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New York Times, Saturday, March 7, 2015

Author:
David C. Duncan Dekker
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
43/7/20153/31/20170
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0001021
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
2.21004
David C. Duncan Dekker

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 27 Missing: none – this is a pangram. Scrabble average: 1.98 This is the debut puzzle for Mr. Dekker. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
David C. Duncan Dekker notes:
Greetings, Word Nerds! Firstly, let me just quickly point out some facts that I extracted from XWord Info: This is the 7777th ... read more

Greetings, Word Nerds!

Firstly, let me just quickly point out some facts that I extracted from XWord Info:

  1. This is the 7777th crossword published within the "Will Shortz era".
  2. I am the 777th constructor published within this era.
  3. This puzzle lands on the 7th day of this month.

This could very well be the 7th wonder of the world of crosswords?!

Secondly, since I am making my New York Times debut, I thought I'd comment briefly about how I got into the whole crossword constructing thang, step by step:

  1. At around 16, I began solving Monday-like NYT crosswords found in local papers or "easy-to-do" puzzle books.
  2. By 18, I clued in on the patterns, broke out the paper & pencils; then, began to piece puzzles together bit by bit.
  3. Closing in on 40 now & I'm happy to announce that my crossword constructing skills are still ever-evolving.

Thirdly, the cluing for this crossword was originally designed with an unusual amount of acronyms for the purpose of using A through Z again amongst the acronyms, as to add to the already incorporated pangrammatic mini-theme. That idea did not make the cut, and therefore a significant amount of cluing adjustments were made by Will and his team. I am, however, still pleased with how the puzzle turned out, and hopefully you'll think so as well.

Jeff Chen notes:
Neat little mini-theme, FROM A TO Z echoed below by PANGRAMS. Not surprisingly, the puzzle itself is a pangram! I enjoyed trying to ... read more

Neat little mini-theme, FROM A TO Z echoed below by PANGRAMS. Not surprisingly, the puzzle itself is a pangram! I enjoyed trying to figure out where the J, Q, X, and Z might pop up. I was really glad to have the mini-theme in mind as I AGONIZED over what the heck a PEZIZA might be. Very helpful to have the pangram idea in mind as I struggled over that crazy-looking PE?IZA string!

The elusive PEJIZA. Er, PEZIZA.

It's rarely effortless to complete a pangram in a themeless puzzle, even using the maximum allowed number of words (72). It's usually a cinch to toss in one or two of the JQXZ letters, and sometimes getting three of them in isn't too bad. Working all of them in often results in compromises — not surprising to see the gluey ODA near the sole Q.

Other than that though, I was impressed that the puzzle only had a few undesirable bits, and those were quite minor. Even more impressive was the sheer number of JQXZ instances — 10 is no joke. Not a huge amount of fantastic fill, but it's a real treat to get so many of those rare letters.

Confused why [Hook on a kite] would describe TALON? Think about "kite" as the type of bird, not as the recreational toy.

Finally, beautiful clue for LARYNX, which made me think of a speaking part as in a movie role. Perfect use of language to confound and delight.

1
F
2
R
3
O
4
M
5
A
6
T
7
O
8
Z
9
P
10
E
11
E
12
D
13
E
14
E
15
L
E
M
O
N
A
D
E
16
L
A
R
Y
N
X
17
I
C
E
B
O
X
E
S
18
I
T
A
S
C
A
19
M
I
L
20
N
E
T
T
21
L
E
S
22
L
O
M
23
S
P
E
24
D
25
S
O
I
L
S
26
J
E
D
I
27
Y
E
T
I
28
S
29
J
E
D
30
T
O
X
I
N
31
V
A
32
P
O
R
33
V
I
S
I
N
E
34
H
35
O
36
M
E
K
E
Y
37
R
A
G
B
A
G
S
38
I
N
A
S
E
C
39
M
U
C
H
O
40
T
E
X
T
S
41
K
I
T
42
T
Y
43
P
44
E
45
B
46
S
O
W
S
47
D
F
L
A
48
T
49
S
E
M
I
50
Q
U
E
51
B
A
C
K
B
A
52
Y
53
Z
I
P
54
U
N
B
55
O
R
N
56
C
A
L
A
57
M
I
N
E
58
A
C
E
D
I
T
59
A
G
O
N
I
Z
E
D
60
D
E
R
A
T
E
61
P
A
N
G
R
A
M
S
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0307 ( 23,860 )
Across
1
Completely : FROMATOZ
9
Southern river to Winyah Bay : PEEDEE
15
Something you might make a stand for : LEMONADE
16
Speaking part : LARYNX
17
Quaint raid targets : ICEBOXES
18
Minnesota county whose seat is Grand Rapids : ITASCA
19
A lot of bucks ... or the Bucks, briefly : MIL
20
Tees off : NETTLES
22
Herbert of Hollywood : LOM
23
Hit 90, e.g. : SPED
25
Their pH's are often measured : SOILS
26
Force user : JEDI
27
Elusive giants : YETIS
29
C. J.'s boss on "The West Wing" : JED
30
Sickening thing : TOXIN
31
Boiling evidence : VAPOR
33
"See the difference a little drop can make" sloganeer : VISINE
34
A in typing class, e.g. : HOMEKEY
37
Hodgepodges : RAGBAGS
38
"Hold your horses!" : INASEC
39
Beaucoup : MUCHO
40
Modern back-and-forth : TEXTS
41
Model material : KIT
42
Unlikely to stress out : TYPEB
46
Makes one's bed? : SOWS
47
Key of Debussy's "Claire de Lune" : DFLAT
49
What often produces passing thoughts? : SEMI
50
Where the Saguenay R. flows : QUE
51
Boston area known for its brownstones : BACKBAY
53
Execute a motion on the fly? : ZIP
54
Still in development? : UNBORN
56
Pink application to red areas : CALAMINE
58
Breezed through something : ACEDIT
59
Debated, debated, debated : AGONIZED
60
Place less value on : DERATE
61
They use every letter 1-Across : PANGRAMS
Down
1
Very weak : FLIMSY
2
It might tell you to chill : RECIPE
3
Cheese ___ : OMELET
4
Descend upon in droves : MOB
5
Like Mr. X, briefly : ANON
6
Burdens : TAXES
7
European Union anthem : ODETOJOY
8
Spiced up, say : ZESTIER
9
Carries on steadily : PLIES
10
Works on a course : EATS
11
Follower of Johnson or Kennedy : ERA
12
Source of a character flaw? : DYSLEXIA
13
Some intelligence work : ENCODING
14
Checks : EXAMINES
21
One of several awarded to Pres. Clinton : LLD
24
Strips of land, say : DIVESTS
26
Sequel to Alcott's "Little Women" and "Little Men" : JOSBOYS
28
"Land ___!" (quaint cry) : SAKES
30
Like the best of friends : TIGHT
32
___ deck (gym machine) : PEC
33
Little sucker? : VAC
34
Group of dispatchers : HITSQUAD
35
Two tablespoons : ONEOUNCE
36
"Science as a Vocation" sociologist : MAXWEBER
37
It's sometimes called a yellow turnip : RUTABAGA
39
Toadstool that exudes latex when cut : MILKCAP
41
Sister of Pizza Hut : KFC
43
Cup-shaped forest fungus : PEZIZA
44
Shady Records co-founder : EMINEM
45
Birds, e.g. : BIPEDS
47
Writer about a hellish journey : DANTE
48
Hook on a kite : TALON
51
Musical lead-in to pop : BRIT
52
Light principle : YANG
55
Concubine's chamber : ODA
57
Follower of Salyut 7 : MIR

Answer summary: 7 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?