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New York Times, Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Author:
Peter A. Collins
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1095/2/20069/14/201912
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
612253614106
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.565313
Peter A. Collins

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 74, Blocks: 34 Missing: {JQX} This is puzzle # 75 for Mr. Collins. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Peter A. Collins notes:
It's an honor to have the first puzzle of the new year. It's perhaps a bit unusual to have a rebus puzzle on a Wednesday, but here it ... read more

It's an honor to have the first puzzle of the new year. It's perhaps a bit unusual to have a rebus puzzle on a Wednesday, but here it is. And I guess this puzzle couldn't run on any other day but January 1.

I think 2014 uses all the digits that have homophones, other than 8/ate, and that's if one is willing to allow "oh" to stand for "zero". I'm sure some will take exception to that bit of cruciverbalistic license.

The grid was a bit difficult to fill, primarily because of the side-by-side-by-side-by-side themed entries. What you're seeing is the second incarnation of the puzzle. Will asked me to rework my original version. That version contained some rather ugly fill, such as ROYG and TEENTSY.

Happy New Year to all!

Will Shortz notes:
I've been saving this puzzle since June. The theme is slight — just one answer (37A) and its four numerical crossings. But it's ... read more

I've been saving this puzzle since June. The theme is slight — just one answer (37A) and its four numerical crossings. But it's fun and timely. I like the fact that all the numbers change spelling in the other direction — 2 to "too," 0 to "Oh," 1 to "won," and 4 to "for."

Jeff Chen notes:
Happy 2014 indeed! Good way to kick off the new year. Pete uses the digits 2 0 1 4 in the horizontal direction, and homonyms of them ... read more

Happy 2014 indeed! Good way to kick off the new year. Pete uses the digits 2 0 1 4 in the horizontal direction, and homonyms of them in the vertical. At first I was stuck around that area, but it sure provided a nice moment when things clicked. The only pause I had was "oh" didn't seem right for "zero" (sorry, Pete!), but that might be a dialect or usage issue, so we'll let that pass.

Pete wasn't kidding — this is a very tough construction. There are four parallel downs which must work together to form coherent across entries, plus Pete chose to go with a 74-word puzzle. The acrosses around HAPPY 2014 are nice and smooth, with just an IANS as a blip; very impressive. I didn't know WATUTSI but was glad to look it up. And the NW was beautiful! All sorts of fancy entries up there, EGBERT actually being my favorite. I can overlook an ENV and and ESO to get NIRVANA and GEISHA.

Some issues arose in the SW corner, though. The high constraints in the middle propagate through the puzzle, and since that SW corner has a lot of white space, it becomes even tougher to fill. CAVER made me pause (I used to cave, and we called it caving, but never called ourselves cavers), and it crosses the long partial ARE WE. Our old crossword frenemy ETUI also makes an appearance, along with the outdated ARTE Johnson. It's really tough after WATUTSI is fixed into place, which constrains the number of fill options and forces some compromises.

Nice theme concept, fun solve, with a bit of crunchiness.

1
E
2
R
3
N
4
E
5
S
6
T
7
V
8
I
9
C
10
C
11
H
12
I
13
C
14
G
E
I
S
H
A
15
O
W
E
16
O
O
N
A
17
B
U
R
O
A
K
18
C
O
S
19
N
A
T
L
20
E
N
V
21
R
E
22
B
A
23
S
24
H
E
R
R
Y
25
R
I
A
26
P
A
U
L
27
I
N
A
28
S
U
P
29
T
O
N
30
O
E
N
D
31
T
A
R
32
G
E
T
S
33
N
A
T
34
I
A
35
N
S
36
D
O
N
H
O
37
H
38
A
P
P
Y
2
39
0
1
4
40
C
41
A
42
V
E
R
43
E
E
L
S
44
I
45
R
46
T
47
H
E
I
R
E
48
S
S
49
A
U
50
S
T
E
R
51
E
52
I
R
A
53
W
A
T
54
U
T
S
I
55
C
I
A
56
M
A
D
57
M
E
N
58
B
E
A
M
59
I
R
R
60
E
T
U
I
61
D
62
U
O
63
N
E
64
A
T
E
N
65
R
O
C
K
66
A
K
A
67
N
O
N
A
M
E
68
A
R
T
E
69
L
E
T
70
A
N
G
L
E
D
© 2014, The New York TimesNo. 0101 ( 23,430 )
Across
1
Frank's partner in the funnies : ERNEST
7
Old ___ (London theater) : VIC
10
À la mode : CHIC
14
Asian entertainer : GEISHA
15
Have a mortgage, say : OWE
16
___ O'Neill : OONA
17
Tree with extra-large acorns : BUROAK
18
___ Cob, Conn. : COS
19
NASA component: Abbr. : NATL
20
Card holder: Abbr. : ENV
21
Eponymous sitcom star of the 2000s : REBA
23
After-dinner wine : SHERRY
25
Narrow inlet : RIA
26
Model Porizkova : PAULINA
28
Dine : SUP
29
Ad nauseam : TONOEND
31
Far sides of ranges : TARGETS
33
___ King Cole : NAT
34
Actor McKellen and others : IANS
36
Hawaiian singer with many 1960s-'70s TV guest appearances : DONHO
37
New Year's greeting : HAPPY2014
40
Spelunker : CAVER
43
Sleek swimmers : EELS
44
N.Y.C. line : IRT
47
Teresa Heinz or Christina Onassis : HEIRESS
49
Spartan : AUSTERE
52
Roth ___ : IRA
53
People of Rwanda and Burundi : WATUTSI
55
K.G.B. rival : CIA
56
2000s TV drama set in the 1960s : MADMEN
58
Smile : BEAM
59
Like some sale goods: Abbr. : IRR
60
Tailor's case : ETUI
61
The White Stripes or OutKast : DUO
63
Declutter : NEATEN
65
The White Stripes' genre : ROCK
66
Rap sheet letters : AKA
67
Little-known : NONAME
68
Johnson of "Laugh-In" : ARTE
69
Permit : LET
70
Aslant : ANGLED
Down
1
First king of the English : EGBERT
2
After-school activity? : REUNION
3
Band with the 10x platinum album "Nevermind" : NIRVANA
4
That, in Toledo : ESO
5
Economics Nobelist William F. ___ : SHARPE
6
Sample the hooch : TAKEANIP
7
Not shy about expressing opinions : VOCAL
8
___ Jima : IWO
9
Business jet maker : CESSNA
10
Dunce cap shape : CONE
11
Make rough : HOARSEN
12
"Actually ..." : INTRUTH
13
Afro-Caribbean music : CALYPSO
22
Capital spanning the Danube : BUDAPEST
24
Achieved through difficulty : HARDWON
27
1971 #1 hit for Carole King : ITSTOOLATE
30
Alternative : OTHER
32
"Try!" : GOFORIT
35
Bill ___, the Science Guy : NYE
38
"___ there yet?" : AREWE
39
Classic Stephen Foster song : OHSUSANNA
40
Fire-breathing creature of myth : CHIMERA
41
Faucet attachment : AERATOR
42
Span across a gorge, say : VIADUCT
45
Soloist's performance : RECITAL
46
Persian Wars vessel : TRIREME
48
Bit of beachwear : SANDAL
50
San ___, Calif. : SIMEON
51
Took home : EARNED
54
W.W. II menace : UBOAT
57
Love from the Beach Boys? : MIKE
62
Instrument for 36-Across, informally : UKE
64
"Life of Pi" director Lee : ANG

Answer summary: 7 unique to this puzzle.

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