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New York Times, Wednesday, August 26, 2015

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: 74, Blocks: 38 Missing: {FQVX} This is puzzle # 49 for Mr. Livengood. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Ian Livengood notes:
I wanted to make a Wednesday puzzle, so 74 words and this theme (duh!) made sure that would happen. I tried to squeeze SLOW CLAP at ... read more

I wanted to make a Wednesday puzzle, so 74 words and this theme (duh!) made sure that would happen.

I tried to squeeze SLOW CLAP at 19-Across for the longest time, but oh well. Favorite clue: 14-Across ([Side parts?] for CAMEOS).

Although 27 squares isn't a lot of theme, triple-checked letters exponentially increase the construction difficulty level. This puzzle might play like an easy themeless once solvers get the theme, but I hope the quality fill keeps ‘em interested until the end.

#mikemikemikemike

Jeff Chen notes:
I can't remember when I've seen such low theme density. On one hand it felt thin, but I did enjoy how much room that opened up for Ian ... read more

I can't remember when I've seen such low theme density. On one hand it felt thin, but I did enjoy how much room that opened up for Ian to work his themeless magic. It was a real treat to run across so much great material in a "themed"puzzle. I found these to be colorful:

  • SLOW BURN
  • NEW MANAGEMENT
  • HANS ARP
  • HOMECOMINGS
  • YES WE CAN
  • BANK ALARM
  • GAME SHOW
  • SOLAR PANELS

To get eight pieces of snazzy long fill made for a pleasurable solving experience. Nice change of pace for a Wed puzzle.

Is it HUMPDAY yet?

The theme … I liked the HUMPDAY idea, incorporating four CAMEL humps. It sure would have been nice to have some extra layer to it, though. Perhaps having different types of HUMPS, i.e. MOOSE, RHINO, BISON? Or to have just two humps, and add other CAMEL parts to help flesh out the visual? Not sure what else could have been done, but it seems like there's missed potential here.

I hold Ian to a very high standard — he's one of the tops in the game, IMO. So it was a little disappointing to see more than just a couple of gluey bits, in the form of EBONS, ANE, ERG, OUSE, SNO, etc. Minor stuff, nothing that glares red, but it's more than I'm used to in Ian's puzzles. A trade-off today, Ian giving us a high number of great long entries at the price of a few more gluey ones.

1
A
2
T
3
T
4
A
5
B
6
O
7
Y
8
A
9
T
10
O
11
M
12
S
13
S
I
A
M
E
S
E
14
C
A
M
E
O
15
S
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S
C
R
O
L
L
S
17
C
R
A
W
L
E
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D
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S
L
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B
U
R
N
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A
W
E
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T
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A
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H
O
E
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E
A
S
Y
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D
R
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M
27
A
T
O
Z
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A
C
N
E
29
Z
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P
P
O
30
T
O
M
31
I
S
A
K
32
M
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C
A
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N
E
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W
M
A
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A
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G
E
M
E
N
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T
37
C
A
P
P
38
L
A
M
A
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E
R
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G
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E
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B
O
N
S
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S
A
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P
L
E
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T
A
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A
C
R
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L
O
S
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48
C
H
I
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L
O
A
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O
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L
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H
A
N
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S
A
R
P
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H
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M
P
54
D
55
A
56
Y
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I
G
N
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T
E
58
O
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B
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© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0826 ( 24,032 )
Across
1
"Nice job, kid!" : ATTABOY
8
Subjects in an intro chemistry class : ATOMS
13
___ cat : SIAMESE
14
Side parts? : CAMEOS
16
Dead Sea documents : SCROLLS
17
Moved on all fours : CRAWLED
19
Gradually increasing rage : SLOWBURN
21
Leave amazed : AWE
22
Largest U.S. lake by volume after the five Great Lakes : TAHOE
25
"Piece of cake!" : EASY
26
Beat maker : DRUM
27
Entirely : ATOZ
28
Cause of date night stress : ACNE
29
Zilch : ZIPPO
30
Turkey hen's mate : TOM
31
Writer Dinesen : ISAK
32
Mineral in sheets : MICA
33
What recently hired bosses are part of : NEWMANAGEMENT
37
Andy of cartoons : CAPP
38
Tibetan spiritual guru : LAMA
39
Tiny energy unit : ERG
41
Black hues, in Shakespeare : EBONS
43
"Ditto" : SAME
44
Cop a ___ : PLEA
45
Subdue : TAME
46
One of 100 in a "Winnie-the-Pooh" wood : ACRE
47
Mislays : LOSES
48
X : CHI
49
Planter's bagful : LOAMSOIL
51
Sculptor who pioneered Dadaism : HANSARP
53
Middle of the week ... or an appropriate title for this puzzle : HUMPDAY
57
Light : IGNITE
58
Playwright John who wrote "Look Back in Anger" : OSBORNE
59
Pops : SODAS
60
Canadian airline with a directional name : WESTJET
Down
1
Big jerk : ASS
2
Part of X-X-X : TIC
3
Roof coating : TAR
4
Israeli novelist of "A Perfect Peace" : AMOSOZ
5
Ball V.I.P. : BELLE
6
World capital half of which consists of forest : OSLO
7
Campaign line of 2008 : YESWECAN
8
Charge : ACCUSE
9
Dilly-dally : TARRY
10
U.N. member between Norway and Pakistan alphabetically : OMAN
11
Sound from a 13-Across : MEW
12
Modern energy sources : SOLARPANELS
15
Finalize : SEWUP
18
Software giveaway : DEMO
20
Sound during a heist : BANKALARM
22
Bicep image, briefly : TAT
23
Lots : ATON
24
When some kings and queens are crowned : HOMECOMINGS
26
They're blown on for good luck : DICE
28
Pronto : ASAP
29
Onetime Coors alcopop : ZIMA
31
Chronic pains? : IMPS
32
Passing web fancy : MEME
34
Die down : WANE
35
"Password" or "Pyramid" : GAMESHOW
36
Image in the Timberland logo : TREE
40
___ pedal : GAS
41
Set in stone, say : ETCH
42
Religion founded in 19th-century Persia : BAHAI
43
Outdoor painting scenes : SCAPES
44
Khmer Rouge leader : POLPOT
46
Line connected to a pump? : AORTA
47
Post-storm detritus : LIMBS
49
Placed : LAID
50
River through York : OUSE
52
___-Cat : SNO
54
Hoops legend with a statue in Philadelphia : DRJ
55
Hydrocarbon suffix : ANE
56
"And still ..." : YET

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?