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New York Times, Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Author:
Michael Torch
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1912/23/20039/1/20150
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
3373210
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.55001
Michael Torch

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 34 Missing: {JQXZ} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 19 for Mr. Torch. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Michael Torch notes:
After taking some time off from construction to tend to some family matters, this was my first venture back in to the fray. This ... read more

After taking some time off from construction to tend to some family matters, this was my first venture back in to the fray. This puzzle was absolutely an outgrowth of the middle 15 theme LORDGIVEMEASIGN — I had heard this many times but it finally dawned on me that it was a 15. Then I started to think of how it could be part of a theme. I eventually came upon the progression of the words SEINE, SCENE, SIGN, SEWN, SOON.

I had decided a while ago that if I ever did one of these that I didn't just want it to be a simple replacement of vowels. The less similar the words was better in my book.

Jeff Chen notes:
Been a while since we've seen a vowel progression, and I liked this one. Neat that there are five words that 1.) start with an S ... read more

Been a while since we've seen a vowel progression, and I liked this one. Neat that there are five words that 1.) start with an S sound, 2.) end with an N sound, and 3.) have a long vowel in between. Creative to use RIVER SEINE — I wonder if Mike tried to fine something fitting ___ SANE, but that must have driven him insane.

Ah, Leia's buns ...

At first LORD GIVE ME A SIGN felt odd, as I usually think of it just as GIVE ME A SIGN. (Who else would people be asking for a sign from?) But some Googling shows that the preceding LORD is quite common.

I also wasn't a huge fan of CUT AND SEWN, as it felt like the one phrases which felt contrived in order to make the theme work.

But Google again proved me wrong. Shows what I know. GOOGLE GIVE ME A SIGN!

I appreciate Mike's extra mile efforts in giving us parallel downs, and great ones at that. SOVIET ERA, RICE A RONI, and EGREGIOUS? BRING IT ON, excellent stuff. This arrangement is very tough to get clean, and both upper left (UNI, ANA, ENE) and lower right (who ever types out ONE D? and SNO) show strain typcial for this layout. Still, I don't mind the minor glue, considering how much vivacity the long downs add.

One clarification for people confused with the RHYME clue: [Hot to trot, e.g.]. I like the idea here, repurposing the phrase "hot to trot," but it seems to me that "hot for trot" might have been more accurate. Destroys the wordplay, of course.

Finally, the puzzle had me at PLEA: [Help me, Obi-wan Kenobi," e.g.]. My daughter, a "Y is for Yoda" onesie she has.

1
E
2
B
3
S
4
E
5
N
6
T
7
R
8
I
9
O
10
A
11
R
12
T
13
S
14
C
R
O
N
E
15
H
E
A
D
16
T
H
A
W
17
R
I
V
E
R
18
S
E
I
N
E
19
T
Y
K
E
20
U
N
I
21
D
A
M
N
22
A
I
M
E
D
23
G
E
24
E
25
C
R
A
26
S
27
H
S
C
E
N
E
28
F
I
T
N
29
E
S
S
30
H
A
H
A
31
A
T
E
I
N
32
H
A
L
F
33
R
34
E
35
O
36
L
O
R
D
G
37
I
38
V
E
M
E
A
39
S
I
G
N
40
A
N
A
41
L
B
A
R
42
L
U
C
R
E
43
M
A
I
N
44
O
45
I
L
S
E
E
D
46
C
47
U
48
T
A
N
D
S
49
E
W
N
50
S
A
G
51
A
V
O
I
D
52
A
L
O
53
E
54
R
I
55
O
56
R
U
N
T
57
C
58
O
M
I
N
G
59
S
O
O
N
60
P
L
E
A
61
A
W
E
S
62
A
N
N
U
L
63
S
A
R
I
64
M
E
S
H
65
N
O
I
S
Y
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0901 ( 24,038 )
Across
1
Buddy of "The Beverly Hillbillies" : EBSEN
6
Small combo : TRIO
10
Music and dance, for two : ARTS
14
Witchy sort : CRONE
15
Foam on a beer : HEAD
16
Spring event : THAW
17
Locale of the Île de la Cité : RIVERSEINE
19
Rug rat : TYKE
20
Prefix with brow : UNI
21
"___ Yankees" : DAMN
22
Pointed : AIMED
23
"Well, I'll be!" : GEE
25
Highway investigation site : CRASHSCENE
28
Goal of exercise : FITNESS
30
It's a laugh : HAHA
31
Had home cooking : ATEIN
32
30 minutes, in the N.F.L. : HALF
33
Classic car inits. : REO
36
Request from one seeking help from above : LORDGIVEMEASIGN
40
Santa ___ winds : ANA
41
90-degree angle iron : LBAR
42
Riches : LUCRE
43
Street one block over from Second, maybe : MAIN
44
Castor bean, for one : OILSEED
46
Like clothing customized from raw fabric : CUTANDSEWN
50
Show age, in a way : SAG
51
Steer clear of : AVOID
52
Lotion additive : ALOE
54
2016 Olympics city : RIO
56
Little pup : RUNT
57
Phrase over a movie poster : COMINGSOON
60
"Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi," e.g. : PLEA
61
Wows : AWES
62
Invalidate : ANNUL
63
Draped dress : SARI
64
Work well together : MESH
65
Clamorous : NOISY
Down
1
Shade of many a lampshade : ECRU
2
Them's fighting words : BRINGITON
3
Like the name "Leningrad" : SOVIETERA
4
Suffix with ethyl : ENE
5
One scoring 100% on Sporcle quizzes, say : NERD
6
One's wife, informally : THEMRS
7
Madrid's ___ Sofia Museum : REINA
8
Hotelier Schrager who co-founded Studio 54 : IAN
9
Dedicated poem : ODE
10
Prison riot town : ATTICA
11
Hot to trot, e.g. : RHYME
12
Spoken for : TAKEN
13
Alfred Nobel, for one : SWEDE
18
Beneficial baseball outs, for short : SACS
22
Post-eruption phenomenon : ASHFALL
24
Oklahoma city : ENID
26
Hoax : SHAM
27
Sound in body : HALE
28
F.D.R.'s dog : FALA
29
Winner (and host) of the 1966 FIFA World Cup : ENGLAND
32
Pronoun for a ship : HER
33
Grocery item known as "The San Francisco Treat" : RICEARONI
34
Flagrant : EGREGIOUS
35
Linear, for short : ONED
37
Footnote abbr. : IBID
38
Movers' trucks : VANS
39
Figure (out) : SUSS
43
Cocktail often served with a pineapple garnish : MAITAI
44
Wise-looking : OWLISH
45
Wise to : INON
46
Complains : CARPS
47
Throat dangler : UVULA
48
Contents of an HP cartridge : TONER
49
Chair designer Charles : EAMES
53
Former New York archbishop : EGAN
55
Title word before "You," "U" or "Yesterday" in hit songs : ONLY
57
Engine part : CAM
58
"You ___ me one" : OWE
59
___-cone : SNO

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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