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New York Times, Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Author: Bruce Haight
Editor: Will Shortz
Bruce Haight
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1.56022

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 34 Missing: {QXZ} This is puzzle # 28 for Mr. Haight. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Bruce Haight notes: My first try at this puzzle got sent back for poor fill. Will really liked the northwest area, so I only had to redo 75%! I don't ... more
Bruce Haight notes:

My first try at this puzzle got sent back for poor fill. Will really liked the northwest area, so I only had to redo 75%! I don't remember how I came up with the idea to do "words starting with two letter Roman numerals ending in I" as a theme, but I do remember watching "Dallas" episodes a lot back in the 80's and I remember thinking VIEWINGS was the best entry in this puzzle. My submitted clue was [Bobby, Pam, Ellie, Jock, Sue Ellen and JR?]

The idea that MISTRESSES could be 1001 causes of anxiety also struck me as pretty funny. That was two years ago, and now I would be more impressed with LIFELINES, since compound words and two-word phrases make better theme entries in general. MISTRESSES has some pretty common letters but I can't see where it has ever appeared in any major puzzle venue before. Happenstance or breakfast table test effect?

Jeff Chen notes: There have been many plays on Roman numerals in crosswords over the years, but I don't remember this exact implementation. Fun a-ha, ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

There have been many plays on Roman numerals in crosswords over the years, but I don't remember this exact implementation. Fun a-ha, realizing that MISTRESSES should be parsed as MI STRESSES (M = 1000, I = 1). My favorite was LIFELINES changing to LI FELINES (L = 50) — such a cool transformation!

Nice that Bruce used a big set of V, L, C, D, M. Would have been perfect to get X for the sake of completion, but there aren't many options starting with XI. XIA DYNASTY = 11, A DYNASTY? Um ... no.

Also would have been nice to get an arithmetic progression, going V L C D M or M D C L V, but what can you do. More important is to pick themers that produce some laughs.

Pretty good grid execution, nice bonuses in HOME LAB / IM IN AWE / PR STUNT — great triplet! — along with AW NUTS, IPHONES. It would have been great to get a few more fantastic entries outside of that snazzy NW corner. Most of the mid-length fill does a fine job, but LEAD ORE or ATE INTO aren't going to win many accolades.

A touch too much crossword glue for my taste, for an early-week puzzle. Entries like NRC (National Response Corporation? Nuclear Regulatory Commission? Natural Resources Consultants?) can be a turn-off to newer solvers, as can tough names like OMRI. CREEPO is an odd word, and some DOO ETTE rounds it out.

Given how important I think it is to hook newer solvers into the fun of crosswords, I'd much prefer constructors to err on the side of cleanliness instead of jazziness. For example, as much as I liked the colorful entries in the NW corner, I might have preferred to get just two of those great answers without the price of OMRI.

I know, I want everything! So demanding.

Great clue in DUELS — "Pacers" meaning "people who pace" instead of the Indiana Pacers.

Nice theme idea. Roman numerals have been such a gold mine for constructors; fun to see a slight twist.

1
H
2
I
3
P
4
S
5
E
6
N
7
D
8
O
9
W
10
S
11
H
12
A
13
H
14
O
M
R
I
15
V
E
R
D
I
16
H
O
N
E
17
M
I
S
T
18
R
E
S
S
E
S
19
A
T
T
A
20
E
N
T
21
U
S
S
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E
23
S
P
I
E
D
24
L
A
U
25
D
S
26
C
27
I
S
T
E
R
N
S
28
A
W
N
U
T
29
S
30
O
N
T
O
31
O
N
E
32
B
E
T
E
33
P
34
R
O
D
35
R
36
A
N
A
T
37
L
38
I
F
E
L
I
39
N
E
S
40
S
41
P
42
A
S
M
43
T
E
A
R
44
S
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L
46
I
47
M
48
A
R
T
49
H
50
O
A
R
51
C
52
R
E
E
P
O
53
V
I
E
54
W
I
N
G
S
55
U
T
A
H
N
56
A
V
I
A
T
E
57
J
58
A
B
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D
O
O
60
G
Y
N
T
61
D
62
I
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V
E
R
S
64
I
O
N
S
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E
T
T
E
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G
L
A
D
E
67
T
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K
68
D
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69
E
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D
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I
© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0912 ( 24,780 )
Across Down
1. "___ Don't Lie" (2006 Shakira hit) : HIPS
5. Fund : ENDOW
10. Ruler deposed in 1979 : SHAH
14. Father of Ahab in the Bible : OMRI
15. Composer whose name is Italian for "green" : VERDI
16. Sharpen, as a skill : HONE
17. 1,001 causes of anxiety? : MISTRESSES
19. "___ baby!" : ATTA
20. Doc who might perform laryngologic surgery : ENT
21. ___ Enterprise : USS
22. Spotted : ESPIED
24. Gives kudos to : LAUDS
26. 101 rear ends? : CISTERNS
28. "Darn it!" : AWNUTS
30. "___ the next" : ONTO
31. Inseparable : ONE
32. ___ noire (pet peeve) : BETE
33. Poke : PROD
35. Charged toward : RANAT
37. 51 cats? : LIFELINES
40. Twitch : SPASM
43. Makeup smearer : TEAR
44. Like a long shot's chances : SLIM
48. Singer Garfunkel : ART
49. Frost : HOAR
51. Strangely repulsive sort : CREEPO
53. Six members of a "Dallas" family? : VIEWINGS
55. Provo resident : UTAHN
56. Fly : AVIATE
57. Poke : JAB
59. ___-wop : DOO
60. Ibsen's "Peer ___" : GYNT
61. 501 renditions? : DIVERSIONS
65. Suffix with kitchen : ETTE
66. Clearing in the woods : GLADE
67. Hike along the Appalachian Trail, e.g. : TREK
68. Way in or way out : DOOR
69. Designer Perry : ELLIS
70. He loved Lucy : DESI
1. Many a meth production site : HOMELAB
2. "That was ... amazing!" : IMINAWE
3. Cheap way to get media attention : PRSTUNT
4. Convene, as a legislature : SIT
5. Two big nights in December : EVES
6. Loch ___ : NESS
7. H.M.O. V.I.P.s : DRS
8. Wordsworth work : ODE
9. Most sensible : WISEST
10. You might run to get in it : SHAPE
11. Branding tool : HOTIRON
12. Insect feeler : ANTENNA
13. Telemarketer's accessory : HEADSET
18. Deteriorate with inactivity : RUST
23. Squirrel away : STORE
25. Pacers' engagements? : DUELS
26. Picnic items : COOLERS
27. World's most populous democracy : INDIA
29. Beach bottle letters : SPF
34. Adjust the price on : RETAG
36. It's no liability : ASSET
38. Paintballer's cry : IMHIT
39. Org. concerned with meltdowns : NRC
40. Criticized brutally : SAVAGED
41. In on : PRIVYTO
42. Eroded : ATEINTO
45. Galena or cerussite : LEADORE
46. Devices with Siri : IPHONES
47. Relative of a snowboard : MONOSKI
50. Tense : ONEDGE
52. Summons a genie, perhaps : RUBS
54. Word repeated before "everywhere" : WATER
57. Yoda, e.g. : JEDI
58. Son of Zeus : ARES
62. Kind of wind that blows no good : ILL
63. Actor Kilmer of "Tombstone" : VAL
64. "___ be my pleasure" : ITD

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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