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New York Times, Thursday, August 6, 2015

Author:
Gary Cee
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
355/28/20097/30/20180
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
11188421
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.56021
Gary Cee

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 38 Missing: {KQ} This is puzzle # 29 for Mr. Cee. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Gary Cee notes:
The theme answers were originally laid across the puzzle. Will liked the idea, but thought the '___ by ___' pattern would make more ... read more

The theme answers were originally laid across the puzzle. Will liked the idea, but thought the "___ by ___" pattern would make more sense if the theme answers ran down instead. So I gave it another shot and that's what you have here. My original theme clues included "with ‘by,'" which Will changed to "literally," which makes the puzzle tougher to solve.

I launched my own crossword app a few months back. You can check it out at www.garyceescrosswords.com. Thanks.

Jeff Chen notes:
I've seen the 'literal X by Y' trick in a few different incarnations, and if you include the 'X over Y,' 'X in Y,' etc. it might be ... read more

I've seen the "literal X by Y" trick in a few different incarnations, and if you include the "X over Y," "X in Y," etc. it might be getting overdone. But I did enjoy seeing something kooky on a Thursday; always appreciated. AS IF (by) MAGIC was a really nice one, and TRIAL (by) JURY too. It couldn't have been easy to find four strong instances which could be grouped into symmetrical pairs.

Formula One logo — cool!

Those symmetrical placements undoubtedly created some constraints in the grid. Sure, you can shift FIRE up and down with respect to BAPTISM, but every move you make must be mirrored by LEAD (with respect to THE NOSE). Once you fix that tricky AO bigram in the lower right, it doesn't give you many options. Gary does well to arrange things so he can run the colorful FORMULA ONE through it.

Gary uses a 76-word grid, which creates some big open corners. That lower right is tricky enough when you run FORMULA ONE through LEAD and THE NOSE. But when you run VACANCY through there, it constrains the region so much more. And then shooting DIALECT through it all … I appreciate the juiciness of big open corners, and the nice seven-letter answers, but the EFT TAEL and DSCS ESE price felt too high for me.

At 40 letters of theme, it felt a bit thin. Three very long themers are about the minimum I ask for, and that's around 43-45 letters. Sure, the "by"s are implied in the themers so it's really 48 letters of theme, but still, it would have been nice to have one more instance. How cool would it have been to get a "X by Y by Z" themer, smack dab in the middle of the grid? Not sure that's at all possible, given the symmetry requirements, but a guy can dream.

Not the most ground-breaking of Thursday tricks, but almost any twistiness on a Thursday is FINE ME.

1
C
2
O
3
B
4
C
5
H
6
A
7
I
8
R
9
I
10
N
11
R
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P
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A
14
F
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C
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A
X
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A
L
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N
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G
O
A
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H
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D
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A
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30
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31
A
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M
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Z
O
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A
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A
36
M
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37
G
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38
S
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H
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V
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H
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D
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© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0806 ( 24,012 )
Across
1. Part of a harvest festival decoration : COB
4. It has legs and feet and sometimes arms, but no hands : CHAIR
9. About : INRE
13. "Hymne à l'Amour" singer : PIAF
15. Worshiper of Jah, informally : RASTA
16. Soft-soap : COAX
17. Relative of an ibex : ALPINEGOAT
19. Letters before :// : HTTP
20. Prized instrument, for short : STRAD
21. Stress (over) : FRET
23. One with perfect pitch? : ACE
24. Delivered a pitch : SPIELED
26. The Night Tripper of music : DRJOHN
28. Volkswagen model starting in 2006 : EOS
29. 1492, e.g., to Cristóbal Colón : ANO
30. Three-in-one gods : TRIUNES
31. Keypad locale : ATM
32. Counterpart of man-to-man : ZONE
34. Glacial ridge : ARETE
35. To everyone's surprise : AMAZINGLY
38. The Rolling Stones' "___ Rainbow" : SHESA
41. ___-European language : INDO
42. Sports bar array : TVS
45. Orbital low point : PERIGEE
47. Direct-deposit payment, for short : EFT
49. "Bali ___" : HAI
50. Patron saint of Norway : OLAFII
51. Cajun or Cockney : DIALECT
53. Co. nicknamed "Brown" : UPS
54. Ozone-destroying chemicals, for short : CFCS
57. Davis with a 1988 Oscar : GEENA
58. First course, sometimes : SOUP
60. Single-seater racing class : FORMULAONE
63. Malta adopted it in 2008 : EURO
64. Gain admission : ENTER
65. U.S. Army decorations, in brief : DSCS
66. Mutton ___ : STEW
67. Many a one-year agreement : LEASE
68. One of many for Argus : EYE
Down
1. Certain fraud protector, for short : CPA
2. Garage stain : OILSPOT
3. With 14-Down, literally, grueling initiation : BAPTISM
4. Sideboard : CREDENZA
5. Common Halloween costume : HAG
6. Starting : ASOF
7. Russia's ___-Tass news service : ITAR
8. Containing sex scenes, say : RATEDR
9. Einstein's "I" : ICH
10. Zero : NOTAONE
11. Toothed wheel : RATCHET
12. Budget item : EXPENSE
14. See 3-Down : FIRE
18. Lion in "The Lion King" : NALA
22. With 27-Down, literally, a Sixth Amendment right : TRIAL
24. Beach abutter : SEA
25. Humdinger : DOOZIE
27. See 22-Down : JURY
30. Watched : TENDED
33. Who said "We write to taste life twice, in the moment, and in retrospection" : NIN
35. With 36-Down, literally, beyond rational explanation : ASIF
36. See 35-Down : MAGIC
37. "How about that?!" : GOFIGURE
38. Other halves, so to speak : SPOUSES
39. Pitch in : HELPOUT
40. Job done with Artgum : ERASURE
42. See 52-Down : THENOSE
43. Room to spare? : VACANCY
44. Use a tuffet : SIT
46. Towering Frenchman? : EIFFEL
48. Far East unit of weight : TAEL
52. With 42-Down, literally, control completely : LEAD
55. Sundae alternative : CONE
56. Majorca miss: Abbr. : SRTA
59. "Batman" fight scene word : POW
61. "Bonjour, ___ amis!" : MES
62. Compass dir. : ESE

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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