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New York Times, Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Author:
Alex Eaton-Salners
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
212/2/20176/25/20191
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
02548002
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.53230
Alex Eaton-Salners

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 42 Missing: {FJQXZ} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 11 for Mr. Eaton-Salners. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Alex Eaton-Salners notes:
The inspiration for this puzzle was BEER BELLY. My original submission featured that phrase as the central revealer rather than the ... read more

The inspiration for this puzzle was BEER BELLY. My original submission featured that phrase as the central revealer rather than the more prosaic BEER INGREDIENTS. I was amused by the idea of finding HOPS, WATER, MALT, and YEAST in the "bellies" of the theme phrases and imagined the ingredients mixing together to form beer, which, when imbibed in large quantities, forms a beer belly. Will and crew thought that that was a bit of a stretch (hah!), but still liked the basic idea enough to warrant another go-around with a different revealer.

I'm curious to hear what solvers think of the "find the theme" aspect of 37-Across. Since the clue doesn't include an independent reference to the phrase BEER INGREDIENTS and the hidden words aren't circled, solvers must find the four ingredients while simultaneously figuring out that they can be combined to make beer.

My proposed clue for BEER INGREDIENTS contained a semi-hint harking back to my original idea (What's found in the "bellies" of 16-, 23-, 47-, and 59-Across) and my submitted grid had circles around the relevant theme letters. I like that the edited version creates a more powerful aha moment, though I worry that it might be a bit tricky for a Tuesday.

Usually, it's best to avoid themers of length 13 since they have limited grid placement possibilities, but IOWA TERRITORY was the only cromulent phrase I could come up with to hide WATER – so 13 it was. Likewise, I only had one option for YEAST (HAPPY EASTER). Luckily, I found phrases of length 13 and 11 for MALT and HOPS, respectively, thereby appeasing the gods of crossword symmetry.

Jeff Chen notes:
Welcome to day 2 of LAUGH AT MYSELF (LAM-poon) week! Some A+ finds today – I would never have imagined that WATER or YEAST could ... read more

Welcome to day 2 of LAUGH AT MYSELF (LAM-poon) week! Some A+ finds today – I would never have imagined that WATER or YEAST could be hidden across phrases. It's like the crossword gods came down centuries ago to guide the hand of Thomas Jefferson, gently nudging him to write the IOWA TERRITORY into existence.

It's amazing, the four main ingredients to beer fitting across phrases like this. Very cool.

What would the old Jeff say about the revealer, BEER INGREDIENTS? That it's a bit dry, a dictionary definition. He'd be wistful, wishing for something that produced a sharper a-ha moment.

But there is no phrase like that! So why even bring it up? BEER INGREDIENTS explains things perfectly. It works, and that's what's important.

I do want to point out the troublesome nature of the OTHO / HOV crossing, as I've heard that HOV (common here in Seattle) is not at all common in other parts of the country. OTHO is not AUGUSTUS, or NERO, or CALIGULA in terms of his notoriety. But this week's Jeff chooses to give Alex the benefit of the doubt, which all world leaders — all of them — ought to be fair game, whether or not the crossings makes the person gettable.

BLOVIATES is such an awesome word. I used to hear so much bloviation from an old boss back when I was in start-up world. She was a disaster! Not sure why she's tried to connect with me on LinkedIn … three times now!

(Even this week's positive-thinking Jeff would refuse those invitations!)

The grid exhibits well-above-average craftsmanship, working with five long themers. Just an URBS / STS shows a lot of care taken in construction.

Such neat discoveries, says this beer drinker. I might have even POW!ed the puzzle, if the revealer had just been BEER. (BEER INGREDIENTS does the same job, but takes up a ton more real estate, leaving less room for bonus fill.)

