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New York Times, Thursday, November 26, 2015

Author:
Ed Sessa
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
389/10/20077/15/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
41067452
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.64251
Edward Sessa

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 38 Missing: {JQX} This is puzzle # 29 for Mr. Sessa. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
Mispellings! Er, misspellings. We've seen a few puzzles where entries in the grid were actually misspelled, so I liked Ed's ... read more

Mispellings! Er, misspellings. We've seen a few puzzles where entries in the grid were actually misspelled, so I liked Ed's interpretation, using Schrodinger squares where both the correct spelling and the common misspelling work fine in the crossing entry. An example: CALENDER, with A (correct) or E (incorrect) is okay either way in GRAY or GREY.

A PHAROAH ... er, PHARAOH

My favorite by far was the second A in PHARAOH. While on the surface it worked exactly the same as the others — BALD-faced lie and BOLD-faced lie are both in usage — it triggered a thought for me. What if another word commonly spelled with either an A (correct) or an O (incorrect) had been the down crossing answer? It would have been such a coup to have every crossing be two tough-to-spell words, both with the same correct letter and commonly incorrect letter!

I liked the execution as it is, but since we've seen so many Schrodinger puzzles now, it feels a bit overdone. Also, while this particular execution is somewhat innovative, it did remind me of another one playing on a common mistake.

Not sure why there were ten misspelled words in the clues, but I suppose that added a little color to the theme. It wasn't enough to make me want to go back and find them all though, and the common gimmick of misspelling the word misspell (as mispell) fell flat.

It is difficult to find good Schrodinger answers — where one entry isn't much way more plausible than the other — so Ed did a nice job there. PATS and PETS a dog, DRAW and DREW playing on "set" being either present or past tense, OHS and AHS both sounds of surprise = good stuff.

Given that Ed needed to fix some of these Schrodinger entries into place in the grid, it's no surprise that there are some rough spots around those crossings. STILLE / ILA / IF AT around that CLICK / DEFINITELY section is a prime culprit.

Loved the clue for UNZIP. [Drop, like (pants) flies], tee hee.

So, an interesting idea which triggered some brainstorming for me. I like it when a puzzle does that.

1
C
2
D
3
C
4
B
5
A
6
D
7
C
8
O
9
P
10
P
11
S
12
A
13
T
14
H
O
Y
15
U
P
R
I
S
E
16
R
E
L
O
17
O
C
C
18
U
R
R
E
N
C
E
19
E
P
O
S
20
K
I
L
N
S
21
W
E
A
K
22
P
A
T
S
23
E
L
I
Z
A
24
R
A
25
D
A
R
26
D
E
C
I
27
M
28
A
29
O
30
T
A
R
A
31
R
32
A
33
P
34
O
P
T
A
35
B
36
C
E
T
U
S
37
A
38
B
39
C
40
P
H
A
R
A
41
O
H
42
E
M
S
43
I
R
A
44
T
E
45
P
E
L
H
A
46
M
47
M
O
L
A
R
48
S
49
D
D
S
50
O
51
M
52
S
53
K
54
E
B
A
T
55
E
56
C
N
O
T
E
57
B
58
A
N
K
59
A
V
60
I
61
V
62
L
E
V
I
N
63
A
I
D
E
64
D
E
F
I
65
N
I
T
E
L
Y
66
G
R
A
Y
67
I
N
A
S
E
C
68
I
L
A
69
S
S
R
S
70
A
T
T
A
C
K
71
T
E
N
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 1126 ( 24,124 )

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Across
1
Health-promoting org. : CDC
4
One of a pair of grillers : BADCOP
10
H.S. exam : PSAT
14
Major American Spanish-language newspaper : HOY
15
Revolt : UPRISE
16
It might be needed for a new job, informally : RELO
17
Incident : OCCURRENCE
19
"Odyssey," for one : EPOS
20
Where firings take place : KILNS
21
Watery, say : WEAK
22
Gently strokes, as a dog : PATS
23
Musical character who sings "Wouldn't it be loverly?" : ELIZA
24
Perception, figuratively : RADAR
26
Numerical prefix : DECI
27
Long March leader : MAO
30
Lead-in to "boom-de-ay" : TARARA
33
Beer can feature : POPTAB
36
Whale constellation : CETUS
37
Kindergarden song beginning : ABC
40
Exodus figure : PHARAOH
42
911 responder, for short : EMS
43
Very indignent : IRATE
45
New York's ___ Bay Park : PELHAM
47
Meat grinders : MOLARS
49
One concerned with 47-Across, for short : DDS
50
Trans-Siberian Railway hub : OMSK
54
Web discount : EBATE
56
Benjamin : CNOTE
57
Carom : BANK
59
Tel ___ : AVIV
62
"Rosemary's Baby" author : LEVIN
63
Secretery, e.g. : AIDE
64
Without a doubt : DEFINITELY
66
Neutral hue : GRAY
67
"Be there shortly!" : INASEC
68
Dockworkers' grp. : ILA
69
Moldova and Belarus, once: Abbr. : SSRS
70
Go on the offensive : ATTACK
71
Number of mispelled words in this puzzle's clues (oh, by the way, watch out for those tricky shaded squares!) : TEN
Down
1
Lost an easy win : CHOKED
2
Lamblike : DOCILE
3
Like economic booms and busts : CYCLIC
4
Fluid-filled sac near a joint : BURSA
5
Showery mo. : APR
6
Set pencil to paper, in a way : DREW
7
Film : CINE
8
Film award : OSCAR
9
Eye quickly : PEEKAT
10
Put together : PREPARE
11
Disconnect : SEPARATE
12
Much : ALOT
13
Give the boot : TOSS
18
Drop, like flies? : UNZIP
25
Accomodations along the Black Sea : DACHA
27
Speed trap datum: Abbr. : MPH
28
Give ___ on the shoulder : ATAP
29
Propelled, as a boat : OARED
31
Pirate's swig : RUM
32
Kiester : ASS
34
"What's ___, Doc?" (classic Bugs Bunny short) : OPERA
35
___-faced lie : BALD
37
Charge before firing? : AIM
38
Old buddy, old pal : BRO
39
It's good for 12 months : CALENDAR
41
Exclamations of surprise : OHS
44
Computer cursor advancers : TABKEYS
46
Claude who painted "Water Lillies" : MONET
48
Coloseums : STADIA
51
Words to a slowpoke : MOVEIT
52
"___ Nacht" (German carol) : STILLE
53
Many a New York City Marathon winner : KENYAN
55
Occassion : EVENT
56
Quick, sharp sound : CLICK
57
Luggage : BAGS
58
Broadcasts : AIRS
60
"___ first you don't succeed ..." : IFAT
61
Foriegn traveler's need : VISA
65
Japanese tech giant : NEC

Answer summary: 1 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?