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New York Times, Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Author:
Timothy Polin
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
5012/11/20118/8/20192
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
74962202
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.626140
Timothy Polin

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 77, Blocks: 40 Missing: {JQX} Grid has mirror symmetry. This is puzzle # 41 for Mr. Polin. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
I've seen a lot of crosswords playing off of state abbreviations, but this particular take delighted me. What cool finds, AL(abama) ... read more

I've seen a lot of crosswords playing off of state abbreviations, but this particular take delighted me. What cool finds, AL(abama) inside TUSCALOOSA, CA(lifornia) inside SANTA MONICA, etc. It reminded me of another state abbreviations puzzle I also thought was very cool.

I had noticed this curious property when I was staring at a letter from ALBANY, NY a few months ago. I remember thinking how cool that was — wish I had looked for more like it! Bravo, Tim.

Not only that, my family goes to BLOOMINGTON, IN twice a year these days. Makes me feel even more like I should have thought of this. Drat!

Impressive feat of construction, fitting in seven (!) themers. It's so hard to execute on a grid with so many themers without resorting to some crossword glue, but Tim managed to do it. FOO isn't great, but it's not terrible either. Well, LLB is impossible to figure out if you've never heard of it, so that's not good. But given how much overlap was required — check out the six letter pairs Tim had to work around in the TUSCALOOSA / BLOOMINGON overlap — it's a very good result. Very few constructors could execute so well on such a challenging assignment.

I wasn't as hot on ASTORIA, OR or OZARK, AR as I was the others, though. I thought these two might have done the puzzle some disservice by watering down the theme. Just the five others would have made for a super-solid puzzle — perhaps a POW!-worthy one — for me.

Perhaps Oregonians, ASTORIAns in particular, will disagree! But this Seattleite had a tough time recalling that ASTORIA was indeed a Pacific Northwest city.

Overall though, I enjoyed sitting back and admiring the five strong themers and standout craftsmanship. Not only a mostly smooth grid, but great bonuses in CHAKRA, YEW TREE, NAVAL HERO — so tough to pull off with so many themers.

Interesting case for me, where less would have been more.

1
V
2
A
3
T
4
S
5
O
6
Z
7
A
8
R
9
K
10
T
11
G
12
I
13
F
14
C
L
U
E
15
R
O
S
I
N
16
U
R
G
E
17
H
O
S
E
18
G
O
T
T
O
19
G
A
L
E
20
I
N
C
21
B
Y
M
O
U
T
22
H
23
N
O
D
24
P
E
A
25
B
O
26
I
R
A
27
M
28
S
D
O
S
29
L
L
B
30
N
I
L
31
O
A
F
32
F
O
O
33
F
O
A
L
34
S
35
N
O
36
W
37
S
W
O
O
38
P
I
N
39
Y
E
40
W
T
R
E
41
E
42
K
I
S
M
E
T
43
C
H
A
K
R
A
44
A
W
A
I
T
45
P
46
A
47
C
48
I
M
S
E
T
49
N
A
50
V
A
L
H
51
E
R
O
52
A
53
G
54
O
G
55
E
M
B
E
R
56
N
57
O
58
G
59
O
60
B
L
O
T
61
S
P
A
R
E
62
I
D
E
A
63
B
O
Z
O
64
P
A
N
I
C
65
C
O
R
K
66
A
M
E
N
67
A
S
Y
E
T
68
A
R
M
Y
© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0822 ( 24,759 )
Across
1
Containers at chocolate factories : VATS
5
Southern city just south of a national forest with the same name : OZARK
10
Shout after a stressful week : TGIF
14
Mrs. Peacock's game : CLUE
15
Cello bow application : ROSIN
16
Plead with, say : URGE
17
Fire hydrant attachment : HOSE
18
Managed to irk : GOTTO
19
It's a big blow : GALE
20
Pixar's "Monsters, ___" : INC
21
Orally : BYMOUTH
23
Nonverbal "yes" : NOD
24
R&B singer Bryson : PEABO
26
___ Levin, author of "Rosemary's Baby" : IRA
27
Windows precursor : MSDOS
29
Undergraduate law deg. : LLB
30
Nothing : NIL
31
Clumsy fellow : OAF
32
Egg ___ yung (Chinese dish) : FOO
33
Newborn horses : FOALS
35
"This instant!" : NOW
37
Make an approach like a bird of prey : SWOOPIN
39
Common churchyard conifer : YEWTREE
42
Destiny : KISMET
43
Spiritual center, in yoga : CHAKRA
44
Look for : AWAIT
45
___-Man : PAC
48
"Nothing for me, thanks" : IMSET
49
Adm. Horatio Nelson, for one : NAVALHERO
52
Superexcited : AGOG
55
Glowing bit in a fire : EMBER
56
Aborted plan : NOGO
60
Rorschach test shape : BLOT
61
Show leniency toward : SPARE
62
"The very ___!" : IDEA
63
No-brainer? : BOZO
64
Freak out : PANIC
65
Champagne bottle stopper : CORK
66
"Truer words have never been spoken!" : AMEN
67
Thus far : ASYET
68
It "marches on its stomach," per Napoleon : ARMY
Down
1
TV blocking device : VCHIP
2
Companionless : ALONE
3
Where the Crimson Tide play : TUSCALOOSA
4
Lay eyes on : SEE
5
Out-of-control revelry : ORGY
6
Get a close-up of by camera : ZOOMINON
7
City almost at the end of the Columbia River : ASTORIA
8
In a ceremonial manner : RITUALLY
9
Hard-to-undo tie : KNOT
10
Yank : TUG
11
Red River Valley city in the upper Midwest : GRANDFORKS
12
House that's cool to live in? : IGLOO
13
Puts money in, as a meter : FEEDS
21
Go up and down, as a buoy : BOB
22
Plan for hosp. patients : HMO
25
State university city in the Midwest : BLOOMINGTON
28
Sunny city with a famous pier : SANTAMONICA
32
"Here are my thoughts," online : FWIW
33
Something thrown in frustration : FIT
34
1/60 of a min. : SEC
36
Used to be : WERE
37
Calypso-influenced genre : SKA
38
"I'd rather go naked than wear fur" org. : PETA
40
Fan sound : WHIR
41
Consume : EAT
45
Argentine grassland : PAMPAS
46
Original eastern terminus of the Erie Canal : ALBANY
47
French sweetie : CHERIE
50
Italian motor scooter : VESPA
51
Not hunched over : ERECT
52
Group with the hit "Waterloo" : ABBA
53
Grab (onto) : GLOM
54
Exude, as charm : OOZE
57
Musk, e.g. : ODOR
58
Infection cause : GERM
59
Tasting of wood, as some chardonnays : OAKY

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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