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New York Times, Thursday, September 21, 2017

Author:
Matt Ginsberg
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
491/17/20088/25/20197
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
1703015464
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.57330
Matt Ginsberg

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 ... read more

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 word ... read more

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
3
O
4
T
5
I
6
M
7
C
8
A
9
D
10
S
11
T
12
E
13
W
14
R
E
S
O
L
E
15
O
N
E
16
B
Y
O
N
E
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I
N
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U
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T
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P
A
R
A
N
O
I
A
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S
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O
P
S
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D
S
L
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S
A
L
A
R
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E
U
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B
I
E
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S
P
A
C
Y
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G
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I
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V
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A
R
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M
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O
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S
T
30
O
D
E
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S
T
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R
I
K
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E
E
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G
35
S
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B
E
E
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A
B
A
S
E
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N
O
T
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S
O
P
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H
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L
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C
E
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N
O
R
A
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S
O
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F
T
G
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A
F
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L
O
W
E
R
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T
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A
T
T
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F
L
E
A
S
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E
L
A
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E
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E
E
L
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H
E
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L
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E
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N
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M
A
K
E
S
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U
R
E
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M
O
D
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A
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P
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H
E
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P
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V
A
T
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I
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Y
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S
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© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0921 ( 24,789 )

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Across
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
Down
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, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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