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New York Times, Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Author:
Patrick Blindauer
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
677/21/20059/4/201922
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
14661417118
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.59262
Patrick Blindauer

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 79, Blocks: 42 Missing: {JQWXZ} Grid is asymmetric. Minimum word length: 2 This is puzzle # 67 for Mr. Blindauer. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Patrick Blindauer notes:
This one was inspired by my toddler, who was playing with some letters at our local library. I think she came over with an O on top of ... read more

This one was inspired by my toddler, who was playing with some letters at our local library. I think she came over with an O on top of an angled L, which reminded me of an ice cream cone. I knew a V would work better, and of course vanilla sprang to mind as an appropriate entry to contain a cone.

Next came the realization that chocolate has an O in the center (sometimes you just get lucky!), and the idea of having double and triple scoops came shortly after, even though I knew the cross-referencing would be cumbersome. Finally, I needed a third flavor to end in O, and pistachio swooped in to save the day. It's not as iconic as chocolate and vanilla, but what is?

Anyway, thanks to Maggie for the inspiration, and I hope solvers enjoy having some sweet treats here at the end of the summer.

Jeff Chen notes:
I love letters-imagined-as-pictures themes, and I love ice cream. Given that PISTACHIO is my favorite flavor, how could I not give ... read more

I love letters-imagined-as-pictures themes, and I love ice cream. Given that PISTACHIO is my favorite flavor, how could I not give this one the POW!?

At first glance, there doesn't appear to be much theme material, since there are only two long entries. Not so! SINGLE, DOUBLE, TRIPLE, SCOOP, VANILLA, CHOCOLATE, PISTACHIO, OV, OOV, OOOV. Yes, they're mostly shorties, but placing any ten themers, no matter what length, creates so many problems.

Not only did Patrick figure out how to get the ice cream cones crossing the flavors, but he worked in so much beautiful fill. He kicked off the puzzle with triple-treat bang: ALFREDO GELATIN EDISON. With DECIMAL RABBLE COLUMBO ANOMALY in another corner – and the rest of the puzzle still to go – it was already a winner.

The only cherry on top would have been something to get rid of the pesky asymmetry. I'm not sure what you could do to balance OV, though. Patrick told me he wanted to put an actual cherry on top – a visual in the lone black square above OV. Oh, how I hope Joel and Sam and the digital team figure out how to do that!

A figurative AND a literal cherry on top? We'd be talking about Puzzle of the Year territory.

Bravo, sir! Patrick's been busy with a kid, so his NYT contributions have dropped off in the past few years. Here's hoping that he picks back up.

1
S
2
A
3
G
4
A
5
L
6
T
7
I
8
M
9
A
10
C
11
A
12
D
13
I
L
E
14
O
V
E
R
D
I
D
15
O
N
O
16
N
F
L
17
V
A
N
I
L
L
A
18
L
O
U
19
G
R
A
20
B
21
L
I
B
E
L
22
N
U
M
B
23
L
E
T
I
24
N
O
N
25
D
E
26
C
I
M
A
L
27
E
D
I
S
O
N
28
R
A
B
B
L
E
29
O
N
E
S
30
M
31
O
32
A
33
P
L
O
Y
34
C
H
35
O
C
O
L
36
A
T
E
37
C
38
A
39
R
T
40
R
I
V
A
L
41
T
42
A
43
C
44
O
45
C
H
A
S
46
T
E
47
L
48
O
S
T
I
T
49
S
A
P
50
R
O
51
A
52
D
53
M
A
P
54
M
A
T
55
P
I
S
T
A
C
H
I
56
O
57
S
58
C
59
O
O
P
60
O
R
K
61
A
O
62
R
63
T
64
A
65
P
E
A
R
L
66
M
T
A
67
T
O
T
A
L
68
F
O
R
T
E
69
S
H
Y
70
E
V
E
N
T
© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 0904 ( 25,502 )
Across
1
Wilt : SAG
4
Midsize Nissan : ALTIMA
10
Dirty dog : CAD
13
Elba, e.g., to Napoléon : ILE
14
Hammed up : OVERDID
15
Plastic ___ Band : ONO
16
Org. whose members go on hikes? : NFL
17
Ice cream flavor : VANILLA
18
Costello of comedy : LOU
19
Word before bag or bar : GRAB
21
Form of defamation : LIBEL
22
Feeling no pain : NUMB
23
Made privy to, as a secret : LETINON
25
The point of mathematics? : DECIMAL
27
Tesla competitor : EDISON
28
Disorderly crowd : RABBLE
29
___ place : ONES
30
Extinct relative of an ostrich : MOA
33
Devious maneuver : PLOY
34
Ice cream flavor : CHOCOLATE
37
Shopping aid : CART
40
A Hatfield vis-à-vis a McCoy : RIVAL
41
Treat from a truck, maybe : TACO
45
Virginal : CHASTE
47
Had a conniption : LOSTIT
49
Makings of maple syrup : SAP
50
AAA handout : ROADMAP
54
Bathroom item : MAT
55
Ice cream flavor : PISTACHIO
57
See 1-, 12- and 46-Down : SCOOP
60
Mork's home planet on "Mork & Mindy" : ORK
61
Heart line : AORTA
65
June birthstone : PEARL
66
Letters on an N.Y.C. fare card : MTA
67
Render beyond repair : TOTAL
68
F in music class? : FORTE
69
Introverted : SHY
70
Shot-put or pole vault : EVENT
Down
1
With 57-Across, ice cream order depicted at 14-Down : SINGLE
2
Creamy pasta sauce : ALFREDO
3
Food that jiggles : GELATIN
4
Frankie who co-starred in 1965's "Beach Blanket Bingo" : AVALON
5
Leader born Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov : LENIN
6
Chi-town paper, with "the" : TRIB
7
Ran in place, in a way : IDLED
8
Big name in the beer aisle : MILLER
9
Inits. on toothpaste tubes : ADA
10
Detective show whose premiere episode was directed by Steven Spielberg : COLUMBO
11
Deviation from the norm : ANOMALY
12
With 57-Across, ice cream order depicted at 31-Down : DOUBLE
14
Yum! This won't last long, though! : OV
20
Cuts in half : BISECTS
22
Corn kernels : NIBLETS
24
Have a bite : NOSH
26
Georg von Trapp's title in "The Sound of Music": Abbr. : CAPT
30
1101, in old Rome : MCI
31
I bet these flavors taste great together! : OOV
32
"Go Set a Watchman" setting: Abbr. : ALA
35
Crushed toppings for ice cream sundaes : OREOS
36
Name seen more than 20 times on Iran's flag : ALLAH
37
IV units : CCS
38
"So that's it!" : AHA
39
Genre introduced to the Grammys in 1989 : RAP
42
Cash box, in brief : ATM
43
Org. with a World Factbook : CIA
44
Mel who hit 511 home runs : OTT
46
With 57-Across, ice cream order depicted at 56-Down : TRIPLE
48
Morphinelike drug : OPIATE
51
Elementary units : ATOMS
52
Sith Lord's title : DARTH
53
Adam who directed "Vice" and "The Big Short" : MCKAY
55
Any ___ in a storm : PORT
56
Wow! Look at the size of this thing! : OOOV
57
Beach bottle inits. : SPF
58
Top of a corporate ladder, for short : CEO
59
One under a coxswain's command : OAR
62
GPS path: Abbr. : RTE
63
Color akin to butterscotch : TAN
64
___-weekly (newspaper type) : ALT

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle.

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