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New York Times, Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Author: Jacob Stulberg
Editor: Will Shortz
Jacob Stulberg
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2212/25/20136/25/20170
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1.61660
Puzzle of the Week

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 44 Missing: {FJQXZ} This is puzzle # 4 for Mr. Stulberg. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jacob Stulberg notes: I can't recall what compelled me to build a crossword around Duchamp's Nude… maybe seeing the painting in a Dada ... more
Jacob Stulberg notes:

I can't recall what compelled me to build a crossword around Duchamp's Nude… maybe seeing the painting in a Dada exhibition at the Whitney when I was 12 years old, or listening to Tom Stoppard's radio play Artist Descending a Staircase. In any event, the idea for the "staircase" layout came to me easily enough, though I had a rough time trying to fit NUDEDESCENDINGASTAIRCASE into the grid until I remembered that wasn't the painting's full title. (If you're feeling charitable, consider the "2" my homage to the mustache Duchamp painted on the Mona Lisa.)

The northwest and southeast corners were trickiest to fill, as evidenced by the antique crosswordese at 2-Down. I can only say in that answer's defense that Roald Dahl mentions the TUPI language in Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator (alongside, naturally, Tungus and Tulu). On the other hand, it was a kick to discover after the fact that I'd started with ATOAST and finished with a cheeky IDIDSO.

Jill Denny notes: What a beautiful theme! I love revisiting a seminal work of art, especially one with a controversial past. Duchamp's own brothers ... more
Jill Denny notes:

What a beautiful theme! I love revisiting a seminal work of art, especially one with a controversial past. Duchamp's own brothers requested that he withdraw his painting from its debut exhibition in Paris, arguing that it was disrespectful to depict the nude form so mechanistically, engaged in such a humdrum activity as walking down a staircase. The Cubists felt it was not Cubist enough. And no one liked the title, which was seen as not sufficiently literary.

Duchamp's painting

With a twenty-first century gaze, it's difficult to imagine why anyone would have ever considered this 1912 work shocking or even surprising. So here's my billion-dollar idea: glasses that allow one to see a work of art as it would have been seen at its debut, so that its groundbreakingness can be appreciated anew. Put on the glasses, and you temporarily have the cognitive history and experience of a Parisian in 1912, so that when you look at Duchamp (or Manet or Picasso or Giotto), you feel the "what IS this?" frisson, accompanied by delight or repugnance or confusion. The Apple version is the iEye (dibs on the trademark).

Right, back to the puzzle! The staircase architecture and circled letters tightly constrain the grid, necessitating several tricky little cul-de-sacs. I liked the inclusion of ARMORY SHOW and AVANT-GARDE, as well as the H2O/RED NO. 2 crossing. The southwest corner was a quagmire for me, with ambiguous cluing and the trickiest of the cul-de-sacs. Those are minor nits to pick, though. The theme just delighted me thoroughly.

Jeff Chen notes: Not knowing the painting, I hadn't really considered this one for the POW at first. Thankfully, having two J-named partners with ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Not knowing the painting, I hadn't really considered this one for the POW at first. Thankfully, having two J-named partners with knowledge in the arts made me really appreciate the theme. The difficulty of the execution naturally results in some compromises, but I found them well worth it. Memorable puzzle.

