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New York Times, Monday, August 24, 2015

Author: Lynn Lempel
Editor: Will Shortz
Lynn Lempel
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7812/9/19796/13/20171
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654122130
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1.610712
Puzzle of the Week

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 34 Missing: {B} This is puzzle # 72 for Ms. Lempel. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Lynn Lempel notes: Hmm, I can't think of much to say about this one. I have no idea anymore what prompted me to consider the revealer phrase as ... more
Lynn Lempel notes:

Hmm, I can't think of much to say about this one. I have no idea anymore what prompted me to consider the revealer phrase as potential puzzle fodder. But once I did, it was relatively easy to find words and phrases that fit the pattern. Create the grid, and voila, done! Well, obviously not quite. Still those clues to be written.

It goes without saying that Will changed some of them, but I didn't notice anything major. In general, for a Monday, his clues ease things up a bit.

Looking at the grid now — nine months after submitting it — I do remember pondering whether ROMANESQUE was Monday-OK. Getting the Q in there was not a factor — actually, it was the only darn thing that would work.

Only thing left was to solve the puzzle, and for that, of course, it's up to you!

Jeff Chen notes: I have three criteria I look for in a great Monday puzzle. Let's see how Lynn does: 1.) Theme that doesn't evoke an 'Oh, I see ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

I have three criteria I look for in a great Monday puzzle. Let's see how Lynn does:

1.) Theme that doesn't evoke an "Oh, I see that sort of thing all the time." I was utterly baffled as I uncovered the first themer, finding the sequence … USTI? Baffling. I actually went back to make sure I hadn't entered something incorrectly. Even more confusing was to uncover USTI a second time. I wasn't sure if I could enter that string twice more automatically or not, because it looked so strange.

Skin diver ascending

Finally, I hit ITS UP TO YOU … and scratched my head. It took a moment to realize Lynn's wordplay: ITS up to U = write ITS upside-down and have it run up to the letter U. Great, great a-ha, especially for a Monday; a perfect balance of easy enough for beginners and interesting for veteran solvers.

2.) Colorful fill. Even with five themers, I would expect at least two pieces of sizzling fill from a great puzzle. Lynn leaves herself two long slots, and SKIN DIVING / ROMANESQUE are both beautiful entries. Now, with five themers and two long entries, there shouldn't be much room for other long stuff. But Lynn still gives us extras with HAVE FUN, SHAR PEI, TWEETER and KISS ME.

I didn't care for THE DOLE — how often do you hear the phrase without "on"? ON THE DOLE is also a potentially offensive term, so it's not my favorite from that respect either. Slight ding.

3.) Clean short fill. With everything Lynn packs in, I wouldn't be surprised to see a bit of glue to hold it together. AM I and IS IT are partials (more or less), but what else? Some might groan at UMA since she hasn't been in a big role in a long time, and the ARAL Sea gets more coverage in crosswords than it probably deserves, but those are fine by me. Stellar work.

Another home run. I absolutely loved this puzzle. I'm very thankful that Lynn is part of our CrosSynergy team. If you'd like to get CS daily puzzles sent straight to your email inbox, you can subscribe at: http://www.csxword.com/.

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© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0824 ( 24,030 )
Across Down
1. Home to Iowa State : AMES
5. Drain stopper : PLUG
9. Reprimand : CHIDE
14. Dress style that covers the leg : MAXI
15. Seepage : OOZE
16. Wears : HASON
17. Suffer from overexercise, maybe : ACHE
18. Activity with a mask and flippers : SKINDIVING
20. Wrinkly-faced Chinese dog : SHARPEI
22. Stereo system component : TWEETER
23. Turned bad, as milk : SOURED
24. Starting point for a hang-glider : CLIFF
25. Exam with a perfect score of 2400 : SAT
26. Kentucky Derby month : MAY
27. Apple product : JUICE
31. Little issue to "pick" : NIT
33. Off-white : ECRU
35. Catch some rays : SUNTAN
36. "What a good boy ___!": Little Jack Horner : AMI
37. Good potatoes for French fries : RUSSETS
39. Devious : SLY
40. Accumulate a nest egg : SAVEUP
42. Stretched tight : TAUT
43. "Pulp Fiction" actress Thurman : UMA
44. Figure skating leaps : AXELS
45. Whole ___ and caboodle : KIT
46. Rapscallion : IMP
48. System of moral values : ETHIC
50. Chivas Regal product : SCOTCH
53. Slow compositions : ADAGIOS
56. Government assistance : THEDOLE
57. Architectural style of medieval Europe : ROMANESQUE
59. Gave the once-over : EYED
60. ___ acid : AMINO
61. Silent : MUTE
62. Amount a washing machine holds : LOAD
63. Samsung or LG product, briefly : LEDTV
64. Atlantic Coast states, with "the" : EAST
65. Halo effect : AURA
1. Pile up : AMASS
2. Like a manly man : MACHO
3. Leaving no stone unturned : EXHAUSTIVE
4. ___ Nevadas : SIERRA
5. Got ready for the camera : POSED
6. Shape-shifting Norse trickster : LOKI
7. Israeli gun : UZI
8. How to handle something fragile : GENTLY
9. John Roberts, for one : CHIEFJUSTICE
10. "Enjoy yourself!" : HAVEFUN
11. "___ soup yet?" : ISIT
12. Sufficiently cooked : DONE
13. One who pulls a train whistle: Abbr. : ENGR
19. Result of a failed Breathalyzer test, for short : DWI
21. Actor with Oscars for "Spartacus" and "Topkapi" : PETERUSTINOV
24. Acid, as criticism : CAUSTIC
26. Preceder of "Brown" and "Robinson" in 1960s #1 hits : MRS
28. "I'll defer on this one" ... or a hint for what's found in 3-, 9-, 21- and 24-Down? : ITSUPTOYOU
29. Unruffled : CALM
30. One-named singer with multiple Grammys : ENYA
31. Cape Canaveral org. : NASA
32. Big-screen movie format : IMAX
34. Trophy shape : CUP
35. Nickname that's an alphabet trio : STU
38. "Let's ___!" (words after saying grace) : EAT
41. Tastefully sophisticated : ELEGANT
45. Directive to Kate in a Cole Porter musical : KISSME
47. Detroit debut of 1903 : MODELA
49. Tilling tool : HOE
50. Purchase for a king or queen : SHEET
51. Cloudless : CLEAR
52. Ibsen's "___ Gabler" : HEDDA
53. ___ Sea, Kazakh/Uzbek body of water : ARAL
54. Rotunda feature : DOME
55. Surrounded by : AMID
56. King ___ tomb : TUTS
58. Sine ___ non : QUA

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later, 4 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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