing all the themers, and 2.) when it immediately comes to me after uncovering the revealer. (It's not so fun when #1 happens without #2.) I sat for a long minute wondering how SKRILLEX could possibly be connected to PAT SAJAK, SPIDERMAN, and MINNESOTA FATS, but great moment of clarity when I realized that they're all masters of (some sort of) SPIN.

MINNESOTA FATS' spin skills might not be immediately obvious to some, but to those of us that played pool for four hours a day during freshman year (don't judge me), putting spin on the cue ball is a critical mechanic of the game.

And SPIDERMAN spins a web, of course, while SKRILLEX spins records. PAT SAJAK might not actually do the spinning of the Wheel of Fortune, but he'd be my first choice for that type of SPIN CLASS. (I always wondered if contestants could adjust the amount of force they apply to their spins to aim for certain slots. Anyone know?)

Even with MINNESOTA FATS being an awkward 13 letters, Andrew and John did a nice job of executing. A 13-letter middle themer tends to force big corners, and I love it when those big corners yield such great material as WINE LIST / ELEMENTS / DETOXES, and TOPICAL / MARADONA / ICE TONGS. I love it even more when you can carefully pull off these swaths of goodness without much crossword glue. LSTS isn't great, but if that's the only price to pay, I'm eager to shell out.

(OXO clued as "random string of Os and Xs" isn't great, but since OXO is a big brand name, the entry doesn't bother the constructor in me at all.)

I have so much fun with these "how are these seemingly unrelated themers related" puzzles. Neat reveal in SPIN CLASS. Along with strong execution, it's my POW!

1
I
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N
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C
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A
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M
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G
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M
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L
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O
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W
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D
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B
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F
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H
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D
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P
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K
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© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0816 ( 24,753 )

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Across
1
Early Peruvian : INCAN
6
"Gone With the Wind" studio : MGM
9
Mooed : LOWED
14
Festive : MERRY
15
Folk singer DiFranco : ANI
16
Edward Snowden, e.g. : EXILE
17
Peter Parker is his alter ego : SPIDERMAN
19
Musical piece for nine : NONET
20
"That's terrible!" : OHNO
21
Wipes out on the half-pipe, say : EATSIT
23
Comedian Philips : EMO
24
Rue : REGRET
26
Grammy-winning electronic music producer and D.J. : SKRILLEX
28
Ram's mate : EWE
29
Red Cross response : AID
31
J. Peterman employee on "Seinfeld" : ELAINE
32
Excited Spanish cry : ARRIBA
35
D-Day carriers: Abbr. : LSTS
36
Name assumed by billiards great Rudolf Wanderone : MINNESOTAFATS
40
Asset for a press secretary : TACT
41
Way to watch "Game of Thrones" on your phone : HBONOW
42
Tater Tots maker : OREIDA
45
Course standard : PAR
46
___ Kat : KIT
49
Longtime co-worker of Vanna White : PATSAJAK
52
Chevy's response to the Mustang : CAMARO
54
Vow before testifying : IDO
55
Sushi condiment : WASABI
57
Words said before and after "what" : ITIS
58
TBS late-night host : CONAN
60
Modern exercise option ... or what the answers to 17-, 26-, 36- or 49-Across could teach? : SPINCLASS
62
A straight one is 180° : ANGLE
63
Suitable : APT
64
Fictional orphan protected by Punjab : ANNIE
65
Zapped, as unwanted hair : LASED
66
West who said "Too much of a good thing can be wonderful" : MAE
67
Wherewithal : MEANS
Down
1
Complaint after overexercise : IMSORE
2
Huey, Dewey or Louie, to Donald Duck : NEPHEW
3
Reaction to an awkward moment : CRINGE
4
Passion : ARDOR
5
Bill ___, the Science Guy : NYE
6
One of the Three Bears : MAMA
7
Cloud in the summer : GNATS
8
Capital of Belarus : MINSK
9
Kind of soup mentioned in Genesis : LENTIL
10
Losing tic-tac-toe line : OXO
11
Request at a fine restaurant : WINELIST
12
Earth, wind and fire : ELEMENTS
13
Cleanses, in a way : DETOXES
18
Finish the job? : RETIRE
22
Boiling point? : IRE
25
Make : EARN
27
1980s-'90s NBC drama : LALAW
30
One running away in "Hey Diddle Diddle" : DISH
32
Opposing side : ANTIS
33
Short cut : BOB
34
Above : ATOP
36
With Pelé, co-winner of FIFA's Player of the Century award : MARADONA
37
Minibar accessory : ICETONGS
38
Advil alternative : ANACIN
39
Fit ___ king : FORA
40
In the news : TOPICAL
43
Began : DAWNED
44
1977 Steely Dan album : AJA
46
Samurai sword : KATANA
47
Silent film opener : IRISIN
48
Scraps : TOSSES
50
Kind of tea from Asia : ASSAM
51
10th of 24 : KAPPA
53
Pooh creator : MILNE
56
Orthodontist's concern : BITE
59
Pub pint : ALE
61
Kiss ___ : CAM

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle, 2 debuted here and reused later.

Found bugs or have suggestions?

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