JimH notes: Numerals in the grid are unusual but this is the fifth occurrence of H2O. The first was in a 1964 Sunday puzzle edited by the first NYT ... more
JimH notes: Numerals in the grid are unusual but this is the fifth occurrence of H2O. The first was in a 1964 Sunday puzzle edited by the first NYT crossword editor Margaret Farrar, and constructed by her successor, Will Weng.
1
A
2
T
3
O
4
A
5
S
6
T
7
D
8
E
9
L
10
A
11
W
12
A
13
R
14
E
15
N
U
D
G
E
D
16
E
N
A
M
O
R
E
D
17
O
P
E
R
A
S
18
E
S
T
E
E
M
E
D
19
I
D
E
S
20
R
U
I
N
21
O
V
A
22
E
C
23
O
24
E
E
N
25
P
R
E
S
26
A
27
H
28
A
29
E
N
30
D
31
B
A
Y
32
S
U
V
33
N
E
I
34
L
35
E
E
N
S
36
Y
37
A
L
A
38
T
O
N
G
39
A
N
S
40
H
O
41
E
42
U
N
43
P
E
N
44
A
S
I
M
45
O
R
B
46
T
E
D
47
T
A
I
48
W
E
B
49
S
50
A
G
A
51
P
52
C
53
T
54
C
R
55
S
56
T
V
A
57
C
L
A
W
58
C
A
59
S
60
T
61
A
I
R
62
P
L
A
N
E
63
T
H
R
E
S
64
H
65
R
A
D
I
A
T
O
R
66
R
E
D
N
O
2
67
K
N
E
E
D
E
E
P
68
I
D
I
D
S
O
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0325 ( 23,878 )
Across Down
1. Reception cry : ATOAST
7. With 31-Across, Cape May's locale : DELAWARE
15. Elbowed : NUDGED
16. Smitten : ENAMORED
17. "Orlando" and "Otello" : OPERAS
18. Put on a pedestal : ESTEEMED
19. Eight days after the nones, in ancient Rome : IDES
20. Wreck : RUIN
21. Female cells : OVA
22. Modern prefix with design : ECO
24. Still, poetically : EEN
25. Univ. bigwig : PRES
26. "The plot thickens!" : AHA
29. Close down : END
31. See 7-Across : BAY
32. Navigator, e.g. : SUV
33. 2015 Oscars host ___ Patrick Harris : NEIL
35. Wee : EENSY
37. Like : ALA
38. Members of an island kingdom : TONGANS
40. Prepare for planting, say : HOE
42. Set free : UNPEN
44. "___ sure you know ..." : ASIM
45. "Thou ___ aloft full-dazzling!": Whitman : ORB
46. Generic Guy of "Dilbert" : TED
47. ___ chi : TAI
48. Where some streams come from, with "the" : WEB
49. Family history, e.g. : SAGA
51. Polling fig. : PCT
54. Opposite of debits: Abbr. : CRS
56. New Deal corp. : TVA
57. Maul, in a way : CLAW
58. Playbill listing : CAST
61. Film whose sequel is subtitled "The Sequel" : AIRPLANE
63. Separate the seeds from : THRESH
65. Hot spot : RADIATOR
66. Food additive banned in 1976 : REDNO2
67. Completely engaged (in) : KNEEDEEP
68. Emphatic confirmation : IDIDSO
1. "Feliz ___ Nuevo!" : ANO
2. Brazilian people : TUPI
3. Had way too much, briefly : ODED
4. What subjects and verbs must do : AGREE
5. Like candles that might remind one of the beach : SEASCENTED
6. Scores by RBs and WRs : TDS
7. Company with a harrowing history? : DEERE
8. Come next : ENSUE
9. Many prayers are said in it : LATIN
10. Many prayers end with it : AMEN
11. Agony : WOE
12. Event at which the work spelled out by the shaded letters was first exhibited in America : ARMORYSHOW
13. "The Canterbury Tales" pilgrim : REEVE
14. Norse literary works : EDDAS
23. Result of a leadoff single : ONEON
25. Slam : PAN
26. ___ result : ASA
27. Amazon Prime competitor : HULU
28. Like the work spelled out by the shaded letters : AVANTGARDE
30. Uproar : DIN
31. Sullied : BESMIRCHED
34. JFK alternative : LGA
35. So-called "Giant Brain" unveiled in 1946 : ENIAC
36. Long ago : YORE
39. Winter setting for P.E.I. : AST
41. Go down : EBB
43. Shade of green : PEA
49. Utterly : STARK
50. Like fine feathered friends : AVIAN
51. Part of the earth's crust : PLATE
52. Item that may be portaged : CANOE
53. Little nothing : TWERP
55. New York restaurateur of old : SARDI
57. Wearing, with "in" : CLAD
59. Thrill : SEND
60. General ___ chicken : TSOS
62. Amount to be divided up : PIE
63. Part of TNT : TRI
64. Water : H2O

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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