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New York Times, Saturday, March 7, 2015

Author: David C. Duncan Dekker
Editor: Will Shortz
David C. Duncan Dekker
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
33/7/20158/10/20160
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0001011
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
2.22003

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 27 Missing: none – this is a pangram Scrabble average: 1.98 This is the debut puzzle for Mr. Dekker NYT links: Across Lite PDF
David C. Duncan Dekker notes: Greetings, Word Nerds! Firstly, let me just quickly point out some facts that I extracted from XWord Info: This ... more
David C. Duncan Dekker notes:

Greetings, Word Nerds!

Firstly, let me just quickly point out some facts that I extracted from XWord Info:

  1. This is the 7777th crossword published within the "Will Shortz era".
  2. I am the 777th constructor published within this era.
  3. This puzzle lands on the 7th day of this month.

This could very well be the 7th wonder of the world of crosswords?!

Secondly, since I am making my New York Times debut, I thought I'd comment briefly about how I got into the whole crossword constructing thang, step by step:

  1. At around 16, I began solving Monday-like NYT crosswords found in local papers or "easy-to-do" puzzle books.
  2. By 18, I clued in on the patterns, broke out the paper & pencils; then, began to piece puzzles together bit by bit.
  3. Closing in on 40 now & I'm happy to announce that my crossword constructing skills are still ever-evolving.

Thirdly, the cluing for this crossword was originally designed with an unusual amount of acronyms for the purpose of using A through Z again amongst the acronyms, as to add to the already incorporated pangrammatic mini-theme. That idea did not make the cut, and therefore a significant amount of cluing adjustments were made by Will and his team. I am, however, still pleased with how the puzzle turned out, and hopefully you'll think so as well.

Jeff Chen notes: Neat little mini-theme, FROM A TO Z echoed below by PANGRAMS. Not surprisingly, the puzzle itself is a pangram! I enjoyed trying to ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Neat little mini-theme, FROM A TO Z echoed below by PANGRAMS. Not surprisingly, the puzzle itself is a pangram! I enjoyed trying to figure out where the J, Q, X, and Z might pop up. I was really glad to have the mini-theme in mind as I AGONIZED over what the heck a PEZIZA might be. Very helpful to have the pangram idea in mind as I struggled over that crazy-looking PE?IZA string!

The elusive PEJIZA. Er, PEZIZA.

It's rarely effortless to complete a pangram in a themeless puzzle, even using the maximum allowed number of words (72). It's usually a cinch to toss in one or two of the JQXZ letters, and sometimes getting three of them in isn't too bad. Working all of them in often results in compromises — not surprising to see the gluey ODA near the sole Q.

Other than that though, I was impressed that the puzzle only had a few undesirable bits, and those were quite minor. Even more impressive was the sheer number of JQXZ instances — 10 is no joke. Not a huge amount of fantastic fill, but it's a real treat to get so many of those rare letters.

Confused why [Hook on a kite] would describe TALON? Think about "kite" as the type of bird, not as the recreational toy.

Finally, beautiful clue for LARYNX, which made me think of a speaking part as in a movie role. Perfect use of language to confound and delight.

