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New York Times, Saturday, August 22, 2015

Author:
Barry C. Silk
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
929/1/20037/8/20166
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
358532741
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.651215
Barry C. Silk

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 70, Blocks: 28 Missing: none – this is a pangram. Scrabble average: 1.93 This is puzzle # 88 for Mr. Silk. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Barry C. Silk notes:
I constructed this puzzle in March 2014. My seeds for this puzzle were HJ HEINZ and CHANNEL SURF. My goal was to have a themeless ... read more

I constructed this puzzle in March 2014. My seeds for this puzzle were HJ HEINZ and CHANNEL SURF.

My goal was to have a themeless puzzle with a high "Scrabble average." Fortunately, I was able to produce a pangram and include a few longer entries making their NYT debut: IRISH JIGS, EVOTE, HJHEINZ, CHANNEL SURF, RUN AGROUND, JAZZ QUARTET and JUNIPER OIL.

Jeff Chen notes:
Barry is known for his desire to work in high Scrabble value letters, and he does so in spades today. At least one each of the four ... read more

Barry is known for his desire to work in high Scrabble value letters, and he does so in spades today. At least one each of the four bigs (J Q X Z), and the six Js is amazing. Typically these Scrabbly letters aren't easy to work cleanly into a grid, so it's really impressive that I only hitched a few times during my solve.

The King of Swing, looking almost as dapper as Barry Silk

I especially appreciated how much care Barry took with his shorter fill, only SYS, ENES and SKEDS blips on my radar. Yes, RAYE and IVES are a bit on the older side, but they are definitely famous people. Where I winced slightly was hitting some of the mid-length stuff:

E-VOTE: is this a thing? "e-voting" seems to be legit. E-VOTE … for my money's worth, the jury's still out.

UNREELS: okay, this appears to be fine. It just seemed odd to me.

BOATEL: again, this term (a "boat hotel") is just not in my wheelhouse.

PUNNER or a PUNSTER? Merriam Webster defines PUNNER as "a ramming tool." Huh.

That said, I'd usually take questionable mid-length stuff that I don't see that often over questionable short stuff I see day in, day out. At least it's fun to try to decide if something like BOATEL or PUNNER is legit.

Beautiful entries featuring those Scrabbly letters, JAZZ QUARTET accounting for a J, a Q, and two Zs alone. Barry is smart with his placement of these tough letters, usually dropping them in right at the beginning or ending of a word. Makes his job much easier.

Finally, a great clue: [Not pass the bar?]. I thought about the corner bar first, then the legal bar, and it took me forever to land on a sand bar (thus RUNning AGROUND). A majority of this puzzle's cluing was simply ultra-hard, and it would have been great to get a few more fantastically creative clues like this. I like a solving challenge, but I love me a clever clue.

1
I
2
R
3
I
4
S
5
H
6
J
7
I
8
G
9
S
10
A
11
C
12
R
13
E
14
S
15
D
A
V
Y
J
O
N
E
S
16
C
H
U
C
K
17
E
Y
E
S
H
A
D
O
W
18
C
A
N
O
E
19
A
E
S
20
E
N
E
S
21
D
O
N
A
L
D
22
J
I
N
X
23
L
O
U
N
G
E
S
24
G
25
I
26
J
A
N
E
27
P
U
N
N
E
R
28
A
B
U
Z
Z
29
F
L
I
N
T
L
O
30
C
31
K
32
B
E
N
Z
33
C
E
A
S
E
34
S
U
R
E
35
E
T
I
Q
36
U
E
T
T
E
37
T
U
N
E
R
38
P
U
N
D
I
T
39
B
O
R
D
E
N
40
S
41
H
E
A
R
E
D
42
P
O
O
F
43
T
A
R
R
E
D
44
T
E
A
M
45
B
46
I
47
T
48
E
V
O
T
E
49
W
H
A
T
A
50
J
O
K
E
51
A
R
I
E
L
52
S
E
R
E
N
A
D
E
R
53
M
E
L
T
S
54
J
E
L
L
Y
B
E
A
N
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0822 ( 24,028 )

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Across
1
Spring performances? : IRISHJIGS
10
Disney World's 27,000+ : ACRES
15
1960s pop idol : DAVYJONES
16
Rump alternative : CHUCK
17
Subject for a makeup class : EYESHADOW
18
Vacation rental : CANOE
19
J.F.K.'s U.N. ambassador : AES
20
The Spanish word "nación" has two : ENES
21
"___ Gets Drafted" (Disney short) : DONALD
22
Hoodoo : JINX
23
Chills, so to speak : LOUNGES
24
Female helicopter pilot from Hasbro : GIJANE
27
New York Post headline writer, often : PUNNER
28
Like hives : ABUZZ
29
Shooter with a spark : FLINTLOCK
32
Pioneering automaker : BENZ
33
End : CEASE
34
"What-ev-er you say ..." : SURE
35
What bows were once examples of : ETIQUETTE
37
One fixing flats? : TUNER
38
Sunday talk show guest : PUNDIT
39
Dairy giant : BORDEN
40
Having lost a winter coat? : SHEARED
42
Magician's word : POOF
43
Besmirched : TARRED
44
Flames on ice, e.g. : TEAM
45
Fell for a trick : BIT
48
It doesn't require a paper ballot : EVOTE
49
"Can you believe that?!" : WHATAJOKE
51
To whom Prospero says "Thou liest, malignant thing!" : ARIEL
52
One playing to the balcony? : SERENADER
53
Hot deli orders : MELTS
54
Colorful item in a jar : JELLYBEAN
Down
1
One may get carried out : IDEA
2
Comedian once called the Female Bob Hope : RAYE
3
"A Little Bitty Tear" singer, 1962 : IVES
4
Awacs component: Abbr. : SYS
5
"It's red magic time!" sloganeer, once : HJHEINZ
6
Part of J. K. Rowling's "J. K." : JOANNE
7
Search facilitator : INDEX
8
Bygone compacts : GEOS
9
Hartford-to-New Haven dir. : SSW
10
Eyewitness's offering : ACCOUNT
11
Keep flipping on the couch? : CHANNELSURF
12
Not pass the bar? : RUNAGROUND
13
Place to learn leçons : ECOLE
14
Programs, informally : SKEDS
21
"Stay, O Sweet" writer : DONNE
22
Benny Goodman led one : JAZZQUARTET
23
Rainer of "The Great Ziegfeld" : LUISE
24
Sitcom teacher of Vinnie and Boom Boom : GABE
25
"Fat chance" : IBET
26
Aromatherapy option : JUNIPEROIL
27
Oliver of stage and screen : PLATT
29
Rank : FETID
30
One of the Northwest Territories' official languages : CREE
31
Typeface projection : KERN
33
Turned over : CEDED
36
Is shown, as a film : UNREELS
37
One drink, to a designated driver : TOOMANY
39
Inn in an inlet, say : BOATEL
40
Old-fashioned letter opener : STEAM
41
Le ___, France : HAVRE
42
Fine example : PEARL
44
Final word of "O Canada" : THEE
45
Seem to indicate : BODE
46
Company with "Long live the home" ads : IKEA
47
Arctic ___ : TERN
49
Paper with a "Mansion" section, for short : WSJ
50
Bit of snark : JAB

Answer summary: 7 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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