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New York Times, Friday, August 24, 2018

Author:
Roland Huget
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
123/20/201511/5/20180
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0110028
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.52012
Roland Huget

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 68, Blocks: 28 Missing: {QWX} Spans: 6, (2 triple stacks) This is puzzle # 11 for Mr. Huget. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Roland Huget notes:
This puzzle was constructed in May 2017 and accepted for publication in July. This version is my fourth attempt at this grid. The ... read more

This puzzle was constructed in May 2017 and accepted for publication in July. This version is my fourth attempt at this grid.

The bottom stack was established in the second attempt – the top stack took three versions to nail down. An early version had CATCHER IN THE RYE in the top stack, which has appeared previously in crosswords, but not in recent years. This is a red flag I didn't pick up on until I realized (too late) that this answer cannot be clued properly without using the word "the".

As usual, Will et al. did a fine job with the clues. I chuckled over REFRIGERATOR CAR (1A – Coolest thing about a train?) and CHIN (50D – Hitchcock double feature?).

Jeff Chen notes:
Sometimes a single feature entry can make an entire themeless worth it for me. ACE UP ONE'S SLEEVE did the trick for me! Thank ... read more

Sometimes a single feature entry can make an entire themeless worth it for me. ACE UP ONE'S SLEEVE did the trick for me!

Thank goodness I do a lot of puzzles, or I doubt I would have ever broken into the top triple-stack. Being able to remember that [Bundle of nerves] has to be the bizarre RETE = such a huge advantage in these wide-open themelesses.

Weird to say, but RETE was the secret ACE UP my SLEEVE!

Another solving trick for these wide-open grids: something like [Amenable sorts] will almost always end in -ERS. I was 90% those letters were right, and they helped me break into A SEED and TSARISTS. AGREERS is not a good entry, but I do like finishing puzzles, and when bizarre entries like this help get me across the finish line, I tend to look at them a little less unfavorably.

A little.

I did have an error, at CHARLOTTE AMELIE. Should I have known the 1978 Grammy nominee was Chris REA, not REE? Hmm. HMM, I say! I understand that this is supposed to be a hard puzzle, but I'm not sure that this is a fair crossing, at least not as clued.

Some fantastic entries worked into the stacks, CARLOS THE JACKAL TEETERing ON THE EDGE, an ALL AMERICAN HERO on his tail? There's a good story in there somewhere.

As with most triple-stack puzzles, I wanted 1.) more out of the rest of the puzzle and 2.) less crossword glue. But with triple-stacks, there's an unholy trinity: it's nearly impossible to hit those two criteria while also featuring sparkling 15-letter entries.

1
R
2
E
3
F
4
R
5
I
6
G
7
E
8
R
9
A
10
T
11
O
12
R
13
C
14
A
15
R
16
A
C
E
U
P
O
N
E
S
S
L
E
E
V
E
17
C
H
A
R
L
O
T
T
E
A
M
A
L
I
E
18
K
O
R
19
A
G
R
E
E
R
S
20
L
A
D
21
O
N
L
Y
22
D
I
T
23
S
24
S
25
H
26
A
N
T
Y
27
S
E
E
28
K
29
E
30
R
31
A
E
R
E
O
32
B
33
E
34
S
T
D
R
A
M
A
35
P
A
C
A
36
B
I
T
E
S
37
B
L
O
G
38
O
V
E
R
39
S
I
Z
E
D
40
P
I
E
T
A
41
R
E
D
T
A
G
42
E
R
A
S
E
S
43
H
O
L
44
M
45
E
L
O
N
46
S
47
H
48
E
49
T
O
E
50
C
L
I
P
51
E
52
M
53
S
54
C
A
R
55
L
O
S
T
H
E
J
A
56
C
K
A
L
57
A
L
L
A
M
E
R
I
C
A
N
H
E
R
O
58
T
E
E
T
E
R
O
N
T
H
E
E
D
G
E
© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0824 ( 25,126 )
Across
1. Coolest thing about a train? : REFRIGERATORCAR
16. Secret advantage : ACEUPONESSLEEVE
17. Caribbean home of Blackbeard's Castle : CHARLOTTEAMALIE
18. Divided land: Abbr. : KOR
19. Amenable sorts : AGREERS
20. Bucko : LAD
21. Modifier of a low price : ONLY
22. Most of an S O S : DITS
24. Crude shelter : SHANTY
27. Quidditch position in the Harry Potter books : SEEKER
31. Correo ___ : AEREO
32. Accolade for "Mad Men" in four consecutive years : BESTDRAMA
35. Agouti relative : PACA
36. "That ___!" : BITES
37. WordPress creation : BLOG
38. Like most theater popcorn containers : OVERSIZED
40. St. Peter's Basilica attraction : PIETA
41. Sale indicator : REDTAG
42. Sweeps the board? : ERASES
43. Ian of "Alien" : HOLM
45. College town east of Greensboro : ELON
46. "___ Walks in Beauty" (Byron poem) : SHE
49. Part of a racing bike : TOECLIP
51. Swimming center? : EMS
54. Real-life villain who was an antagonist in Robert Ludlum's "The Bourne Identity" : CARLOSTHEJACKAL
57. Neil Armstrong or Jesse Owens, say : ALLAMERICANHERO
58. Flirt with disaster : TEETERONTHEEDGE
Down
1. One of four in a Scrabble set : RACK
2. Repercussion : ECHO
3. "The foundation of most governments," per John Adams : FEAR
4. Futuristic play of 1921 : RUR
5. "That's my intention" : IPLANTO
6. ___ eyes : GOOGLY
7. Log unit : ENTRY
8. Bundle of nerves : RETE
9. Plant ___ : ASEED
10. Foes of the Bolsheviks : TSARISTS
11. Frederick Law ___, designer of New York's Central Park : OLMSTED
12. 1978 Grammy nominee Chris : REA
13. Honeycomb component : CELL
14. Big name in athletic footwear : AVIA
15. Accordion part : REED
21. Here : ONEARTH
23. Like Novak Djokovic, by birth : SERBIAN
24. Palate stimulus : SAPOR
25. Cast with difficulty : HEAVE
26. Went like a birdie : ARCED
28. Vegetables high in beta carotene : KALES
29. Act unprofessionally? : EMOTE
30. Eastern melodies : RAGAS
32. Trade, in brief : BIZ
33. Printemps follower : ETE
34. Latin conjunction : SED
36. Zero : BIGLOSER
39. Island just north of the Equator : SAOTOME
40. C3H8, familiarly : PROPANE
42. Biblical prophet who was fed by ravens : ELIJAH
44. One way to the Smithsonian : METRO
45. Governor or senator follower : ELECT
46. "Out!" : SCAT
47. In good shape : HALE
48. Director ___ C. Kenton : ERLE
50. Hitchcock double feature? : CHIN
51. Scratched (out) : EKED
52. Helgenberger of "CSI" : MARG
53. Liqueur flavor : SLOE
55. You'd expect to see it before long. : LAT
56. "Evita" narrator : CHE

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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