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New York Times, Monday, September 9, 2019

Author:
Dan Schoenholz
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
245/5/20109/9/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
10344300
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.63220
Dan Schoenholz

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 38 Missing: {JQZ} This is puzzle # 24 for Mr. Schoenholz. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Dan Schoenholz notes:
Glad to be back in the pages of the New York Times for the first time in a couple of years. I happened to be traveling in Europe when ... read more

Glad to be back in the pages of the New York Times for the first time in a couple of years. I happened to be traveling in Europe when I heard from Will and company that they liked the concept for this puzzle but wanted some changes. I have fond memories of sitting in the airport in Copenhagen, texting bad puns back and forth across the Atlantic until we agreed on a revised set of theme answers.

A good Monday puzzle has an interesting but easy-to-crack theme, smooth fill, and is accessible to solvers at all levels. Hopefully, this one fits the bill!

Jeff Chen notes:
Loved this puzzle from start to finish. My first impression was that it was novel, fun, and nicely consistent. But was there more than ... read more

Loved this puzzle from start to finish. My first impression was that it was novel, fun, and nicely consistent. But was there more than "single words broken in two, in a fun way"?

It took me a while to realize what was going on with the theme, and I appreciated it more and more as I cottoned to the details. I wondered, aren't there tons of possibilities? It's easy to break words rhyming with RYES in two parts, right?

Then, it dawned on me that it wasn't just "rhymes with RYES," but "ends in -IZE." That's much more restrictive, lending a feeling of tightness. But there had to be a bunch of other short words Dan missed, right? SIGHS for example. And … PIES. BUYS!

Turns out there aren't any good options with any of those three. ROMANTIC SIGHS almost works, but it's not quite like the others. And there are few (interesting) words ending in -PIZE or -BIZE.

Perfect tightness makes the theme so elegant. Beautiful.

Lovely early-week grid, too. Dan worked in a good number of long bonuses – BODY SHOP, TED TALKS, EATS IT UP, DIET SODA. Note how widely-accessible those are, nothing cutting-edge flashy like the latest pop single or movie that will elate some and turn off others.

Along with squeaky-clean fill – the only nit I could pick was a bit of SORE AT and GOES TO, filler that felt like wasted potential – it's a fantastic product. Sticking to a 78-word grid is so smart. Some constructors feel like going to the max number of allowable words is beneath them (me included, sometimes), but it's a great way to achieve the epitome of Monday-ness.

Top-notch work. This is exactly what a newb-friendly NYT puzzle should be.

1
C
2
O
3
M
4
B
5
O
6
B
7
Y
8
O
9
B
10
S
11
A
12
W
13
N
14
O
R
I
O
N
15
I
O
W
A
16
I
M
H
O
17
T
E
N
D
E
18
R
R
Y
E
S
19
R
O
O
T
20
S
K
Y
21
U
D
O
N
22
D
E
N
S
E
23
S
24
E
M
I
25
D
I
N
G
E
D
26
A
27
L
28
P
H
A
B
E
29
T
30
T
I
E
S
31
T
O
Y
O
T
A
32
W
A
N
T
33
E
34
B
35
B
36
T
A
R
P
S
37
H
E
X
38
S
39
T
A
I
R
40
A
D
O
41
I
42
C
E
E
43
G
O
E
S
T
O
44
S
T
A
N
D
45
A
R
D
D
Y
E
S
46
S
47
A
48
T
O
U
T
49
F
E
A
T
50
T
W
E
R
P
51
D
52
A
F
T
53
A
54
L
55
L
56
O
G
R
E
57
S
O
C
I
A
58
L
L
I
E
59
S
60
M
E
S
A
61
O
V
E
R
62
S
K
E
I
N
63
P
E
E
T
64
P
E
R
M
65
U
S
U
A
L
© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 0909 ( 25,507 )
Across
1
Jazz quartet, e.g. : COMBO
6
Abbr. about alcohol on a party invitation : BYOB
10
Like logs that have been cut : SAWN
14
The Hunter constellation : ORION
15
Des Moines's state : IOWA
16
"If you ask me ...," in a text : IMHO
17
Very soft loaves of bread? : TENDERRYES
19
Cheer (for) : ROOT
20
Heavens : SKY
21
Japanese noodle dish : UDON
22
Thickheaded : DENSE
23
18-wheeler : SEMI
25
Went off, as a timer : DINGED
26
Neckwear with the letters A, B, C, D, etc.? : ALPHABETTIES
31
Nissan rival : TOYOTA
32
Desire : WANT
33
Flow back, as the tide : EBB
36
Infield covers : TARPS
37
Bit of voodoo : HEX
38
Step between floors : STAIR
40
Kerfuffle : ADO
41
Cold, cold drink : ICEE
43
Attends : GOESTO
44
Indigo, henna, etc.? : STANDARDDYES
46
Didn't take part : SATOUT
49
Quite an accomplishment : FEAT
50
Dweeb : TWERP
51
Wacky : DAFT
53
Opposite of none : ALL
56
Fairy tale villain : OGRE
57
"You haven't aged a bit" and "I love that jacket you're wearing"? : SOCIALLIES
60
Small plateau : MESA
61
"Your turn," on a walkie-talkie : OVER
62
Ball of yarn : SKEIN
63
Actress Amanda : PEET
64
Salon job, briefly : PERM
65
Customary : USUAL
Down
1
Extra bed in a hotel room : COT
2
Metal-containing rocks : ORES
3
Relative of a weasel : MINK
4
Where to take a car for repairs : BODYSHOP
5
See 6-Down : ONE
6
Golf score of 5-Down under par : BIRDIE
7
Toy on a string : YOYO
8
Actor Wilson of "Midnight in Paris" : OWEN
9
Some humanities degs. : BAS
10
Ambulance sounds : SIRENS
11
Surrounded by : AMONG
12
TV's "___ Line Is It Anyway?" : WHOSE
13
Eminent : NOTED
18
Cuban ballroom dance : RUMBA
22
Sprite Zero Sugar, for one : DIETSODA
24
Enjoys the flattery, say : EATSITUP
25
Awful racket : DIN
26
Lead-in to girl or boy : ATTA
27
Washing machine unit : LOAD
28
Arsonist, in brief : PYRO
29
Stereotypical material for a professor's jacket : TWEED
30
Government levy : TAX
33
Like falling off a log : EASY
34
What hungry fish do : BITE
35
Warner ___ : BROS
37
Rooster's mate : HEN
39
Popular lecture series : TEDTALKS
42
Pet asking for milk, purr-haps? : CAT
43
Garbo of silent films : GRETA
44
Upset with : SOREAT
45
State as fact : AFFIRM
46
Beat handily : STOMP
47
"Oh, shucks!" : AWGEE
48
Opposite of verbose : TERSE
51
Peacenik : DOVE
52
One providing great service? : ACER
54
In ___ of (replacing) : LIEU
55
"Star Wars" princess : LEIA
57
Soak (up) : SOP
58
S.E.C. school in Baton Rouge : LSU
59
TV show that originally included John Belushi and Jane Curtin, for short : SNL

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?