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New York Times, Thursday, August 6, 2015

Author:
Gary Cee
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
365/28/20091/1/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
11198421
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
12
E
13
P
I
A
14
F
15
R
A
S
T
A
16
C
O
A
X
17
A
L
P
I
18
N
E
G
O
A
T
19
H
T
T
P
20
S
T
R
A
D
21
F
R
E
22
T
23
A
C
E
24
S
P
I
E
L
E
25
D
26
D
R
27
J
O
H
N
28
E
O
S
29
A
N
O
30
T
R
I
U
N
E
S
31
A
T
M
32
Z
O
33
N
E
34
A
R
E
T
E
35
A
36
M
A
Z
I
N
37
G
L
Y
38
S
39
H
40
E
S
A
41
I
N
D
O
42
T
43
V
44
S
45
P
E
R
I
G
46
E
E
47
E
F
48
T
49
H
A
I
50
O
L
A
F
I
I
51
D
I
A
52
L
E
C
T
53
U
P
S
54
C
F
55
C
56
S
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G
E
E
N
A
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S
O
U
59
P
60
F
O
R
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M
U
L
A
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N
62
E
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E
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O
64
E
N
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D
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C
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66
S
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W
67
L
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E
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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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