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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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Students & seniors
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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