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New York Times, Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Author:
Ian Livengood
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
554/12/20109/15/20164
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617667112
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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
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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?