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New York Times, Friday, February 19, 2016

Author: Jacob Stulberg
Editor: Will Shortz
Jacob Stulberg
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1912/25/20133/17/20170
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1236430
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.61460
Puzzle of the Week

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 70, Blocks: 34 Missing: {JPQZ} This is puzzle # 10 for Mr. Stulberg. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jacob Stulberg notes: In 1833, Jacques Offenbach moved from his birthplace of Cologne to Paris, where he spent most of his remaining 47 years as (per ... more
Jacob Stulberg notes:

In 1833, Jacques Offenbach moved from his birthplace of Cologne to Paris, where he spent most of his remaining 47 years as (per the New Grove Dictionary) a "French composer of German origin." I never thought that decision would affect me personally, but it had one major implication for today's puzzle: while "Italian composer" and "Austrian composer" would have worked as theme clues, "German composer" would not. In other words, Offenbach is the sole reason this puzzle's theme clues contain the word "born." (For real accuracy, I would have clued the theme answers as "Composer born in territory that's now [Italian]/[German]/[Austrian]," but that seemed like overkill.)

Jeff Chen notes: With four POWs in the span of 12 months now, Jacob easily makes my top ten puzzlemakers list. I love his voice, with touches of art, ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

With four POWs in the span of 12 months now, Jacob easily makes my top ten puzzlemakers list. I love his voice, with touches of art, history, the classics, academia, and a little pop culture, making for what I consider the quintessential NYT puzzle, perfect for the target audience. Today's puzzle hit the mark for me on the theme alone, and the fact that Jacob turned it into a mini-themed themeless made it very memorable for me.

OFFENBACH has a little BACH in him!

I've been immersed in classical music for decades, and it never occurred to me that BACH was "hidden" in OFFENBACH. Not only that, but they're both German-born! Same goes for Alban BERG and SCHOENBERG, both Austrian-born. And to find a third example, VERDI and MONTEVERDI, both Italian-born, is just amazing. It's mind-blowing that the crossword symmetry works out perfectly!

And Jacob just kept on going with the brilliance, placing his black squares so that each of the "hidden" composers has his own Across clue. So cool to see VERDI at "18-Across." There really is no 18-Across of course, but here, Jacob slyly puts it to use. (If you're still missing it, look at the square with the "18" in it.)

As if that weren't enough, the fill is strong. I expect a ton of strong material in any themeless, and I lower those expectations a bit when there's a mini-theme that constrains the grid. I didn't have to today, with so much goodness: FEMBOT (anyone else plunk in DR EVIL?), IN ORBIT, the crazy looking BENEDICT XVI, NOM DE GUERRE, LAERTES, I WANT IN, even SUCCOR, CLONING, and Chuck YEAGER.

There is a smattering of ATA, GORSE (huh?), and two somewhat esoteric rivers right next to each other (YSER + ARNO = a no-no), but it was all so minor to me. The amazing discoveries of "hidden" names, sneakily giving those names their own Across clue, and solid themeless-quality fill made it one of my favorite puzzles in recent memory — possibly of all time.

1
F
2
I
3
A
4
T
5
A
6
C
7
A
8
I
9
C
10
O
11
L
12
A
13
E
N
N
I
14
S
15
H
O
L
D
16
O
V
A
L
17
M
O
N
T
E
18
V
E
R
D
I
19
K
E
E
L
20
B
R
A
21
N
O
M
D
E
G
22
U
E
R
R
E
23
O
B
L
24
A
D
I
25
S
R
I
S
26
A
T
A
27
T
I
E
R
O
D
28
S
29
S
T
O
30
U
T
E
R
31
T
E
N
F
O
U
32
R
33
T
E
S
S
34
O
F
F
E
N
35
B
36
A
37
C
H
38
E
39
M
40
I
L
41
S
Y
L
L
A
42
B
43
I
44
D
A
W
D
45
L
46
E
47
S
48
E
C
O
N
O
M
49
Y
50
I
D
A
51
C
L
U
52
E
53
O
N
T
I
M
E
54
B
E
N
55
E
D
I
C
T
56
X
V
I
57
L
E
A
58
L
I
T
E
59
S
C
H
O
E
N
60
B
E
R
G
61
E
R
I
K
62
H
O
A
X
63
G
O
R
S
E
64
S
A
N
S
65
A
R
N
O
66
Y
S
E
R
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 24,209
Across Down
1. Order : FIAT
5. ___ palm : ACAI
9. It's made with syrup : COLA
13. Town near Ireland's Shannon Airport : ENNIS
15. A caller may be on this : HOLD
16. Track type : OVAL
17. & 18. Italian-born composer : MONTEVERDI
19. Something a scow lacks : KEEL
20. It's often hooked : BRA
21. Carlos the Jackal, for one : NOMDEGUERRE
23. Start of a Beatles refrain : OBLADI
25. Eastern titles : SRIS
26. ___ loss : ATA
27. Bars in cars : TIERODS
29. "A ___ champion never handled sword": "Henry VI, Part I" : STOUTER
31. "Understood" : TENFOUR
33. Danny's love in "Ocean's Eleven" : TESS
34. & 35. German-born composer : OFFENBACH
38. Man's name that spells a fruit backward : EMIL
41. Class lists? : SYLLABI
44. Takes one's sweet time : DAWDLES
48. Kind of car or class : ECONOMY
50. 2014 Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film : IDA
51. Space cadet's need? : CLUE
53. Prompt : ONTIME
54. His first tweet ended "I bless all of you from my heart" : BENEDICTXVI
57. What the lowing herd wind slowly o'er, in verse : LEA
58. For the calorie-conscious : LITE
59. & 60. Austrian-born composer : SCHOENBERG
61. N.B.A. coach Spoelstra : ERIK
62. Put on : HOAX
63. Spiny shrub : GORSE
64. Without : SANS
65. Ligurian Sea feeder : ARNO
66. North Sea feeder : YSER
1. "Austin Powers" villain : FEMBOT
2. Out of this world? : INORBIT
3. Longtime grandmotherly "General Hospital" actress : ANNALEE
4. Short-beaked bird : TIT
5. "Aren't you forgetting something?" : AHEM
6. Jumble behind a computer desk : CORDS
7. Hazel relatives : ALDERS
8. "Cool, man!" : IDIGIT
9. Popular 9-Across : COKE
10. Gorged : OVERATE
11. Shakespeare character who says "I dare damnation" : LAERTES
12. Paying close attention : ALLEARS
14. Retirement party, e.g. : SENDOFF
18. Without : VOIDOF
22. Tour grp. : USO
24. "Happy Days" malt shop owner : ARNOLD
28. File certain papers : SUE
30. "View From the U.N." memoirist : UTHANT
32. Hosp. staffers : RNS
35. Cry that's often doubled : BYE
36. Place for a bust : ALCOVE
37. Doubling up? : CLONING
38. Food : EDIBLES
39. Port alternative : MADEIRA
40. "Sign me up!" : IWANTIN
42. Heating equipment : BOILERS
43. Put completely (in) : IMMERSE
45. TV option, for short : LCD
46. Engineer Gray who co-founded Western Electric : ELISHA
47. Aid : SUCCOR
49. Shepard's role in "The Right Stuff" : YEAGER
52. ___ Allen Express (Amtrak train in the Northeast) : ETHAN
55. Horror movie sounds : EEKS
56. Letter ender : XOXO
60. "Whew!" : BOY

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

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