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New York Times, Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Author: Dan Schoenholz
Editor: Will Shortz
Dan Schoenholz
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225/5/20101/22/20170
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10244200
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1.63220

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 38 Missing: {JQZ} This is puzzle # 18 for Mr. Schoenholz. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Dan Schoenholz notes: I constructed this puzzle in 2013, shortly after it hit me that early Beatles tunes were approaching their 50th anniversaries. ... more
Dan Schoenholz notes:

I constructed this puzzle in 2013, shortly after it hit me that early Beatles tunes were approaching their 50th anniversaries. Given the boatload of memorable Beatles lyrics to choose from, I decided to try to do a quotation puzzle using one of their hits. Happily, "Norwegian Wood" fit the bill.

I constructed two versions: one that included the additional theme entries JOHN/LENNON and RUBBER/SOUL, and one without. The added theme material would have been nice, but ultimately wasn't worth the cost in terms of the quality of the fill, so I'm happy that will chose the puzzle you see today.

Jeff Chen notes: Tribute puzzle celebrating NORWEGIAN WOOD's 50th anniversary. Well, almost. It's such a shame that this was published two days shy of ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Tribute puzzle celebrating NORWEGIAN WOOD's 50th anniversary. Well, almost. It's such a shame that this was published two days shy of that occasion. Dec. 3, 2015 is a Thursday though, and this theme isn't nearly tricky enough for that day of the week. Rats!

Ravi Shankar inspired the incorporation of the sitar into NORWEGIAN WOOD

I used to be a big Beatles fan, so that first line, I ONCE HAD A GIRL (very waltz-y, sing it in 3/4 time!) came easily. Hoo boy, the rest wasn't so easy. Pretty cool find that the first three lines happen to break so nicely, so as to fit into a crossword grid when NORWEGIAN WOOD is the revealer.

Sometimes people come to me with theme ideas with 12-14 letter themers, and they wonder why I cringe a little. Entries of this length can be so inflexible, causing spacing issues. Usually you want to put your revealer in row 13, which helps you keep two or three rows of space between themers. This gives you so much flexibility in placing blocks as you trying to separate themers.

Check out how Dan's themers are squished toward the center of the puzzle. Pretty tough when OR SHOULD I SAY and SHE ONCE HAD ME have just one line separating them. Dan does quite well given this constraint, although IRES is kind of a wonky word in the present tense verb, and I always wonder if ARTY shouldn't be "artsy."

As tribute puzzles go, I liked the fact that Dan found a fortuitous split of the lyrics. That's much, much better than having a listing of THE BEATLES, something about the song, something else about the song, and NORWEGIAN WOOD. It would have been cool though to aim for the actual anniversary, and figure out a way to add in a Thursday-ish layer (not sure what that is, but it'd be fun to try to riff on NORWEGIAN WOOD somehow). As it is, it felt slightly thin to me, like I wanted a little something more to chew on.

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© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 1201 ( 24,129 )
Across Down
1. Picked : CHOSE
6. Tech debut of 1998 : IMAC
10. Energizes, with "up" : AMPS
14. One of the Seven Dwarfs : HAPPY
15. Something that might come to light? : MOTH
16. 1952 Hope/Crosby "Road" movie destination : BALI
17. Doe follower, in song : ADEER
18. When doubled, a South Pacific isle : BORA
19. Cameo material : ONYX
20. Start of the opening line of 55-Across : IONCEHADAGIRL
23. Wackadoodle : NUT
24. Things bouncers check : IDS
25. Director's cry : ACTION
28. Defeats soundly : STOMPS
31. The Browns, on scoreboards : CLE
32. Squeeze (out) : EKE
33. Opening line, continued : ORSHOULDISAY
37. Radius's neighbor : ULNA
39. ___ port : USB
40. Pretentious : ARTY
41. End of the opening line : SHEONCEHADME
44. Dustup : ROW
45. He's no gentleman : CAD
46. Become hardened : OSSIFY
50. [Brrrr!] : SHIVER
52. Gray shade : ASH
54. Sound in a roundup : MOO
55. Beatles song released on 12/3/1965 : NORWEGIANWOOD
59. Long ago, long ago : ERST
61. Feel it the next day, say : ACHE
62. Maker of a famous 1969 landing : EAGLE
63. Do one-third of a triathlon : BIKE
64. Kind of rug : SHAG
65. Staggering : AREEL
66. Word before and after "will be" : BOYS
67. It might have some kinks in it : HOSE
68. Awaits decision : PENDS
1. McDonald's and Burger King : CHAINS
2. Borrowed, as a library book : HADOUT
3. Not rejecting out of hand : OPENTO
4. Design detail : SPEC
5. Jane who said "I can live alone, if self-respect and circumstances require me so to do" : EYRE
6. 1987 declaration from Michael Jackson : IMBAD
7. Dispositions : MOODS
8. Mach3 forerunner : ATRA
9. Marc who painted "Russian Village Under the Moon" : CHAGALL
10. Cancel, as a mission : ABORT
11. Exhibiting the most machismo : MANLIEST
12. Wield : PLY
13. Top roll of a die : SIX
21. Radiator sound : HISS
22. They form when water freezes at a roof's edge : ICEDAMS
26. "Fine by me" : OKAY
27. Marshal under Napoleon : NEY
29. Pre-stereo format : MONO
30. Partner of Vixen in "A Visit From St. Nicholas" : PRANCER
31. Guantánamo Bay locale : CUBA
34. Tinged : HUED
35. ___Kosh B'Gosh : OSH
36. Angers : IRES
37. "Looks like trouble!" : UHOH
38. The Monica of "Monicagate" : LEWINSKY
41. Soon-to-be grads: Abbr. : SRS
42. Something to roll up your windows for : CARWASH
43. Capital of Qatar : DOHA
47. Daughter of King Cymbeline in Shakespeare's "Cymbeline" : IMOGEN
48. Pulled a fast one on : FOOLED
49. Alpine shouts : YODELS
51. Yea and nay : VOTES
52. Turkish pooh-bahs : AGHAS
53. Prolonged attack : SIEGE
56. Something perfect acoustics eliminate : ECHO
57. Kind of tide : NEAP
58. Ending with metal or mal- : WARE
59. Kind of tide : EBB
60. 1947 Hope/Crosby "Road" movie destination : RIO

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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