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New York Times, Monday, September 18, 2017

Author:
Tom McCoy
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
3311/14/20139/29/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
18815100
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.61362
Tom McCoy

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 36 Missing: {JQZ} This is puzzle # 29 for Mr. McCoy. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Tom McCoy notes:
This puzzle was inspired by a Calvin & Hobbes strip that mentions the YELLOW-BELLIED sapsucker (in the context of a crossword ... read more

This puzzle was inspired by a Calvin & Hobbes strip that mentions the YELLOW-BELLIED sapsucker (in the context of a crossword puzzle, no less!) My private title for the puzzle is PARTICOLORED, which I considered using as a revealer; but I ended up leaving it without a revealer since PARTICOLORED doesn't quiiite work and is a bit obscure.

Jeff Chen notes:
Nice and consistent theme, [color] + [bodily descriptor using -ED]. Neat finds — I wouldn't have imagined that there were four ... read more

Nice and consistent theme, [color] + [bodily descriptor using -ED]. Neat finds — I wouldn't have imagined that there were four of these phrases, much less four that so perfectly exhibited crossword symmetry. A constructor's dream!

Interesting layout. Typically it's best to alternate themers left / right, so in this case, GREENEYED would go all the way to the right, and RED HANDED would shift to the far left. That usually allows for better spacing and thus, easier filling. But two shortish themers, at nine letters apiece, gives a lot of flexibility in placing your themers. It's fun as a constructor to buck convention to see what happens.

A pair of strong bonuses in ENERGY BAR and THE DONALD. The latter may not be to everyone's political tastes, but it is a colorful nickname. (I keep trying to get people to call me El Jefe, but that hasn't stuck. Harrumph.)

Smooth grid, too, not a surprise for a McCoy. NON, ONS, and AMT are all minor, so I breezed through the puzzle. Well crafted; I'd happily give this to novice solvers.

But given how much flexibility the low(ish) theme density allowed for, I would have liked to see more bonuses in the fill. I'd bet a huge sum that given Tom's skills, he could have worked in another pair (or two) of great long entries, perhaps by taking out the black square in between ORBS and TRAY, while still keeping the grid nice and smooth. The theme wasn't anything mind-blowing, so these extra bonuses could be important in terms of holding solvers' attention.

Solid Monday offering, if not as awe-inspiring as Tom's puzzles usually are. Tough to achieve that in a Monday puzzle, anyway.

1
P
2
A
3
P
4
E
5
R
6
A
7
P
8
E
9
S
10
E
11
T
12
C
13
H
14
L
L
A
M
A
15
R
E
P
O
16
T
H
O
U
17
O
P
T
I
C
18
E
R
I
C
19
H
E
W
N
20
W
H
I
T
E
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K
N
U
C
K
22
L
E
D
23
S
A
O
24
D
N
A
25
E
U
R
O
26
P
27
A
28
V
I
E
29
F
30
I
T
S
31
N
O
N
32
G
33
R
34
E
E
N
E
35
Y
E
D
36
T
37
R
A
I
T
38
N
U
N
S
39
L
O
D
E
40
S
41
E
L
S
E
42
A
B
E
T
43
S
44
R
E
D
H
45
A
N
D
E
D
46
S
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47
A
48
P
E
X
49
A
M
T
50
H
O
G
51
T
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A
K
A
53
P
54
R
55
O
56
Y
E
L
L
57
O
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W
B
E
L
59
L
I
E
D
60
O
61
R
B
S
62
T
R
A
Y
63
G
A
T
E
D
64
N
E
A
T
65
E
G
G
S
66
A
T
A
L
L
67
S
P
R
Y
68
D
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E
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69
M
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S
Y
© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0918 ( 24,786 )
Across
1
The Times or the Daily News, e.g. : PAPER
6
Gorillas : APES
10
Mark permanently : ETCH
14
Ogden Nash's "two-l" beast : LLAMA
15
Seized car, for short : REPO
16
You, in the Bible : THOU
17
___ nerve (retina attachment) : OPTIC
18
Guitarist Clapton : ERIC
19
Chopped : HEWN
20
Visibly tense : WHITEKNUCKLED
23
___ Paulo, Brazil : SAO
24
Crucial biological molecule : DNA
25
Figure in Greek myth after whom a continent is named : EUROPA
28
Compete (for) : VIE
29
___ and starts : FITS
31
Opposite of oui : NON
32
Extremely jealous : GREENEYED
36
Characteristic : TRAIT
38
Convent residents : NUNS
39
Rich ore sources : LODES
41
Counterpart to "if," in computer science : ELSE
42
Aids in crime : ABETS
44
In the very act : REDHANDED
46
Lancelot's title : SIR
47
Highest point : APEX
49
Qty. : AMT
50
Truss up : HOGTIE
52
Letters before a pseudonym : AKA
53
Golf teacher : PRO
56
Deplorably cowardly : YELLOWBELLIED
60
Spheres : ORBS
62
Holder of a cafeteria meal : TRAY
63
Like some wealthy neighborhoods : GATED
64
In apple-pie order : NEAT
65
Things in an Easter basket : EGGS
66
In the slightest : ATALL
67
Agile for one's age : SPRY
68
Supplies for Easter 65-Across : DYES
69
Antonym of 64-Across : MESSY
Down
1
Snow clearers : PLOWS
2
Start or end of the Greek spelling of "Athena" : ALPHA
3
Place between a house and a backyard : PATIO
4
Give off, as rays : EMIT
5
Entered quickly : RACEDIN
6
Place of gladiatorial battle : ARENA
7
Lima's land : PERU
8
Three-hour-plus movie, maybe : EPIC
9
Holder of an eye or a light bulb : SOCKET
10
Heavens, poetically : ETHER
11
Ex of Marla and Ivana, informally : THEDONALD
12
Dairy animal : COW
13
Attila, for one : HUN
21
Prepare to be knighted : KNEEL
22
One of the seven deadly sins : LUST
26
Graceful bearing : POISE
27
Threw some chips in the pot : ANTED
28
Item under a suit jacket : VEST
29
Company that bought Kinko's : FEDEX
30
Picked out of a lineup, informally : IDED
32
Grind, as the teeth : GNASH
33
Florida senator Marco : RUBIO
34
Snack for an athlete : ENERGYBAR
35
Times long, long ago : YORE
37
$250, for Mediterranean Avenue, even with a hotel on it : RENT
40
Ice cream drink : SHAKE
43
Go yachting : SAIL
45
Blend : AMALGAM
48
Bombarded, as with snowballs : PELTED
51
Irritable : TESTY
52
Bottomless pit : ABYSS
53
Breads served with hummus : PITAS
54
Staggers : REELS
55
"Strangely enough ..." : ODDLY
57
Unrestrained revelry : ORGY
58
Salary : WAGE
59
Running behind schedule : LATE
60
Walk-___ (unrecruited athletes) : ONS
61
Member of Cong. : REP

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle.

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