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New York Times, Thursday, September 15, 2016

Author:
Ian Livengood
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
554/12/20109/15/20164
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
617667112
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.64371
Ian Livengood

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 74, Blocks: 34 Missing: {JQZ} This is puzzle # 55 for Mr. Livengood. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Ian Livengood notes:
I made the grid earlier this year, and like many of my completed puzzles, it sat unclued for months. When I finally got around to ... read more

I made the grid earlier this year, and like many of my completed puzzles, it sat unclued for months. When I finally got around to cluing the puzzle, I loved riffing on the conventional "Part 1, Part 2, etc." that appear in crossword clues from time to time. I also wanted the first clue's anagram to be completely natural. TRIO for TORI is a great fit since it's directly related to music.

I don't like making puzzles too difficult to solve — after all, I want the solver to finish. So, it'll be interesting to see how solvers do with this one. Depending on your fondness for anagrams, I expect a lot of DNFs.

Jeff Chen notes:
I'll admit, I was one of the DNFs (did not finishes) Ian mentioned — I stopped doing this puzzle about a quarter of the way ... read more

I'll admit, I was one of the DNFs (did not finishes) Ian mentioned — I stopped doing this puzzle about a quarter of the way through (and 15 minutes in). Anagrams can be really fun, but I poop out after a few of them, so 70+ was way too much for me. I have a feeling Scrabble fans might love the sheer quantity, though.

I looked through the finished grid and admired a lot of the clue/entry pairs. I was stumped by the very first one, and I smiled at what I had missed afterward — [Trio who released …] was actually [Tori who released …]. As Ian mentioned, it's absolutely perfect for this theme, as the clue sounded so natural, masking its deviousness. Same goes for [Isabel of mathematics fame], which is actually [Blaise …]. Great anagram find, along with the very innocent-seeming clue.

There were enough others, though, where the clue felt so tortured that I knew something odd was going on — [Causal negative] seemed like a typo, [Lima expense] felt like it wasn't grammatically right, etc. It's pretty easy to get a few of these anagrams to be perfectly disguised, as with Tori/Tori, but to get all 70+ of them might be near impossible. I do like the effort to make all the clues fit the pattern, but enough of them didn't work for me that the effect lost some of its magic.

I did love figuring out (after looking at the solution grid) that [Trap #1 …] ALSO fit the pattern! I was wondering why they were listed as three separate traps, and the a-ha discovery that the clues actually meant [Part #1 …] was brilliant. Particularly appropriate that "part" anagrams into "trap."

A very smooth grid, even though Ian had to work with a strict constraint: he couldn't allow even one entry that couldn't be clued in this tricky way. A single ALAI or something might have meant disaster. And there were even a few nice entries like SPARTAN, O CANADA, FRIGATE to boot.

Jim Horne notes:
Here are the anagrams: Across: 1. Tori 5. Teen's 10. Neuter 14. Kin 15. Nation 16. Drove 17. Part 19. Jihad 20. Top 21. Region 22. ... read more

Here are the anagrams:

Across: 1. Tori 5. Teen's 10. Neuter 14. Kin 15. Nation 16. Drove 17. Part 19. Jihad 20. Top 21. Region 22. Avis 24. Shade 26. Ship 27. Slog 28. Glided 31. Secured 32. Caper 34. Nap 35. Triage 36. Part 39. Dawn 42. Name 43. Pepsi 46. iPad 47. Posh 49. Large 51. NaCl 53. Blaise 55. Straying 56. Spots 58. West 59. Things 60. Part 63. Deseret 64. Nerve 65. Steins 66. Former 67. Diary 68. List

Down: 1. Producer 2. Animal 3. Strain 4. Slump 5. Slashes 6. Weak 7. Resort 8. Casual 9. State 10. Golfer's 11. Mail 12. Plane 13. Agreed 18. Item 23. Sources 25. Hasbro 26. Gardenia 29. Agree 30. Lead-in 33. Cruise 37. Maher 38. Decimal 39. Relents 40. Run 41. Fighter 44. Singer 45. Rahm 48. Actor 50. First 52. Sister 54. Bat 56. Risqué 57. Shoe 61. Vote 62. Cool

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© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0915 ( 24,418 )

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Across
1
Trio who released the 1994 album "Under the Pink" : AMOS
5
Tense talk, often : SLANG
10
Tenure : SPAY
14
Ink of elite type : PICA
15
Anoint in the western Pacific : PALAU
16
Roved unpredictably : WOVE
17
Trap #1 to solving this puzzle : ANAGRAMTHE
19
Hadji group, briefly : ISIS
20
Pot ___ : TEN
21
Ignore : AREA
22
Visa offering : RENTAL
24
Heads seen on Halloween : ORANGE
26
Hips that can move quickly : FRIGATE
27
Logs through water : WADE
28
Gilded smoothly : SAILED
31
Rescued : GOT
32
Pacer : LARK
34
Pan sound : SNORE
35
Gaiter locales, for short : ERS
36
Trap #2 : FIRSTWORD
39
Wand representer, in myth : EOS
42
Mane seen around the farm : DEERE
43
Pipes purchase of 2001 : SOBE
46
Paid purchase, perhaps : APP
47
Shop houses : MANORS
49
Regal volume : TOME
51
Clan from the ocean : SEASALT
53
Isabel of mathematics fame : PASCAL
55
Stingray : ERRANT
56
Stops to get a massage : SPAS
58
Stew ___ : END
59
Nights that high schoolers obsess over : SATS
60
Trap #3 : INEACHCLUE
63
Steered, today : UTAH
64
Never : MOXIE
65
Insets may be filled with them : ALES
66
Reform transportation secretary : PENA
67
Dairy unit : ENTRY
68
Slit : TILT
Down
1
Procured for many big 2000s comedies : APATOW
2
Manila alternative, in a guessing game : MINERAL
3
Trains for an N.H.L. game, say : OCANADA
4
Plums : SAG
5
Hassles in a bowling alley : SPARES
6
Wake : LAME
7
Roster in 63-Across : ALTA
8
Causal negative : NAH
9
Taste of Mexico : GUERRERO
10
Folgers concern : SWING
11
Lima expense : POSTAGE
12
Nepal V.I.P. : AVIATOR
13
"Geared!" : YESLETS
18
Time for a grease monkey : RAG
23
Courses that get you down? : EIDERS
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Abhors material for making toys : NERF
26
Drainage, e.g. : FLOWER
29
Eager (to) : ASSENT
30
Nailed, for short : INTRO
33
Curie's partner, once : KIDMAN
37
Harem show on HBO : REALTIME
38
Medical points, e.g. : DOTS
39
Nestler : EASESUP
40
Urn : OPERATE
41
Freight of ancient Greece : SPARTAN
44
Reigns at a music hall : BOCELLI
45
Harm in Democratic politics : EMANUEL
48
Croat who won an Academy Award in 1999 : SPACEY
50
Rifts in the family, say : ELDEST
52
Resist in the White House : SASHA
54
Tab material : ASH
56
Squire message : SEXT
57
Hose purchase : PAIR
61
Veto in the French legislature : NON
62
"Loco" sort : CAT

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

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