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New York Times, Thursday, January 30, 2014

Author:
Dan Schoenholz
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
245/5/20109/9/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
10344300
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.63220
Dan Schoenholz

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 38 Missing: {FQXZ} Spans: 2 This is puzzle # 11 for Mr. Schoenholz. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Dan Schoenholz notes:
I remember when I saw 'Wordplay' how blown away I was by the genius of the famous BOB DOLE/CLINTON ELECTED crossword featured in the ... read more

I remember when I saw "Wordplay" how blown away I was by the genius of the famous BOB DOLE/CLINTON ELECTED crossword featured in the movie. When I started making puzzles myself a couple of years later, I thought it would be fun to try to construct one in the same vein. While this crossword is obviously nowhere near as intricate or brilliant as its progenitor, I'm glad to be able to add to the short list of "Schrodinger" puzzles that feature squares with more than one correct answer.

One other note: when I read on Xwordinfo a few months ago about a constructor who submitted a revision of a puzzle that had already been accepted, it prompted me to revisit this puzzle, which was one of my earlier efforts. What I saw — several entries that I no longer liked — convinced me to revamp it and send the update to Will, who graciously allowed me to substitute the new for the old. I hope solvers enjoy the final version.

Will Shortz notes:
This is only the seventh Times crossword I've published that has two different 'correct' solutions (these are the other six). This ... read more

This is only the seventh Times crossword I've published that has two different "correct" solutions (these are the other six). This time, tho, the two different solutions hinge on just one square. The critical clue at 24D is quite pretty. I like the punchline at 63A, too.

Jeff Chen notes:
Great use of the Schrodinger convention today, resulting in an amusing theme. This is the only puzzle in the NYT Shortz era with a ... read more

Great use of the Schrodinger convention today, resulting in an amusing theme. This is the only puzzle in the NYT Shortz era with a single Schrodinger square, but it's used well for the theme, and the crossing answer isn't tortured at all for either answer, both SET and SEAT being perfectly fine answers for "Box ___". Well done!

I had a pause in the last two theme entries. I usually solve on computer, so ????NEWSPAPER baffled me for the longest time. I'd be very curious to know what percentage of people solve on paper still. I'll bet it's quite high, but dropping. Perhaps THIS NEWSPAPER will still be fine for the majority of solvers today, but I bet in ten years it won't. I personally tried to construct a xw with this exact same theme four years ago (I failed), and remember having real trouble coming up with a way to incorporate NEWSPAPER so it had a symmetrical entry.

And A SUNBURNED ZEBRA flows so much better to my ear than A SUNBURNED PANDA. Perhaps that's just the way I've always heard the joke, but I refused to take ZEBRA out of that space for the longest time. A thought: how cool would it have been if ZEBRA/PANDA had been five additional Schrodinger squares? Extremely hard to do, of course, if not impossible. Schrodinger squares are so difficult to pull off such that the clue works equally well for both possibilities, and when you stack five of them in parallel, it quickly becomes a Gordian knot.

Dan only has four theme answers, so he spices things up by adding in the very nice EPHEMERA, DOWAGERS, and JOHANNES. I'm not convinced BALL YARD is "a thing", but it's passable, and I bet many would disagree with me (vehemently!). Dan takes great care with the rest of his fill; I only really noticed TYRO, SSI, OKEY, etc. as lesser offenders.

Overall, a theme that comes across as a bit old-fashioned, but a well constructed puzzle. I love Dan's great attitude, going back to improve the puzzle even after puzzle acceptance. I want to see more constructors shooting for the stars, striving for perfection.

