New York Times, Thursday, February 23, 2012

Author: Jeff Chen
Editor: Will Shortz
Jeff Chen
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1.64361

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15, Words: 78, Blocks: 39 Missing: {QVZ} This is puzzle # 6 for Mr. Chen. NYT links: Across Lite PDF

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Jeff Chen notes: This puzzle was two years in the making, with umpteen thousand versions and three back-and-forths with Will. My first version didn't have the perimeter words interlocked, which Will thought inelegant. I'm really glad he pointed this out. Even though it took me ages to figure out a set of words which did interlock in all four corners, I like the elegance of it.

Now that I've had some time to review the puzzle with fresh eyes, I would have loved to incorporate AROUND in a symmetrical way. See how it sticks out, no symmetrical theme answer balancing it? If I were to do it all over again, I might place the letters A R O U N D in a tight circle around the center of the puzzle, with each letter circled. A notepad note could explain things, or better yet, it would be devilish to make the solver connect the dots, figuring out that the circled letters were a subtle hint to those perimeter answers.

Fun to see how one can learn and take away lessons for the future.

JimH notes: AROUND must be added to the answers around the outside edge for the clues to make sense.
1
S
2
H
3
O
4
O
5
T
6
R
7
O
8
O
9
T
10
J
11
E
12
R
13
K
14
H
I
N
D
U
15
A
U
T
H
16
O
X
E
N
17
O
G
L
E
R
18
P
I
T
A
19
K
I
L
O
20
P
H
Y
S
I
21
C
S
22
A
N
23
G
E
L
I
C
24
N
O
H
25
O
W
26
O
R
E
C
K
27
C
28
O
29
K
30
E
31
R
E
H
A
32
B
S
33
O
W
E
S
34
N
E
O
35
R
E
36
L
37
I
38
E
39
F
40
M
E
G
A
41
B
I
T
42
K
E
E
P
S
T
O
43
E
N
S
U
R
E
44
D
I
E
45
N
A
T
O
46
A
R
47
O
U
N
D
48
S
O
U
L
49
S
50
L
51
O
52
P
S
53
R
O
G
E
54
T
55
T
E
L
L
S
56
O
N
57
P
R
O
58
P
59
S
60
U
61
P
62
I
R
M
A
63
R
A
64
N
I
65
R
E
T
R
O
66
C
O
E
N
67
E
T
O
N
68
C
R
A
N
K
69
K
I
C
K
70
M
E
S
S
71
H
O
R
S
E
© 2012, The New York Times
Across Down
1. Pass quickly, as on a highway : SHOOT
6. Rummage : ROOT
10. Treat badly : JERK
14. Karma believer : HINDU
15. Title accompanier: Abbr. : AUTH
16. Team members : OXEN
17. Many a nude beach visitor : OGLER
18. ___ bread : PITA
19. Narc's find, perhaps : KILO
20. Subject with force : PHYSICS
22. Perfectly behaved : ANGELIC
24. Not under any circumstances : NOHOW
26. Big name in vacuums : ORECK
27. Furnace fuel : COKE
31. Heals, in a way : REHABS
33. Has a tab : OWES
34. The One, in "The Matrix" : NEO
35. Kind of pitcher : RELIEF
40. Storage unit : MEGABIT
42. Maintains, as an itinerary : KEEPSTO
43. Double-check, e.g. : ENSURE
44. One of two in Monopoly : DIE
45. Port. is part of it : NATO
46. Word needed to be added to 12 appropriately placed answers in this puzzle for their clues to make sense : AROUND
48. Music genre : SOUL
49. Spills : SLOPS
53. Synonym source : ROGET
55. Gives away, in a way : TELLSON
57. Braces : PROPSUP
62. "___ la Douce" : IRMA
63. 14-Across V.I.P. : RANI
65. Back in : RETRO
66. "The Big Lebowski" director : COEN
67. George Orwell's alma mater : ETON
68. Part of many a generator : CRANK
69. Bandy, as ideas : KICK
70. Waste time : MESS
71. Act rowdily : HORSE
1. Get many price quotes : SHOP
2. Drugged out : HIGH
3. One's partner : ONLY
4. Works of Horace : ODES
5. Famous cloth locale : TURIN
6. List of criminals? : RAPSHEET
7. Magazine once published by Playboy : OUI
8. Senator's home : OTTAWA
9. Comparison connector : THAN
10. Wild card : JOKER
11. Banish : EXILE
12. Vestige : RELIC
13. Wander aimlessly : KNOCK
21. Less sophisticated, in a way : CORNIER
23. "Check it out!" : GOSEE
25. Exclamation of surprise : OHO
27. Change one's opinion : COME
28. Meany of story : OWEN
29. Items sometimes tossed in strongman contests : KEGS
30. Biblical twin : ESAU
32. Rancher, typically : BREEDER
36. Hosp. employees : LPNS
37. Golfer Aoki : ISAO
38. Cry of shocked hurt : ETTU
39. Not be serious : FOOL
41. Military leaders : BRASS
42. Group leaders : KINGPINS
44. The Smothers Brothers, e.g. : DUO
47. Showy : ORNATE
49. Linger : STICK
50. "Vive ___!" : LEROI
51. Ancient Mexican : OLMEC
52. Party principle : PLANK
54. Johnny Storm a k a the Human ___ : TORCH
56. City near Provo : OREM
58. But, in Bolivia : PERO
59. Standout : STAR
60. Still-life subjects : URNS
61. Search here and there : POKE
64. Digits, e.g.: Abbr. : NOS

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