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New York Times, Monday, February 16, 2015

Author:
David J. Kahn
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1843/15/19948/14/20195
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
4451326571326
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.5514231
David J. Kahn

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 36 Missing: {QVZ} This is puzzle # 159 for Mr. Kahn. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Notepad: The last names of eight U.S. presidents are hidden in this puzzle's completed grid, reading across, back, up, down and diagonally, word-search style. Can you find them all?
David J. Kahn notes:
I've written a number of crosswords for The Times about U.S. presidents, including a Sunday puzzle in 2004 to celebrate the opening of ... read more

I've written a number of crosswords for The Times about U.S. presidents, including a Sunday puzzle in 2004 to celebrate the opening of Bill Clinton's library in Little Rock and one just after Obama was elected president the first time. (My wife and I were invited to the Clinton Library opening so that puzzle is especially memorable for me.)

I also spent the better part of 2014 writing a book of puzzles for Sterling (called "White House Crosswords"); that one will be out this October. The idea for Monday's crossword popped into my head during the writing of that book. I guess if I can't be a presidential historian, the next best thing is writing puzzles about presidents!

Jeff Chen notes:
I get such a feeling of satisfaction when I fill in the last box of a crossword and get 'Mr. Happy Pencil.' Finishing a word search is ... read more

I get such a feeling of satisfaction when I fill in the last box of a crossword and get "Mr. Happy Pencil." Finishing a word search is more a feeling of relief. I had to scan through the entire grid three times, go through the full list of presidents, scan through the grid an additional three times, and finally go letter by letter with the list of presidents up against the screen. But I found those last two, dangnabit! (Highlighted below in blue and red against the white grid background.)

  • Time it took me to finish the puzzle: 5 minutes
  • Time it took me to find the first six presidents: 10 minutes
  • Time it took me to find the last two: 45 minutes (I (stupidly) hate to give up on anything)

The elusive John Tyler

Pretty clever, the way David hid NIXON and especially TYLER. I originally hadn't thought about words "crossing" diagonal lines of black squares, and then the idea of TYLER crossing TWO of those lines blew my mind. Hopefully most other solvers didn't burn quite as much time as I did. But hey, what an appropriate diversion for Presidents Day.

Overall, I liked the construction. With so many constraints, I expected to see more gluey fill. I also expected that the diagonal presidents would be located smack dab in the middle of those gluey bits. (BOURG helped me locate NIXON, and I was SO sure something had to be hidden around the odd ODORED.) So a good trade-off, packing a reasonable number of presidents into the grid without many compromises.

P.S. DOLE (SE corner) and Robert E. LEE (NE corner)? There is no such thing as a coincidence!

1
E
2
L
3
M
4
E
5
R
6
C
7
H
8
I
9
J
10
O
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D
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I
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E
14
N
E
A
T
O
15
R
A
N
16
E
A
R
L
S
17
T
I
R
E
T
18
R
A
C
K
19
S
T
E
E
P
20
S
A
X
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T
A
C
K
Y
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T
E
A
23
O
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N
K
S
24
D
E
R
M
25
A
26
L
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A
28
M
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O
U
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T
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M
A
R
S
A
L
A
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B
O
U
R
G
32
Y
33
E
A
T
S
34
B
L
U
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A
R
T
S
36
P
O
L
K
A
37
H
O
E
D
38
T
E
O
39
O
A
K
I
E
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G
O
U
G
E
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E
N
F
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O
R
C
E
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R
R
A
T
E
D
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D
O
O
D
L
E
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S
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A
U
E
R
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R
O
E
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A
N
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M
E
49
J
50
E
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W
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A
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U
D
R
A
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T
E
M
P
T
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F
A
T
E
56
P
R
E
E
N
57
T
A
E
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E
L
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B
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R
D
S
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A
D
D
61
D
O
L
E
D
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0216 ( 23,841 )
Across
1
Fudd of cartoondom : ELMER
6
Site of the 1968 Democratic convention, informally : CHI
9
Foster of "Taxi Driver" : JODIE
14
"That's cool!" : NEATO
15
Campaigned : RAN
16
Nobles above viscounts : EARLS
17
Imprint on a dirt road : TIRETRACK
19
Nearly vertical, as a cliff : STEEP
20
Instrument for Bill Clinton, informally : SAX
21
Lacking taste : TACKY
22
___ Party (modern political group) : TEA
23
Pig cries : OINKS
24
Skin-related : DERMAL
27
Quantity : AMOUNT
30
Veal ___ : MARSALA
31
French market town : BOURG
32
Poet William Butler ___ : YEATS
34
___-ray Disc : BLU
35
National Medal of ___ (honor bestowed by the president) : ARTS
36
Many a Lawrence Welk dance tune : POLKA
37
Cleared, as a garden : HOED
38
N.F.L.'s Manti ___ : TEO
39
Jack who played Napaloni in "The Great Dictator" : OAKIE
40
Way overcharge : GOUGE
41
Compel observance of, as laws : ENFORCE
43
Like "All the President's Men," originally, per the M.P.A.A. : RRATED
44
Idle drawing in a margin : DOODLE
45
Lip-puckering, as kraut : SAUER
47
Sushi eggs : ROE
48
Japanese cartoon art : ANIME
49
Many an Israeli : JEW
52
Six-time Tony winner McDonald : AUDRA
54
Flirt with disaster : TEMPTFATE
56
Primp : PREEN
57
___ kwon do : TAE
58
1%-ers : ELITE
59
Eagles and such : BIRDS
60
Subtract's opposite : ADD
61
Apportioned, with "out" : DOLED
Down
1
Docs with little flashlights : ENTS
2
"Star Wars" princess : LEIA
3
Harpo, Zeppo or Groucho : MARX
4
Summer in Somme : ETE
5
Going bad, as fruit : ROTTING
6
Solve, as a code : CRACK
7
Political ___ (partisan sorts) : HACKS
8
Jet-black : INKY
9
Entertainers for kings : JESTERS
10
Westerns, in old lingo : OATERS
11
Have fantasies of : DREAMABOUT
12
Suffix with percent : ILE
13
Mind-reading skill, for short : ESP
18
Tirade : RANT
23
Opposite of theirs : OURS
24
Polling figures, e.g. : DATA
25
State without proof : ALLEGE
26
Eulogized : LAUDED
27
Quieted down : ABATED
28
Oscar-winning Rita : MORENO
29
Not working : OUTOFORDER
30
Concoct : MAKE
32
Oxen connector : YOKE
33
___ Lilly & Co. : ELI
36
Tempo : PACE
37
Winter frost : HOAR
39
New ___, site of the 1988 Republican convention : ORLEANS
40
Shook hands with, say : GREETED
42
Scented : ODORED
43
Where a horse's tail is : RUMP
45
Golf's Sam : SNEAD
46
Pointed, as a gun : AIMED
48
Lead-in to boy or girl : ATTA
49
Monopoly space that says "Just Visiting" : JAIL
50
Suffix with disk : ETTE
51
Unwanted garden growth : WEED
52
Urgent police message, for short : APB
53
Pseudopsychic Geller : URI
55
Rapper ___ Rida : FLO

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

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