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New York Times, Friday, September 6, 2013

Author:
Brad Wilber and Doug Peterson
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
512/19/200510/21/201725
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
001201434
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.60001
Brad Wilber
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
432/20/200611/17/201824
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
2273112142
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.63200
Doug Peterson

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 70, Blocks: 28 Missing: {JQX} This is puzzle # 33 for Mr. Wilber. This is puzzle # 33 for Mr. Peterson. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Will Shortz notes:

This is another lovely, clean construction from Brad and Doug. Most of the clues are theirs, too.

Constructor notes:
Brad: Doug and I usually achieve something close to a 50/50 split on the fill in our themeless puzzles. The kind of balance we're ... read more

Brad:

Doug and I usually achieve something close to a 50/50 split on the fill in our themeless puzzles. The kind of balance we're looking for is helped along by grid patterns that are fairly modest in their demands — whatever progress I make somewhere should leave Doug lots of flexibility. What I like about grids that Doug picks (like this one) is that they are manageable but they usually present some extra degree of difficulty, like a pair of 10s feeding into the center or reaching into the corners, when we could have bailed out with cheater squares instead. Doug plunked down a nifty new 1A here and worked to 32A. We took turns on the other corners until we were done. We've got movie trivia, history, gastronomy, and baseball here — all elements we both like. I humbly submit a fresh clue for 16A. Doug has concocted some crafty ones for a couple of the 9-letter entries.

Doug:

1A is an example of my favorite type of themeless seed entry. It may not be familiar to most solvers, but the entry is quite figure-out-able. And most importantly, it's an interesting phrase to learn. You can use it to impress your easily impressed friends at your next cocktail party. I try not to use unfamiliar names as seeds, because they're quickly forgotten once the puzzle is solved. And let me add that I always learn something new (a cool word, some fun trivia, etc.) when constructing a puzzle with Brad.

Jeff Chen notes:
A sustained professional duo, working together to produce exponentially more than the sum of its parts, is a rare and beautiful thing. ... read more

A sustained professional duo, working together to produce exponentially more than the sum of its parts, is a rare and beautiful thing. Kerry Walsh and Misty May-Treanor's non-verbal communication on the sand volleyball court. Jeff Meckstroth and Eric Rodwell trading killer leads at the bridge table. Danny Ocean and Rusty Ryan working a heist-of-the-century angle. All of them are on notice, because Wilberson is on the rise.

It's infrequent that two experts can work so well together, producing quality of this level over an extended stretch of time (this is their fifth NYT collaboration and they have more together in the LAT) without a clash of egos. The grid is well-constructed, with little dreck, and contains so many of the types of phrases that either shine or teach a solver something new. I had to wrestle with the unfamiliar TREEGUARDS but enjoyed reading up on something I walk past all the time (the iron fencing around a tree planted on a city sidewalk).

The SW corner was a little difficult for me due to TREEGUARDS and CARO, but ultimately fair. It's amazing that this is the only hiccup considering the difficulty of this particular construction. Often times the marquee answers are pushed to the perimeter, which helps to isolate them and make construction easier (generally more segmented = easier construction). Doug and Brad extend WARSAW PACT, SAGE GREEN, STEADICAM, RETIREMENT, WEEDEATER, and WORRISOME into the center of the grid, raising the degree of interconnect and thus the level of difficulty. Not all those answers are sparkly, but brilliant clues like "Avocado relative" (not the fruit but the color) add to the solving experience.

