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New York Times, Saturday, August 17, 2019

Author:
Michael Hawkins
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
181/23/20141/31/20206
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1215162
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.63100
Michael Hawkins

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 30 Missing: {JQVZ} This is puzzle # 17 for Mr. Hawkins. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Michael Hawkins notes:
Seeing this puzzle publish as a Saturday surprised me, not only because it was accepted as a Friday but also because some of the clues ... read more

Seeing this puzzle publish as a Saturday surprised me, not only because it was accepted as a Friday but also because some of the clues are pitched much more easily than my originals, particularly 1-Across which I had as "Splashy entrance?"

The change to ORCAS Island in 47-Across' clue brings back memories of our after hours visit to the island's only doctor to stitch up a large gash on my daughter's knee, acquired within minutes of arriving to our campsite after a lengthy ferry ride.

Aside from a rough start in the first couple of downs I'm pleased with how clean and varied the grid came out. I finished filling it in the middle and by luck of the Cruciverb gods I squeezed a bonus fashion icon into a pair of stacked answers.

Jeff Chen notes:
FOLIE A DEUX, I just added that to our word list last month! The author of 'Bad Blood' used the term to describe the amoral pair of ... read more

FOLIE A DEUX, I just added that to our word list last month! The author of "Bad Blood" used the term to describe the amoral pair of Elizabeth Holmes and her partner in crime. It's a gripping tale of how they duped Silicon Valley through obfuscation and strongarm tactics.

Sometimes foreign phrases make me feel like a boorish American — which admittedly, I am — but I enjoyed learning this colorful one, and I felt smart today when I plunked it in with zero crossing answers.

Mike's a PNWer (is that any worse than NBAer or NLer?), so I smugly enjoyed the insider nods in ORCAS Island and AIRLINE HUB, "Alaska" not referring to the state, but the regional Alaska Airlines.

I wonder how many non-PNWers got PWNed.

I had Mike's name in my subconscious when I got to ["Weekend Update" co-host …], so I blurted out MICHAEL CHE. Then the crosses didn't work. Had to be COLIN JOST! That's too short? COLLIN JOSST, perhaps?

Then I wondered, are either of those two guys crossworthy yet? Probably not (a shame, they're hilarious). AMY POEHLER it is; I enjoyed working hard to uncover that one.

Mike loves his portmanteaus. I'd never heard of SCREENAGER, and it didn't strike me strongly. I wonder if it has staying power, as entries like FUNEMPLOYED and STAYCATION have become eye-roll-worthy. Maybe they were from the start.

I appreciate the effort to aim toward empowerment with this puzzle. STILL I RISE, what an uplifting poem! It's another to add to your TBR (to be read) pile.

HERSTORY, though … is this term still in use?

Along with some questionables in BUNTER, SCARRY attempting to pass off as "scarred," SOFTY making me wonder if "softie" was more common, and the tough COSSET / FOLIE A DEUX crossing, the SMART MONEY was against a POW! Thankfully, there was more than enough in terms of strong entries and clues — I was sure "semis" had to be found in truck stops, not playoffs — to hold my attention.

1
W
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© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 0817 ( 25,484 )

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Across
1
Maternity option involving a pool : WATERBIRTH
11
Imposture : SHAM
15
"Not pulling my leg?" : AREYOUSURE
16
Scour : COMB
17
Modern young person vis-à-vis video games and smartphones : SCREENAGER
18
Seton who wrote "Dragonwyck" : ANYA
19
Egyptian pyramid, e.g. : TOMB
20
To-dos : TASKS
21
Gym count : REPS
22
Baldwin sometimes seen on stage : ALEC
24
Trunk : TORSO
26
Day of a hunt : EASTER
29
Followers : ACOLYTES
32
Pliant : LITHE
33
It might start as a shadow : BEARD
34
Start of many a "Jeopardy!" response : WHO
35
Divine messenger : IRIS
36
With 39-Across, 1970s-'80s fashion icon : PERRY
37
Farm delivery : CALF
38
"That is ___" : ALL
39
See 36-Across : ELLIS
40
Author who wouldn't let bygones be bygones? : ROGET
41
Quartz, e.g. : SILICATE
43
Ingredient in V8 juice : CELERY
44
Sci-fi star who hosted the documentary series "In Search of ..." : NIMOY
45
Something scratched : NOGO
46
Blackbird : MERL
47
Washington State's ___ Island ... or some things seen off its shore : ORCAS
50
Appropriates inappropriately? : ROBS
54
University in Athens : OHIO
55
Corn or rice : FOODSTAPLE
57
Dishevel : MUSS
58
Shared delusion, from the French : FOLIEADEUX
59
Help badly : ABET
60
Good bet : SMARTMONEY
Down
1
Biblical verb : WAST
2
With the bow, in music : ARCO
3
Bring to ___ : TERM
4
Removers of some irritants : EYEBATHS
5
Tiny spoonful, of a sort : ROE
6
Hardly a swinger : BUNTER
7
Man's name that comes from the Hebrew for "laughter" : ISAAC
8
Some throws : RUGS
9
Peregrination : TREK
10
Part of some gender studies : HERSTORY
11
Like Al Capone's face : SCARRY
12
Fair pay : HONESTWAGE
13
"Weekend Update" co-host for four seasons : AMYPOEHLER
14
Grads who've demonstrated firm knowledge? : MBAS
23
One side of a ship : LEE
25
Hackneyed : OLD
26
___ Canetti, 1981 Literature Nobelist : ELIAS
27
Seattle, to Alaska : AIRLINEHUB
28
Classic poem with the lines "Did you want to see me broken? / Bowed head and lowered eyes?" : STILLIRISE
29
Soaring real estate? : AERIE
30
Sleepers, e.g. : CARS
31
Pushover : SOFTY
33
Hit hard : BELT
36
Semis are found in them : PLAYOFFS
37
Boulder locale : COLORADO
39
Prefix with -logical : ECO
40
Std. : REG
42
"Start from the beginning" : IMLOST
43
Pamper : COSSET
45
Bottom : NADIR
46
Attraction in midtown N.Y.C. : MOMA
48
Latitude : ROOM
49
Pop, maybe : COLA
51
Sign with the times : OPEN
52
Risqué : BLUE
53
Risqué, say : SEXY
56
Poofy bit of headgear : TAM

Answer summary: 9 unique to this puzzle.

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