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New York Times, Saturday, September 8, 2018

Author: Andrew J. Ries
Editor: Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
118/13/20079/8/20180
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21111221
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1.57010
Andrew Ries

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 70, Blocks: 34 Missing: {W} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 10 for Mr. Ries. NYT links: Across Lite PDF

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Andrew Ries notes: This puzzle started with 7-Down and 37-Across, and I like how the rest of the central stagger came together. I remember that ... more
Andrew Ries notes:

This puzzle started with 7-Down and 37-Across, and I like how the rest of the central stagger came together. I remember that episode of "Seinfeld" where Kramer is a SEAT FILLER at the Tonys; the typical shenanigans ensue.

I decided against the pangram twice while writing this grid. Just needing a W to complete the pangram, I didn't think WAV at 56-Down was worth it. And so, resignedly, I changed my original 22-D PANGRAM to TANGRAM.

Jeff Chen notes: Andrew is known for his 'stair stack' themelesses. GEORGIA DOME / CARROT JUICE are pretty good, but SEAT FILLERS is the marquee entry ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Andrew is known for his "stair stack" themelesses. GEORGIA DOME / CARROT JUICE are pretty good, but SEAT FILLERS is the marquee entry that will hold this puzzle in my memory. What a great misdirectional clue, pointing to people who don't pay for their tickets – illegally watching? – no, people paid to make a crowd look bigger. Awesome!

SNAPCHAT FRIENDS down the middle spiced things up, too. It didn't do a lot for me, unfortunately, not being on Snapchat – okay, barely knowing what Snapchat is; fine, are you happy?! – but it's a technical feat to run a solid grid-spanning entry through a stair stack in this manner.

Some other feature answers, too – I read Jill's O MAGAZINE every month after she's done with it.

Fine, I steal it and hide it away before telling her that it got delayed in the mail!

And the TAXI SQUAD of an NFL team, what a fun term. For those that didn't know it, it has a fun history, a team owner putting scrubs on the payroll of his taxi company to keep them around.

I personally like O MAGAZINE better than TAXI SQUAD, as I'd guess that more solvers would have heard of the former than the latter. But that's a tough call. Even if you didn't know the latter, it's a neat story of how the term came about.

As much as I love clever clues, sometimes clues can try too hard. [Scratch on the table?] was going for "scratch" as a term for money. But "scratch on the table" isn't a solid base phrase to riff on (although our toddlers sure have put a lot of scratches in our table). And it's been years since I heard anyone say "scratch" and mean "money."

Continuing on the money kick, [High note?] for C SPOT … hmm. Calling a big bill "high"? As in, that hundred-dollar bill is high?

Umm … no.

So although it was a solid stair stack, it didn't have as many feature entries as I like (due to the real estate taken up by SNAPCHAT FRIENDS), and it didn't leave me with enough WACK (What A Clever Klue!) moments to give it POW! consideration.

1
M
2
A
3
J
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O
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R
6
C
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S
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P
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O
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T
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M
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© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0908 ( 25,141 )
Across Down
1. Principal : MAJOR
6. High note? : CSPOT
11. Balkan land, on Olympic scoreboards : CRO
14. Island that's the first word of the Beach Boys' "Kokomo" : ARUBA
15. Central principle of the Baha'i faith : UNITY
16. Work containing more than 3.5 million citations, for short : OED
17. Balm of Gilead, e.g. : RESIN
18. Practice roster for an N.F.L. team : TAXISQUAD
20. Half of a 1980s sitcom duo : KATE
21. Scratch on the table? : TIP
22. Horse's mouth, so to speak : SOURCE
23. Follower of Kennedy or Clinton : ERA
24. Baker's unit : BATCH
26. Fits snugly : NESTS
27. Florentine, for example : TUSCAN
29. Cons : HAS
31. One-up : BEST
32. Only facility in the world to have hosted the Olympics, Super Bowl and Final Four : GEORGIADOME
35. V8 ingredient : CARROTJUICE
37. People at a theater who didn't pay for their tickets : SEATFILLERS
39. Bananas : DAFT
42. Crack, say : MAR
43. Name for a big wheel : FERRIS
45. Dark : UNLIT
47. Kind of pressure : SINUS
49. Small square : ONE
50. Superhuman, in a way : BIONIC
52. Smoked delicacy : EEL
53. Whole grain component : BRAN
54. Periodical whose founder has appeared on every cover since its 2000 launch : OMAGAZINE
56. Speaks with a pleasing rhythm : LILTS
57. ___ score : SAT
58. Lab dept. : RANDD
59. Esteem highly : ADORE
60. 1994 U.S. Open champ : ELS
61. Like many student films : ARTSY
62. Excalibur's place : VEGAS
1. Sell : MARKET
2. It provides only partial coverage : AREARUG
3. "Hold your horses!" : JUSTASEC
4. Stage award : OBIE
5. Went quickly : RAN
6. Do the job : CUTIT
7. Ones sharing some shots : SNAPCHATFRIENDS
8. Movies, informally : PIX
9. Moving walkway maker : OTIS
10. Boxer with a cameo in "The Hangover" : TYSON
11. Links : COURSE
12. Changes color, say : REACTS
13. Farthest out there : ODDEST
19. Celine Dion, by birth : QUEBECER
21. Seven-piece puzzle : TANGRAM
24. Dancer's support : BARRE
25. Certain pilgrim : HADJI
28. Resting on one's laurels : COASTING
30. Deeply felt : SOULFUL
33. III, in Ithaca : IOTAS
34. Quite a ways : MILES
36. Useful list when troubleshooting a computer : ERRORLOG
38. Member of the Hoboken Four : SINATRA
39. "Porgy" novelist ___ Heyward : DUBOSE
40. Many an Aesop character : ANIMAL
41. Jerks' creations : FLOATS
44. Wits : SENSES
46. Accessory for a bride, maybe : TIARA
48. Indigent : NEEDY
51. Industry authority : CZAR
53. Remain : BIDE
55. 1099-___ (bank-issued tax form) : INT
56. Head, for short : LAV

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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