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New York Times, Monday, January 18, 2016

Author: Kathy Wienberg
Editor: Will Shortz
Kathy Wienberg
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
21/18/20164/24/20160
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1100000
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.64010

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 74, Blocks: 38 Missing: {JQX} This is the debut puzzle for Ms. Wienberg. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Kathy Wienberg notes: I am thrilled about my debut puzzle being published in the NYT. After solving these puzzles for over 30 years, I pursued my ... more
Kathy Wienberg notes:

I am thrilled about my debut puzzle being published in the NYT. After solving these puzzles for over 30 years, I pursued my dream of writing a crossword puzzle after retiring from teaching kindergarten.

After deciding that I wanted to literally put "poetry" in motion, I worked on this puzzle for a long time. It was submitted in January 2015. When it was accepted in May, I was ecstatic that my dream came true. Constructing this puzzle gave me an even deeper respect for all puzzle creators. I am grateful to Will Shortz for selecting my puzzle.

The length of the theme entries in this puzzle created an opportunity to have more longer across answers than is normally seen. I hope solvers enjoy this feature and the puzzle.

Jeff Chen notes: Impressively smooth debut from Kathy, whose husband got his debut in the LA Times just over a year ago. She gives us POETRY IN ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Impressively smooth debut from Kathy, whose husband got his debut in the LA Times just over a year ago. She gives us POETRY IN MOTION, or the letters P O E T R Y mixed up within phrases. I love the phrases Kathy chose, as MINORITY REPORT was one of my favorite Tom Cruise movies, and PYROTECHNIC is just plain fun. Was anyone else addicted to "Dance 360," with Kel shouting out to the PARTY PEOPLE as DJ K-Sly dropped the beats?

The image of Tom Cruise chasing an eyeball rolling down a ramp will never leave my head

No? Me neither. Ahem.

Even experienced crossword constructors tend to have a rough time making Monday puzzles. I think an ideal Monday puzzle should be accessible to all sorts of newer solvers, which means all crossings should be very fair, with leeway for gaps in people's knowledge bases. They should also strive to keep the crossword glue to a minimum, as these ugly bits can elicit a head-scratching reaction from newer solvers. So I was a little worried when I opened up the file to see a 74-word puzzle — most new constructors stick to a 78-word puzzle, which is much easier to execute on.

There was a bit of A TALE / ASEA in the east section, but that's all I noticed during my solve, aside from a stray AGA. And for Kathy to work in such nice vocab as MAELSTROM, RENEGADES, CADENCE, even SPARROW with its interesting clue [Fictional pirate who shares his name with a bird] — that's really nice work. It shows how much care and time she put into making this puzzle.

I wasn't as taken with the theme concept, as POETRY IN MOTION doesn't quite say "anagram these letters" like MIXED or SCRAMBLED would. Additionally, there's so much flexibility in arranging six letters anywhere inside a phrase that it feels a bit too easy to come up with themers.

Still, Kathy chose vivid themers, and she did quite a nice job of pulling together a smooth Monday puzzle, one of the tougher construction challenges out there. Looking forward to more from her.

1
P
2
I
3
T
4
A
5
C
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Z
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A
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R
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C
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A
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N
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D
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O
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A
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M
15
H
O
B
O
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A
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U
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G
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M
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P
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A
G
A
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P
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R
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H
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A
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K
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A
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E
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35
M
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H
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K
N
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F
E
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P
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Y
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P
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M
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© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0118 ( 24,177 )
Across Down
1. Bread with a pocket : PITA
5. Ivan the Terrible, for one : CZAR
9. Positive, as an attitude : CANDO
14. Tiny building block : ATOM
15. Down-on-his-luck wanderer : HOBO
16. Farewell that's "bid" : ADIEU
17. Rebels : RENEGADES
19. Copenhageners, e.g. : DANES
20. 2002 Tom Cruise sci-fi film : MINORITYREPORT
22. ___ Khan : AGA
23. "___-Man," 2015 superhero movie : ANT
24. Related to fireworks : PYROTECHNIC
30. Alias : AKA
33. All of them lead to Rome, in a saying : ROADS
34. Right of way, at law : EASEMENT
36. Greek liqueur : OUZO
37. Square, triangle or circle : SHAPE
39. On the Pacific, say : ASEA
40. Boss : OVERSEER
42. Small hill : KNOLL
43. Put money into, as a meter : FED
44. They know how to have a good time : PARTYPEOPLE
47. Smith who sang the theme for "Spectre" : SAM
48. Ages and ages : EON
49. Sublime physical performance ... or a hint to this puzzle's circled letters : POETRYINMOTION
57. Relish : SAVOR
58. Violent vortex : MAELSTROM
60. Note taker : STENO
61. Forest scent : PINE
62. Surrender : CEDE
63. Lost on purpose : THREW
64. Lost traction : SLID
65. Rio de Janeiro, for the 2016 Olympics : HOST
1. It's not easy to shoot : PAR
2. Agenda listing : ITEM
3. Tennille of pop music's Captain & Tennille : TONI
4. "So be it!" : AMEN
5. Cry to the cavalry : CHARGE
6. It starts with Aries : ZODIAC
7. Assist with a heist, say : ABET
8. Like Santa's cheeks : ROSY
9. Rhythm : CADENCE
10. Change with the times : ADAPT
11. El ___ (weather phenomenon) : NINO
12. Bambi, for one : DEER
13. Boot from power : OUST
18. Nannies and billies : GOATS
21. Employee's reward : RAISE
24. Prosecutor's burden : PROOF
25. "___ got mail" : YOUVE
26. Torn down : RAZED
27. Aroma : ODOR
28. Valentine symbol : HEART
29. Snooze : NAP
30. Creator of "The Tortoise and the Hare" : AESOP
31. Mournful ring : KNELL
32. Dickens's "___ of Two Cities" : ATALE
35. Hand, to José : MANO
37. Sordid : SEAMY
38. Counterpart of his : HER
41. Fictional pirate who shares his name with a bird : SPARROW
42. Smallville family : KENTS
45. Saudi neighbor : YEMENI
46. Put together, as funds : POOLED
47. Slingshot missile : STONE
49. "Hey, you!" : PSST
50. Vow : OATH
51. Second-to-last word in a fairy tale : EVER
52. Little rascals : IMPS
53. Something chewed by a nervous person : NAIL
54. Yen : ITCH
55. Brand touted as "Milk's favorite cookie" : OREO
56. Go-aheads : NODS
59. New York baseballer : MET

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?