1
P
2
I
3
S
4
M
5
O
6
B
7
U
8
R
9
Y
10
E
11
R
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G
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O
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A
M
P
E
D
15
A
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E
A
16
P
E
E
K
17
W
H
A
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S
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B
L
A
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K
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W
H
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N
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E
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A
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E
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Y
23
O
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S
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Y
25
L
26
O
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M
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A
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N
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D
R
EA
D
A
30
L
L
O
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L
E
E
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T
Y
R
O
34
H
E
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35
T
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O
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A
M
A
38
J
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D
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40
D
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A
C
I
D
42
N
O
L
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S
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S
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S
O
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A
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R
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A
D
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T
H
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N
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W
S
P
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A
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A
D
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A
K
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V
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R
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A
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K
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V
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A
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D
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P
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M
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N
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A
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P
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O
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W
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© 2014, The New York TimesNo. 0130 ( 23,459 )
Across
1
___ Beach, city near San Luis Obispo : PISMO
6
Hide : BURY
10
"It follows that ..." : ERGO
14
Totally stoked : AMPED
15
Metro ___ : AREA
16
Naughty look, maybe : PEEK
17
With 27-Across, an old riddle : WHATSBLACKWHITE
20
U.S. city known to some locals as Siqnazuaq : NOME
21
Girl's name that sounds like French for "she has it" : ELLA
22
Microscopic, informally : EENSY
23
Starting words at many a sporting event? : OSAY
25
Rich soil : LOAM
27
See 17-Across : ANDREADALLOVER
32
"To Kill a Mockingbird" author : LEE
33
One on probation, maybe : TYRO
34
In this matter : HERETO
37
Key of Beethoven's Symphony No. 7: Abbr. : AMAJ
39
Flop : DUD
41
What lemon adds to a dish, in food lingo : ACID
42
"I won't miss it" : NOLOSS
45
Take off : SOAR
48
Kerfuffle : ADO
49
Answer to one spelling of the riddle : THISNEWSPAPER
52
1998 Sarah McLachlan hit : ADIA
53
Similar : AKIN
54
Author of the quote "I am not what you call a civilized man!" : VERNE
57
All the ___ : RAGE
59
Capital in 2004-05's Orange Revolution : KIEV
63
Answer to another spelling of the riddle : ASUNBURNEDPANDA
66
Locks in the stable? : MANE
67
Dark genre : NOIR
68
Where Rosalind becomes Ganymede, in Shakespeare : ARDEN
69
Plunks (down) : PUTS
70
Head-turning night fliers : OWLS
71
Detroit's county : WAYNE
Down
1
Hostage : PAWN
2
Modern "methinks" : IMHO
3
Filter target : SPAM
4
Luminary in a late-night show? : METEOR
5
Has more than enough, briefly : ODS
6
Home is one corner in it : BALLYARD
7
Russian river : URAL
8
Special election : RECALL
9
Gab : YAK
10
Time-sensitive items : EPHEMERA
11
Santa's deer leader? : REIN
12
Savvies : GETS
13
___-dokey : OKEY
18
Like a rat's eyes : BEADY
19
Drive drunkenly, say : WEAVE
24
Box ___ : SEAT
26
"Wow!" : OOH
27
One of the men on "Two and a Half Men" : ALAN
28
Fictional character who says "I am not what you call a civilized man!" : NEMO
29
Handled, with "with" : DEALT
30
No-goodnik : LOUSE
31
Sports segment that often includes highlights : RECAP
35
'Bama, with "the" : TIDE
36
Cleaner's target : ODOR
38
Artist Vermeer : JOHANNES
40
Violet Crawley of "Downton Abbey," and others : DOWAGERS
43
Elvis's "Viva Las Vegas," recordwise : SIDEB
44
Fed. stipend : SSI
46
Established the price of : ASKED
47
Sch. near Albany, N.Y. : RPI
50
Constrained : NARROW
51
Site of the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations : ANKARA
54
Seductress : VAMP
55
Genesis man : ESAU
56
Little sucker? : RUNT
58
Blue dye source : ANIL
60
May race, informally : INDY
61
Genesis place : EDEN
62
Weather indicator : VANE
64
Start for a Spanish count : UNO
65
Manhandle : PAW

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle.

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