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New York Times, Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Author: Andrew Kingsley
Editor: Will Shortz
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124/29/20168/8/20182
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0013053
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1.55010
Andrew Kingsley

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 74, Blocks: 40 Missing: {Q} Spans: 2 Grid is asymmetric. This is puzzle # 4 for Mr. Kingsley. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Andrew Kingsley notes: Sometime in the days of yore When themeless puzzles had become quite a bore I groped for a theme which would prove not a ... more
Andrew Kingsley notes:

Sometime in the days of yore
When themeless puzzles had become quite a bore
I groped for a theme which would prove not a snore;
Yet nothing came rapping at my vacant mind's door.

Tired of waiting for a fancy to spore,
I selected a tome from some worn out bookstore.
Full of whimsy and wit and nonsense galore
It quickly became a story adored.

Now Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, Lewis Carroll to you
Was a tinkerer with words and puzzling guru,
Yet there was one puzzle he Mad-Hatterly posed
Whose solution no one has yet to suppose.

So I leave it to you, my frabjous scores
To decipher the cipher Mad Carroll once swore
To leave rejoindered by readers
Nevermore.

Jeff Chen notes: I was surprised that I'd never heard this riddle before. I admit that I didn't get the joke when I did the puzzle, but I really ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

I was surprised that I'd never heard this riddle before. I admit that I didn't get the joke when I did the puzzle, but I really enjoyed researching it. Apparently Lewis Carroll didn't actually have an answer for this riddle, rather he intended it to be nonsensical. Didn't stop a ton of people from coming up with possible answers that actually fit!

I like the creativity required to come up with the potential answer, BECAUSE POE WROTE / ON BOTH (OF THEM), attributed to the great puzzler, Sam Loyd. Neat to be able to make that Poe connection. I would have absolutely loved it if "on" felt more spot-on to the Raven — BECAUSE POE WROTE (ABOUT) (the Raven) feels much better to my ear — but "on" still mostly works.

No long bonus fill, but Andrew did well in his choices for mid-length material. Love me some MILK DUDs, and a TEA COZY is so delightfully British (I'm currently hooked into this season's "The Great British Bake-off"). Nice NASCAR entry/clue too — I had no idea that NASCAR was behind only the NFL in terms of TV viewership. Whoa!

I imagine the older crowd might not care for HATHA yoga, VAPE, or ERAGON, but I like them all. HATHA yoga is really popular here in Seattle (plus, I smell VAPEs everywhere). And it's incredible that Christopher Paolini's ERAGON was published before his 21st birthday. I have to give props to a guy who sold his book series in a very unconventional way — instead of getting an agent and having that agent shop the book to the major houses, he toured all over, dressed in "a medieval costume of red shirt, billowy black pants, lace-up boots, and a jaunty black cap." That takes some serious guts!

And nothing terribly offensive in the fill. A minor SWEE and our good crossword Giant Mel OTT. The grid doesn't sing, but it is nice and smooth. A reasonable trade-off.

Really glad to have learned about this "riddle." I'm sure I'll be up all night trying to think of an absolutely genius answer. (Don't tell my wife.)

JimH notes: Did you notice that the grid is asymmetric? Mr. Kingsley's way to avoid this problem (caused by the way the words in the quote break) is to bend the usual symmetry rule, but in a way that nearly fools your eye.
1
C
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© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 1102 ( 24,466 )
Across Down
1. African land whose capital is N'Djamena : CHAD
5. Clumsy sort : CLOD
9. Printer problem : JAM
12. Like Inverted Jenny postage stamps : RARE
13. Fuel-yielding rock : SHALE
14. "I guess you didn't get the ___" : MEMO
15. Wagering sites, for short : OTBS
16. Onetime rival of TWA : PANAM
17. Kelly Clarkson was the first one, informally : IDOL
18. Start of a Mad Hatter riddle that went unanswered : WHYISARAVENLIKE
21. After the N.F.L., the most-watched sports org. on U.S. television : NASCAR
22. Just dandy : AOK
23. End of the riddle : AWRITINGDESK
30. Golf or tennis coup : ACE
33. Small European finch : SERIN
34. Not so risky : SURER
35. Totally absorbed : RAPT
37. All-time best-selling Frank Sinatra album (1993) : DUETS
39. Marcel Duchamp's art style : DADA
40. Sign before Taurus : ARIES
42. Anglers' aids : LURES
44. School of whales : GAM
45. Start of a possible answer to the riddle : BECAUSEPOEWROTE
48. Org. in "Argo" : CIA
49. Typical user of a transistor radio : TEENER
50. End of the answer : ONBOTHOFTHEM
56. 1956 crisis site : SUEZ
57. Be nuts about : ADORE
58. Muscat's land : OMAN
62. Flower that symbolizes purity : LILY
63. Sellers had three in "Dr. Strangelove" : ROLES
64. Smoke an e-cigarette : VAPE
65. Polo Grounds great Mel : OTT
66. Flat-bottomed boats of old : ARKS
67. Comic Con, for one : EXPO
1. Feature of the Budweiser logo : CROWN
2. Kind of yoga : HATHA
3. "We have the meats" chain : ARBYS
4. "Two Women" director : DESICA
5. Blacken on a grill : CHAR
6. Del Rey with the album "Ultraviolence" : LANA
7. Norway's patron saint : OLAV
8. Lower in status : DEMEAN
9. Warrior monk of sci-fi : JEDI
10. Bad way to run : AMOK
11. Underground pest : MOLE
13. Traded verbal barbs : SPARRED
14. Caramel bite from Hershey : MILKDUD
19. Dust-creating tools : SAWS
20. Often-rummy holiday drinks : NOGS
24. "Go me!" : IRULE
25. Bridgegate problem : TIEUP
26. It's a start : INTRO
27. First novel in Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Cycle : ERAGON
28. Give Xanax, say : SEDATE
29. "Hipster doofus" on "Seinfeld" : KRAMER
30. ___ Spring (2010s movement) : ARAB
31. Obama follower? : CARE
32. "The Divine Comedy," e.g. : EPIC
36. Knit item at a social : TEACOZY
38. Does a slow burn : SEETHES
41. Swords or cups, in tarot : SUIT
43. ___'Pea : SWEE
46. Much of North Africa : SAHARA
47. Take away : REMOVE
50. Viking Ship Museum city : OSLO
51. Night, in Nantes : NUIT
52. Martial arts award : BELT
53. Landfill emanation : ODOR
54. Much coffeehouse music : FOLK
55. Diez minus siete : TRES
59. Upper limit, for short : MAX
60. Facebook, on an iPhone or Galaxy : APP
61. Prefix with classical : NEO

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later.

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