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New York Times, Thursday, January 15, 2015

Author: Herre Schouwerwou
Editor: Will Shortz
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1.64100
Herre Schouwerwou

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 36 Missing: {FJQXZ} This is the debut puzzle for Mr. Schouwerwou. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Herre Schouwerwou notes: I am thrilled to make my NY Times crossword debut today. I live on beautiful Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. ... more
Herre Schouwerwou notes:

I am thrilled to make my NY Times crossword debut today. I live on beautiful Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.

Crosswords have been a part of my life for a long time now but only recently have I taken a more serious approach to puzzle construction. There are three women who I want to thank: my mom for buying crossword books and letting me fill in a few, Jenni for introducing me to "Wordplay" and suffering through my early constructions, and Nancy Salomon for mentoring my first few submissions.

Today's theme came about while I was cluing my first accepted crossword (that first "Crossword — Yes!" email put a grin on my face for days). I wasn't too sure if Will would accept a quote puzzle but I loved the quote and its required punctuation (with an emphasis on 'pun'). And as luck would have it, it split perfectly into 4 long symmetrical entries.

Fortunately, Will liked it too but asked me to revise the fill since it had quite a few undesirable entries. I like that he works with constructors to improve the fill if he likes the theme. My original crossword had the author's name split over 2 entries and it was suggested to remove the name to allow for cleaner fill. After a few email exchanges, Will gave his grid approval and okay to clue. The final result is so much better than my original grid.

This has been quite the learning experience and I am grateful to Will and Joel (and Paula and Anna) for their feedback on accepted and rejected puzzles. This may be my first puzzle in print but it won't be my last.

And you can quote me on that!

Jeff Chen notes: What a nice debut. I'm normally not a fan of quote puzzles, as they became overdone a while back, but this one amused me. I like a ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

What a nice debut. I'm normally not a fan of quote puzzles, as they became overdone a while back, but this one amused me. I like a laugh or a bon mot in my crossword, so who better to quote from than the witty Ogden Nash? I was plus-minus on it all until I got to the last line and its clever use of the hyphen in BALTI-MORE. Very amusing.

In many ways, I found it hard to believe that it was a debut. It's well laid-out, does a nice job of adding in long fill, and keeps things relatively clean. Sure, there's an EER and an ESTOP, an AERO and an AGHA, but those are all pretty minor. It's not quite to the point where I felt like it was super-smooth – that usually happens if there's maybe only two gluey bits – but it's darn close. Even more impressive considering Herre chose to use the difficult "parallel downs" arrangement in MOON BOOT and ART TATUM. So often this requires a lot of paste to hold everything together.

Art Tatum

How I loved seeing one of my favorite pianists, ART TATUM, in the puzzle! Now, I personally tend to avoid proper names in long fill, preferring colorful phrases instead, because if the solver doesn't know the person, it's kind of a waste. That's likely the case today, as I doubt many people know or appreciate ART TATUM's brilliance. (Shame on you, infidels.) I did worry a bit when I saw the ART TATUM, DORY, DARYL crossings – three tough entries crossing each other – but ultimately I think they're all gettable, if not inferable.

Fun use of the hyphen, both as a play on words, and as a crossword rule-breaker. Hoping to see more from Herre.

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© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0115 ( 23,809 )
Across Down
1. Some worship groups : CULTS
6. Sports division : EAST
10. Bygone monarch : TSAR
14. Starters : ATEAM
15. Hardly fair : UGLY
16. One of Chekhov's "Sisters" : OLGA
17. Rain makers : NIMBI
18. Ax : CHOP
19. Assemble : MEET
20. Beginning of a quote by Ogden Nash, with punctuation included : ICOULDHAVE
22. Kings and queens : BEDS
23. Shade from the sun : TAN
24. Always, according to Shakespeare : EER
25. Block, at the bar : ESTOP
27. Quote, part 2 : LOVEDNEWYORK
31. Loosen, in a way : UNPIN
34. Many a Vienna Boys' Choir boy : ALTO
35. Lead to victory? : VEE
36. With 37-Across, desperate attempts : HAIL
37. See 36-Across : MARYS
39. Remain in limbo : PEND
40. Put into action : USE
41. Flat-bottomed boat : DORY
42. Triages, e.g. : SORTS
43. Quote, part 3 : HADINOTLOVED
47. Deliver, as a big kiss : PLANT
48. Soul producer : KIA
49. Web ending : CAM
52. Trust fund? : BAIL
54. End of the quote : BALTI-MORE
57. Some elected officials, briefly : REPS
58. However, in a tweet : OTOH
59. Not bright anymore : DINGY
60. Flat figure : AREA
61. Sussex river where Virginia Woolf tragically ended her life : OUSE
62. At the perfect moment : ONCUE
63. Gruesome, say : GORY
64. Ones on the money trail, informally : TMEN
65. What's not included : OTHER
1. "Not another peep!" : CANIT
2. Empire State city : UTICA
3. One of the original Life Savers fruit flavors : LEMON
4. Perfume that's off-limits? : TABU
5. Shower with good fortune : SMILEON
6. Bamboozle : EUCHRE
7. Ottoman honorific : AGHA
8. Disheveled : SLOVENLY
9. Prepares for printing : TYPESETS
10. Girl who challenges stereotypes : TOMBOY
11. Perfect night for a pillow fight : SLEEPOVER
12. Put in for extra time? : AGED
13. "Shoot!" : RATS
21. Patel of "The Newsroom" : DEV
26. Tango number : TWO
27. Teeny-weeny : LIL
28. Musical Hall : DARYL
29. Full of tears : RENT
30. Classic canvas-top sneakers : KEDS
31. "Not gonna happen" : UHUH
32. Booster org. : NASA
33. Leading folk figure : PIEDPIPER
37. Fashionable 1980s item resembling a bit of astronaut's attire : MOONBOOT
38. Nearly blind jazz great : ARTTATUM
39. Milkweed feature : POD
41. Code used in many court cases : DNA
42. Popular recreational watercraft : SEA-DOO
44. "You're darn tootin'!" : ILLSAY
45. "Sounds good!" : OKTHEN
46. Hour on a grandfather clock : VII
49. Seashore souvenir : CONCH
50. Thrash out : ARGUE
51. "The Host" author Stephenie : MEYER
52. Exhibit some immodesty : BRAG
53. Streamlined, for short : AERO
55. Bow (to) : LOSE
56. Where money is made : MINT

Answer summary: 7 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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