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New York Times, Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Author:
Timothy Polin
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
4812/11/201111/7/20182
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
74962002
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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