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New York Times, Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Author:
Bruce Haight
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
511/3/20137/29/20195
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315149460
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.59043
Bruce Haight

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 16 Words: 83, Blocks: 42 Missing: {FQ} This is puzzle # 23 for Mr. Haight. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Notepad: The five rows of circled squares reveal an unusual feature of this puzzle.
Bruce Haight notes:
I was surprised to learn that these are pretty much the longest words in the English language with their letters in alphabetical order (and no ... read more

I was surprised to learn that these are pretty much the longest words in the English language with their letters in alphabetical order (and no repeated letters). I left out BIOPSY, for obvious reasons, and GHOSTY seemed like it was missing an L.

I originally submitted this theme two years ago with ALPHABETIC ORDER as the 15 letter reveal across the middle. Will and Joel wrote back that they liked the theme but couldn't get over the fact that it should be ALPHABETICAL ORDER. I wrote to Joel asking if they would consider a 15x17 puzzle and he said sorry, no.

However, he must have spent some time thinking about this because he came up with the current layout of the revealer phrases and told me all I needed to do was work in the six theme entries. Thank you, Joel!

BIJOUX and CHINTZ are not friendly words to squeeze into a tight grid, so there is some glue but apparently NOT SO MUCH as to be a dealbreaker. Expanding the grid to 15x16 (necessitated by IS IN) helped some.

I wanted RUMI at 26-Down, a Persian poet that Googles incredibly well, but he did not survive the final edit — I can imagine that as an editor you have to think long and hard before you allow a short two-vowel word like that because once it gets in everyone's word list you will be seeing it often.

My favorite entry is BZZT-- when I was growing up in Wisconsin they used to have big electrical bug zappers in the city park to control the mosquitos in that area, so BZZT brings back childhood memories...

Jeff Chen notes:
The shaded answers say it all: every answer to a starred clue is a word with its letters in alphabetical order. I've highlighted them below in ... read more

The shaded answers say it all: every answer to a starred clue is a word with its letters in alphabetical order. I've highlighted them below in blue to help them stand out.

I had a tough time figuring out the "quote," as STARRED ENTRY didn't make sense at first. Seeing as the grid entries themselves are not starred — it's their clues that are starred — I struggled mightily to figure out what word could follow STARRED at 25-Across. Semantic and perhaps trivial, but I sure got stuck.

Not a lot of bonuses in the grid, but that's to be expected with so many "themers" to work around. Check out how interlocked the grid is, shaded or blue answers (below) crisscrossing all over the grid. I did enjoy RIYADH, such an odd *ADH ending. And BZZT! = one of my favorite short entries in recent memory. (I used to watch a lot — A LOT — of "Family Feud.")

An interesting combination of quasi-quote puzzle and word trivia. I would have loved to see some longer examples, but these six were pretty decent.

Hmm, it wouldn't be hard to write a script to see if there are longer words (or better yet, phrases) that follow this principle of alphabetized letters. How cool would it be if there were some that were of 8+ letters!

(Over the holidays, I got a neat wooden word puzzle from my mother-in-law. She thought it would keep me busy, given that there were 26^3 possibilities but only one solution. The next morning, I amazed her with the answer. A little Python script helped. Don't tell her that.)

