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New York Times, Monday, September 10, 2018

Author:
Jacob Stulberg
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
3012/25/20131/2/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
3449640
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.597100
Jacob Stulberg

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 34 Missing: {JQZ} This is puzzle # 28 for Mr. Stulberg. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jacob Stulberg notes:
Today's grid underwent one small change between submission and publication: 35-Across was originally REBA, clued as 'Sitcom that ... read more

Today's grid underwent one small change between submission and publication: 35-Across was originally REBA, clued as "Sitcom that starred a country singer." (I'll have to assume that there's an unwritten one-country-singer-turned-actor-per-puzzle limit.) Favorite clue: 10-Down.

Jeff Chen notes:
Something new at XWord Info this week: 'Jim and Jeff, at the Puzzles'! I was a huge fan of Siskel and Ebert's back and forth – ... read more

Something new at XWord Info this week: "Jim and Jeff, at the Puzzles"! I was a huge fan of Siskel and Ebert's back and forth – often disagreeing, but always done respectfully. Jim and I will alternate days, of who goes first and who does the rebuttal.

Such perfect SPREADing of the four CHEESEs today. I loved that Jacob:

  1. used four four-letter cheeses, for perfect consistency
  2. spread them so regularly — exactly every other letter
  3. aligned them either to the beginning or the ending of the theme phrase.

Near perfect, I say! My only hesitation was in BLEU – you can ask most anyone for FETA and EDAM and BRIE without confusion. Ask for BLEU at the front of your grocery store, and who knows what you'll get! Besides the stink-eye.

But ultimately, that's a small complaint. So I dug the elegance of these finds.

I wasn't exactly sure who BURL IVES was, so I might have chosen BERLINER instead. BURL IVES is undoubtedly crossworthy though, so it's simply a matter of preference.

Along with Stulbergian craftsmanship – fun bonuses in GET BUSY, AL ROKER, STOOD ASIDE, and TAKES A BOW with very little grid glue (HOO and maybe EWERS) — this was in my POW! running.

Jim Horne notes:
I do not understand Jeff's objection to BLEU. Like the other circled words, it's a kind of cheese. One might as well complain that ... read more

I do not understand Jeff's objection to BLEU. Like the other circled words, it's a kind of cheese. One might as well complain that some of the cheeses here are from cow milk, but others are from sheep milk. (FETA can, apparently, even include goat milk.)

I love the BURL IVES clue but, Jeff is right, it's less satisfying if you don't know the man. He was a popular folksy singer in his day with a gentle, engaging voice. The "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" reference elevates the entry. When you think of that iconic film, you probably flash to Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman. It takes a few seconds to remember that, oh yeah, Burl Ives played Big Daddy. "There ain't nothin' more powerful than the odor of mendacity!"

Mr. Stulberg is right about 10-Down. "Grp. making after-work plans?" for AARP is sublime.

I'm looking forward to arguing with Jeff this week. Well, we always argue, but this week we'll do it in public. Let's see if we're still friends after seven days. It's been years since I've written regularly about crosswords. This should be fun.

1
I
2
D
3
T
4
A
5
G
6
A
7
B
8
S
9
R
10
A
11
S
12
T
13
A
14
F
O
R
C
E
15
M
E
W
16
E
A
T
O
N
17
F
R
E
E
T
18
R
A
D
E
19
F
R
O
N
T
20
Y
A
K
21
B
O
S
S
E
22
S
23
P
O
S
H
24
B
U
D
S
25
T
H
26
E
27
D
I
E
28
C
29
H
30
E
E
S
E
31
D
E
A
D
32
C
A
L
M
33
C
O
M
F
Y
34
T
O
N
G
U
E
S
35
S
O
B
E
36
N
A
M
E
S
37
L
I
38
F
39
E
40
A
L
41
R
O
K
E
R
42
S
E
D
A
N
43
B
44
U
R
L
I
V
E
S
45
S
P
R
E
A
D
46
I
N
K
47
G
A
S
48
P
L
A
Y
49
A
W
E
50
D
51
S
A
52
V
I
O
R
53
L
54
E
55
O
56
N
O
D
U
57
H
58
B
I
L
G
E
59
P
U
M
P
60
C
R
O
N
E
61
O
N
E
62
M
E
R
I
T
63
A
N
N
E
X
64
W
E
D
65
E
W
E
R
S
© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0910 ( 25,143 )
Across
1
Sticker that says who you are : IDTAG
6
Part of the body that crunches work : ABS
9
Dreadlocks wearer, informally : RASTA
14
The "F" of R.A.F. : FORCE
15
Kitten's sound : MEW
16
Use as a dinner table : EATON
17
Zero-tariff policy : FREETRADE
19
Back's opposite : FRONT
20
Shaggy grazer : YAK
21
Orders (around) : BOSSES
23
Swanky : POSH
24
Beginning blossoms : BUDS
25
With 39-Down, last words in many an old movie : THE
27
Six-sided game piece : DIE
28
With 45-Across, savory topping found in tubs ... and the circled squares? : CHEESE
31
Complete lack of wind, as at sea : DEADCALM
33
Feeling good to wear, say : COMFY
34
Languages : TONGUES
35
Iced tea brand in a bottle : SOBE
36
When repeated, gets specific, as an informer : NAMES
37
"Where there's ___, there's hope" : LIFE
40
Guinness world record holder for longest live weather report : ALROKER
42
Alternative to an S.U.V. : SEDAN
43
"Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" actor : BURLIVES
45
See 28-Across : SPREAD
46
Pen filler : INK
47
ExxonMobil product : GAS
48
Work's opposite : PLAY
49
Bowled over : AWED
51
Messiah : SAVIOR
53
Only three-letter zodiac sign : LEO
56
"Well, obviously!" : NODUH
58
Device to remove water from a ship : BILGEPUMP
60
Aged fairy tale character : CRONE
61
"We're number ___!" : ONE
62
Worth : MERIT
63
Secondary building : ANNEX
64
Marry : WED
65
Wide-mouthed jugs : EWERS
Down
1
Far from certain : IFFY
2
___ the Explorer : DORA
3
Journey : TREK
4
Crackerjack : ACE
5
"Start working!" : GETBUSY
6
Accumulate : AMASS
7
Where flowers and oysters grow : BEDS
8
Sugar, e.g. : SWEETENER
9
Wearer of stripes on a court, informally : REF
10
Grp. making after-work plans? : AARP
11
Moved out of the way : STOODASIDE
12
Throat part : TONSIL
13
"O Canada," for Canada : ANTHEM
18
Was a passenger : RODE
22
Retrieves, as baseballs : SHAGS
24
Happened to : BEFELL
26
Last part of U.R.I.'s URL : EDU
28
Includes in an email : CCS
29
Slangy ending for "any" : HOO
30
Began, as a voyage : EMBARKEDON
31
Mosque toppers : DOMES
32
Waldorf salad ingredient : CELERY
34
Acknowledges applause, maybe : TAKESABOW
36
Bursting stars : NOVAS
38
Org. overseeing airports : FAA
39
See 25-Across : END
41
Oil ___ (gulf sight) : RIG
42
"Oh, puh-leeze!" : SPAREME
43
Human rights advocate Jagger : BIANCA
44
Like brand-new clothing : UNWORN
45
Trudge : SLOG
48
Stacked : PILED
50
Sand ridge : DUNE
52
Grape or watermelon plant : VINE
53
Item in a tackle box : LURE
54
Mideast bigwig : EMIR
55
Chooses, with "for" : OPTS
57
Bit of voodoo : HEX
59
Where parishioners sit : PEW

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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