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New York Times, Thursday, September 21, 2017

Author: Matt Ginsberg
Editor: Will Shortz
Matt Ginsberg
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461/17/20089/21/20177
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1503014464
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1.57230

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 74, Blocks: 36 Missing: {JQXZ} This is puzzle # 46 for Mr. Ginsberg. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Matt Ginsberg notes: I made this puzzle shortly after this year's ACPT, when all of the things I had done to explain 'geometry' themes to Dr.Fill were ... more
Matt Ginsberg notes:

I made this puzzle shortly after this year's ACPT, when all of the things I had done to explain "geometry" themes to Dr.Fill were fresh in my mind. Thinking about all the things that other constructors had done with words twisting this way and that, this seemed like a natural idea (and one that would test Dr.Fill's abilities in this area).

The puzzle worked, but Dr.Fill couldn't solve it! (As I only just now learned; I always take a break from Dr.Fill after the ACPT because I'm burned out). It doesn't understand the theme at all, even though it should, and winds up making six mistakes in its usual fast solve. I'll have to figure that out before the 2018 tournament!

As usual, Will in general made things better. My original didn't mark the theme entries but I think Will was right to change that. The only thing I was really sad about was seeing the clue for 52-Across change from [Parisian woman?]. I really liked that clue, figuring everyone would think of a *different* misdirection and happily (and with great confidence) put FEMME in the grid.

I hope everyone enjoyed the puzzle!

Jeff Chen notes: Neat idea here, Adlai Stevenson not a TWO TIM but a TWO TIM(ELOSER). Interesting find, that the second half backward forms a real ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Neat idea here, Adlai Stevenson not a TWO TIM but a TWO TIM(ELOSER). Interesting find, that the second half backward forms a real word in RESOLE. I'm glad Will ended up starring the appropriate clues, as these themers would have been tough to pick out, in what was already a very tough puzzle.

Icing on the cake to get a double UEY in the center, STRIK (ESABA) LANCE flipping twice. Great discovery!

It threw me off that all these answers pulled UEYs … to the right. Seems like a big traffic no-no. But since Matt lived in England for a long time, I let this hiccup pass.

I would have preferred to have the themers run vertically, so the UEYs would be done in the proper direction. (Sorry, Anglophiles!)

Nice bonuses in TOO LATE NOW, SYNAPSE, TOUPEES, PARANOIA, PIE SHELL, and … VEEPSTAKES? That last one didn't register for me, but what a great term to learn. (Pols jockeying to get named to a Presidential ticket.) Considering the high theme density, not easy to work in these bonuses.

Wait, wait, wait, you might say — it's not that dense, considering the shorties in SALAR(YCAPS) and TATTL(ELATE). But when you stack pairs like this, the grid quickly becomes inflexible. So, a good job executing, with just a bit of IDEO, ELAL, INST.

Okay, AFLOWER felt inelegant as an "A prefix" constructor's crutch, but it does have dictionary support. GIVE EAR … it also has dictionary support. But again, hmm.

Maybe these entries are more common in England?

I would have preferred going up to 76 words, perhaps by rearranging black squares to break GIVE EAR and AFLOWER into two words apiece. For me, this would have made for a more elegant-feeling grid.

Overall though, a clever idea with some great finds. Fun to figure out all those answers pulling UEYs.

1
T
2
W
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M
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C
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A
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D
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© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0921 ( 24,789 )
Across Down
1. *Adlai Stevenson as a presidential candidate, e.g. : TWOTIMELOSER
7. Sleazeball : CAD
10. Fricassee, for example : STEW
14. Fix, as a boot : RESOLE
15. Singly : ONEBYONE
17. Remark from Don Rickles : INSULT
18. It's "knowing all the facts," according to Woody Allen : PARANOIA
19. Points along a bus route : STOPS
20. Connection provider, for short : DSL
21. *Limits on team payrolls : SALARYCAPS
22. Ragtime legend Blake : EUBIE
24. Airheaded : SPACY
25. Listen (to) : GIVEEAR
28. How cigars should be kept, say aficionados : MOIST
30. They praise in non-prose : ODES
31. **Doesn't go to either extreme : STRIKESABALANCE
33. Head lines, briefly? : EEGS
36. Social gathering : BEE
37. Shame : ABASE
38. "Perhaps ___" : NOT
39. Tomorrow's jr. : SOPH
41. Knight's need : LANCE
42. ___ Helmer of "A Doll's House" : NORA
43. George I or V? : SOFTG
45. Blooming : AFLOWER
47. *Snitch : TATTLETALE
49. Boxer's concern, maybe : FLEAS
50. Tickle : ELATE
51. Squid predator : EEL
52. Abductee of myth : HELEN
56. Guarantee : MAKESURE
58. 1927 automotive debut : MODELA
59. Dessert component often bought premade : PIESHELL
60. *Individual telephone connections : PRIVATELINES
61. Research org. : INST
62. "Got that right!" : YES
63. Mentally infirm : SENILE
1. Speaker in major-league baseball history : TRIS
2. Came's partner : WENT
3. Bone: It. : OSSO
4. "Rugs" : TOUPEES
5. Injured party's warning : ILLSUE
6. Crossed paths : MET
7. Stand : COPSE
8. Hypermeticulous : ANAL
9. German article : DER
10. Something involved in a firing : SYNAPSE
11. "You missed your chance" : TOOLATENOW
12. Vacuum tube innovation of 1946 : ENIAC
13. Beat : WEARY
16. Operatic villains, often : BASSI
20. Sleazeball : DIRTBAG
23. Makeup of many moon rocks : BASALT
25. A whole bunch : GOBS
26. Prefix with -logical : IDEO
27. Quadrennial U.S. occurrence : VEEPSTAKES
28. Poker blunder : MISCALL
29. Michael of "The Great Santini" : OKEEFE
32. Managed : RAN
34. "Saw" stuff : GORE
35. Castor or Pollux : STAR
40. Topping the Scoville scale : HOTTEST
42. Was prying : NOSEDIN
44. Elaborate, with "out" : FLESH
46. Punjab's capital : LAHORE
47. Beats : TEMPI
48. Formula One racer Prost : ALAIN
49. Thinks but doesn't know for a fact : FEELS
51. First name in mysteries : ERLE
53. ___ Strauss : LEVI
54. Airline with a flag in its logo : ELAL
55. Statistician Silver : NATE
57. Often-illegal maneuver that is key to answering the asterisked clues : UEY
58. British V.I.P.s : MPS

Answer summary: 6 unique to this puzzle, 4 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?