1
E
2
V
3
E
4
R
5
Y
6
A
7
A
8
S
9
C
10
H
11
I
12
M
13
P
14
S
15
K
A
T
I
E
16
R
B
I
17
C
E
T
E
R
A
18
E
L
T
O
N
19
J
O
H
N
20
R
E
T
A
I
N
21
S
E
A
T
22
E
M
O
23
R
I
D
24
N
O
D
25
S
T
A
R
26
R
E
D
E
27
N
T
R
Y
28
A
29
V
30
E
31
R
S
E
32
S
U
R
E
D
O
33
B
E
G
I
N
S
34
D
A
R
35
W
36
E
37
B
38
B
39
B
R
A
Y
40
I
41
S
I
N
42
A
R
I
Z
43
A
N
N
A
44
C
D
T
45
C
46
H
I
N
T
Z
47
D
48
N
A
L
A
49
B
50
L
A
T
E
S
T
51
A
52
L
53
P
H
A
B
E
T
I
54
C
A
L
55
G
A
R
56
S
I
R
57
J
U
S
58
A
59
L
60
E
61
C
62
O
B
I
63
W
A
N
64
N
O
T
S
65
O
M
U
C
H
66
R
E
S
O
L
E
67
S
U
I
68
H
E
N
C
E
69
A
L
M
O
S
T
70
A
X
E
71
O
R
D
E
R
© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0315 ( 24,599 )
Across
1
See blurb : EVERY
6
Batteries in mice : AAS
9
*Bonzo and others : CHIMPS
15
She went to Haiti in a Cole Porter song : KATIE
16
Ballpark fig. : RBI
17
Et ___ : CETERA
18
"The Lion King" soundtrack composer : ELTONJOHN
20
Hang on to : RETAIN
21
Boarding pass info : SEAT
22
Angsty music genre : EMO
23
Divest (of) : RID
24
Gesture that might be made with a wink : NOD
25
See blurb : STARREDENTRY
28
Opposed : AVERSE
32
"And how!" : SUREDO
33
*"And so it ___" : BEGINS
34
Patriotic women's org. : DAR
35
Jack who played Sgt. Friday : WEBB
39
Sound like a jackass : BRAY
40
See blurb : ISIN
42
PHX airport locale: Abbr. : ARIZ
43
Actress Kendrick of "Pitch Perfect" : ANNA
44
Summer hrs. in Chicago : CDT
45
*Fabric with a cheap-sounding name : CHINTZ
47
"CSI" workplace : DNALAB
50
Fresh gossip, with "the" : LATEST
51
See blurb : ALPHABETICAL
55
Long-snouted fish : GAR
56
Title for 18-Across : SIR
57
Au ___ (menu phrase) : JUS
58
Novelist Waugh : ALEC
62
"Star Wars" knight, informally : OBIWAN
64
Only a little : NOTSOMUCH
66
Fix, as a pump : RESOLE
67
___ generis (unique) : SUI
68
Therefore : HENCE
69
*"You just missed!" : ALMOST
70
Item held by the king of diamonds : AXE
71
See blurb : ORDER
Down
1
Barely manages, with "out" : EKES
2
Lowland, poetically : VALE
3
Singer James or Jones : ETTA
4
Thigh-slapper : RIOT
5
Nikkei index currency : YEN
6
Chocolatier's lure : AROMA
7
*Can't stomach : ABHORS
8
Go astray : SIN
9
1950s-'60s hit with the lyric "Ah, you made me love you / Now, now, now, now your man is come" : CCRIDER
10
Paid attention to : HEEDED
11
"The Addams Family" cousin : ITT
12
Had in mind : MEANT
13
Previous arrest, on a rap sheet : PRIOR
14
Like some light hair : SANDY
19
Ballet leaps : JETES
23
Showed again : RERAN
25
Form 1040 ID : SSN
26
Newswoman Bakhtiar : RUDI
27
"Hold it - hang on!" : NOWAIT
28
"Fernando" group : ABBA
29
HGTV personality ___ Yip : VERN
30
Eddie ___, subject of "The French Connection" : EGAN
31
World capital whose name means "gardens" : RIYADH
36
Fish-eating raptor : ERNE
37
Stand-up's routines : BITS
38
[Wrong answer!] : BZZT
40
Couch potato : IDLER
41
"Right away!," in the O.R. : STAT
44
China holder : CABINET
45
Reunion group : CLASS
46
Rogue computer in "2001" : HAL
48
M and N, in pronunciation : NASALS
49
*Elegantly designed trinkets : BIJOUX
51
Greek marketplace of old : AGORA
52
Motown or Decca : LABEL
53
Light beam splitter : PRISM
54
Adorable one : CUTIE
58
AAA part: Abbr. : AMER
59
Ilsa ___, "Casablanca" character : LUND
60
"Behold!," to Caesar : ECCE
61
"Believe" Grammy winner, 1999 : CHER
63
Try to win over : WOO
64
Intel org. : NSA
65
Cry of discovery : OHO

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?