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New York Times, Monday, August 27, 2018

Author:
Susan Gelfand
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1711/3/20088/27/20180
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0952100
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.69102
Susan Gelfand

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 38 Missing: none – this is a pangram. This is puzzle # 17 for Ms. Gelfand. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
I love seeing ideas I haven't encountered before! Susie combines first names of two famous people from a certain walk of life to form ... read more

I love seeing ideas I haven't encountered before! Susie combines first names of two famous people from a certain walk of life to form a third. I'm a big bball fan, so that made the discovery of BILL Walton + RUSSELL Westbrook = BILL RUSSELL even more interesting.

I appreciated that Susie drew from four different professions. Jim (Horne) isn't a hoops fan, so the great BILL RUSSELL didn't do anything for him (blasphemy!), but he recognized the others easily. I am only vaguely familiar with JAMES TAYLOR, but the other three came like a flash.

It's usually impossible to please every solver out there, so at least giving something for everyone is a smart approach.

Susie usually has such solid gridwork. This wasn't my favorite of her early-week grids, though. The GOYA / ARYAN crossing is possibly tough for newb solvers. Along with ANON RTE ETAT ABABA SLO, it's passable, but I have a high bar for her.

I also would have liked a little more bonus fill. BOX KITE was fun, but what else? I'd be curious to see what happens if you take out the black square between UNDO and RELY. I know, that makes the NW corner tougher, but I think it's possible to still keep clean.

Interesting enough idea that I considered it for the POW! Probably would have gotten it if at least one of the themers had been a woman – MEG RYAN = MEG Tilly + RYAN Gosling? – or if the gridwork had been as stellar as Susie's stuff usually is.

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© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0827 ( 25,129 )

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Across
1
Writing on a book jacket : BLURB
6
Leveling wedge : SHIM
10
Be on the mend : HEAL
14
Total, as expenses : RUNTO
15
Mario who wrote "The Godfather" : PUZO
16
Farmland measure : ACRE
17
Part of a book that's rarely read straight through : INDEX
18
Shortly : ANON
19
Brand of beans : GOYA
20
Ring result, for short : TKO
21
Actor Cameron + actor Fairbanks = actor ___ : KIRKDOUGLAS
24
Is the right size : FITS
25
Temporary support for a bone fracture : SPLINT
26
Infuse with bubbles : AERATE
29
Black tea variety : PEKOE
31
Comedian Carell + comedian Short = comedian ___ : STEVEMARTIN
33
Bluesy woodwind : SAX
36
Curly cabbage : KALE
37
Where a mole shouldn't be, in brief : CIA
38
Place that's buzzing : HIVE
39
Hog's home : STY
40
Singer Brown + singer Swift = singer ___ : JAMESTAYLOR
44
Elaine of "Seinfeld" : BENES
45
Provides funding for : ENDOWS
46
Drug for insomniacs : AMBIEN
49
Assign stars to : RATE
50
Basketball player Walton + basketball player Westbrook = basketball player ___ : BILLRUSSELL
53
___-mo replay : SLO
56
Frenzied way to go : AMOK
57
Flapjack franchise, briefly : IHOP
58
= : EQUAL
60
Two-wheeler : BIKE
61
Commotion : TODO
62
Cuban dance : RUMBA
63
Got a perfect score on : ACED
64
Thumbs-up votes : YEAS
65
Full of attitude : SASSY
Down
1
One whose car has a bonnet and tyres : BRIT
2
Blockhead : LUNK
3
"Erase" on a computer : UNDO
4
Traveling salesperson's assignment: Abbr. : RTE
5
Flying toy that's open-ended : BOXKITE
6
Practices pugilism : SPARS
7
Object of an ogler : HUNK
8
Polo competitor : IZOD
9
Relative of a snowboard : MONOSKI
10
Try to get a better deal : HAGGLE
11
Reason for a food recall : ECOLI
12
Early Indus Valley inhabitant : ARYAN
13
Bare minimum : LEAST
22
Unit in an online order cart : ITEM
23
Atop : UPON
24
Top choice, informally : FAVE
26
Raises a question : ASKS
27
Coup d'___ : ETAT
28
Bank (on) : RELY
29
Gets nosy : PRIES
30
Greek H's : ETAS
32
Pinnacle : ACME
33
Barn adjunct : SILO
34
Openly declare : AVOW
35
Gen ___ (post-baby boomers) : XERS
38
Jekyll's counterpart : HYDE
40
Loudly razz : JEER
41
Retirement income, for some : ANNUITY
42
Bluish green : TEAL
43
Stag's pride : ANTLERS
44
Swindled : BILKED
46
Addis ___, Ethiopia : ABABA
47
Copycat : MIMIC
48
Chap : BLOKE
49
Seized vehicles : REPOS
51
Loafer or pump : SHOE
52
Drink at an ice cream shop : SODA
53
Simplest arithmetic problems : SUMS
54
Hands-on science classes : LABS
55
Neutrogena competitor : OLAY
59
Sine ___ non : QUA

Answer summary: 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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