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New York Times, Saturday, January 24, 2015

Author:
Kevin G. Der
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
403/12/200710/13/20182
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
122124118
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
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, ... read more

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
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
Down
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, 6 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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