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New York Times, Friday, September 4, 2015

Author:
David C. Duncan Dekker
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
43/7/20153/31/20170
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0001021
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
2.21004
David C. Duncan Dekker

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 29 Missing: none – this is a TRIPLE pangram. Scrabble average: 2.02 This is puzzle # 2 for Mr. Dekker. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
David C. Duncan Dekker notes:
This puzzle turned out somewhat smooth, IMO, given the constraints of making a 72-word themeless into a triple pangram. Clues I was ... read more

This puzzle turned out somewhat smooth, IMO, given the constraints of making a 72-word themeless into a triple pangram.

Clues I was glad to see stay:

  • "Shop class cutter" for BANDSAW, along with "Class cutter, say" for SLACKER to kick things off
  • "Float like a butterfly" for HOVER
  • "All shook up" for RATTLED

Clues I was sad to see go:

  • "Not going anywhere" for FROZEN
  • "Has nothing in common" for UNLIKE
  • A set of "Boobs" for SCHMOS & OAFS
  • "Festivous" for JOVIAL (because it makes folks think of Seinfeld — oh, Frank!)

Nice additions to the mix:

  • "Country Rockers?" for QUAKES
  • "Stock Exchange?" for LOWS
  • "Results of phoning it in?" for FAXES

Not-so-nice subtractions from the mix:

  • "Ground-breaking events" for QUAKES
  • "Weather conditions" for LOWS
  • "Paper transactions" for FAXES

In the clues that I developed for the latter three, I felt neither one of them needed a question mark, as they would have taken away from the trickery, since the question mark may instantly indicate to solvers that there IS obvious trickery going on.

Anyway ... till next time, Word Nerds!

Jeff Chen notes:
I normally don't care for records in crosswords, as they're too often something that constructors prize but solvers completely miss ... read more

I normally don't care for records in crosswords, as they're too often something that constructors prize but solvers completely miss — except for the gluey globs of fill that these record-breakers often force. Sometimes I even wonder if it's a bad thing that we keep records of such things as average Scrabble score, as it might promote this type of "do it for the record's sake" type of behavior, which too often does disservice to the solver.

Omar Sharif gets dissed by the NYT crossword

But today's is a record-breaking type that gave me huge enjoyment. David gets high on the leader board, giving us so many of the "Big Four," J Q X Z. All of these letters can be rough to integrate into a puzzle without causing compromises in smoothness, so it's amazing that David worked in three of each with only minor blights.

Not only that, but there are three of EVERY letter in the puzzle — a triple pangram!

Sure, I didn't love TESTEES (although it's technically a word). There are a few other entries that might raise an eyebrow, but I decided I liked them all:

QUIFF. Never heard of this before, but it's an easily recognizable hairstyle that was "in" back a few decades ago. Cool word!

QUIRE. Not in my knowledge base, but it's legit.

The SHARIF / QUIFF crossing. Okay, this one caused me fits, as I assumed SHARIF would be clued to the great Omar SHARIF, who recently passed. Serves me right for overthinking things, that maybe SHARIA and QUIFA might be better than SHARIF and QUIFF. Tough crossing, and I can see the argument for it being unfair, given the cluing.

There's not a lot of multi-word goodness, with just JUST A BIT, MASON JAR, LEGO SET, and MAE WEST standing out, but there's so much Scrabbliness that it won me over. Plus, SLACKER and BANDSAW are pretty nice one-word entries.

All in all, a memorable puzzle. I usually cringe a bit when I sniff a constructor trying to break a record, but this final product was smooth enough that I really enjoyed the stunt.

