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New York Times, Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Author:
Greg Johnson
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
712/16/20133/30/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0311002
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.65120
Greg Johnson

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 40 Missing: {QVZ} This is puzzle # 6 for Mr. Johnson. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
I wanted to love this puzzle! Organic chemistry was one of my favorite subjects in college, and I've even done two puzzles similar to ... read more

I wanted to love this puzzle! Organic chemistry was one of my favorite subjects in college, and I've even done two puzzles similar to this, one around water and one around benzene.

I enjoyed the METHANE, CARBON DIOXIDE, and AMMONIA molecules floating in the grid. That was neat!

But why these particular molecules? Just because AMMONIA and METHANE are symmetrical lengths?

Why not H2O, which most people will know much more readily than AMMONIA (NH3)?

And why is OHO in the SW? It feels weird for water to be present, but not acknowledged.

ADDED NOTE: astute reader David Malik pointed out that I must have not had my C₈H₁₀N₄O₂ (caffeine) yet, since H2O = HOH, not OHO. D'oh!

And don't get me started on bond angles. The angles in an AMMONIA molecule aren't 90 degrees, but 106.7 because … okay, you've stopped listening. For good reason. Man, am I annoyingly picky about chemistry puzzles!

I don't mind a bit of ETO OBI AERO GTS kind of short stuff in the service of a densely-packed theme. But when you risk something as bizarre as MALAR, that might be the one thing that sticks into solvers' minds.

At least the annoyingly picky ones.

Now, the NE was more my speed. A J and an X worked seamlessly in, without any gluey short stuff, and a HOT WAX to boot? Yes! That's the type of gridwork that I expect out of a NYT puzzle.

(Was I the only one to be highly amused by WITH CHEESE looking like WITCH CHEESE? Someone explain to me why that makes me laugh so much.)

I do appreciate the effort to work in some beautiful organic chemistry into a puzzle. I wish the execution had been equally as beautiful.

Or that I was less OCD about chemistry puzzles. Sigh.

1
S
2
H
3
O
4
O
5
S
6
O
7
F
8
I
9
A
10
J
11
A
12
D
13
A
14
K
E
R
R
15
A
W
A
S
H
16
E
X
I
T
17
I
M
A
C
18
W
I
T
H
C
19
H
E
E
S
E
20
M
E
T
H
21
A
N
E
22
H
O
P
23
S
N
E
E
R
24
S
25
C
O
T
S
26
M
27
E
28
N
29
S
E
30
E
31
B
E
L
O
W
32
O
M
G
33
E
34
M
T
35
T
A
T
A
36
A
37
M
O
C
O
38
C
A
R
39
B
O
N
D
I
40
O
X
I
D
E
41
M
O
L
A
R
42
I
A
M
B
43
L
Y
E
44
A
N
A
45
E
46
A
S
T
S
I
47
D
E
48
J
O
R
49
D
A
C
H
E
50
I
P
51
A
52
D
53
S
54
O
T
C
55
A
56
M
M
O
N
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A
57
J
58
O
59
H
N
H
U
60
G
61
H
E
S
62
S
T
A
T
63
U
H
U
H
64
S
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A
R
R
65
T
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G
O
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O
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E
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© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0918 ( 25,151 )
Across
1
Shout to a pest : SHOO
5
European capital whose name most people incorrectly accent on the second syllable : SOFIA
10
Actress ___ Pinkett Smith : JADA
14
N.B.A. coach Steve : KERR
15
Drenched : AWASH
16
Road sign with an arrow : EXIT
17
Chromebook competitor : IMAC
18
How a hamburger may be ordered : WITHCHEESE
20
Flammable gas represented in 18-Across and 9-Down : METHANE
22
Dance in the days of doo-wop : HOP
23
Unwelcome acknowledgment : SNEER
24
Wearers of kilts : SCOTSMEN
29
What "*" may mean in a reference book : SEEBELOW
32
"!!!" : OMG
33
Ambulance driver, for short : EMT
35
"Bye for now!" : TATA
36
1990s BP acquisition : AMOCO
38
Respiratory gas represented in 36-Across : CARBONDIOXIDE
41
Back tooth : MOLAR
42
Part of da-DUM, da-DUM, da-DUM : IAMB
43
___ soap : LYE
44
Santa ___ winds : ANA
45
Where the lowest-numbered avenues in Manhattan are : EASTSIDE
48
Clothing brand with a horse head logo : JORDACHE
50
Devices that may serve as cash registers : IPADS
54
Like non-Rx meds : OTC
55
Pungent-smelling gas represented in 57-Across and 49-Down : AMMONIA
57
"Sixteen Candles" director, 1984 : JOHNHUGHES
62
"It's urgent" in the E.R. : STAT
63
"No way, José" : UHUH
64
Bandmate of Harrison, Lennon and McCartney : STARR
65
"S.N.L." alum Fey : TINA
66
Kind of dancer : GOGO
67
Bar, in legalese : ESTOP
68
Do a price check on, e.g. : SCAN
Down
1
Removes, as cream : SKIMS
2
Charles Atlas and others : HEMEN
3
Speak to a crowd : ORATE
4
Group in a pit : ORCHESTRA
5
Cut, as logs : SAWN
6
Day care knee scrape, e.g. : OWIE
7
Beef marbling : FAT
8
"Sorta" suffix : ISH
9
Sneeze sound : AHCHOO
10
Vehicles made for rough terrain : JEEPS
11
Word after fire ... or a synonym of fire : AXE
12
Put down, in slang : DIS
13
"No thanks, I already ___" : ATE
19
Means of hair removal : HOTWAX
21
"Come as you ___" : ARE
24
Fixed time : SETDATE
25
Insurance filings : CLAIMS
26
Easily changing emotions : MOODY
27
One leading the festivities : EMCEE
28
CARE, e.g., in brief : NGO
30
W.W. II arena : ETO
31
Send into exile : BANISH
33
Low-cost prefix : ECONO
34
Of the cheek : MALAR
37
Distance markers along a highway : MILEPOSTS
39
___ mints : BREATH
40
Kimono sash : OBI
41
Rank under Lt. Col. : MAJ
46
Blame, as for a crime : ACCUSE
47
Like 10-watt light bulbs : DIM
49
"Tiny Bubbles" singer : DONHO
51
Very silly : ANTIC
52
1981 royal bride : DIANA
53
The Devil : SATAN
55
Flying start? : AERO
56
Letters on an auto sticker : MSRP
57
Earthenware container : JUG
58
"Well, what have we here?!" : OHO
59
Clasp : HUG
60
Sporty autos : GTS
61
Protection against sunburn : HAT

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle.

Found bugs or have suggestions?