New York Times, Thursday, June 19, 2008

Author: Joe Krozel
Editor: Will Shortz
Joe Krozel
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
747/7/20062/3/201512
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3146172320
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.47044

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15, Words: 63, Blocks: 48 Missing: {BJQVWXZ} Spans: 4, (1 triple stack) Grid is asymmetric Featured Will Shortz favorite This is puzzle # 8 for Mr. Krozel. NYT links: Across Lite

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Joe Krozel notes: More than one solver has told me that this is their favorite puzzle, and they mainly have Will to thank for transforming the theme. Yet as constructors we never experience our own puzzles the way solvers do; when a puzzle runs, we already know the trick to the theme, so we rely on solver feedback to help us enjoy a vicarious experience. But, oh! The feedback to LIES was nothing short of intense dissonance: Strong like, strong hate and even a little flip-flopping of opinion! (go figure).

For my part, I enjoyed presenting the first full word as grid art ... and what a doozy of a word. I thought Will might have to run it as a diagramless, but the grid appeared with its SHOUTING letters, and no small bit of solver criticism suggested that I forced the NYT to print, well ... LIES! (Add that to the dissonance level.)

Grid construction presented its own set of problems. Spelling a word out in a grid using different sized letters in a two-line staggered arrangement means that some solvers will completely miss it; I still find people who struggle to identify the word LIES when I show them the blank grid.

Another feature common to these grids is that some of the letters can't be placed flush with a wall (or each other) and this often forces heavy concentrations of 3-letter entries ... frequently with triple- stacks of 15's. This is the main challenge to achieving lively fill.

Given my memories of some construction challenges and the intense solver reaction, it'd be hard to call this my single favorite puzzle, though I take great pleasure in showing it to people who have never seen it before. It's definitely in my top five.

JimH notes: Clues with lies, or at least errors: 1-, 14-, 19- and 24-Across; and 8-, 9-, 28-, 47-, 49- and 50-Down. In an interview with the Yale Daily News, Will Shortz called this his favorite puzzle of 2008.
1
O
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C
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15
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© 2008, The New York Times
Across Down
1. France's ___ von Bismarck : OTTO
5. Jumped : SPRANG
11. Rogue : CAD
14. Chemical element with the symbol Fe : NEON
15. Sub : HOAGIE
16. Discounted item: Abbr. : IRR
17. Gets it wrong : ERRS
18. Terrible one? : ENFANT
19. Former pharmaceutical giant : GTE
20. Flow slowly : SEEP
21. Flat things? : LEASES
22. Out of: Ger. : AUS
23. Sum derives from it : ESSE
24. Father of Jacob : ESAU
25. Monopoly quartet: Abbr. : RRS
26. Spot : CATCHAGLIMPSEOF
31. Preemie setting: Abbr. : ICU
32. Suffix with palm : ETTO
33. Collection of teams : LEAGUE
36. Crane, e.g. : ERECTOR
39. Possible name for the first decade of the century : OUGHTS
40. Hold back : REPRESS
41. Hardly soothes : GRATES
42. Former Romanian leader Ion ___ : ILIESCU
43. One step from the majors : AAA
44. Nickname on the Houston Rockets starting in 2004 : TMAC
45. Kind of dog : SEEINGEYE
51. Solution strength: Abbr. : CONC
52. Road access regulators : TOLLGATES
53. Sooner : OKIE
54. Always bouncing back : RESILIENT
55. Places for La-Z-Boys : DENS
56. Number of clues in this puzzle that contain factual inaccuracies : TEN
57. Dwarf planet larger than Pluto : ERIS
1. "I'll be with you shortly ..." : ONESEC
2. Mother of Calcutta : TERESA
3. One way to lay things : TOREST
4. Uncommissioned : ONSPEC
5. Silverstein who wrote and illustrated "The Giving Tree" : SHEL
6. Corn dish : PONE
7. San ___, Calif. : RAFAEL
8. Golf great Andre : AGASSI
9. Standard office-closing time : NINEAM
10. Arises : GETSUP
11. One who exhibits pack mentality? : CIGARETTESMOKER
12. Who quipped "God tells me how the music should sound, but you stand in the way" : ARTUROTOSCANINI
13. Job seeker's fashion advice : DRESSFORSUCCESS
27. Bolt : HIGHTAILIT
28. It's more than 90 degrees : ACUTEANGLE
29. "Nope, still not right" : GUESSAGAIN
30. Writing that's hard to read : SECRETCODE
33. Mill input : LOG
34. Part of E.E.C.: Abbr. : EUR
35. Turkish pooh-bah : AGA
36. Verdi's "___ tu" : ERI
37. Th.D. subj. : REL
38. Prefix with center : EPI
45. Narrow passage: Abbr. : STR
46. Job ad abbr. : EOE
47. Tennis champ Ernie : ELS
48. Time to lie in le soleil? : ETE
49. Currency of China : YEN
50. Summer hrs. in N.Y.C. : EST

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