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New York Times, Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Author: Joe Krozel
Editor: Will Shortz
Joe Krozel
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
877/7/20066/14/201815
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4147242621
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.48057

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 82, Blocks: 42 Missing: {JQXZ} This is puzzle # 74 for Mr. Krozel. NYT links: Across Lite PDF

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Joe Krozel notes: I noticed that when acronyms and initialisms appear in clues they automatically pin things down. For instance, the clue [Part of ... more
Joe Krozel notes:

I noticed that when acronyms and initialisms appear in clues they automatically pin things down. For instance, the clue [Part of GPS] readily identifies "Global Positioning System" and guides the solver to an entry like GLOBAL or SYSTEM or SYST. So, I wondered how a solver might react to a more generalized clue like [Part of ?PS] which could refer to FPS, GPS, IPS, PPS or UPS. This was the basis for today's theme (and the stars in the clues eliminated the need to repeat "part of" in every clue ... perhaps even adding a mystique).

Most acronyms and initialisms contain short words — VAT, for instance, could yield VALUE or ADDED or TAX — and these words wouldn't normally form theme entries by themselves. But I had pioneered a puzzle style in my 12/8/2009 NYT puzzle which uses short-answers-having-something-in-common in all the across entries, so the current theme seemed like a natural fit. What I like about this type of theme representation is that solvers can opt out of the theme entirely by solving only the Down clues, but I like to think that solvers would be delighted by the nature of the theme once they actually did catch on to it.

One last thought: kudos to anyone who solved the entire puzzle with only the Across clues!

Jeff Chen notes: I love how often Joe Krozel introduces themes that have never been seen before. I'm not sure I'd ever think of creating a puzzle ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

I love how often Joe Krozel introduces themes that have never been seen before. I'm not sure I'd ever think of creating a puzzle where every across entry is an entry in a common acronym.

I'm not sure how I'd even start putting the grid together, for that matter. Knowing how hard it is to achieve this sort of "all acrosses share a feature which the downs do not" task, I was wowed by the feat.

The Elks' logo

Here are some of the (perhaps) lesser known acronyms:

  • HOMES: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior (the Great Lakes)
  • VAT: value-added tax
  • BPOE: Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks
  • GI: general issue
  • NSF: National Science Foundation
  • ERA: earned run average

It's too bad about having a bit of oddness around GRIG and LUANA since the rest of the puzzle is so smooth, but both of these entries is inferable from the crosses. And overall, I found it incredibly impressive that Joe could put this concept together.

1
G
2
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© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0203 ( 23,828 )
Across Down
1. *PS : GLOBAL
7. US*S : POSTAL
13. I*S : REVENUE
15. GE* : DIPLOMA
16. *PO : INITIAL
17. H*MES : ONTARIO
18. T*IF : GOD
19. T*T : NITRO
21. SWA* : KISS
22. F*C : TRADE
24. B*W : THE
26. I*U : CARE
28. *NT : EAR
30. V*T : ADDED
34. *TA : PARENT
36. S*O : ROOM
38. C*T : RAY
39. *M : ANTE
40. BP*E : ORDER
42. *OS : SAVE
43. FW*W : ITS
44. *TC : OVER
45. R*I : BATTED
47. H*H : ROYAL
49. *YI : FOR
51. W*D : MASS
52. NAS*AR : CAR
54. GO* : PARTY
56. W*W : WIDE
59. G* : ISSUE
61. *YSE : NEW
64. USN* : ACADEMY
66. B*T : LETTUCE
69. AA*P : RETIRED
70. N*F : SCIENCE
71. U*PS : STATES
72. *RA : EARNED
1. Small eel : GRIG
2. Jay formerly of "The Tonight Show" : LENO
3. Virgil contemporary : OVID
4. Transaction with a bookie : BET
5. "Wheel of Fortune" purchase : ANI
6. Actress Patten or Anders : LUANA
7. Wine grape variety : PINOT
8. Choose : OPT
9. Quenched : SLAKED
10. Doughnuts, mathematically : TORI
11. Les Trois Mousquetaires, to one another : AMIS
12. Ho Chi Minh trail setting : LAOS
14. Skip, as the "f" and "the" in "two of the clock" : ELIDE
15. Golden, in France : DOR
20. Things "on my guitar" in a 2008 Taylor Swift hit : TEARDROPS
22. Decision-maker's drawing : TREE
23. Stimpy's pal in cartoons : REN
25. One going for big laughs, say : HAM
26. Division of a long poem : CANTO
27. Like many young Brooklynites, stereotypically : ARTSY
29. Food traditionally eaten with a miniature spoon : ROE
31. Cries of annoyance : DRATS
32. Gutters are attached to them : EAVES
33. Like purple hair : DYED
34. Put together, as socks : PAIR
35. Good, in a Jewish exclamation : TOV
37. Sun or planet : ORB
41. One counting to 10, maybe : REF
42. "Don't leave me!" : STAY
44. Ending with pay or plug : OLA
46. Qty. : AMT
48. Nailed the test : ACEDIT
50. Actor Julia and others : RAULS
53. Layers of frost : RIMES
55. Sports star-turned-model Gabrielle : REECE
56. Events of 1914-18 and 1939-45 : WARS
57. "Law & Order: SVU" actor : ICET
58. Numbers to crunch : DATA
60. Rocker Barrett of the original Pink Floyd : SYD
61. Former Georgia senator Sam : NUNN
62. Behold, to Cicero : ECCE
63. Do some yard work : WEED
65. Before, in poetry : ERE
67. Aunt, in Latin America : TIA
68. Three: Prefix : TER

Answer summary:

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