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New York Times, Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Author:
Greg Johnson
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
612/16/20139/18/20180
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0311001
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.67120
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
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C
19
H
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E
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20
M
E
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H
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A
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E
22
H
O
P
23
S
N
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24
S
25
C
O
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S
26
M
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E
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N
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S
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30
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31
B
E
L
O
W
32
O
M
G
33
E
34
M
T
35
T
A
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A
36
A
37
M
O
C
O
38
C
A
R
39
B
O
N
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O
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D
E
41
M
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42
I
A
M
B
43
L
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E
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A
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A
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E
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A
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D
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J
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D
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D
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A
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M
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J
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U
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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.

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