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New York Times, Saturday, February 1, 2014

Author:
Will Nediger
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
305/27/20068/4/20192
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13025118
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.78032
Will Nediger

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 70, Blocks: 27 Missing: none – this is a pangram. This is puzzle # 19 for Mr. Nediger. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Will Nediger notes:
I wrote this puzzle a long time ago, and looking back, there are some things I don't like about it — all the ... read more

I wrote this puzzle a long time ago, and looking back, there are some things I don't like about it — all the you-know-it-or-you-don't proper names in the bottom left and the roll-your-own EX-MET — but there's still a lot of stuff I'm happy with, especially the top and bottom stacks. I'm hoping that the puzzle will introduce some solvers to the works of Emil Nolde (who makes an appearance sometimes as a clue for EMIL). I especially like his woodcut The Prophet.

Will Shortz notes:
This puzzle by Canadian Will Nediger has a lot of fine vocabulary. My favorite entries, besides BARBARA BUSH at 1A, are YOUR MAJESTY, ... read more

This puzzle by Canadian Will Nediger has a lot of fine vocabulary. My favorite entries, besides BARBARA BUSH at 1A, are YOUR MAJESTY, OLIVE GARDEN, HAM OMELET, ERICA KANE, ALARM BELL, BETAMAX, FLEX-TIMER, L.A. LAKER, ERIK SATIE, and WE DID IT. And hardly anything undesirable. That's expert puzzle-making!

Jeff Chen notes:
Fun workout today. And written BY A CANADIAN! *ducking from hockey stick thrown by Jeffrey Krasnick* No need to get rough, eh? ... read more

Fun workout today. And written BY A CANADIAN!

*ducking from hockey stick thrown by Jeffrey Krasnick*

No need to get rough, eh? Nice change of pace today, more loaded on the proper names and trivia than a typical Saturday. These types of puzzles tend to either hit or miss depending on the solver's knowledge base, and it was a tale of two halves for me. The right half flew by because I've forced myself to learn ERIK SATIE through crossword construction (look at all those common letters with vowel-consonant alternation!), and the straightforward clue for the devil-spawn LA LAKERs made it easy to plunk down. But for non-crossword constructors / fanatical haters of the purple and gold menace to humanity's very foundation, it was a really good thing that all the crossing answers don't depend on such specific knowledge.

Trivia is so subjective. I'm sure many solvers will grumble at EQUIVALENCE and AQABA, complaining that these are esoteric bits that no one should have to know. But as a former mechanical engineer, the watts and volt-amperes EQUIVALENCE made me smile, as did remembering the amazing scene of AQABA in "Lawrence of Arabia." High thumbs-up for me, but I can understand how others will disagree.

The left half was much tougher for me, not knowing ERIKA KANE, MARLENE, EMIL NOLDE, or MADONNA with its tough Parmagianino-related clue. It does strike me as a fair area, given that the names are all drawn from disparate disciplines (not having multiple clues requiring concentrated knowledge about Dungeons and Dragons +1 Swords of Justice or something), but it certainly highlighted several deficiencies in my knowledge base. My personal perfect storm? Perhaps.

In general, I prefer more of a mixing of many different types of clue/answer pairs, proper names and trivia being diluted with a good array of wordplay type clues/answers. For example, it would have been great to have more of the "Sky boxes?" / KITES type clue/answer pairs in that left section. I learned a lot today, looking up quite a few entries after I finished.

1
B
2
A
3
R
4
B
5
A
6
R
7
A
8
B
9
U
10
S
11
H
12
B
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E
14
E
15
E
Q
U
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V
A
L
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C
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16
R
R
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F
A
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O
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O
B
E
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D
R
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F
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W
A
K
E
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G
A
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M
O
M
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Y
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L
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M
A
M
B
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26
M
A
D
C
A
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P
28
A
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H
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E
A
D
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E
X
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F
O
L
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A
T
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C
A
R
R
O
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L
L
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L
E
A
D
S
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E
M
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D
E
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K
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D
O
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E
X
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M
E
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M
A
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F
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M
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E
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W
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Z
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K
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K
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P
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A
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A
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Y
O
U
R
M
A
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J
E
S
T
Y
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G
E
N
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O
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V
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S
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U
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P
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© 2014, The New York TimesNo. 0201 ( 23,461 )
Across
1
Her 1994 memoir has the chapter "Desert Storm" : BARBARABUSH
12
Plant visitor : BEE
15
What watts and volt-amperes have : EQUIVALENCE
16
Elementary education, briefly : RRR
17
High interest? : FASCINATION
18
Choice for a portrait : OIL
19
U.K. honours : OBES
20
What you may open the door for : DRAFT
21
Aftermath : WAKE
22
Fun time : GAS
23
Toddler coddler : MOMMY
24
Display options, briefly : LEDS
25
Serpent with a Zulu name : MAMBA
26
Zany : MADCAP
28
On track to win : AHEAD
31
Use pumice on, perhaps : EXFOLIATE
33
He wrote of a "vorpal blade" : CARROLL
35
Gets to a seat, say : LEADSIN
36
Member of the German Expressionist group Die Brücke : EMILNOLDE
38
Sky boxes? : KITES
39
Exhibit explainer : DOCENT
40
Strawberry, for one : EXMET
42
Tom Clancy's "Every ___ Tiger" : MANA
43
Polaris or Procyon : FSTAR
44
Persian language unit? : MEW
47
"The Wizard of Oz" farmhand : ZEKE
48
Psychoanalyst Melanie : KLEIN
49
Hometown of the mathematician Fibonacci : PISA
50
Much like : ALA
51
Words accompanying a low bow : YOURMAJESTY
53
X or Y lead-in : GEN
54
Uno's alternative : OLIVEGARDEN
55
Suzanne, e.g.: Abbr. : STE
56
Light insufficiently : UNDEREXPOSE
Down
1
Muddle : BEFOG
2
Great Rift Valley port : AQABA
3
Dodges : RUSES
4
Some 27-Down : BICS
5
Prefix with culture : AVI
6
Like some inspections : RANDOM
7
Danger dinger : ALARMBELL
8
Old Sony format : BETAMAX
9
Come together : UNIFY
10
Cock-a-leekie eater : SCOT
11
Incubator : HEN
12
Sent out in waves? : BROADCAST
13
Composer of several "Gnossiennes" : ERIKSATIE
14
Man's name that sounds noble : ERLE
21
Cooperation exclamation : WEDIDIT
23
"___ With the Long Neck" (Parmigianino painting) : MADONNA
24
Pro athlete in purple and gold : LALAKER
25
Cary's "Blonde Venus" co-star : MARLENE
26
Dispenser of Duff Beer : MOE
27
Desk set : PENS
28
Made no mistakes on : ACED
29
No breakfast for a vegan : HAMOMELET
30
TV antiheroine for 41 years : ERICAKANE
32
One whose shifts shift : FLEXTIMER
34
Development site : LOT
37
Warrant : DESERVE
41
Handle : MANAGE
43
Subject to change : FLUID
44
Screw up : MISDO
45
Business fraudster Billie Sol ___ : ESTES
46
General who won 1794's Battle of Fallen Timbers : WAYNE
47
Navigates a switchback, in part : ZAGS
48
Severinsbrücke's city : KOLN
49
One may be fingered : PERP
51
"Revolution" or "Hound Dog" starter : YOU
52
Port named after a U.S. president, informally : JAX

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle, 3 debuted here and reused later, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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