1
P
2
O
3
V
4
E
5
R
6
T
7
Y
8
R
9
O
10
W
11
G
12
A
13
R
14
R
15
U
R
A
N
I
U
M
O
R
E
16
E
P
E
E
17
C
A
R
R
O
T
C
A
K
E
18
L
P
G
A
19
E
N
Y
A
20
U
A
R
21
D
22
I
A
L
U
P
23
G
24
A
S
25
P
E
N
T
E
L
26
E
27
S
28
T
E
R
29
S
30
T
E
A
D
I
C
A
31
M
32
W
A
R
S
A
33
W
P
A
C
T
34
N
I
T
E
35
O
N
E
36
B
O
L
S
T
E
37
R
38
D
I
A
39
K
T
E
40
L
41
R
E
T
I
R
E
42
M
E
N
T
43
S
A
G
E
44
G
R
E
E
N
45
B
E
R
G
S
46
C
U
T
S
I
N
47
F
A
N
48
B
L
A
S
T
S
49
O
50
N
O
51
D
52
I
53
S
54
K
55
C
A
R
O
56
O
57
T
H
E
R
58
W
O
M
A
N
59
U
R
D
U
60
M
S
M
A
G
A
Z
I
N
E
61
P
A
S
T
62
E
A
S
T
O
R
A
N
G
E
© 2013, The New York TimesNo. 0906 ( 23,313 )
Across
1
Old Hollywood low-budget studios, collectively : POVERTYROW
11
"Oh, God!" actress : GARR
15
Wine bottle contents in Hitchcock's "Notorious" : URANIUMORE
16
Only event in which Venezuela medaled at the 2012 Olympics : EPEE
17
Dessert often with cream cheese icing : CARROTCAKE
18
Ironwoman org.? : LPGA
19
Singer born Eithne Ní Bhraonáin : ENYA
20
Map inits. created in the wake of the Suez Crisis : UAR
21
Now-rare connection method : DIALUP
23
Blather : GAS
25
Big name in markers : PENTEL
26
Nitroglycerin, for one : ESTER
29
Director's alternative to a dolly : STEADICAM
32
It was dissolved in 1991 : WARSAWPACT
34
Time in TV ads : NITE
35
Fused : ONE
36
Fortify : BOLSTER
38
Domingo, e.g. : DIA
39
Onetime TV music vendor : KTEL
41
Kind of community : RETIREMENT
43
Avocado relative : SAGEGREEN
45
Ross Sea sights : BERGS
46
Interrupts : CUTSIN
47
Strike out : FAN
48
Excoriates : BLASTS
49
"Revolution 9" collaborator : ONO
51
It may slip in the back : DISK
55
L.B.J. biographer Robert ___ : CARO
56
One-third of a triangle, maybe : OTHERWOMAN
59
Hindi relative : URDU
60
The goddess Kali appeared on its first cover : MSMAGAZINE
61
Bygone : PAST
62
New Jersey childhood home of Whitney Houston and Queen Latifah : EASTORANGE
Down
1
Brownish purple : PUCE
2
Port where Camus set "The Plague" : ORAN
3
Fluctuate : VARY
4
Brings to a boil : ENRAGES
5
Rock in ___ (major music festival) : RIO
6
"Coppélia" attire : TUTUS
7
Hit from the 1978 disco album "Cruisin'" : YMCA
8
More than chuckle : ROAR
9
Planet first mentioned on "Happy Days" : ORK
10
It's used to define a border : WEEDEATER
11
Colorful dessert : GELATIN
12
Press production : APPLECIDER
13
Doing a government agency's job : REGULATING
14
Garner : REAP
22
Not the party type?: Abbr. : IND
24
Part of 20-Across : ARAB
25
Substance that citrus peels are rich in : PECTIN
26
Endor natives : EWOKS
27
Site of the last battle of the Cuban Revolution : SANTACLARA
28
Barriers used in urban renewal projects : TREEGUARDS
29
Ire : SPLEEN
30
Get a hint of : TASTE
31
Party tray array : MEATS
33
Vexing : WORRISOME
37
Country name : REBA
40
Releases : LETSOUT
42
Baseball's ___ Line (.200 batting average) : MENDOZA
44
Prime meridian std. : GST
47
Skip : FORGO
48
Smallish lingerie spec : BCUP
49
Electrical units : OHMS
50
Ordered : NEAT
52
"You can count on me" : IMIN
53
Provided backup, in a way : SANG
54
Deep or high lead-in : KNEE
57
Org. with inspectors : TSA
58
"A defeat for humanity," per Pope John Paul II : WAR

Answer summary: 6 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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