New York Times, Tuesday, December 23, 2008

 Author: Joe Krozel Editor: Will Shortz
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1.48055

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15, Words: 86, Blocks: 45 Missing: {BCFGHJKQUWXYZ} This is puzzle # 17 for Mr. Krozel. NYT links: Across Lite

Joe Krozel notes: A lot of people really marvel at this puzzle, but my feelings are somewhat mixed. At the time it ran, I did not know that a fellow constructor Jerry Rosman had attempted the same thing, so I felt his aspirations might have been dashed, and I felt a little sad.

Construction of this puzzle took a logical path: first, build a word list having only entries that can be reversed, then try to autofill a small closed-off region — moving around black squares with each attempt — until it would fill. Next, move onto an adjacent region of the puzzle doing the same thing. Only half the puzzle needed to be filled this way since the remainder was automatically the reversal. The main problem was making sure that entries and their reversals — say ETRE and ERTE — didn't appear in the same half of the puzzle. Lots of trial and error.

JimH notes: There's something very unusual about this puzzle. Stare at the answers until you see it. Wordplay has an interview with the author.
 1T 2E 3D 4S 5A 6T 7R 8A 9T 10E 11R 12I L E 13E N I 14D 15T A R A R A 16M I N 17D I D I 18R E T R A P 19E D I 20S O N 21A 22M O 23P T S 24R E M A N 25S P I T 26O 27N 28S A 29I L E D 30N O 31N 32E 33T 34E 35R 36I E 37D A R 38L A M I N A 39T E S 40N O V 41V O N 42S E T 43A N I 44M A L 45R A D 46E I R E 47T E N O N 48D E L I 49A S 50N O 51T I P S 52N A 53M 54E 55R 56S 57T 58P 59O M A 60N O S I D E 61P A R 62T 63E R 64I 65D I D 66N I M 67A R A R A T 68D I N E 69E L I 70R E T A R 71T A S 72D E T
© 2008, The New York TimesNo. 21,595
 Across Down 1. A Turner : TED4. Plopped (down) : SAT7. Critic, at times : RATER12. Seine sight : ILE13. Oklahoma city : ENID15. "Boom" preceder, in song : TARARA16. Unit of cell phone usage: Abbr. : MIN17. Actress Conn : DIDI18. Snare again : RETRAP19. The Wizard of Menlo Park : EDISON21. Start of a Latin 101 conjugation : AMO23. Liquid meas. : PTS24. Staff again : REMAN25. Show utter disrespect for : SPITON28. Went smoothly : SAILED30. Three trios : NONET34. City of 100,000+ or the lake it's on : ERIE37. Patriotic org. : DAR38. Thin layer : LAMINA39. Parisian possessive : TES40. Thanksgiving time: Abbr. : NOV41. Rocket scientist Wernher ___ Braun : VON42. Firm up : SET43. One with absolutely no manners : ANIMAL45. "Awesome!" : RAD46. Limerick land : EIRE47. Part of some joints : TENON48. Screenwriter Ephron and others : DELIAS50. Policy of many hotel shuttles : NOTIPS52. Title giver : NAMER56. Engine additive : STP59. Medical suffix : OMA60. Main course only : NOSIDE61. Moses vis-à-vis the Red Sea : PARTER64. "Look what ___!" : IDID66. Game with matchsticks : NIM67. Biblical landing site : ARARAT68. Eat by candlelight, say : DINE69. Whitney after whom Whitneyville, Conn., is named : ELI70. Pave over : RETAR71. Univ. aides : TAS72. Badge flasher: Abbr. : DET 1. Stove feature : TIMER2. Skip over : ELIDE3. Shade of blue : DENIM4. Arizona locale famous for its red rocks : SEDONA5. Have ___ with (know well) : ANIN6. Prescription abbr. : TID7. "Norma ___" : RAE8. Technique : ART9. Rain check? : TARP10. Part of Q.E.D. : ERAT11. Criticizes : RAPS14. It's a wrap : DIAPER15. Easy pace : TROT20. MS. enclosure : SASE22. Season opener? : MID25. Balkan native : SLAV26. ___ even keel : ONAN27. Monique ou Dominique : NOM29. Object of many screams : IDOL31. Not final, at law : NISI32. Cabinet dept. : ENER33. Gallery on the Thames : TATE34. Coup d'___ : ETAT35. Descartes who thought "I think ..." : RENE36. Hasn't left : ISIN38. City in California or New Jersey : LODI40. iPod type : NANO41. Actor Kilmer and others : VALS44. "___ Dieu!" : MON45. Made good on, as a loan : REPAID46. Those, in Madrid : ESAS48. Unfavorable : DIM49. Battery poles : ANODES51. Libel, e.g. : TORT53. Dug : MINED54. Ancient Roman magistrate : EDILE55. "Please ___" (invoice request) : REMIT56. Fight, but not all-out : SPAR57. Weight allowance : TARE58. Backside, slangily : PRAT60. Jazz singer Simone : NINA62. La preceder : TRA63. Ring setting : EAR65. Dah's counterpart : DIT

Answer summary: 2 debuted here and reused later, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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