1
F
2
R
3
O
4
M
5
A
6
T
7
O
8
Z
9
P
10
E
11
E
12
D
13
E
14
E
15
L
E
M
O
N
A
D
E
16
L
A
R
Y
N
X
17
I
C
E
B
O
X
E
S
18
I
T
A
S
C
A
19
M
I
L
20
N
E
T
T
21
L
E
S
22
L
O
M
23
S
P
E
24
D
25
S
O
I
L
S
26
J
E
D
I
27
Y
E
T
I
28
S
29
J
E
D
30
T
O
X
I
N
31
V
A
32
P
O
R
33
V
I
S
I
N
E
34
H
35
O
36
M
E
K
E
Y
37
R
A
G
B
A
G
S
38
I
N
A
S
E
C
39
M
U
C
H
O
40
T
E
X
T
S
41
K
I
T
42
T
Y
43
P
44
E
45
B
46
S
O
W
S
47
D
F
L
A
48
T
49
S
E
M
I
50
Q
U
E
51
B
A
C
K
B
A
52
Y
53
Z
I
P
54
U
N
B
55
O
R
N
56
C
A
L
A
57
M
I
N
E
58
A
C
E
D
I
T
59
A
G
O
N
I
Z
E
D
60
D
E
R
A
T
E
61
P
A
N
G
R
A
M
S
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 23,860
Across Down
1. Completely : FROMATOZ
9. Southern river to Winyah Bay : PEEDEE
15. Something you might make a stand for : LEMONADE
16. Speaking part : LARYNX
17. Quaint raid targets : ICEBOXES
18. Minnesota county whose seat is Grand Rapids : ITASCA
19. A lot of bucks ... or the Bucks, briefly : MIL
20. Tees off : NETTLES
22. Herbert of Hollywood : LOM
23. Hit 90, e.g. : SPED
25. Their pH's are often measured : SOILS
26. Force user : JEDI
27. Elusive giants : YETIS
29. C. J.'s boss on "The West Wing" : JED
30. Sickening thing : TOXIN
31. Boiling evidence : VAPOR
33. "See the difference a little drop can make" sloganeer : VISINE
34. A in typing class, e.g. : HOMEKEY
37. Hodgepodges : RAGBAGS
38. "Hold your horses!" : INASEC
39. Beaucoup : MUCHO
40. Modern back-and-forth : TEXTS
41. Model material : KIT
42. Unlikely to stress out : TYPEB
46. Makes one's bed? : SOWS
47. Key of Debussy's "Claire de Lune" : DFLAT
49. What often produces passing thoughts? : SEMI
50. Where the Saguenay R. flows : QUE
51. Boston area known for its brownstones : BACKBAY
53. Execute a motion on the fly? : ZIP
54. Still in development? : UNBORN
56. Pink application to red areas : CALAMINE
58. Breezed through something : ACEDIT
59. Debated, debated, debated : AGONIZED
60. Place less value on : DERATE
61. They use every letter 1-Across : PANGRAMS
1. Very weak : FLIMSY
2. It might tell you to chill : RECIPE
3. Cheese ___ : OMELET
4. Descend upon in droves : MOB
5. Like Mr. X, briefly : ANON
6. Burdens : TAXES
7. European Union anthem : ODETOJOY
8. Spiced up, say : ZESTIER
9. Carries on steadily : PLIES
10. Works on a course : EATS
11. Follower of Johnson or Kennedy : ERA
12. Source of a character flaw? : DYSLEXIA
13. Some intelligence work : ENCODING
14. Checks : EXAMINES
21. One of several awarded to Pres. Clinton : LLD
24. Strips of land, say : DIVESTS
26. Sequel to Alcott's "Little Women" and "Little Men" : JOSBOYS
28. "Land ___!" (quaint cry) : SAKES
30. Like the best of friends : TIGHT
32. ___ deck (gym machine) : PEC
33. Little sucker? : VAC
34. Group of dispatchers : HITSQUAD
35. Two tablespoons : ONEOUNCE
36. "Science as a Vocation" sociologist : MAXWEBER
37. It's sometimes called a yellow turnip : RUTABAGA
39. Toadstool that exudes latex when cut : MILKCAP
41. Sister of Pizza Hut : KFC
43. Cup-shaped forest fungus : PEZIZA
44. Shady Records co-founder : EMINEM
45. Birds, e.g. : BIPEDS
47. Writer about a hellish journey : DANTE
48. Hook on a kite : TALON
51. Musical lead-in to pop : BRIT
52. Light principle : YANG
55. Concubine's chamber : ODA
57. Follower of Salyut 7 : MIR

Answer summary: 7 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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