XW Info

Wednesday, May 6, 2015
by Joe Krozel
Wed 5/6/2015
© 2015, The New York Times
Jeff Chen notes:

Cool discovery, that the four SEASONS are all of length = 6.

Any time you run themers diagonally, the surrounding fill becomes much more difficult to execute on. And Joe chose a layout that made it even more difficult, using a big open corner for each season. Makes for a nice visual effect but also for quite a challenge.

I appreciated that he managed to work in a couple of nice entries. This is a tough task when a grid doesn't have many entries longer than seven letters, because it's usually the 8+ letter entries which stand out. GUN BELT, WILDCAT, RAIL CAR, and R-E-S-P-E-C-T all ENLIVEN the puzzle though.

One of the many "Four Seasons"

I expected to see some glue holding the grid together, so no surprise to get the usual ITT, A TRIP, ENE, etc. suspects. I couldn't decide if getting both EEEE and IIII was too much, or it was the mark of a constructor boldly choosing entries that will be lightning rods for discussion. EEEE I have trouble buying, but there is something pretty interesting about sundials actually using IIII.

And LADINO. Wow, what a toughie! Even though I knew [Go pfft] could not be TIE, and [Judeo-Spanish] was likely not LATINO, I saw no other possibility. Nice to add the term LADINO into my vocabulary.

Overall, I would have liked some extra element, like the SEASONS forming a smooth circle to reflect the slow passing of time, or something snazzier like Vivaldi's famous composition, THE FOUR SEASONS, to tie it together. But a nice workout nonetheless.

1.Bitter conflict : STRIFE
7.Speaker ___ : PROTEM
13.More impoverished : NEEDIER
15.Processed bauxite : ALUMINA
16.Longtime "General Hospital" actress : ANNALEE
17.Place for a "Don't Mess With Texas" buckle, perhaps : GUNBELT
18.Former giant in communications, for short : ITT
19.Egocentric demand : MEFIRST
21."Scram!" : GIT
22.Seems about to happen : LOOMS
24.Chicago-to-Toronto dir. : ENE
25.Like a smooth operator : SUAVE
27.Not send an expected invitation, say : SNUB
28.Lets out : FREES
30.Fr. ladies : MMES
31.It may be a step up : STAIR
33.Go from 30 to 35 degrees, say : STEEPEN
35.Noted quartet : SEASONS
37."This Land Is Your Land" composer/singer : GUTHRIE
40.Competitor of Mug : AANDW
44.Horne with backup horns : LENA
45.Surrealist Max : ERNST
47.Peculiar sundial numeral : IIII
49.Take ___ down memory lane : ATRIP
51.German "Oh!" : ACH
52.Summed up : INALL
53.Go pfft : DIE
54.Register printout : RECEIPT
57.Cholesterol type, for short : LDL
58.Fit : INSHAPE
60.Word spelled out in an Aretha Franklin hit : RESPECT
62.Jots down : NOTATES
63.Hobo transporter : RAILCAR
64.Not conducted elsewhere : ONSITE
65.Difficult : KNOTTY
1.Slow movers : SNAILS
2.20,000 pounds : TENTONS
4.Panhandle state: Abbr. : IDA
5.Content of some festivals : FILMS
6.Extra-wide shoe spec : EEEE
7.___ sizes : PLUS
8.Littlest ones in litters : RUNTS
9.Executive fiscal grp. : OMB
10.Reason for extra play : TIEGAME
11.Spice up : ENLIVEN
12.Unshiny finishes : MATTES
14.Send elsewhere, as a patient : REFER
15.Go along with : AGREETO
20.Fundamentally : INESSENCE
23.Manager's credential, for short : MBA
26."Stee-rike!" caller : UMP
28.Co-owner of a French firm, maybe : FRERE
29.French legislative body : SENAT
32.Sort of: Suffix : ISH
34.That, in Madrid : ESA
36.Hero pilots : AIRACES
37.Become a part of : GETINON
38.Social disturbances : UNRESTS
39.Mai ___ : TAI
41."Collages" author : NIN
42.Castilian vis-à-vis Spanish : DIALECT
43.Kind of strike : WILDCAT
44.Judeo-Spanish : LADINO
46.Gather in rows, as cloth : SHIRR
48."O.K., here goes ..." : ILLTRY
50.___ & Whitney (aircraft engine manufacturer) : PRATT
52."___ the bag" : ITSIN
55.Sports event with electronic scoring : EPEE
56.Everest, for one : PEAK
59.Yes, in Yokohama : HAI
61.Party in Mideast negotiations, for short : PLO

© 2015, Jim Horne