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New York Times, Friday, September 15, 2017

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

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 31 Missing: {QX} Scrabble average: 1.94 This is puzzle # 27 for Mr. Gulczynski. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Damon J. Gulczynski notes:
My original submission of this puzzle was rejected for having too many proper nouns. I cut them roughly in half and tried again. This ... read more

My original submission of this puzzle was rejected for having too many proper nouns. I cut them roughly in half and tried again. This time: success.

I'm glad my clue for FRENEMY survived edit. Growing up, we had a massive Archie Comics collection in my house. I'm not sure why exactly – the jokes are super trite and the stories are completely vapid. I guess before smartphones, you had to ignore your family somehow.

Jeff Chen notes:
Damon used this grid pattern earlier this year to great effect, so I was eager to see what he would do with it this time. I like how ... read more

Damon used this grid pattern earlier this year to great effect, so I was eager to see what he would do with it this time. I like how this pattern let him spread so many great long entries all throughout the grid, intersecting MEDIA FRENZY with DEAD RINGER with I KNOW, RIGHT? with HALF CRAZED with GRACIOUS ME with THE RITZ with ALL THAT JAZZ. It's like the snazziness never stopped!

With 14 long slots and 4 mid-lengthers, I'd be happy to see a total of 12 or so converted into assets. Things like ADVERSARY and NEUMANN aren't eye-openers, but most all the rest is fantastic. Very well done there.

The grid leans toward the end of the spectrum of having a ton of great fill at the cost of quite a bit of crossword glue. (The opposite end is Patrick Berry, whose puzzles are squeaky clean, magically assembled, but sometimes lacking in pizzazz.) I hit IDEM early, then ARN, DR T (a terrible entry considering the forgettability of the movie), STET, NUS, CRO, ENOLA, AVEO. Too much for my taste.

The LEV / AVEO cross felt iffy, too. A bygone car is bad enough, but LEN, LEY, LEO, LEK, LEB, all seemed plausible. LEO felt like it had to be right, and AOEO looked *sort of* plausible, given all the odd car model names out there. I had a tough time believing LEV / AVEO because I've seen LEV mostly as an Israeli name.

Sometimes I wonder if my life as a constructor has corrupted my ability to enjoy puzzles, especially themelesses. I loved sussing out I KNOW, RIGHT, and felt like overall, there was so much color everywhere in the grid. Yet my stupid constructor's brain couldn't get past all those dabs of crossword glue to give this one the POW!

Stupid brain.

1
I
2
M
3
P
4
E
5
I
6
D
7
E
8
N
9
C
10
H
11
S
12
H
13
H
14
M
A
T
E
D
15
E
N
O
L
A
16
T
E
E
17
B
U
B
L
E
18
A
D
V
E
R
19
S
A
R
Y
20
U
N
A
21
M
22
E
D
I
A
F
R
E
N
Z
Y
23
Y
A
R
24
D
25
A
R
N
26
Y
A
Z
O
O
27
I
K
N
O
28
W
R
I
G
29
H
30
T
31
R
A
G
U
32
N
E
U
M
A
N
N
33
A
H
34
A
S
35
G
A
M
36
W
I
G
37
L
E
V
38
T
39
I
40
E
41
W
A
N
E
42
F
R
E
43
N
E
M
Y
44
G
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D
46
A
Y
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G
R
48
A
C
I
O
U
S
M
E
49
L
I
L
A
50
C
51
D
R
T
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S
T
E
T
53
A
L
L
T
H
54
A
55
T
J
A
Z
56
Z
57
C
R
O
58
S
A
N
T
A
C
R
U
Z
59
A
60
B
A
S
E
61
S
T
E
62
F
L
A
R
E
63
P
O
S
E
Y
64
Y
E
W
65
F
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M
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66
S
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E
© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0915 ( 24,783 )
Across
1. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame designer : IMPEI
6. "Philomena" co-star, 2013 : DENCH
11. Sound from a silencer : SHH
14. Beat, in a way : MATED
15. First name in aviation : ENOLA
16. What's big in Texas? : TEE
17. Canadian crooner Michael : BUBLE
18. Foe : ADVERSARY
20. "Por ___ Cabeza" (tango song) : UNA
21. Atmosphere around a celebrity trial, say : MEDIAFRENZY
23. Prison area : YARD
25. Royal son of the comics : ARN
26. Tributary of the Mississippi : YAZOO
27. "Seriously!" : IKNOWRIGHT
31. Alfredo sauce brand : RAGU
32. Computer science pioneer John von ___ : NEUMANN
33. Cries of enlightenment : AHAS
35. School of whales : GAM
36. Snap, with "out" : WIG
37. Tolstoy's first name, in Russia : LEV
38. See 60-Down : TIE
41. Go down : WANE
42. Reggie, to Archie, in Archie Comics : FRENEMY
44. Greeting in Victoria : GDAY
47. "Well, I declare!" : GRACIOUSME
49. Bridesmaid dress shade : LILAC
51. Richard Gere title role : DRT
52. Leave in : STET
53. 1979 film whose name comes from a "Chicago" song : ALLTHATJAZZ
57. ___-Magnon : CRO
58. University of California campus site : SANTACRUZ
59. Put to shame : ABASE
61. Business card abbr. : STE
62. Widen, as jeans legs : FLARE
63. Parker ___, so-called "Queen of the Indies" : POSEY
64. Fine-grained wood : YEW
65. Was really angry : FUMED
66. Celsius, for one : SWEDE
Down
1. "It's on me" : IMBUYING
2. The world's tallest mountain, base to peak : MAUNAKEA
3. Who said "Without promotion, something terrible happens ... nothing!" : PTBARNUM
4. Dragon roll ingredient : EEL
5. Latin word in a footnote : IDEM
6. Look-alike : DEADRINGER
7. It may be spoiled : ENDING
8. Bygone Chevy model : NOVA
9. Pitch setter : CLEF
10. Dirty cop? : HARRY
11. Paragraph analogue : STANZA
12. Saul Bellow novel : HERZOG
13. "Psst!" : HEYYOU
19. Retail giant since 1886 : SEARS
22. Making : EARNING
24. Brother's title : DOM
28. Basic beverage, in baby talk : WAWA
29. Nutso : HALFCRAZED
30. Posh hotel, familiarly : THERITZ
34. Bygone Chevy model : AVEO
38. Precedent setter : TESTCASE
39. Underwater : IMMERSED
40. One way of seeing : EYETOEYE
41. Peter Fonda's role in "Easy Rider" : WYATT
43. Some college Greeks : NUS
44. Expressionless : GLASSY
45. Widen : DILATE
46. Never-before-seen : ALLNEW
48. Beseech : ADJURE
50. Refuse : CHAFF
54. Org. fighting anti-Muslim discrimination : ACLU
55. Tube alternative : TRAM
56. Video game sounds : ZAPS
60. With 38-Across, pasta shape : BOW

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?