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New York Times, Thursday, February 23, 2012

 Author: Jeff Chen Editor: Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
787/5/201012/24/201746
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2367111768
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.634172

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 39 Missing: {QVZ} This is puzzle # 6 for Mr. Chen. NYT links: Across Lite PDF

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Jeff Chen notes: This puzzle was two years in the making, with umpteen thousand versions and three back-and-forths with Will. My first version didn't have the perimeter words interlocked, which Will thought inelegant. I'm really glad he pointed this out. Even though it took me ages to figure out a set of words which did interlock in all four corners, I like the elegance of it.

Now that I've had some time to review the puzzle with fresh eyes, I would have loved to incorporate AROUND in a symmetrical way. See how it sticks out, no symmetrical theme answer balancing it? If I were to do it all over again, I might place the letters A R O U N D in a tight circle around the center of the puzzle, with each letter circled. A notepad note could explain things, or better yet, it would be devilish to make the solver connect the dots, figuring out that the circled letters were a subtle hint to those perimeter answers.

Fun to see how one can learn and take away lessons for the future.

JimH notes: AROUND must be added to the answers around the outside edge for the clues to make sense.
 1S 2H 3O 4O 5T 6R 7O 8O 9T 10J 11E 12R 13K 14H I N D U 15A U T H 16O X E N 17O G L E R 18P I T A 19K I L O 20P H Y S I 21C S 22A N 23G E L I C 24N O H 25O W 26O R E C K 27C 28O 29K 30E 31R E H A 32B S 33O W E S 34N E O 35R E 36L 37I 38E 39F 40M E G A 41B I T 42K E E P S T O 43E N S U R E 44D I E 45N A T O 46A R 47O U N D 48S O U L 49S 50L 51O 52P S 53R O G E 54T 55T E L L S 56O N 57P R O 58P 59S 60U 61P 62I R M A 63R A 64N I 65R E T R O 66C O E N 67E T O N 68C R A N K 69K I C K 70M E S S 71H O R S E
© 2012, The New York TimesNo. 0223 ( 22,752 )
 Across Down 1. Pass quickly, as on a highway : SHOOT6. Rummage : ROOT10. Treat badly : JERK14. Karma believer : HINDU15. Title accompanier: Abbr. : AUTH16. Team members : OXEN17. Many a nude beach visitor : OGLER18. ___ bread : PITA19. Narc's find, perhaps : KILO20. Subject with force : PHYSICS22. Perfectly behaved : ANGELIC24. Not under any circumstances : NOHOW26. Big name in vacuums : ORECK27. Furnace fuel : COKE31. Heals, in a way : REHABS33. Has a tab : OWES34. The One, in "The Matrix" : NEO35. Kind of pitcher : RELIEF40. Storage unit : MEGABIT42. Maintains, as an itinerary : KEEPSTO43. Double-check, e.g. : ENSURE44. One of two in Monopoly : DIE45. Port. is part of it : NATO46. Word needed to be added to 12 appropriately placed answers in this puzzle for their clues to make sense : AROUND48. Music genre : SOUL49. Spills : SLOPS53. Synonym source : ROGET55. Gives away, in a way : TELLSON57. Braces : PROPSUP62. "___ la Douce" : IRMA63. 14-Across V.I.P. : RANI65. Back in : RETRO66. "The Big Lebowski" director : COEN67. George Orwell's alma mater : ETON68. Part of many a generator : CRANK69. Bandy, as ideas : KICK70. Waste time : MESS71. Act rowdily : HORSE 1. Get many price quotes : SHOP2. Drugged out : HIGH3. One's partner : ONLY4. Works of Horace : ODES5. Famous cloth locale : TURIN6. List of criminals? : RAPSHEET7. Magazine once published by Playboy : OUI8. Senator's home : OTTAWA9. Comparison connector : THAN10. Wild card : JOKER11. Banish : EXILE12. Vestige : RELIC13. Wander aimlessly : KNOCK21. Less sophisticated, in a way : CORNIER23. "Check it out!" : GOSEE25. Exclamation of surprise : OHO27. Change one's opinion : COME28. Meany of story : OWEN29. Items sometimes tossed in strongman contests : KEGS30. Biblical twin : ESAU32. Rancher, typically : BREEDER36. Hosp. employees : LPNS37. Golfer Aoki : ISAO38. Cry of shocked hurt : ETTU39. Not be serious : FOOL41. Military leaders : BRASS42. Group leaders : KINGPINS44. The Smothers Brothers, e.g. : DUO47. Showy : ORNATE49. Linger : STICK50. "Vive ___!" : LEROI51. Ancient Mexican : OLMEC52. Party principle : PLANK54. Johnny Storm a k a the Human ___ : TORCH56. City near Provo : OREM58. But, in Bolivia : PERO59. Standout : STAR60. Still-life subjects : URNS61. Search here and there : POKE64. Digits, e.g.: Abbr. : NOS

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

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