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New York Times, Saturday, August 8, 2015

Author:
Alan Arbesfeld
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1238/27/198112/5/20180
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
25724352615
ScrabRebusCirclePangramPre‑WS
1.595099
Alan Arbesfeld

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 66, Blocks: 30 Missing: {FJQVXZ} Spans: 6, (2 triple stacks) This is puzzle # 109 for Mr. Arbesfeld. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
Eye-catching grid. Even though the puzzle is chunked into three very separate sections, I was tickled by the visual aesthetic. Neat to ... read more

Eye-catching grid. Even though the puzzle is chunked into three very separate sections, I was tickled by the visual aesthetic. Neat to see only four sets of connected black squares!

Raise the Titanic! Or Jaws. What is that thing?

The 15-letter entries have to carry so much burden to create zing, as the next-longest entries are only 7-letters. I liked most of them, although RAISE THE TITANIC … I used to be a Clive Cussler fan, but not so much these days after I realized how repetitive they get. And RAISE THE TITANIC wasn't one of the better ones. If only the RAISE THE TITANIC movie had done better, but it was a flop. Sorry, Dirk Pitt.

Alan does work in some snazz using his 7-letter slots, EUNUCHS and GOALIES elevated by their great clues. I'm glad EUNUCHS was clued in its metaphorical sense, rather than its (insert crude joke here) sense. And [Ones who have saving accounts?] fooled me but good. I should have seen the weirdness in "saving" vs. "savings" but I missed it (unlike HOPE (GO) SOLO, who got almost everything this year!).

Certainly some prices to pay, though. That middle section tossed me over its lap and gave me an old fashioned spanking. I guessed at the ETAMINE / AMICE / GANNETS crossings, and like the bad guy in Indiana Jones and the Holy Grail, I chose poorly. ETAMINE is so crossword-friendly — check out its Es and Ts and its perfect consonant alternation — but pretty solver unfriendly.

And as with most grid-spanning triple stacks, the crosses required compromises. The top didn't bother me too much, even with a RLS / DES / ISTH concentration, as those are all fairly minor and common. The crossings on the bottom stack felt like a higher price to pay, what with the oddball RESAT, and a slew of IT IN, UNARY crossing NON U along with the toughies INA and TAL. (Note: chess players consider TAL a must-know person, and crossworders looking to improve their skill ought to follow suit.)

Great first impression what with the beautiful patterns of white space and connected black squares, marred somewhat by compromises throughout the grid.

1
A
2
C
3
C
4
O
5
R
6
D
7
I
8
N
9
G
10
T
11
O
12
P
13
L
14
A
15
N
16
D
O
U
B
L
E
S
O
L
I
T
A
I
R
E
17
A
C
R
O
S
S
T
H
E
S
T
R
E
E
T
18
P
A
T
E
19
H
O
N
20
I
D
O
L
21
T
I
E
S
22
U
23
P
24
G
25
O
S
O
L
O
26
E
N
S
27
S
A
28
H
29
A
30
R
A
N
31
W
A
S
32
D
E
T
33
E
T
A
M
I
N
E
34
N
E
S
35
D
E
S
I
G
N
S
36
A
37
L
38
G
39
C
R
O
C
H
E
T
40
C
41
I
42
E
43
B
I
O
44
A
N
N
E
T
T
E
45
O
R
U
46
S
B
A
47
R
R
O
48
S
P
49
U
R
O
N
50
O
R
L
E
51
T
52
M
53
I
54
N
O
N
U
55
R
A
I
S
56
E
57
T
H
E
T
58
I
59
T
A
N
I
C
60
B
R
E
A
K
O
U
T
I
N
A
R
A
S
H
61
S
Y
S
T
E
M
S
A
N
A
L
Y
S
T
S
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0808 ( 24,014 )
Across
1
As expected : ACCORDINGTOPLAN
16
Game with an oxymoronic name : DOUBLESOLITAIRE
17
Within a stone's throw, perhaps : ACROSSTHESTREET
18
Spread out on a table : PATE
19
Cookie or pumpkin : HON
20
Hot star : IDOL
21
Keeps busy : TIESUP
24
Become helpless? : GOSOLO
26
Nation's boundaries? : ENS
27
Dry : SAHARAN
31
"Never ___" : WAS
32
"The Shield" fig. : DET
33
Light cotton fabric : ETAMINE
34
Old Tetris runner, briefly : NES
35
Fashion show collection : DESIGNS
36
What factoring is a factor in: Abbr. : ALG
39
Do some fancywork : CROCHET
40
It's often preceded by "&" in Fr. : CIE
43
Cutting class, for short? : BIO
44
O'Toole of TV's "Smallville" : ANNETTE
45
The Golden Eagles of the Summit League, in brief : ORU
46
Italian food court staple : SBARRO
48
Fire up : SPURON
50
Heraldic border : ORLE
51
Response to an overly personal comment : TMI
54
Lower-class, to Brits : NONU
55
1976 novel featuring adventurer Dirk Pitt : RAISETHETITANIC
60
Get bad marks? : BREAKOUTINARASH
61
Some techies : SYSTEMSANALYSTS
Down
1
Like many screenplays : ADAPTED
2
Ingredient in a Brompton cocktail : COCAINE
3
Maximally short : CURTEST
4
Woods in a pit : OBOES
5
Creator of Jim Hawkins and Ben Gunn, briefly : RLS
6
Some Parisian? : DES
7
Neck: Abbr. : ISTH
8
Big Apple neighborhood : NOHO
9
Secluded stream site : GLEN
10
Sole word in the last chapter of "Angela's Ashes" : TIS
11
He hit 35 in '34 : OTT
12
"Do not deny to him that you love me" speaker, in literature : PARIS
13
Prepare for a time out? : LIEDOWN
14
Eye parts bordering on pupils : AREOLAE
15
What might be shown for a quarter : NETLOSS
22
Any Olds, now : USEDCAR
23
Winningest coach in college football history : PATERNO
24
Plunge-diving seabirds : GANNETS
25
Simple in the extreme : ONESTEP
28
Sports : HASON
29
Garment worn partly under an alb : AMICE
30
"Bingo!" : RIGHT
36
Doesn't merely listen to : ABSORBS
37
Where many spines are visible : LIBRARY
38
Players with saving accounts? : GOALIES
40
Heavenly rings : CORONAS
41
One who's full of surprises? : IRONIST
42
Ineffectual sorts : EUNUCHS
47
Convened anew : RESAT
49
Involving a single element, as a math operation : UNARY
51
As follows : THUS
52
Like the "Scream" horror films : META
53
Mail or phone follower : ITIN
56
Stretch (out) : EKE
57
Waits on a CD : TOM
58
Concert closing? : INA
59
Chess champion of the early 1960s : TAL

Answer summary: 1 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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