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New York Times, Monday, August 24, 2015

Author:
Lynn Lempel
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
8512/9/197912/3/20182
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
660132130
ScrabRebusCirclePangramPre‑WS
1.610812
Lynn Lempel

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 potential ... read more

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 that ... read more

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/.

1
A
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M
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L
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Q
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© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0824 ( 24,030 )
Across
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
Down
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.

Found bugs or have suggestions?