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New York Times, Monday, September 23, 2013

Author:
Susan Gelfand
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1711/3/20088/27/20180
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0952100
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.69102
Susan Gelfand

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 74, Blocks: 40 Missing: {FJQZ} This is puzzle # 10 for Ms. Gelfand. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Will Shortz notes:
My favorite theme answer here is THE THREE R'S, especially as R'S are a fun thing to roll. I edited this puzzle on a plane ride to ... read more

My favorite theme answer here is THE THREE R'S, especially as R'S are a fun thing to roll. I edited this puzzle on a plane ride to Iowa two weeks ago, fact-checking a few clues once I got back.

Jeff Chen notes:
WITT (Wish I'd Thought of That) concept for a Monday puzzle; a 'how are these disparate things linked' theme. Especially clever that ... read more

WITT (Wish I'd Thought of That) concept for a Monday puzzle; a "how are these disparate things linked" theme. Especially clever that three of the four theme answers are colloquial: roll your eyes, roll your r's, roll the dice. Balls are rolled, yes, but that one isn't quite as nice as the others. I wanted to give this one the POW! based on the idea alone, and might have done so if the fourth entry was something like TAX CREDITS.

A discussion on non-theme fill. It's usually a giant asset for a puzzle to have long fill, assuming it doesn't force ugliness. Snazzy 7+ letter entries can really spice up a puzzle, turning a good one into a great one. Susan has some really nice stuff today, tossing in 9-letter MENS ROOMS, SORCERERS, and VICE VERSA (in addition to five theme answers!). MENS ROOMS might not pass the breakfast test for some, but I think it's a legit answer. I choose to visualize a fancy one where I awkwardly try to figure out if I'm supposed to tip the guy who hands me a towel I didn't want.

However, I probably won't be the only one to spend a minute trying to figure out how ROOMS and VERSA can be rolled, as per the theme. The revealer does specify which are the theme answers, but the clue is long enough that I didn't want to take the time to read the given numbers. I've highlighted the theme answers to make them stand out, but ideally I like theme answers to pop on layout alone. That's typically why most long fill (especially that of 9+ letters) is placed in the vertical direction, not the horizontal.

And in this case, an additional benefit of not including long across fill is that the first and last themers could have been placed in rows 3 and 13, spreading everything out. I'm not positive, but this most likely would have improved the THOS/SOG section.

But that's all nit-picking, my constructor's brain doing its usual thing. Very nice work overall; a rewarding change of pace to get a Monday puzzle with some cleverness.

ADDED NOTE: Susie wrote me after reading my notes to say that her original grid in fact contained TAX CREDITS! We shared a chuckle.

1
B
2
R
3
A
4
D
5
D
6
U
7
B
8
S
9
O
10
L
11
I
12
D
13
A
I
D
E
14
D
15
A
S
A
16
O
B
E
S
E
17
S
A
D
I
E
18
M
E
N
19
S
R
O
O
M
S
20
S
L
I
C
E
21
A
N
D
D
I
C
E
22
E
T
C
E
T
C
23
I
K
E
24
M
25
O
26
P
27
T
O
T
S
28
T
29
H
30
E
T
H
R
31
E
E
R
S
32
S
I
A
M
33
E
L
W
A
Y
34
I
35
T
36
S
T
I
M
E
37
T
38
O
R
O
L
L
39
A
C
H
O
O
40
R
U
E
S
41
G
O
O
G
O
42
O
43
E
Y
E
S
44
I
45
M
46
A
47
M
48
E
N
S
49
D
I
N
50
T
51
A
M
A
L
E
52
C
O
S
T
53
U
54
M
E
B
A
L
L
S
55
V
56
I
57
C
E
V
E
R
S
A
58
C
R
A
W
S
59
E
V
A
D
E
60
A
N
N
61
S
E
W
E
R
62
T
Y
L
E
R
63
P
A
X
64
T
I
T
S
© 2013, The New York TimesNo. 0923 ( 23,330 )

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Across
1
Actor Pitt : BRAD
5
Do a voice-over for, as a foreign-language film : DUB
8
Cube or sphere : SOLID
13
Gave a hand : AIDED
15
Cute ___ button : ASA
16
More than fat : OBESE
17
___ Hawkins Day : SADIE
18
Places where only guys go : MENSROOMS
20
Food preparation cutting technique : SLICEANDDICE
22
And so on and so forth: Abbr. : ETCETC
23
Eisenhower, affectionately : IKE
24
Cleaning tool : MOP
27
School charges? : TOTS
28
School basics : THETHREERS
32
Thailand, formerly : SIAM
33
Bronco great John : ELWAY
34
"Let's go!" ... or a hint for the ends of 20-, 28-, 41- and 52-Across : ITSTIMETOROLL
39
Sneezing sound : ACHOO
40
Regrets : RUES
41
Look of infatuation : GOOGOOEYES
44
Muslim leader : IMAM
48
53-Down grad: Abbr. : ENS
49
Ruckus : DIN
50
Mexican dish sometimes described as "hot" : TAMALE
52
Fancy dress affairs : COSTUMEBALLS
55
In the opposite order : VICEVERSA
58
Gullet parts : CRAWS
59
Dodge : EVADE
60
"Barbara ___" (Beach Boys hit) : ANN
61
Waste carrier : SEWER
62
John who succeeded William Henry Harrison : TYLER
63
Bellum's opposite : PAX
64
Small songbirds : TITS
Down
1
Short-legged hound : BASSET
2
Theater district : RIALTO
3
One who's hooked : ADDICT
4
Clears with a scraper, say : DEICES
5
"___ Yankees" : DAMN
6
Secondhand : USED
7
Stagecoach robber : BANDIT
8
Wizards : SORCERERS
9
Instrument used to set the pitch for an orchestra : OBOE
10
Novelist Tolstoy : LEO
11
Suffix with capital or Marx : ISM
12
___ Moines, Iowa : DES
14
Bug spray ingredient : DEET
19
One of an Indian minority : SIKH
21
Part of a play after intermission, maybe : ACTII
24
Whine : MEWL
25
Said aloud : ORAL
26
College subj. with experiments : PSY
29
Breakfast meat : HAM
30
Fingernail file : EMERY
31
"Evil Woman" grp. : ELO
32
Watched protectively : STOODOVER
34
Clickable symbol : ICON
35
Pres. Jefferson : THOS
36
Soak, in dialect : SOG
37
Wed. preceder : TUE
38
West: Sp. : OESTE
39
18, e.g., as a minimum for voting : AGE
42
French river : OISE
43
Snare : ENTRAP
44
Turkish inn : IMARET
45
African land whose name consists of three state postal abbreviations : MALAWI
46
Completely wrong : ALLWET
47
Counterpart of Mmes. : MESSRS
51
School basics : ABCS
52
Yield : CEDE
53
Annapolis inst. : USNA
54
Tailless cat : MANX
55
One who might care for a sick cat : VET
56
Wall-climbing plant : IVY
57
Where L.A. is : CAL

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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