1
C
2
O
3
B
4
R
5
A
6
B
7
E
8
A
9
M
10
H
11
U
12
P
13
A
T
L
A
S
14
M
O
R
I
A
15
A
S
H
16
S
H
O
P
S
17
T
E
W
A
R
D
18
R
H
O
19
H
O
V
20
E
L
I
21
R
22
I
P
E
N
23
I
24
O
25
W
A
T
E
26
R
27
R
I
T
O
R
Y
28
U
29
M
A
M
I
30
A
I
D
S
31
R
E
T
A
K
32
E
33
U
R
N
34
U
35
S
36
A
37
B
E
E
R
I
N
38
G
R
E
D
39
I
40
E
N
T
S
41
S
T
S
42
G
I
L
43
S
W
A
M
U
P
44
E
45
K
E
S
46
O
V
E
N
S
47
A
48
N
49
I
M
A
L
T
50
R
51
A
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I
N
E
R
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K
A
P
U
T
54
A
R
C
55
I
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R
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A
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I
D
O
59
H
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A
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P
P
Y
E
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A
63
S
T
E
R
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R
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D
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I
N
D
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A
66
B
U
E
N
O
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A
R
S
68
E
G
A
D
69
E
N
D
E
D
© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0807 ( 25,109 )
Across
1
Snake charmer's snake : COBRA
6
Smile from ear to ear : BEAM
10
Preceder of "two, three, four" : HUP
13
Geographer's reference : ATLAS
14
Middle-earth area under the Misty Mountains : MORIA
15
Volcanic debris : ASH
16
Union representative : SHOPSTEWARD
18
Pi follower : RHO
19
Car-pool lane designation : HOV
20
Manning manning the Giants' backfield : ELI
21
Mature : RIPEN
23
Louisiana Purchase region from 1838 to 1846 : IOWATERRITORY
28
Savory taste of MSG : UMAMI
30
Lends a hand : AIDS
31
Seize, as formerly held land : RETAKE
33
Samovar : URN
34
"Mr. Robot" network : USA
37
What's found hidden inside 16-, 23-, 47- and 59-Across : BEERINGREDIENTS
41
A&E, in D.C.? : STS
42
Onetime Mets manager Hodges : GIL
43
Navigated against, as the current : SWAMUP
44
Barely gets (by) : EKES
46
Fixtures in Pillsbury facilities : OVENS
47
Job at a circus : ANIMALTRAINER
53
How a dying machine goes : KAPUT
54
Path of the moon through the sky : ARC
55
Glass of public radio : IRA
58
Prelude to a kiss : IDO
59
Spring greeting : HAPPYEASTER
64
Clear (of) : RID
65
Sri Lanka's nearest neighbor : INDIA
66
"Muy ___!" : BUENO
67
___ Technica, website with gadget news : ARS
68
"Holy Toledo!" : EGAD
69
Brought to a conclusion : ENDED
Down
1
Dollars and cents : CASH
2
Roman emperor of A.D. 69 : OTHO
3
Goes on and on about nothing : BLOVIATES
4
Genre for DJ Khaled : RAP
5
Beast of burden : ASS
6
Kind of knife : BOWIE
7
Victorian ___ : ERA
8
Scuba tankful : AIR
9
Home of the Prado Museum : MADRID
10
___ Productions, Oprah Winfrey enterprise : HARPO
11
One walking down the aisle : USHER
12
Faker : PHONY
14
Hot sandwich : MELT
17
Darjeeling, for one : TEA
22
"___ a beautiful day in the neighborhood": Mr. Rogers : ITS
24
General Bradley, W.W. II commander : OMAR
25
Collaborative online site : WIKI
26
Still red in the middle : RARE
27
Fruit roll-ups? : RINDS
28
Cities, informally : URBS
29
Bump into : MEET
32
Georgia of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" : ENGEL
33
Internet address : URL
34
Not deserved : UNMERITED
35
Bring to a standstill, say : STUN
36
"Raiders of the Lost Ark" menaces : ASPS
38
General idea : GIST
39
"Victory is mine!" : IWON
40
Window shade? : EAVE
44
Runner with wings : EMU
45
TV host ___ Lee Gifford : KATHIE
47
Director Kurosawa : AKIRA
48
Lowest point : NADIR
49
Music players of the 2000s : IPODS
50
Word before fire or transit : RAPID
51
___ Stark, "Game of Thrones" protagonist : ARYA
52
Makeup of Saturn's rings, mostly : ICE
56
Philosopher Descartes : RENE
57
Former Yank with 25 career grand slams : AROD
60
Director Lee : ANG
61
Holding hands or kissing on the street, in brief : PDA
62
Vigoda of old TV and movies : ABE
63
Morning riser : SUN

Answer summary: 7 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?