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New York Times, Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Author:
Jacob McDermott
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
38/27/201311/18/20140
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0021000
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.58000
Jacob McDermott

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 38 Missing: {JQZ} This is the debut puzzle for Mr. McDermott. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jacob McDermott notes:
Initially I had TWODOOR as 45-down with CARFIRE symmetrically placed in the 4-down slot. This led to some uninspiring fill, a change ... read more

Initially I had TWODOOR as 45-down with CARFIRE symmetrically placed in the 4-down slot. This led to some uninspiring fill, a change of plan, and the theme placement as you see it today. Thanks to Nancy Salomon for help on the development of this theme.

Jeff Chen notes:
Congrats Jacob on your debut and excellent work coming up with such a cleanly-filled puzzle! A nice example of the 'both words can ... read more

Congrats Jacob on your debut and excellent work coming up with such a cleanly-filled puzzle!

A nice example of the "both words can precede X" theme type. Note the "pinwheel" arrangement which typically allows for easier filling, since each themer has its own quasi-contained quadrant of the puzzle. The trade-off is that this pattern makes it more difficult to work in fun longer fill. Jacob has some nice stuff (ROTGUT, BATH OIL, MARBLES, VOODOO) but it's usually nice as a solver to get longer (8+ letters) fill.

Compare and contrast today's puzzle with last week's Tuesday. Similar theme types, but last week had more really good long fill with a higher overall difficulty level, while today's is likely more accessible to newer solvers. I'm glad to have both ends of the spectrum.

Finally, a tiny nit to pick. Even though the puzzle is squeaky-clean overall, the east section contains ARA, which I would love to see less of in early-week puzzles (GET IT? / AKA / GIN / BEDS could be an alternative). ARA isn't a "bad" entry, but I prefer for early-week puzzles to contain no "crosswordese" (answers seen much more frequently in crosswords than in real life), because for me, it provides a more elegant and satisfying solve.

This is a subjective matter though, since a case can be made for ARA being something people ought to know. As a further example of crosswordese's subjectivity, I'm perfectly fine with an answer that some constructors hate, OBI, because I've seen OBI on Japanese friends before. Now if it were ADIT (old term for a mine opening), the gloves would be coming off. =]

1
C
2
L
3
A
4
M
5
A
6
N
7
G
8
L
9
E
10
A
11
B
12
B
13
Y
14
A
I
D
A
15
R
O
L
E
X
16
S
A
L
A
17
S
T
O
R
18
M
F
R
O
N
T
19
S
C
U
M
20
T
U
R
B
O
21
M
O
T
O
22
U
K
E
S
23
S
P
E
L
L
24
S
25
M
O
L
26
A
R
S
27
E
T
C
28
H
29
G
E
T
30
B
31
Y
32
H
33
O
34
S
S
35
H
O
36
L
37
D
38
M
E
39
A
R
A
40
E
N
T
41
T
W
O
D
O
O
R
42
G
A
P
43
A
C
E
44
E
A
T
S
U
P
45
B
E
T
S
46
P
E
E
47
V
E
48
R
E
49
B
A
50
L
O
D
51
G
52
E
53
S
54
R
O
T
55
G
56
U
57
T
58
I
59
N
T
O
60
A
N
N
61
E
62
S
H
O
V
E
63
N
E
R
D
64
F
R
E
N
65
C
H
O
P
E
N
66
C
I
A
O
67
F
O
R
G
O
68
I
R
A
E
69
A
L
P
O
70
E
N
T
R
Y
71
L
O
S
T
© 2013, The New York TimesNo. 0827 ( 23,303 )
Across
1
Chowder ingredient : CLAM
5
Go fish : ANGLE
10
"Dear" advice-giver : ABBY
14
Opera set in Egypt : AIDA
15
Pricey watch : ROLEX
16
Hacienda room : SALA
17
Product of colliding weather systems : STORMFRONT
19
Lowlife : SCUM
20
Extra-powerful engine : TURBO
21
Mr. ___ (Peter Lorre role) : MOTO
22
What some strummers strum, informally : UKES
23
Fainting fits, e.g. : SPELLS
25
Grinders : MOLARS
27
Carve in stone : ETCH
29
Manage : GETBY
32
"Bonanza" brother : HOSS
35
1982 Fleetwood Mac hit whose title is sung three times after "Come on and" : HOLDME
39
Altar constellation : ARA
40
Tolkien creature : ENT
41
Coupe, e.g. ... or a hint to 17- and 64-Across and 11- and 34-Down : TWODOOR
42
Breach : GAP
43
Expert : ACE
44
Really enjoys : EATSUP
45
"All ___ are off!" : BETS
46
Annoy : PEEVE
48
McEntire of country : REBA
50
Rustic accommodations : LODGES
54
Cheap booze : ROTGUT
58
Digging : INTO
60
Meara of comedy : ANNE
62
More than elbow : SHOVE
63
Weenie : NERD
64
Annual tennis tournament played on clay : FRENCHOPEN
66
"Bye now" : CIAO
67
Do without : FORGO
68
"Dies ___" (hymn) : IRAE
69
Bowlful for Bowser : ALPO
70
Admittance : ENTRY
71
At sea : LOST
Down
1
Flings : CASTS
2
Began to smoke : LITUP
3
Dig, so to speak : ADORE
4
Children's game in which players "knuckle down" : MARBLES
5
Kennel sound : ARF
6
Usual figure : NORM
7
Melancholy : GLOOM
8
Slow, musically : LENTO
9
Laud : EXTOL
10
Give one's word : ASSURE
11
Behind the scenes : BACKSTAGE
12
Feeling down : BLUE
13
Thanksgiving dish : YAMS
18
Shed : MOLT
24
Vowel sound represented by an upside-down "e" : SCHWA
26
Teen follower : AGER
28
Happening with lots of laughs : HOOT
30
Sitter's headache : BRAT
31
Goes on and on and on : YAPS
32
Bucket of bolts : HEAP
33
How many times Laurence Olivier won a Best Actor Oscar : ONCE
34
Metaphor for a sharp mind : STEELTRAP
36
Mormon Church inits. : LDS
37
Forbidding, as an expression : DOUR
38
Sullen sort : MOPER
41
Angry, with "off" : TEED
45
Aromatherapy purchase : BATHOIL
47
Kind of doll : VOODOO
49
Claptrap : BOSH
51
Faux pas : GAFFE
52
Noted bankruptcy of 2001 : ENRON
53
Hägar the Horrible's dog : SNERT
55
Switch from amateur status : GOPRO
56
Eye parts : UVEAS
57
Article of faith : TENET
58
Ancient Andean : INCA
59
Dog on TV's "Topper" : NEIL
61
M.I.T. grad, often: Abbr. : ENGR
65
Coquettish : COY

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle, 2 debuted here and reused later.

Found bugs or have suggestions?