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# New York Times, Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Author:
Jacob Stulberg
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
2912/25/201310/8/20180
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
3448640
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.59790

## This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 40 Missing: {BFJQXZ} This is puzzle # 8 for Mr. Stulberg. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jacob Stulberg notes:
The first draft of this puzzle contained the theme answer RPG, clued as 'Shoulder-launched weapon, for short.' Will found that answer ... read more

The first draft of this puzzle contained the theme answer RPG, clued as "Shoulder-launched weapon, for short." Will found that answer "unappealing," so I swapped it out for CRAPGAMES, yielding an aptly vice-filled if somewhat old-fashioned northeast corner. Other theme-answer candidates included UPGRADE, GOSSIPGIRL, and PHILIPGLASS, to whom this puzzle could be considered a stealth tribute.

Jeff Chen notes:
PG-13 interpreted as 'THIRTEEN instances of PG inside the grid.' I've highlighted them below, as it took me forever to catch all of ... read more

PG-13 interpreted as "THIRTEEN instances of PG inside the grid." I've highlighted them below, as it took me forever to catch all of them. I particularly liked the stairstep of connected PGs in the upper right corner — cool little section. A similarly neat effect from the linked PGs in the upper left.

It may seem like not a big deal to incorporate a bigram into a puzzle 13 times, but the PG combination isn't a super common one. Take the center area, for example — you might wonder why Jacob didn't put a single instance in there. But with only short slots, how would you incorporate PG? Perhaps JPG or PGUP? Perhaps, but the J would be hard to work in, and PG UP isn't the greatest of entries. LPGA is out, since PGA has already been used. Not easy!

Given how hard that *PG* constraint is to work with, I did like quite a few of the "themers," like STOPGAP, TOP GEAR, CRAP GAMES and SWAMP GAS. Colorful choices.

A theme like this is so heavily constrained that it's tough to avoid gluey bits galore. I've come to appreciate more and more a good upper left corner, which sets the tone for my solving experience. Fun MAO clue [Leader with an -ISM], but getting two abbreviations in MASC and ANS was not ideal.

It's an unfortunate by-product of stacking SWAMPGAS and CAMPGROUND. Both are very nice answers in which to hide PG, but with the MPG further constraining it, that's a tough area to cleanly fill around. CMII (random Roman numeral) and MSGR and ISAO further make for feeling of a gluey pile-up.

Same issue in the lower right, with LIP GLOSS stacked under PG THIRTEEN forcing some compromises in the NSEC / LIC / REOIL corner.

So, an audacious theme idea, causing all sorts of filling problems. Very difficult to fill around so many instances of that PG bigram.

 1M 2A 3O 4C 5M 6I 7I 8A 9S 10P 11C 12A 13A N S 14A S S N 15S A T I R E 16S W A 17M P G A S 18A R E N A S 19C A M P G R O U 20N D 21P U P 22R A G U 23M E A 24L 25P G 26A 27N 28E 29W 30S T O 31P G A P 32S 33I 34K 35H 36V A 37S T 38P R I M O 39O N E A 40A S K E 41W 42I R E S 43U T E N 44N 45H I G H 46E L S E 47T O P G E 48A R 49G Y 50M 51H O G 52S P A 53S 54E 55A 56R 57P 58D O 59A 60P G T 61H 62I R T E E 63N 64W E I G 65H T 66L I P G L O S S 67V E N U E S 68E R S E 69I C E 70A P G A R 71O T O S 72L I C
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0908 ( 24,045 )

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Students & seniors
Across
1. Leader with an -ism : MAO
4. The year 902 : CMII
8. Org. with pet causes : ASPCA
13. Clue on "Jeopardy!": Abbr. : ANS
14. The "A" in 25-Across: Abbr. : ASSN
15. "Catch-22" or "Don Quixote" : SATIRE
16. It's mostly methane : SWAMPGAS
18. Concert sites : ARENAS
19. Place to erect a tent : CAMPGROUND
21. Kind of tent : PUP
22. Sauce brand : RAGU
23. Soup kitchen offering : MEAL
25. Org. whose members may be putting on a show? : PGA
27. Fresh : NEW
30. Sufficient for now, as a measure : STOPGAP
32. Turbaned believer : SIKH
36. Immense : VAST
38. First-rate : PRIMO
39. Qualified to serve : ONEA
42. Angers : IRES
43. Knoxville sch. : UTENN
45. Runner's feeling : HIGH
47. BBC car series listed by Guinness as the most widely watched factual TV program in the world : TOPGEAR
49. Class followed by a shower : GYM
51. Non-sharer : HOG
52. Places offering facials : SPAS
54. Marshal played in film by Kurt Russell and Kevin Costner : EARP
58. ___ good deed : DOA
60. Somewhat family-friendly ... or a title for this puzzle, as suggested by the completed grid? : PGTHIRTEEN
64. Boxer's stat : WEIGHT
66. Cosmetic applied with a small brush : LIPGLOSS
67. Concert sites : VENUES
68. Gaelic tongue : ERSE
69. Frost, essentially : ICE
70. ___ score (neonatal measure) : APGAR
71. Midwest tribe : OTOS
72. What a D.M.V. issues: Abbr. : LIC
Down
1. Like the Fr. "le," but not "la" : MASC
2. With 15-Down, 1978 Nobel Peace Prize winner : ANWAR
3. 2005 biography subtitled "The Making of a Terrorist" : OSAMA
4. Noisy toy : CAPGUN
5. Roman Cath. title : MSGR
6. Golfer Aoki : ISAO
7. All together : INSUM
8. Swiss river to the Rhine : AAR
9. Bit of a climb : STEP
10. Figure on a soldier's poster in W.W. II : PINUPGIRL
11. Casino activities with dice : CRAPGAMES
12. D.D.E. opponent : AES
17. Car sticker fig. : MPG
20. Individual retirement account, say : NESTEGG
24. Cut (off) : LOP
26. Strike ___ (model) : APOSE
28. Bond girl Green : EVA
29. Cloth for cleaning : WASHRAG
31. ___-dieu (kneeling bench) : PRIE
32. 6:00 on a compass : SOUTH
33. Past the point of no return : INTOODEEP
34. Carry on : KEEPGOING
35. Chill (with) : HANG
37. Hit the slopes : SKI
41. "___ me?" : WHY
44. Bygone video game inits. : NES
48. Engagement calendar listings: Abbr. : APPTS
50. Goes from two lanes to one : MERGES
53. Fifth-century pope known as "the Great" : STLEO
55. The Falcons, on scoreboards : ATL
56. Maintain, in a way, as a car engine : REOIL
57. Joe of "Once Upon a Time in America" : PESCI
59. Contents of el océano : AGUA
61. "Java" trumpeter Al : HIRT
62. ___ facto : IPSO
63. Tiny amount of time: Abbr. : NSEC
64. Big coal-mining state: Abbr. : WVA
65. Woody Allen's "Hannah and ___ Sisters" : HER

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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