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# New York Times, Saturday, August 24, 2013

 Author: Frederick J. Healy Editor: Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
145/24/20042/11/20170
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
01000310
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.59000

## This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 70, Blocks: 32 Missing: {BJQV} Spans: 4, (2 double stacks) This is puzzle # 9 for Mr. Healy. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes: An excellent puzzle, one that would have earned the vaunted POW! (Puzzle of the Week) if Ian's themeless hadn't run yesterday. Note ... more
Jeff Chen notes: An excellent puzzle, one that would have earned the vaunted POW! (Puzzle of the Week) if Ian's themeless hadn't run yesterday. Note the fine execution of the near triple-stacks (17A/20A/22A and 42A/51A/53A). Often triple-stacks contain an ugly or a blah 15-letter entry, but Frederick gives us six long entries that would each qualify (in my book) as a marquee answer. Impressive feat.

Solvers will also typically complain that triple-stacks force ugly crossing answers. That definitely can be true, since a triple-stack requires 15 sets of parallel constraints, but Frederick does it admirably here. The top one is especially nice, with not a clunker in there. OF TEA and A RUDE in the bottom half are perfectly acceptable, but they're not ideal. I didn't know GELEE, but was interested to learn what it was.

Will gets more themeless submissions than any other type, so we as constructors have to up our game to get serious consideration for a themeless acceptance. A small number of subpar entries (esoteric, partials, abbreviations, etc.) can be cause for rejection, and even a single poor entry can nix a puzzle. Given this fact, getting enough "sparkly" answers is a tough feat to accomplish. By my estimate, a themeless puzzle needs at least 10 of them to even be in the running these days.

If you have time, you might consider browsing older "Pre-Shortzian" themeless puzzles (thanks to David Steinberg for leading the "litzing" efforts) available on xwordinfo. Amazing to see how much cleaner and more interesting themeless puzzles are these days.

JimH notes: Jeff is right that modern fill is often much cleaner but, for me, the value of the Pre-Shortzian Puzzle Project is that it demonstrates ... more
JimH notes: Jeff is right that modern fill is often much cleaner but, for me, the value of the Pre-Shortzian Puzzle Project is that it demonstrates how much creativity and downright cleverness existed from the earliest NYT crosswords. Many of the gimmicks we consider to be modern actually have a long history. Every era builds on the pioneers who came before but constructor ingeniousness, humor and imagination have always been there.
 1X 2E 3N 4O 5A 6L 7I 8S 9T 10G 11R 12A 13F 14A T O N 15L E N T O 16H A L O 17C H O C 18O L A T E S 19H A K E S 20T A K E N O P R I S O N E R S 21O N S 22C U T A N D P A S T E 23G U T 24M O T 25Z 26A 27I R E 28S 29E A W O 30R 31T 32H 33Y 34A R N O 35S P U R N 36A S I A 37K I C K 38S T A R T 39O N K E Y 40P E R 41M F G 42I 43M 44A 45G I N E 46T 47H A T 48S 49A 50M 51C O M E T O T H E R E 52S C U E 53A P P L E P I E A L A M O D E 54R U L E 55A R U D E 56U N I T 57E P E E 58D E N S E 59G E T S
© 2013, The New York TimesNo. 0824 ( 23,300 )
 Across Down 1. Start of a phobia? : XENO5. All the best? : ALIST10. Five-time U.S. Open winner : GRAF14. Immensely : ATON15. Leisurely : LENTO16. Sign of virtue : HALO17. Malted alternatives : CHOCOLATESHAKES20. Be ruthless : TAKENOPRISONERS21. Run-___ : ONS22. Pair of word processors? : CUTANDPASTE23. Instinctive reaction : GUT24. Verbal gem : MOT25. Bygone country name or its currency : ZAIRE28. Safe to push off : SEAWORTHY34. It springs from Monte Falterona : ARNO35. Brush off : SPURN36. Place for tiger woods? : ASIA37. Get going : KICKSTART39. Not at all sharp, maybe : ONKEY40. A shot : PER41. Plant production: Abbr. : MFG42. "Go figure!" : IMAGINETHAT48. One of the muskrats in the 1976 hit "Muskrat Love" : SAM51. Play savior : COMETOTHERESCUE53. Dual diner dish : APPLEPIEALAMODE54. Stickler's citation : RULE55. "Or else ___ despiser of good manners": Shak. : ARUDE56. Newton, e.g. : UNIT57. Event with body cords : EPEE58. Not at all sharp : DENSE59. Lands : GETS 1. Brand of blades : XACTO2. Brand of literature : ETHAN3. Where seekers may find hiders : NOOKS4. Almost never : ONCE5. Go-for-broke : ALLOUT6. Proceeded precipitately : LEAPT7. IV component : INTRA8. Chain of off-price department stores : STEINMART9. Guzzle : TOSSDOWN10. Home of the world's largest artificial lake : GHANA11. Ground crew gear? : RAKES12. Like prairie dogs, notably : ALERT13. "Pippin" Tony winner : FOSSE18. As if scripted : ONCUE19. "Get the lead out!" : HOPTO23. Get inside and out : GROK25. Director/screenwriter Penn : ZAK26. "Exodus" character : ARI27. Magazine with an annual "500|5000" conference : INC28. Likely result of excess 17- and 53-Across : SPARETIRE29. Prefix with 36-Across : EUR30. Seemed to be : RANG31. Bit of chiding : TSK32. Not dally : HIE33. "That's fantastic news!" : YAY35. One bound to hold notes? : STENOPAD38. Venom : SPITE39. Spot ___ : OFTEA41. Actress Matlin : MARLEE42. Words of support : ICARE43. Do the final details on : MOPUP44. Not coming up short : AMPLE45. Frost, to François : GELEE46. Human Development Report publisher, in brief : THEUN47. About 50% of calls : HEADS48. Turnover alternative : SCONE49. Tax burden? : AUDIT50. Measures up to : MEETS52. Like many a goody-goody : SMUG

Answer summary: 1 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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