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New York Times, Friday, August 26, 2016

Author: Andrew Kingsley
Editor: Will Shortz
Andrew Kingsley
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104/29/20164/28/20182
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0012043
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1.55010

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 70, Blocks: 33 Missing: {JQWZ} This is puzzle # 3 for Mr. Kingsley. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Andrew Kingsley notes: I was worried when I began this puzzle that the SUPERFOOD fad was just that: a fad. Fortunately, we can't seem to get enough of ... more
Andrew Kingsley notes:

I was worried when I began this puzzle that the SUPERFOOD fad was just that: a fad. Fortunately, we can't seem to get enough of putting kale where it was never meant to be. I'm talking to you, kale cookies and kale chips. I recommend listening to comedian Jim Gaffigan's take on kale if you haven't.

Recently, I submitted a puzzle to Will that was themed with SUPERFOOD. It contained entries like BIG MAC, DR PEPPER, and BLOODY MARY clued as if they were superheroes. Alas, DR PEPPER, who cripples cities with his sneeze ray, will not be gracing your morning paper anytime soon. But maybe Marvel will bite…

Anyway, I'm happy my clues for MECCA, CLEOPATRA, and CLOSE VOTE stayed. I'm a big fan of adding trivia to crosswords since they are terrific platforms not just for testing knowledge, but also providing new knowledge. Let's just hope this election isn't as close as Hayes's in 1876!

Jeff Chen notes: Andrew does a nice job of using his longer and mid-length entries. In particular, so many good 7-letter ones: TED TALK, STOOGES, HAT ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Andrew does a nice job of using his longer and mid-length entries. In particular, so many good 7-letter ones: TED TALK, STOOGES, HAT TREE (with a great clue misdirecting toward bowling), DROP CAP. And my favorite, KOI POND! That's a great conversion rate, a full half of his mid-length material standing out. It's more common to see the neutral STEAMED kind of mid-length material, so bravo!

Good work on the longer material too. Andrew takes great care to squeeze all the juice out of his long slots, PINTEREST, SUPERFOOD, ATTACK ADS, ANTITOXIN, CLOSE VOTE, etc. really working well. Only CONTAINER felt a little flat, especially since its clue [Cup or bowl, but not a plate] didn't seem particularly clever or playful.

So that's a lot of great material packed into a 70-word puzzle. However, there are dabs of glue holding it together here and there, as is often the case when so much snazzy material is put into play. I don't mind two or three minor bits like ESTO or PCT, but ADEE is a pretty noticebable glob. Common prefixes or suffixes like NEO or IST are almost unnoticeable — ADEE on the other hand … what else does it stick to but "chick"?

And ENOUNCE is a word. It's in the dictionary. But how often is it ever used in real life? "Enunciate," yes. ENOUNCE feels more like it's taping the NW corner to the rest of the puzzle.

T TEST … I used to be a statistics TA, so T TEST doesn't make me blink an eye, but I have heard solvers complain about it. If you're not a statistician, that first T would seem awfully random, like all the various B STAR, C STAR, S STAR, etc. type answers. I'm totallt fine with this answer, but I can understand how others might not be.

The bar for themelesses is so high these days — so many people submitting them because it's hard to come up with good themes — and it's even higher for 70 or 72 word puzzles. I would have liked a little fewer inelegant gluey entries, but overall, there's so many great entries that they help to make up for them.

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© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0826 ( 24,398 )
Across Down
1. Social app with the slogan "the world's catalog of ideas" : PINTEREST
10. City with the world's largest clock face : MECCA
15. Hypnotized : INATRANCE
16. Joan of Arc quality : VALOR
17. Kale or quinoa, it's said : SUPERFOOD
18. Phone charger feature : PRONG
19. Father of Fear, in myth : ARES
20. Many sisters : AUNTS
22. This, in Taxco : ESTO
23. A crane might hover over one : NEST
24. "Good thinking!" : NEATIDEA
26. Active ingredient in marijuana, for short : THC
28. City in central Israel : LOD
29. Through : VIA
31. Place for bowlers : HATTREE
35. Ornamental garden installation : KOIPOND
37. Quick tennis match : ONESET
38. Part of a devil costume : GOATEE
39. Fuming : STEAMED
41. "You don't want to miss it!" : BETHERE
42. Bit of bronze : TIN
43. Statue outside Boston's TD Garden : ORR
44. Lunk : ASS
45. Watering holes : TAPROOMS
48. Eye-opening problem? : STYE
52. First name in gossip : RONA
53. Knee jerk, perhaps : SPASM
55. Political accusation : LIAR
56. Bill Clinton or George W. Bush, informally : EXGOV
58. Only highest-grossing film of the year that lost money : CLEOPATRA
60. Stocking stuff : LISLE
61. Spots that might smear : ATTACKADS
62. Pirouetting, perhaps : ONTOE
63. Bought or sold, e.g. : PASTTENSE
1. Fibonacci, notably : PISAN
2. Temper : INURE
3. Pickup points : NAPES
4. Statistician's tool : TTEST
5. Say irregardless? : ERR
6. Nickname for a two-time Wimbledon winner : RAFA
7. State : ENOUNCE
8. Variety of quick bread : SCONE
9. Multimedia think piece : TEDTALK
10. Stephen Curry was one in '15 and '16 : MVP
11. Like some seals : EARED
12. Feature of the 1876 or 2000 presidential election : CLOSEVOTE
13. Cup or bowl, but not a plate : CONTAINER
14. 2012 thriller with John Goodman and Alan Arkin : ARGO
21. Straight men : STOOGES
25. Boobs : IDIOTS
26. 4.0, maybe : TREMOR
27. They're straight : HETEROS
30. Chick's tail? : ADEE
31. Party person : HOST
32. Bacteriologist's discovery : ANTITOXIN
33. What emo songs may convey : TEENANGST
34. Org. doing pat-downs : TSA
36. "Tommyrot!" : PAH
40. Large letter in a manuscript : DROPCAP
41. Hare-hunting hounds : BASSETS
46. Painter Veronese : PAOLO
47. European country whose flag features a George Cross : MALTA
48. Relieve, in a way : SLAKE
49. Child of Uranus : TITAN
50. Passing concern? : YARDS
51. Off : ERASE
52. Informal move : RELO
54. It's water under the bridge : MOAT
57. Successful campaign sign : VEE
59. Cut of the pie chart: Abbr. : PCT

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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