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New York Times, Friday, August 23, 2013

Author:
Ian Livengood
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
554/12/20109/15/20164
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
617667112
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.64371
Ian Livengood

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 68, Blocks: 30 Missing: {FQVZ} This is puzzle # 29 for Mr. Livengood. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Ian Livengood notes:
Oddly enough, this puzzle's seed answer — JUBA — was also one of the shortest. The South Central was the hardest part to ... read more

Oddly enough, this puzzle's seed answer — JUBA — was also one of the shortest. The South Central was the hardest part to construct, mostly because I clung to SIDESHOW BOB at 40-Across for-ev-er (pronounced Sandlot style). Also, I must have been hungry when I made this since a CHALUPA and MACNCHEESE combo is downright delicious.

Jeff Chen notes:
POW! In the spirit of the great Ryan and Brian (of 'Ryan and Brian do Crosswords'), I'm trying out a new feature: Jeff's Puzzle of the ... read more

POW! In the spirit of the great Ryan and Brian (of "Ryan and Brian do Crosswords"), I'm trying out a new feature: Jeff's Puzzle of the Week!, or POW! for short. I'll use it to celebrate what I believe is the "best" puzzle of the week, the one that best exemplifies what that type of puzzle (early-week, late-week, themeless, or Sunday-size) ought to be. This week my POW! goes to Ian for his beauty of a themeless.

Ian incorporates several marquee answers to bring a smile to solvers' faces (BOBBLE HEAD, MAC N CHEESE, EPIC WIN, etc.), with a minimum of subpar entries (if ES SU and ENE are your worst entries, that's a tremendous success). Most notably, look at the wide-open NE and SW sections, big 6x5 blocks of white space that typically require an ugly answer or two to fill. I often shudder when faced with these types of cavernous areas, usually having to redo the section two or three dozen times before I get something even passable. Ian's are impeccably executed, not a stinker amongst them, and he even managed to work in BRAPADS and RWANDA, a call-out to his seed entry.

Speaking of that, I really enjoy learning what a constructor used to seed a themeless puzzle. I expect that some people are going to gripe about JUBA because they've never heard of it, but I think it's a perfect example of something I was glad to learn about.

Final note: great to hear Ian's comment about SIDESHOW BOB. Kudos to him for this decision; it's really tough as a constructor to give up on an answer you love, but it's the right thing to do if it means coming up with better overall fill. This willingness is one factor that separates the great constructors from the rest.

1
P
2
E
3
D
4
I
5
C
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A
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B
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B
9
R
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A
11
P
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A
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D
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S
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A
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A
T
O
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E
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P
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A
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B
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R
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A
19
A
S
K
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L
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B
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T
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M
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J
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S
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A
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C
28
O
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D
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U
N
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H
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30
M
31
O
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E
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T
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B
U
R
P
S
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E
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E
36
W
E
L
S
H
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A
M
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M
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C
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S
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A
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A
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W
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S
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C
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I
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R
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E
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A
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R
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B
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S
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B
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© 2013, The New York TimesNo. 0823 ( 23,299 )
Across
1
Human-powered transport : PEDICAB
8
Lingerie enhancements : BRAPADS
15
Japanese "thanks" : ARIGATO
16
Consumed : EATENUP
17
Like some Mideast ideology : PANARAB
18
Grammy-winning singer from Barbados : RIHANNA
19
"___ me later" : ASK
20
Barrister's deg. : LLB
21
Belief opposed by Communists : TSARISM
22
Hammer and sickle : TOOLS
24
Small arms : INLETS
25
"Be right there" : JUSTASECOND
29
Labor outfits : UNIONSHOPS
30
Bubbly brand, for short : MOET
34
Oral reports? : BURPS
35
Des Moines-to-Cedar Rapids dir. : ENE
36
It's known to locals as Cymraeg : WELSH
37
"Money" novelist, 1984 : AMIS
38
Orange entree, informally : MACNCHEESE
40
Not take a back seat to anyone? : RIDESHOTGUN
41
Diner freebies : STRAWS
45
Fisherman's Wharf attraction : SEALS
46
Young colleen, across the North Channel : WEELASS
48
Browns' home, for short : CLE
49
Bring to a boil? : IRE
52
By the boatload : APLENTY
53
Wastes : RUBSOUT
55
Cubs' home : BEARDEN
56
Improbable victory, in slang : EPICWIN
57
Potentially embarrassing video : SEXTAPE
58
Mezzo-soprano Troyanos : TATIANA
Down
1
Quebec preceder, to pilots : PAPA
2
Meaningful stretches : ERAS
3
Soft touch? : DINK
4
Supermarket inits. : IGA
5
Some bank offerings : CARLOANS
6
Totally flummoxed : ATALOSS
7
Spring figure? : BOBBLEHEAD
8
Pitcher Blyleven with 3,701 strikeouts : BERT
9
Oatmeal topping : RAISINS
10
Close : ATHAND
11
Unit of wisdom? : PEARL
12
"Little Girls" musical : ANNIE
13
Actress Kirsten : DUNST
14
Hits with some trash : SPAMS
22
Sporty auto options : TTOPS
23
Torch carriers : SCONCES
25
Capital of South Sudan : JUBA
26
Old one : UNUM
27
Her voice was first heard in 2011 : SIRI
28
It's already out of the bag : OPENSECRET
30
Parts of a school athletic calendar : MEETS
31
Designer Cassini : OLEG
32
"Mi casa ___ casa" : ESSU
33
Segue starter : THEN
36
Everything, with "the" : WHOLEBIT
38
Trip : MISSTEP
39
Fried tortilla dish : CHALUPA
40
Landlocked African land : RWANDA
41
Collectors of DNA samples : SWABS
42
Hides from Indians, maybe? : TEPEE
43
Chill : RELAX
44
All-points bulletin, e.g. : ALERT
47
Final word in a holiday tune : SYNE
49
Locale for many political debates : IOWA
50
Perdition : RUIN
51
Site of the Bocca Nuova crater : ETNA
54
Poli ___ : SCI

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 3 debuted here and reused later, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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