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New York Times, Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Author: Alex Eaton-Salners
Editor: Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
112/2/20178/7/20180
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0131600
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1.54110
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

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Alex Eaton-Salners notes: The inspiration for this puzzle was BEER BELLY. My original submission featured that phrase as the central revealer rather ... more
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 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 ... more
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 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
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© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0807 ( 25,109 )
Across Down
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
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.

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