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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
6
A
7
M
8
L
9
E
10
A
11
P
12
S
13
A
14
T
15
A
M
E
R
I
C
A
16
O
I
L
R
I
C
H
17
S
O
M
E
T
H
I
18
N
G
S
F
I
S
H
Y
19
O
R
E
20
E
D
Y
S
21
A
S
T
E
R
22
H
O
S
23
E
S
O
24
S
25
M
I
S
O
26
O
S
I
27
S
28
O
N
E
U
P
29
S
30
N
O
I
31
L
O
S
E
32
R
S
33
T
A
I
34
L
E
N
D
35
R
O
C
36
N
G
O
37
A
38
L
39
L
T
H
A
40
T
41
S
O
N
N
42
E
43
T
44
S
45
L
E
E
46
E
R
I
47
T
U
48
I
N
R
E
49
A
T
A
50
N
51
S
T
A
N
52
C
A
D
53
M
I
N
E
54
D
55
R
U
B
56
E
57
A
L
I
A
58
O
N
T
H
E
59
W
A
T
E
R
60
F
R
O
N
T
61
D
O
O
R
M
A
T
62
L
O
O
K
S
E
E
63
E
N
S
U
I
T
E
64
T
O
P
S
E
E
D
© 2014, The New York TimesNo. 0808 ( 23,649 )

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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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