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New York Times, Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Author: Daniel Raymon
Editor: Will Shortz
Daniel Raymon
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
199/23/20079/6/20170
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
02341108
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.61110

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 36 Missing: {K} This is puzzle # 18 for Mr. Raymon. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Daniel Raymon notes: This theme lingered a while because it wasn't so easy for me to find words that turn into other words when you add a 'y' sound ... more
Daniel Raymon notes:

This theme lingered a while because it wasn't so easy for me to find words that turn into other words when you add a 'y' sound after the first letter... and then also to find phrases that worked after that change. I'm delighted that I did find four nice phrases, because I think this is one of my better puzzles. To me, this puzzle mainly stands out because of its pretty grid design. There are only eight short, outer lines and two central curves, making it look artistic in its simplicity. I'm also proud of the general quality of the puzzle, though I would've liked the longer fill to be more exciting.

The clues weren't changed too much, so I guess that's a good thing! I do appreciate the changes, though; solid work, Will and team! I'm happy to be the first to clue ROBYN as the Swedish singer, whose music I really enjoy. I'm also happy to be the first to clue IM PEI in a new way, as he has now reached the status of centenarian.

I think all of my theme answers and clues are quite cute, and I'm particularly happy that BEAUTY CALL made it through, as BOOTY CALL is a bit risqué and has yet to appear. Fun to push the boundaries a bit!

Jeff Chen notes: I'm not sure how to describe today's sound change theme. FORD to FJORD, BOOTY to BEAUTY, FOOD to FEUD, COUP to QUEUE … the ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

I'm not sure how to describe today's sound change theme. FORD to FJORD, BOOTY to BEAUTY, FOOD to FEUD, COUP to QUEUE … the last three are all "ooh" to "eew," nice and consistent. That first one though — FORD doesn't have the "ooh" sound, nor does FJORD match the "eew" pattern. I spent a long time trying to figure out if there was perhaps another way these all connected, i.e., a consistent spelling change, or letter substitution? Alas, no.

Or was there! I was complaining to Jim about the one inconsistent themer, and he asked why adding a Y sound was inconsistent in FORD to FJORD. D'oh! I'm curious how many other people biffed on comprehending the theme concept.

FINGER FEUD was a winning themer for me, evoking a funny image. BEAUTY CALL was a so-so resulting phrase, but I enjoyed getting the base phrase of BOOTY CALL in my crossword. Love it; in total agreement with Dani.

MILITARY QUEUE felt too much like a real thing — aren't there a lot of lines in the military? — and I've seen FJORD EXPLORER in different crossword contexts. So these two didn't do much for me.

I enjoyed the bonuses Dani worked in, LION TAMERS, AGGREGATOR, MACUSER looking like a fun Scottish name, and even BIG IF and DOG IT. Unusual for me to notice short fill in a good way!

A couple of EVAS, URB, EZIO (perhaps he's more familiar to an older generation?) dabs of crossword glue, but nothing egregious. Pretty well-executed grid. I think EVAS could have been removed fairly easily, though — I'm almost sure there are better options in that mostly unconstrained corner. (I know, I'm so nit-picky!)

Big ups for the EDIT clue. It's hard to make a short entry interesting, but the clever wordplay in "Paraphrase" to "Pare a phrase?" is brilliant.

After having the theme explained to me, I liked the concept. Pretty neat that all the Y-sound-additions were done with different spelling changes! But alas, the cleverness went over my head.

JimH notes: Not only did Mr. Raymon find four different ways to add the Y sound after the first letter, none of those ways needed the letter Y.
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C
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© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0906 ( 24,774 )
Across Down
1. Female singer with a hit album in every decade since the 1960s : CHER
5. "It's boiling in here!" : IMHOT
10. House speaker Ryan : PAUL
14. Confused state of mind : HAZE
15. New Zealand native : MAORI
16. Folklore fiend : OGRE
17. Pare a phrase? : EDIT
18. Many a charity golf tourney : PROAM
19. Rainbow flag letters : LGBT
20. One traveling around Scandinavia? : FJORDEXPLORER
23. Senior's grandson : III
24. Cesar who played the Joker on TV : ROMERO
27. Rice-and-broth dish : PILAF
30. Texting format, in brief : SMS
33. Significant qualification : BIGIF
34. Stir up : ROIL
35. Visit to the salon? : BEAUTYCALL
37. Rock's Brian : ENO
38. "South Park" kid : CARTMAN
39. Ana's aunt : TIA
40. Argument that involves pointing? : FINGERFEUD
42. France's Pic de Rochebrune, e.g. : MONT
43. Ancient worshiper of Huitzilopochtli : AZTEC
44. Drench : SOP
45. Trash hauler : BARGE
46. End of the sentence "Make like a drum and ..." : BEATIT
48. ___ America : BBC
49. Soldiers in line formation? : MILITARYQUEUE
56. Late journalist Ifill : GWEN
58. Shirk one's responsibilities : DOGIT
59. Grammy and Tony nominee Bareilles : SARA
60. Part of a cruise itinerary : PORT
61. Mojave plant : AGAVE
62. Mendes and Longoria : EVAS
63. Comme ci, comme ça : SOSO
64. Like early computer graphics : LORES
65. Be dependent : RELY
1. Course designer : CHEF
2. Muslim pilgrimage : HADJ
3. Pinza of "South Pacific" : EZIO
4. Result of a deadlocked jury : RETRIAL
5. Noted architect who turned 100 in 2017 : IMPEI
6. Who said religion "is the opium of the people" : MARX
7. Piece of equipment for 29-Down : HOOP
8. Kind of history or hygiene : ORAL
9. ___ Sea (body north of Australia) : TIMOR
10. Controversial argument : POLEMIC
11. News site like the Drudge Report : AGGREGATOR
12. Metro area : URB
13. Authorize to : LET
21. "What's the ___?" : DIF
22. One-named Swedish singer with the 1997 hit "Show Me Love" : ROBYN
25. Annoying : RILING
26. These days : OFLATE
27. Not made from scratch, say : PREFAB
28. Give a charge to : IONIZE
29. Dangerous circus jobs : LIONTAMERS
30. Drudges : SERFS
31. San ___, Calif. : MATEO
32. Encapsulate : SUMUP
35. Setting for many a joke about a priest, a rabbi and a minister : BAR
36. Small amount : TAD
38. Rhodes of the Rhodes scholarship : CECIL
41. Begin to enjoy : GETINTO
42. Apple consumer : MACUSER
45. Many a Labor Day event, for short : BBQ
47. Kind of wave : TIDAL
48. Gig parts : BYTES
50. Not for here : TOGO
51. Gelatin substitute : AGAR
52. Split : RIVE
53. Shade provider : EAVE
54. River forming part of the boundary between Europe and Asia : URAL
55. "Not so fast!" : EASY
56. Car speaker : GPS
57. Romance : WOO

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle.

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