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New York Times, Saturday, September 8, 2018

Author:
Andrew J. Ries
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
168/13/20073/31/20190
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31111432
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.56020
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
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 ... read more

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 ... read more

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
4
O
5
R
6
C
7
S
8
P
9
O
10
T
11
C
12
R
13
O
14
A
R
U
B
A
15
U
N
I
T
Y
16
O
E
D
17
R
E
S
I
N
18
T
A
X
I
S
19
Q
U
A
D
20
K
A
T
E
21
T
I
P
22
S
O
U
R
C
E
23
E
R
A
24
B
A
T
C
25
H
26
N
E
S
T
S
27
T
U
S
28
C
A
N
29
H
A
30
S
31
B
E
S
T
32
G
E
O
R
G
33
I
A
D
O
34
M
E
35
C
A
R
R
O
T
J
U
I
C
36
E
37
S
E
A
T
F
I
L
L
E
R
38
S
39
D
40
A
41
F
T
42
M
A
R
43
F
E
R
R
I
44
S
45
U
N
L
I
46
T
47
S
I
48
N
U
S
49
O
N
E
50
B
I
O
N
I
51
C
52
E
E
L
53
B
R
A
N
54
O
M
A
G
A
Z
55
I
N
E
56
L
I
L
T
S
57
S
A
T
58
R
A
N
D
D
59
A
D
O
R
E
60
E
L
S
61
A
R
T
S
Y
62
V
E
G
A
S
© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0908 ( 25,141 )
Across
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
Down
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, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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