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New York Times, Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Author: Joel Fagliano
Editor: Will Shortz
Joel Fagliano
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1.65351
Puzzle of the Week

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 74, Blocks: 38 Missing: {JZ} This is puzzle # 39 for Mr. Fagliano. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick NYT links: Across Lite PDF

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Jeff Chen notes: Fantastic puzzle. Simple theme — FIFTH, SIX-PACK, and CASE found at a LIQUOR STORE — but those three containers are ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Fantastic puzzle. Simple theme — FIFTH, SIX-PACK, and CASE found at a LIQUOR STORE — but those three containers are disguised nicely within colorful phrases. I didn't know what was going on until I hit the revealer; that sort of opacity switching instantly to transparency makes for a great a-ha.

I didn't know Kevin SPACEY had a logo! Oh wait ...

And Joel's fill. It's usually strong, but today it's spot-on, with something for everyone. Classic PIANO MAN for the ANTIQUERs; a LISTICLE (portmanteau for a list-like article) along with Elon Musk's SPACE X and COMIC CON for today's generation.

Joel uses the parallel down arrangement in PIANO MAN / SCRUB OAK and LISTICLE / ANTIQUER. This layout usually guarantees that some of the long guys will be dull, or some of the crosses will be ugly. You might argue that AMICA is esoteric, but I kind of like it, as it's easily inferable from the French AMIE, and the crossings are all fair. ISTS is the only marginally iffy bit in the lower left, and I personally think it's fine. So both of these corners came out fantastic, a big win considering the difficulty level.

I had a slight hitch at CASE CLOSED — Washington State liquor stores only sell hard liquor. I suppose you might get a case of fifths or something, but whoa, that's a lot of liquor! Probably a state by state thing.

Joel and I have debated over two different strategies on adding zest to an early-week puzzle. One way is to use a lower word count (72 or less), which tends to get you more 6s and 7s than normal. The other way is to pack in a lot of sizzling long fill (8+ letters), but that usually means going up to 76 or 78 words and causes a lot of 3 and 4-letter words.

Today, Joel gives us the best of both of these strategies, with great long fill, some nice 6-letter entries, and not very many stale short entries. Along with a solid theme I can't remember seeing, it's a big winner.

1
L
2
I
3
S
4
P
5
C
6
A
7
S
8
H
9
L
10
A
11
P
12
S
13
E
14
A
L
P
O
15
O
S
L
O
16
A
M
I
C
A
17
S
L
A
P
18
M
O
O
T
19
R
O
A
R
S
20
S
I
C
21
F
I
F
T
H
22
A
V
E
N
U
E
23
O
N
E
24
S
E
C
25
N
A
B
O
B
26
S
I
X
P
A
C
27
K
28
A
29
B
S
30
A
M
O
31
S
32
E
R
O
I
C
A
33
A
A
A
34
S
35
L
36
A
W
37
N
O
R
S
38
E
39
I
N
K
Y
40
K
I
N
41
W
E
T
N
42
A
P
43
I
S
T
44
S
45
C
A
S
E
C
L
O
46
S
47
E
48
D
49
T
I
O
50
G
A
51
I
O
D
I
N
E
52
L
I
Q
U
O
R
53
S
54
T
55
O
R
E
56
L
E
N
57
A
C
U
R
A
58
E
R
I
C
59
E
A
R
N
60
S
L
E
E
T
61
W
I
L
L
62
E
G
G
Y
63
H
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64
N
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65
K
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S
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0804 ( 24,010 )
Across Down
1. Thpeak like thith : LISP
5. Word before cow or crop : CASH
9. Mental mistake : LAPSE
14. Dog food brand : ALPO
15. European capital on a fjord : OSLO
16. Lady friend in Italy : AMICA
17. Sound of a high-five : SLAP
18. No longer worth discussing : MOOT
19. Laughs heartily : ROARS
20. Bracketed word in a quote : SIC
21. Fashionable shopping area in New York City : FIFTHAVENUE
23. "Just a moment" : ONESEC
25. Big shot : NABOB
26. Goal of one doing crunches : SIXPACKABS
30. Lee with the 2011 #1 album "Mission Bell" : AMOS
32. Symphony that premiered 4/7/1805 : EROICA
33. Battery type : AAA
34. Barbecue side dish : SLAW
37. From 15-Across : NORSE
39. Pitch-black : INKY
40. Family : KIN
41. Moist towelette : WETNAP
43. Believers: Suffix : ISTS
45. "End of discussion" : CASECLOSED
49. New York county bordering Pennsylvania : TIOGA
51. First-aid kit supply : IODINE
52. Where to purchase the starts of 21-, 26- and 45-Across : LIQUORSTORE
56. Dawson who played in Super Bowl I : LEN
57. 45-Down from Japan : ACURA
58. ___ Blair, George Orwell's real name : ERIC
59. Work hard for : EARN
60. Ugly weather : SLEET
61. What indicates everything that's left? : WILL
62. Like French toast : EGGY
63. Does a sheepdog's job : HERDS
64. Missing part of the Great Sphinx of Giza : NOSE
65. Florida ___ : KEYS
1. Gets in the loop? : LASSOS
2. "Fighting" Big Ten team : ILLINI
3. Private-sector rocket launcher : SPACEX
4. Champagne opening sound : POP
5. Yearly gathering for superhero fans : COMICCON
6. Beginning on : ASOF
7. Opening for a coin : SLOT
8. Ice planet in "The Empire Strikes Back" : HOTH
9. Grub vis-à-vis a beetle : LARVA
10. Blob that divides : AMOEBA
11. 1974 hit that begins "It's nine o'clock on a Saturday" : PIANOMAN
12. Low-growing tree often in dense thickets : SCRUBOAK
13. Simplicity : EASE
21. Phobia : FEAR
22. Ques. counterpart : ANS
24. Expel, as lava : SPEW
27. Great Plains tribe : KIOWA
28. There are about 14,500 in Manhattan : ACRES
29. Moisten, as meat : BASTE
31. Second word of "The Star-Spangled Banner" : SAY
34. Go for a run? : SKI
35. "21 Pictures That Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity," e.g. : LISTICLE
36. One shopping for old curios : ANTIQUER
38. Surround : ENCIRCLE
39. Device that can be linked to an auto stereo : IPOD
42. Ingredient in some shaving creams : ALOE
44. Went bad, as milk : SOURED
45. See 57-Across : CAR
46. Livestock feed : SILAGE
47. Part of E = mc^2 : ENERGY
48. IHOP competitor : DENNYS
50. Their hair makes cashmere : GOATS
52. Respond angrily, with "out" : LASH
53. Hanging on by a thread? : SEWN
54. "Jeopardy!" contestants, e.g. : TRIO
55. Lubricates : OILS
59. Exclamation while jumping on a chair, say : EEK

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?

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