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New York Times, Thursday, January 15, 2015

Author:
Herre Schouwerwou
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
81/15/201511/29/20180
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0113300
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.62100
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. ... read more

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 ... read more

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.

1
C
2
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L
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E
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A
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T
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A
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A
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M
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D
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K
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P
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A
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A
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P
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H
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P
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K
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B
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A
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B
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M
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© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0115 ( 23,809 )
Across
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
Down
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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