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New York Times, Wednesday, May 4, 2016

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

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 16 Words: 77, Blocks: 40 Missing: {JQVX} This is puzzle # 11 for Mr. Stulberg. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jacob Stulberg notes: Today's puzzle began with the realization that 'INTO EACH LIFE SOME RAIN MUST FALL' consisted entirely of four-letter words. (Apparently, ... more
Jacob Stulberg notes:

Today's puzzle began with the realization that "INTO EACH LIFE SOME RAIN MUST FALL" consisted entirely of four-letter words. (Apparently, I wasn't the first to notice: three-time ACPT champion Trip Payne built a cryptic crossword around the same realization several years earlier.) I had always assumed that this line was a '60s-era mantra à la "Turn on, tune in, drop out," so it was something of a shock to learn how far back it dated. My only regret: not having enough space for the symmetrical theme answers INKSPOTS/RAINYDAY.

Jeff Chen notes: Jacob's name is rising even higher in my list of constructors whose bylines I love seeing. He has a distinctly poetic voice, and it's again ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Jacob's name is rising even higher in my list of constructors whose bylines I love seeing. He has a distinctly poetic voice, and it's again seen in spades with this poem (appropriately enough). So neat that each of the seven words of INTO EACH LIFE SOME RAIN MUST FALL is exactly four letters. There's something evocative and powerful about the sentence itself, and something so elegant about the four-letter consistency.

Jill frowns upon me growing such a magnificent beard. Boo!

The grid is a 16x15, wider than normal, to accommodate the "hidden" poem and LONGFELLOW / FITZGERALD. I'm a huge jazz fan, but I wasn't aware that Ella Fitzgerald sang this tune. Beautiful; I'm glad to learn about it.

Many constructors would go over the 78-word limit when faced with a 16x15, reasoning that they should be allowed a proportionally higher limit. I like Jacob's choice to stay relatively low in word count, which lets him work in a ton of good fill like ALARM BELL, NOT REALLY, TEAR STAIN, RUMOR MILLS.

No doubt, with all the theme words stairstepping down the diagonal, plus LONGFELLOW and FITZGERALD, plus all the long bonus fill, there was bound to be some gluey fill. AOUT (pretty deep French), HOI (only one way to clue it), and ORU (do Oral Roberts students actually call it ORU?) are necessary to hold that dense middle together. But I like that Jacob kept everything minor, spreading out his GSA, RRS, AIRE short stuff throughout the grid.

One other nit: I wasn't a huge fan of "hiding" the poem's words within longer entries. EACH in PREACH is nice, as is MUST in MUSTER, but LIFE in LIFER isn't really disguising it at all. And making IN TOO and OF ALL necessary … I'd rather have seen each of the theme words simply as a normal entry in the grid.

Personal preference. Overall, this was another Stulberg winner for me. I'm not much of a poetry fan, but somehow Jacob inspires me to want to dig in.

JimH notes: Longfellow's ode to Seattle, The Rainy Day is a quick read.
1
L
2
I
3
S
4
Z
5
T
6
A
7
N
8
I
9
T
10
A
11
S
12
A
13
N
14
I
N
T
O
O
15
L
O
N
G
F
16
E
L
L
O
17
W
18
S
T
I
R
S
19
I
N
F
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A
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E
20
P
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C
21
H
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R
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S
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25
A
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U
T
27
C
L
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M
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29
L
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30
R
31
K
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B
A
32
G
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34
A
35
M
E
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U
37
E
A
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L
S
38
P
E
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39
I
S
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M
40
E
R
41
O
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A
42
B
A
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43
E
N
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L
Y
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A
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D
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M
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M
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E
51
A
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L
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C
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M
U
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M
A
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A
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L
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62
A
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P
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64
F
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D
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66
N
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68
N
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A
L
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 24,284
Across Down
1. "Dante Symphony" composer : LISZT
6. "West Side Story" woman : ANITA
11. ___ Marino : SAN
14. ___ deep : INTOO
15. Author of an 1841 poem that contains the line spelled out by the shaded squares : LONGFELLOW
18. Shows signs of waking : STIRS
19. Enter surreptitiously, as an organization : INFILTRATE
20. Speak the gospel : PREACH
22. Eastern European capital : SOFIA
23. Employers of dispatchers and brakemen: Abbr. : RRS
24. "Help!" : SOS
25. Month in l'été : AOUT
27. Region, weatherwise : CLIME
29. Big house party? : LIFER
31. Purchase at an Army-Navy store : KITBAG
33. Civilize : TAME
36. Tulsa sch. : ORU
37. Oil holders, maybe : EASELS
38. One-named athlete whose real first name is Edson : PELE
39. Chemical cousin : ISOMER
41. Ceramic jar : OLLA
42. Secure, with "down" : BATTEN
44. Hand-held platform : IOS
45. Just : ONLY
46. Old Testament peak : ARARAT
47. Free of fluid : DRAIN
49. Snack with a chewy center : SMORE
50. Become absorbed in thought : MUSE
51. Keyboard abbr. : ALT
54. Simpson's trial judge : ITO
55. Actress Lords : TRACI
58. Drum up : MUSTER
60. Variety of sherry whose name means "little apple" : MANZANILLA
63. Vaccine target : POLIO
64. Vocalist known for the 1944 song whose title (and first line) appears in the shaded squares : FITZGERALD
65. Phrase often following a superlative : OFALL
66. Pince-___ : NEZ
67. Present, e.g. : TENSE
68. Like the sounds "m" and "n" : NASAL
1. Imitates Sylvester the Cat : LISPS
2. It's just for starters : INTRO
3. Dumps : STIES
4. Novelist ___ Neale Hurston : ZORA
5. Proportional : TOSCALE
6. Muhammad's successor, to Shiites : ALI
7. Like hormones synthesized from amino acids : NONSTEROID
8. Skinny : INFO
9. Happy end-of-week cry : TGIF
10. Not steady, as a light : AFLICKER
11. Canon offering, for short : SLR
12. It might stop a break-in : ALARMBELL
13. "Just kidding" : NOTREALLY
16. And others : ETALIA
17. Guitarist Borland : WES
21. ___ polloi : HOI
26. Sci-fi craft : UFOS
28. "Them's fightin' words!" : ITSON
30. Where legends are born? : RUMORMILLS
32. Fed. management agency : GSA
33. Sign of a crying jag : TEARSTAIN
34. ___ Springs, Fla. : ALTAMONTE
35. Subway : METRO
38. Grp. of pinheads? : PBA
39. With 53-Down, blogger's bugbear : INTERNET
40. Missing name in the tongue twister "I saw ___ sawing wood ..." : ESAU
43. Livestock attachment : EARTAG
45. Having an advantage over : ONEUPON
48. Belief system : ISM
51. Where legends appear : ATLAS
52. "The Pearl Fishers" priestess : LEILA
53. See 39-Down : TROLL
54. Org. providing loans : IMF
56. Suffix with high numbers : AIRE
57. Family : CLAN
59. Resting place : SOFA
61. [Snore] : ZZZ
62. Summer cooler : ADE

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 4 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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