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New York Times, Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Author:
Iain S. Padley
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutCollabs
19/15/20150
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0010000
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.53000
Iain S. Padley

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 36 Missing: {QXZ} This is the debut puzzle for Mr. Padley. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Iain S. Padley notes:
I started this puzzle in college to pass the time working the night shift at the security desk. That was years ago and I've written a ... read more

I started this puzzle in college to pass the time working the night shift at the security desk. That was years ago and I've written a lot of puzzles since then, but I'm glad this one will be the first in the NYT. I think it's a pretty straightforward theme and I'd like to thank Will and Frank Longo for their advice on the fill. I hope everyone enjoys the puzzle!

Jeff Chen notes:
Debut! Iain takes the Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell hit 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough' and parses out the barriers. It takes some ... read more

Debut! Iain takes the Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell hit "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and parses out the barriers. It takes some implied words to make it work — (ain't no) MOUNTAIN HIGH (enough), (ain't no) VALLEY LOW (enough), (ain't no) RIVER WIDE (enough), to keep me from GETTING TO YOU (babe) — but there's enough there that I started humming the catchy tune. Good pick me up.

Gaye and Terrell

Many debut constructors are simply happy to complete a filled grid, so I like what Iain does here, leaving a couple of 7 and 8-letter slots for additional pizzazz. At first I wasn't sure about TOWAWAYS, but Google says it's a legit term. I can imagine it being used in conversation, as well. RENEGE ON is a perfectly fine answer, although I don't know that I'd call it a huge asset to the puzzle. AVATAR and JETSET do sparkle things up a bit.

Check out the west section, where AVATAR also jazzes up the joint. ALL NEW is also pretty darn good. Those 6x3 sections can be tricky though, which is why constructors usually stick to 4x3 and 5x3 sections around the perimeter. Not ideal to highlight two partials — A BAR and L RON — by crossing them with each other.

Other than that though, just minor gluey bits like ENE, EST, OBI, etc. Not bad. FLOR is pretty deep into Spanish, but it is similar enough to "flora" that it's not unreasonable.

Neat clue for the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). "The daily diary of the American dream" sounds like something only an MBA-type would dream up. I bet one of them (us) did a SWOT analysis and then a Five Forces study to evaluate the synergies and proactivity of the slogan.

I would have liked the lyrics either more fully integrated into the puzzle (with AINT NO / ENOUGH in there somehow), or something trickier done to imply the missing words. But overall, a nice idea for a puzzle.

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© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0915 ( 24,052 )

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Across
1
Like all students at Atlanta's Morehouse College : MALE
5
What a mascot represents : TEAM
9
Ready money : FUNDS
14
Dvorák's "O Silver Moon," for one : ARIA
15
Kristiania, after 1925 : OSLO
16
"Stop being so silly!" : OHYOU
17
Taiwanese computer brand : ACER
18
Not leave, as for something more important : WAITAROUND
20
First obstacle in a 1967 R&B hit : MOUNTAINHIGH
22
Farmyard female : SOW
23
Title girl in a J. D. Salinger story : ESME
24
"The daily diary of the American dream" sloganeer, for short : WSJ
27
Grp. conducting raids : ATF
30
Grp. conducting raids in W.W. II : RAF
32
Florida Gulf city, informally : STPETE
34
Second obstacle : VALLEYLOW
38
Forecast around 32 degrees : SLEET
39
"A priest and a dog walk into ___ ..." : ABAR
40
On the wagon : SOBER
42
Singles : ONES
43
Coach : TUTOR
45
Third obstacle : RIVERWIDE
47
Completely original : ALLNEW
49
K.C.-to-Detroit dir. : ENE
50
French "is" : EST
51
Major-league player from 32-Across : RAY
52
Ramadan observance : FAST
55
Telesthesia, for example : ESP
57
Objective in the 1967 R&B hit : GETTINGTOYOU
62
First monument on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Va. : ROBERTELEE
65
Loads : LOTS
66
"Looks ___ everything" : ARENT
67
Muppet with an orange nose : ELMO
68
Related : AKIN
69
The Boy Scouts' "Be Prepared," e.g. : MOTTO
70
City at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône : LYON
71
Parks in 1955 news : ROSA
Down
1
"Yes, ___" : MAAM
2
Chevron competitor : ARCO
3
In ___ of : LIEU
4
Pulls in, as a salary : EARNS
5
They populate impound lots : TOWAWAYS
6
Morales of "NYPD Blue" : ESAI
7
Simple dress design : ALINE
8
Ones in the closet? : MOTHS
9
Totally blanks on : FORGETS
10
[Gulp!] : UHOH
11
Sch. in Greenwich Village since 1835 : NYU
12
Person behind the hits? : DON
13
Where Nice is en France : SUD
19
Intentions : AIMS
21
Drove like a demon : TORE
24
Twerp : WEENIE
25
Rides at the Renaissance Faire : STEEDS
26
Frequent fliers : JETSET
27
First movie to top "Titanic" at the box office : AVATAR
28
___ rasa (clean slate) : TABULA
29
Unequivocally : FLATLY
31
Bolivian blossom : FLOR
33
Snow clearer : PLOW
35
Scientology founder Hubbard : LRON
36
Geisha's sash : OBI
37
Bob Seger's "___ Got Tonite" : WEVE
41
Not honor, as a promise : RENEGEON
44
Mention : REFERTO
46
Part of R&R : REST
48
Light bulb unit : WATT
53
Product of the Nucor Corporation : STEEL
54
Meg of "The Big Chill" and "Agnes of God" : TILLY
56
Word with cap or opposite : POLAR
57
Lady's man : GENT
58
"Finding ___" : NEMO
59
John's "bed-in" bedmate : YOKO
60
William ___, inventor of the steam shovel : OTIS
61
Jack Ryan's teaching post in Tom Clancy novels, briefly : USNA
62
Dodge truck : RAM
63
Tijuana gold : ORO
64
Play the ponies, say : BET

Answer summary: 6 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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