1
B
2
A
3
N
4
D
5
S
6
A
7
W
8
S
9
L
10
A
11
C
12
K
13
E
14
R
15
A
V
E
R
A
G
E
16
H
A
N
D
A
X
E
17
L
E
G
O
S
E
T
18
A
B
Y
S
M
A
L
19
L
E
A
P
S
20
S
21
O
R
E
22
I
M
A
23
A
N
T
S
24
Q
U
A
I
L
25
S
26
K
I
X
27
D
O
E
28
Q
U
I
F
F
29
P
30
L
A
N
A
31
Q
U
I
T
S
32
F
R
O
Z
E
N
33
J
34
A
35
G
U
A
R
S
36
M
A
E
W
E
S
T
37
U
N
L
I
K
E
38
Z
A
X
E
S
39
S
N
I
P
E
40
W
I
S
E
S
41
J
42
A
43
M
44
T
O
M
45
S
46
C
H
M
O
S
47
M
O
V
E
48
A
T
P
49
R
Y
A
N
50
H
O
V
E
R
51
B
A
S
52
E
53
P
A
Y
54
J
55
O
I
N
I
N
G
56
I
T
E
M
I
Z
E
57
A
C
R
E
A
G
E
58
T
E
S
T
E
E
S
59
R
A
T
T
L
E
D
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0904 ( 24,041 )

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Across
1
Shop class cutter : BANDSAW
8
Class cutter, say : SLACKER
15
C-worthy : AVERAGE
16
Primitive cutting tool : HANDAXE
17
Makings of a miniature building project : LEGOSET
18
Horrible : ABYSMAL
19
Instances of faulty logic : LEAPS
20
Nursing a grudge, say : SORE
22
"___ mess" : IMA
23
Social group : ANTS
24
Trembles : QUAILS
26
Alternative to Corn Pops : KIX
27
No-name last name : DOE
28
Man's do with upswept hair in the front : QUIFF
29
Main course? : PLANA
31
Hangs it up : QUITS
32
Hit 2013 film with a talking snowman : FROZEN
33
South American stalkers : JAGUARS
36
Who said "It's not the men in your life that counts, it's the life in your men" : MAEWEST
37
Social networking reversal : UNLIKE
38
3-D graph lines : ZAXES
39
Wetlands wader : SNIPE
40
Smartens (up) : WISES
41
Sticky situation : JAM
44
Major in a 1973 David Bowie hit : TOM
45
Ordinary joes : SCHMOS
47
Play in a game : MOVE
48
Court sport org. : ATP
49
2012 running mate : RYAN
50
Float like a butterfly : HOVER
51
It often increases with a promotion : BASEPAY
54
Enlistment : JOINING
56
List : ITEMIZE
57
Extent of a lot : ACREAGE
58
Proctors' charges : TESTEES
59
All shook up : RATTLED
Down
1
Something to slow-dance to : BALLAD
2
Skin and hair care brand : AVEENO
3
Make nothing of : NEGATE
4
Ophthalmological treatment : DROPS
5
Smart comments : SASS
6
Archaeologist's determination : AGE
7
Surfing gear : WETSUITS
8
Muslim magistrate : SHARIF
9
Record producer : LABEL
10
Countless amount? : ANY
11
9-Down output : CDS
12
Kind of pilot : KAMIKAZE
13
Checks out : EXAMINES
14
Massage or bubble bath : RELAXANT
21
Bumblers : OAFS
24
Paper unit : QUIRE
25
Occasions that might lead to buyer's remorse : SPREES
28
Country rockers? : QUAKES
30
Stock exchange? : LOWS
31
Instance of levity : QUIP
32
Results of phoning it in? : FAXES
33
Not much : JUSTABIT
34
Comment on, in a way : ANNOTATE
35
Slight sights : GLIMPSES
36
Food container with a seal : MASONJAR
38
Once-popular alcopop : ZIMA
40
"Indubitably!" : WHYYES
41
Good-humored : JOVIAL
42
Get back at : AVENGE
43
Formed a union : MERGED
46
It's hot for a while : CRAZE
47
He's featured in Paris's Musée de l'Orangerie : MONET
50
"The Green Hornet" trumpeter : HIRT
52
Crash site figure, for short : EMT
53
One graphic means of showing percentages : PIE
55
Important Peruvian crop : OCA

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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