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New York Times, Saturday, January 24, 2015

Author: Kevin G. Der
Editor: Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
403/12/200710/13/20182
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122124118
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1.65865
Kevin G. Der

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 64, Blocks: 32 Missing: {JQZ} This is puzzle # 32 for Mr. Der. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes: I might start a series on how to break open the NYT Saturday crossword. For the longest time, I wouldn't even attempt a Friday, ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

I might start a series on how to break open the NYT Saturday crossword. For the longest time, I wouldn't even attempt a Friday, because it seemed too daunting. Kevin writes some of the toughest puzzles around, so today's a perfect place to start.

Namesake of Enola Gay Tibbets

My first pass through Kevin's wide-open grid gave me just an S at the end of 11-Down. One. Letter. Filled. That's it. Daunting! But I've since learned to try a few things, and a guess will often open something up. For me, that was [Gay partner?]. Perhaps ENOLA, but it could easily be an LGBT term, or a reference to Zorro, the Gay Blade. But with no other toeholds, why not try it out?

Off ENOLA's A came A?? with the clue [Scene]. Not a lot of A?? words, so some thought about what a "scene" could be had me tentatively try ADO. And 45-Across, [Requirement of Mormonism] felt like it ought to be MISSION … except that ENOLA wouldn't be right then. Could the N of ENOLA be part of an –ING ending? Wracking my brain, I dredged up information on how rich the Mormon church is, due to required 10% TITHING. 38-Down, [Certain Sorority member] had to be some Greek letter, and THETA fit the ?H??? pattern. Bingo bongo, it all felt right!

I got lucky with trying DETECTIVE WORK off the D – the "case-by-case" language got me thinking. And the –TCH ending of 6-Down, combined with the "win" part of the clue felt like the entry would end in MATCH. Little things like that, maybe two dozen trial and error points, eventually helped me crack the puzzle.

Because of the huge difficulty in pulling off a wide-open 64-worder – check out how well every section of the grid connects up – I might have given Kevin the POW! But Kevin Der is Kevin Der, and I tend to be pickier with the greats, docking points for the tough KENTISH / AVA crossing (you mean KANT(ish) wasn't British?), a DEFILER, a DENISON, the odd VELURE, and a UNICUM. Everything is perfectly reasonable for a wide-open 64-worder, and if it had been anyone but Kevin …

A tough solve, perhaps the hardest Saturday in months. Dang was I happy to finish! (With a bit of cheating. Or maybe a lot. Ahem.)

1
B
2
Y
3
G
4
O
5
S
6
H
7
A
8
W
9
E
10
A
11
N
12
T
13
S
14
L
E
A
N
T
O
15
L
E
T
16
S
D
O
I
T
17
U
N
I
C
U
M
18
A
L
H
A
M
B
R
A
19
S
T
U
D
D
E
20
D
21
D
E
F
I
L
E
R
22
H
A
S
23
I
M
E
24
D
25
L
E
X
E
M
E
26
L
O
A
V
E
27
S
28
F
A
A
29
L
O
S
T
O
N
E
30
S
31
S
32
H
I
R
T
33
D
E
T
E
C
T
I
V
E
W
O
R
K
34
K
I
D
S
T
H
E
S
E
D
A
Y
S
35
E
V
A
36
S
O
N
A
N
T
37
N
E
S
38
T
39
L
40
E
41
N
U
T
S
42
U
43
T
44
A
45
T
I
T
H
I
N
46
G
47
P
I
N
48
E
S
O
L
49
I
N
R
E
V
O
L
50
T
51
V
E
L
U
R
E
52
S
T
A
T
E
L
A
W
53
E
C
L
A
I
R
54
H
O
Y
A
55
A
D
O
56
S
K
Y
L
I
T
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0124 ( 23,818 )
Across Down
1. "I swear ..." : BYGOSH
7. Dazzle : AWE
10. Trail near a hill? : ANTS
14. Slanted coverage? : LEANTO
15. "Sounds like a plan!" : LETSDOIT
17. Hungarian liqueur sold in green bottles : UNICUM
18. Ancient Moorish palace in Granada : ALHAMBRA
19. Like many motorcycle jackets : STUDDED
21. Vandal, e.g. : DEFILER
22. Entertains : HAS
23. Reached quickly, quickly? : IMED
25. Meaningful language unit : LEXEME
26. Early-morning risers? : LOAVES
28. Radar-using org. : FAA
29. Flamed out at a casino, say : LOSTONESSHIRT
33. Something done on a case-by-case basis? : DETECTIVEWORK
34. "Sheesh! What's the world coming to?!" : KIDSTHESEDAYS
35. Green on the screen : EVA
36. Voiced, in phonetics : SONANT
37. Crunch producer : NESTLE
41. "Dang it!" : NUTS
42. German-born photographer Barth : UTA
45. Requirement of Mormonism : TITHING
47. Fragrant Clorox brand : PINESOL
49. Taking to the streets : INREVOLT
51. Cushiony fabric : VELURE
52. Education standards, e.g. : STATELAW
53. Food item whose name means, literally, "lightning" : ECLAIR
54. Washington athlete : HOYA
55. Scene : ADO
56. Like an atrium : SKYLIT
1. Red state? : BLUSH
2. Person who might ask "Did you hear ...?" : YENTA
3. Given name of Augustus and Caligula : GAIUS
4. Like much music of the '90s : ONCD
5. Sitcom stage, e.g. : STUDIOSET
6. What you can never win going away : HOMEMATCH
7. Like : ALA
8. Make one : WELD
9. Daughter of Theodore Roosevelt : ETHEL
10. Blend : ADMIX
11. Popular Christmas trees : NOBLEFIRS
12. Something found on a dirt road : TIREMARK
13. Ogle : STAREAT
16. First or second call, maybe : SAFE
20. Gives : DEVOTES
24. Ohio university nicknamed "Big Red" : DENISON
26. Hugely : LOTS
27. Card game also known as high-low-jack : SEVENUP
29. Took down the garden path : LEDASTRAY
30. They may put you to sleep : SEDATIVES
31. Graceful architectural curve : SWANSNECK
32. Folk singer ___ Axton : HOYT
33. Begin eagerly : DIVEINTO
34. Dialect of SE England : KENTISH
38. Certain sorority member : THETA
39. Like the Rolling Stones album "Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out!" : LIVE
40. Gay partner? : ENOLA
42. Routine : USUAL
43. Traditional Japantown feature : TORII
44. News ___ : ALERT
46. Bag handle? : GLAD
48. ___ May Clampett of old TV : ELLY
50. Brace : TWO

Answer summary: 9 unique to this puzzle, 7 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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