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New York Times, Saturday, September 12, 2015

Author: Damon Gulczynski
Editor: Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
3511/8/20048/10/20180
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14507810
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.65320
Damon J. Gulczynski

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 70, Blocks: 36 Missing: {KQWZ} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 10 for Mr. Gulczynski. NYT links: Across Lite PDF

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Damon J. Gulczynski notes: I think it would be ironic if somebody put in GAFFE for 1-Down. I actually start all my algorithms at step zero, not ... more
Damon J. Gulczynski notes:
  1. I think it would be ironic if somebody put in GAFFE for 1-Down.
  2. I actually start all my algorithms at step zero, not STEPONE. (I love a good array-indexing joke.)
  3. I initially thought of CHRISTIANSINGLES for 34-Across and was very disappointed when I realized it was too long. When CHRISTIANMINGLE came to me, it felt like a miracle.
  4. Jim Brown and Jim Kelly were both big BLAXPLOITATION stars, but only one of them is the Pro Football Hall of Famer.
  5. This is the first time IJSSEL has appeared in an NYT puzzle — is AFSLUITDIJK next?
  6. I despise Crosswordese, except, apparently, when it's in French.
  7. Is one who makes nonkosher meals a TREF CHEF?
  8. I tried and failed to come up with a good Vint CERF/surf the Internet pun.
  9. "Vegan wrap?" for FAUXFUR is, I think, a pretty good pun.
  10. I'm not BICURIOUS, but I'm bicurious-curious.
Jeff Chen notes: Man, what a bizarre (and cool!) spelling of BLAXPLOITATION. I'm sure there will be many others who started with BLACK and then ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Man, what a bizarre (and cool!) spelling of BLAXPLOITATION. I'm sure there will be many others who started with BLACK and then continued with SPLOITATI ... *$%! that doesn't fit! Cool morphing of the CKS into an X.

It's hard to imagine what movie producers were thinking at the time.

I fell into another trap with CHRISTIAN MINGLE, which I was sure was CHRISTIAN SINGLES. Given that this was another answer that didn't fit, it took me a while to convince myself that there wasn't a rebus going on. Sneaky, very sneaky.

Even after reading up on the two Christian dating sites, it's unclear to me what the difference is. Sure makes for a good crossword trap. (And a saucy pairing with BI-CURIOUS!)

Damon's layout doesn't allow for a lot of long (8+ letter) answers, but he does have some seven-letter slots to shore up the snazziness. FAUX FUR is a great one. I would have liked a couple more.

With so many four-letter entries — a whopping 26 of them — it's so important to avoid drawing attention to them. The fine ones like SCOT, CHEF, EDEN, even MOOG, do that job nicely. Not as much so when there are borderline ones, and multiple ones from the same category. Some French (AOUT, ALUI, IDEE), hard proper nouns (CERF, EVIE, along with Tony OLIVA), and some terms I only ever learned from crosswordese (MOIL, TREF, AGHA) ... those last three are all reasonably fine by themselves in my opinion, but when you have them together, it makes for a less than desirable effect.

Same goes for CBER and RAVER. Generally, I don't have an issue with either, but together it seems like a little too much iffiness.

Such a fun clue for SNARE: [It's got game, often]. It's too bad it couldn't fully be misdirectional to something colorful like "he got game," but sometimes you can only go so far without torturing the clue.

And saving the best for last, the clue [What you find crawlers on]. So many times we've been misdirected toward the internet, so that's where I automatically went, looking for a WEB BROWSER or something. ALL FOURS is such a snappy answer.

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© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0912 ( 24,049 )
Across Down
1. Emperor after Nero : GALBA
6. One celebrating the holiday Hogmanay : SCOT
10. Nickname for many a 6-Across : MAC
13. Step above the rookie leagues, informally : ABALL
14. Ottoman pooh-bah : AGHA
15. ___ Bunny (Bugs Bunny's girlfriend) : LOLA
16. Unbroken : FERAL
17. Willing to experiment, in a way : BICURIOUS
19. Vegan wrap? : FAUXFUR
21. Ear malady : OTALGIA
22. Start of an algorithm : STEPONE
23. Be in continuous agitation : MOIL
24. ___ Suárez, player suspended during the 2014 World Cup for biting another player : LUIS
25. Bad things to give away : ENDINGS
29. One in a trailer : ACTOR
32. Man's name that means "king" : ROY
33. Juillet follower : AOUT
34. Forum for seekers of faithful partners? : CHRISTIANMINGLE
38. Satisfy : MEET
39. Columbia ___ (D.C. neighborhood: Abbr.) : HTS
40. Expertise, informally : CHOPS
41. Wipes out : EFFACES
43. Thought about France : IDEE
45. Beginning to flop? : TERA
46. It rises out of a depression : JOBLOSS
50. Natural Instincts maker : CLAIROL
53. Whup but good : SHELLAC
54. 1961 invasion locale : BAYOFPIGS
56. One of three in a 1986 comedy : AMIGO
57. Starting point of a long race? : EDEN
58. Singer/songwriter Sands : EVIE
59. One going clubbing, maybe : RAVER
60. House measure: Abbr. : RES
61. Persuade : SELL
62. It's got game, often : SNARE
1. Fishing hooks : GAFFS
2. One moment : ABEAT
3. Lash in old westerns : LARUE
4. Genre of the 1970s movies "Foxy Brown" and "Three the Hard Way" : BLAXPLOITATION
5. What you find crawlers on : ALLFOURS
6. Pro team from New York : SABRES
7. Part of many a sci-fi film : CGI
8. "Surely you're joking!" : OHCOMEON
9. Taxonomic designation like Rattus rattus : TAUTONYM
10. Instrument in "Switched-On Bach" : MOOG
11. Writing on a French gift tag : ALUI
12. One may be found on una calle : CASA
15. "Toys in the Attic" playwright, 1960 : LILLIANHELLMAN
18. Bust : RAID
20. College abroad : UNI
26. Aborted : NOGO
27. 7-Eleven's Big ___ : GULP
28. Some Fr. honorees : STES
29. Ultimate point : ACME
30. One with a lot of coursework? : CHEF
31. Not kosher : TREF
32. Hall monitors, for short : RAS
35. How things work : THEROPES
36. Horror movie cry : ITSALIVE
37. Knoxville hockey squad : ICEBEARS
42. Vint ___, one of the so-called "fathers of the Internet" : CERF
43. Dutch branch of the Rhine : IJSSEL
44. "Silly me!" : DOH
47. Twins great Tony : OLIVA
48. Relatively prudent : SAGER
49. 50-50, maybe : SCORE
50. One navigating breakers? : CBER
51. Put weight on : LADE
52. Side for passage : AYES
55. Scott-Heron who wrote "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" : GIL

Answer summary: 7 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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