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New York Times, Friday, August 8, 2014

"Hmmmmm ..." [as hinted at by the three groups of black squares in the middle of the grid]

Author:
Bruce Haight
Editor:
Will Shortz
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1.59043
Bruce Haight

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 70, Blocks: 34 Missing: {JQVXZ} Spans: 2 Grid is asymmetric. This is puzzle # 6 for Mr. Haight. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Bruce Haight notes:
First off, if you didn't see the "grid art" in this puzzle, the picture below will give you a hint. It also gives you a good idea ... read more
Will Shortz notes:
In the first version of this puzzle, which I sent to test-solvers, the clues for 17A and 58A did not reference the three swimming ... read more
Jeff Chen notes:
What a cool visual! Bruce has a real knack for using black squares to create art I haven't seen before. I was really impressed by one ... read more
Jim Horne notes:
Martin Ashwood-Smith took issue with calling this grid asymmetric. He sees it as a new kind of symmetry that superimposes diagonal ... read more
1
G
2
A
3
N
4
G
5
N
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A
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M
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L
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E
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A
11
P
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S
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A
14
T
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A
M
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R
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C
A
16
O
I
L
R
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C
H
17
S
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E
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H
I
18
N
G
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F
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H
Y
19
O
R
E
20
E
D
Y
S
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A
S
T
E
R
22
H
O
S
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E
S
O
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S
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M
I
S
O
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O
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I
27
S
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O
N
E
U
P
29
S
30
N
O
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31
L
O
S
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32
R
S
33
T
A
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34
L
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N
D
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R
O
C
36
N
G
O
37
A
38
L
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L
T
H
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40
T
41
S
O
N
N
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E
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T
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S
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L
E
E
46
E
R
I
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T
U
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A
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N
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S
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C
A
D
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M
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D
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R
U
B
56
E
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A
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58
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W
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F
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D
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L
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63
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64
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D
© 2014, The New York Times8/8/14 ( No. 23,649 )
Across
1
"___ Style," first video with a billion YouTube views : GANGNAM
8
Goes for enthusiastically : LEAPSAT
15
Home to "alabaster cities" : AMERICA
16
Like Saudi Arabia : OILRICH
17
"Hmmmmm ..." [as hinted at by the three groups of black squares in the middle of the grid] : SOMETHINGSFISHY
19
It may contain mercury : ORE
20
One of its flavors is Mud Pie : EDYS
21
Starwort, e.g. : ASTER
22
Sounds from some mall temps : HOS
23
Those south of the border? : ESOS
25
___ soup : MISO
26
Medical suffix : OSIS
28
Bests : ONEUPS
30
"___ am your father" (classic "Star Wars" line) : NOI
31
Things that ties never have : LOSERS
33
Last part : TAILEND
35
Mythical predator : ROC
36
Vietnam's ___ Dinh Diem : NGO
37
Excellent, in slang : ALLTHAT
41
Quintet comprising "Ode to the West Wind" : SONNETS
45
See 51-Across : LEE
46
"It was you," operatically : ERITU
48
Dictator's beginning : INRE
49
___ angle : ATAN
51
With 45-Across, Thor's co-creator : STAN
52
Many a base player : CAD
53
Like 19-Across : MINED
55
No sophisticate : RUBE
57
Ovid's others : ALIA
58
Best Picture of 1954 [see 17-Across] : ONTHEWATERFRONT
61
Hardly the assertive type : DOORMAT
62
Gander : LOOKSEE
63
As part of a series : ENSUITE
64
A wild card is unlikely to beat one : TOPSEED
Down
1
Hybrid on the road? : GASOHOL
2
Lovingly, on a music score : AMOROSO
3
Greek goddess of vengeance : NEMESIS
4
170 is its max score : GRE
5
Minute beef : NIT
6
Really long? : ACHE
7
First : MAIDEN
8
Closes a session : LOGSOUT
9
Rostock bar stock : EIS
10
"Bravo" preceder : ALFA
11
Optical separator : PRISM
12
Like some famous frescoes : SISTINE
13
Secretary of state before Dulles : ACHESON
14
Neighbor of the Adam's apple : THYROID
18
Where Sotheby's is BID : NYSE
24
"NCIS" actor Joe : SPANO
27
Spanish muralist : SERT
28
They're clutched during some speeches : OSCARS
29
Sharp or flat : SIGN
32
Mies van der ___ : ROHE
34
Anderson of "Nurses" : LONI
37
Dessert preference : ALAMODE
38
Told, as a secret : LETINON
39
Rough housing : LEANTOS
40
Test the strength of, in a way : TITRATE
41
Where snowbirds flock : SUNBELT
42
Corral : ENCLOSE
43
Cadet, e.g. : TRAINEE
44
Under : SEDATED
47
Like a guitar string : TAUT
50
Indian chief, once : NEHRU
54
Prefix with john : DEMI
56
Suffix with switch : EROO
57
Refuges : ARKS
59
Southeast Asian temple : WAT
60
Metrosexual sort : FOP

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 2 debuted here and reused later.

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