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IT'S TAXING

New York Times, Sunday, April 13, 2014

Author:
Dan Schoenholz
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
235/5/201012/7/20170
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
10244300
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.64220
Dan Schoenholz

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 140, Blocks: 76 Missing: {JQX} This is puzzle # 12 for Mr. Schoenholz. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Dan Schoenholz notes:
One of the things I enjoy about constructing is finding ways to weave my personal interests into my puzzles. One was named after the German city where I lived for a time ('A Whiff of ... read more

One of the things I enjoy about constructing is finding ways to weave my personal interests into my puzzles. One was named after the German city where I lived for a time ("A Whiff of Cologne"); another included my favorite musical artist, John Hiatt, as an entry for the first time ever in the New York Times; and so on.

Today's puzzle is in the same vein: it's a 21 x 21 tribute to my brother, Mike, a CPA who disappears around February 15th every year, only to re-emerge in mid-April after having helped his many clients pick their way through the complicated puzzle that is our tax code. Congrats, Mike, on making it through another tax season!

Jeff Chen notes:
Ah, a puzzle about taxes! As we've already established I'm an odd duck, it won't surprise you to hear that I'm a huge fan of doing my taxes. Trying to pull levers throughout the year to ... read more

Ah, a puzzle about taxes! As we've already established I'm an odd duck, it won't surprise you to hear that I'm a huge fan of doing my taxes. Trying to pull levers throughout the year to figure out how we can lower our tax burden, from timing our charitable donations to mutual funds vs. ETFs to deferring vs. realizing carry-forwards, is one of my many joys in life.

I like the timing of the puzzle, just before tax day (although most everyone else would probably appreciate it more right after the relief of April 15 passing). I also like Dan's wacky interpretations of snappy phrases. MANY HAPPY RETURNS is one I've heard before in regard to taxes, but TABLE FOR TWO is a beautiful one, as it relates to tax tables for a married couple vs. a single filer. BRILLIANT DEDUCTION is also, well, brilliant, making me laugh. The others, WITHHOLDING CONSENT and SCHEDULE CHANGE, felt a little too literal to be fun for me, reminding me of unpleasantries from past tax years. It's often no fun for anyone when the IRS issues a SCHEDULE CHANGE announcement, for example. Especially those of us who like our schedules to stay constant, thank you very much!

Today's layout provides for a discussion on themer placement. Note how Dan's first entry is in row 4, not row 3 like most Sunday puzzles. That's because it's a bit too long to put in row 3 — no good, because that would necessitate a giant block of black squares in the NW corner. But having the first themer in row 4 makes the overall spacing more difficult than normal. Those first three themers are separated by just one row each (in rows 4, 6, 8). Anytime you can place two rows of space (instead of one) in between themers it's SO much easier.

Notice the difficulty in those overlapped areas. We see ORY and RESHAPE in one overlap, ELL and the plural UGHS in another, RIGGER in another. Creating better spacing could have reduced this effect. Because there is flexibility in which themer goes first, something else like MANY HAPPY RETURNS could have been placed in row 3, with likely cleaner effect.

Some really nice stuff in the fill though. I love seeing SEGWAYs around town (GOB Bluth fan, anyone?), CRASHPAD (a must for highball bouldering), and a super-hard to parse BE A PAL. Along with those nice NW and SE corners full of ART GLASS, HELLIONS and TELETHON, these types of entries did help enhance my solve.

MANY HAPPY RETURNS in a few days, everyone! Go chase down that last BRILLIANT DEDUCTION.

1
Z
2
O
3
O
4
S
5
A
6
R
7
M
8
B
9
E
10
R
11
R
12
A
13
S
14
C
15
R
16
A
17
P
18
S
A
F
E
19
A
R
E
A
20
P
A
L
A
I
S
21
C
R
I
M
E
22
A
R
T
G
L
A
S
S
23
O
N
H
I
G
H
24
E
A
V
E
S
25
W
I
T
H
H
26
O
L
D
I
N
G
C
27
O
N
S
E
N
T
28
A
29
P
30
I
A
31
A
U
R
A
32
E
A
R
T
H
33
M
A
N
Y
34
H
35
A
P
P
Y
R
36
E
37
T
38
U
R
N
S
39
P
40
I
41
L
42
E
43
P
R
O
44
E
R
E
45
L
O
G
46
H
A
M
A
N
47
S
A
N
48
D
R
A
49
R
50
O
51
L
L
T
H
52
E
53
C
54
R
E
D
I
T
S
55
R
O
B
56
B
E
R
Y
57
E
S
C
R
O
W
58
T
R
U
59
R
60
A
61
P
I
D
62
E
D
A
M
63
S
64
O
O
P
65
P
A
I
R
66
E
N
U
F
67
T
A
B
L
E
F
68
O
69
R
T
W
O
70
U
T
N
E
71
P
A
N
T
72
A
P
O
73
O
R
I
O
N
74
F
R
E
E
D
75
A
R
C
76
E
B
A
N
77
K
78
S
79
A
N
N
E
80
T
T
E
81
S
C
H
82
E
D
U
L
E
C
H
83
A
N
G
E
84
E
L
E
85
V
86
E
87
N
88
T
H
E
A
S
89
A
A
R
90
U
S
E
91
O
V
A
92
S
Y
S
T
93
E
94
M
95
E
R
G
E
96
N
97
C
98
Y
S
H
E
99
L
T
E
R
100
A
101
P
R
I
L
102
A
L
A
S
103
E
E
N
Y
104
B
105
R
106
I
L
L
I
A
N
107
T
108
D
109
E
D
U
C
T
110
I
111
O
N
112
L
E
R
O
I
113
T
I
E
R
R
A
114
H
E
L
L
I
115
O
116
N
117
S
118
O
Z
O
N
E
119
A
N
N
E
A
L
120
T
E
L
E
T
H
O
N
121
W
A
N
E
D
122
S
O
N
G
S
123
S
L
Y
124
Y
O
W
L
© 2014, The New York TimesNo. 0413 ( 23,532 )
Across
1
Crazy places : ZOOS
5
Supply (with) : ARM
8
Yogi in the New Jersey Hall of Fame : BERRA
13
Give up on : SCRAP
18
Neutral zone, say : SAFEAREA
20
Geneva's ___ des Nations : PALAIS
21
It's organized in a family : CRIME
22
Fragile decoration : ARTGLASS
23
Elevated : ONHIGH
24
Hangovers at home? : EAVES
25
Agreement for an amount to be taken from one's salary? : WITHHOLDINGCONSENT
28
Samoan capital : APIA
31
Glow : AURA
32
Soil : EARTH
33
What C.P.A.'s wish for their clients? : MANYHAPPYRETURNS
39
Reactor : PILE
43
For : PRO
44
"We shun it ___ it comes": Dickinson : ERE
45
Guest book, e.g. : LOG
46
Purim villain : HAMAN
47
First name of the first female Supreme Court justice : SANDRA
49
C.P.A.'s advice for lowering future-year liabilities? : ROLLTHECREDITS
55
Serious overcharging : ROBBERY
57
Place in trust : ESCROW
58
Tony-winning Robert Morse role : TRU
59
Fast : RAPID
62
European wheels? : EDAMS
64
Alley ___ : OOP
65
Match : PAIR
66
Ample, informally : ENUF
67
Chart used to calculate a married couple's taxes? : TABLEFORTWO
70
___ Reader : UTNE
71
Have a series of sudden inspirations? : PANT
72
General mailing address?: Abbr. : APO
73
Night hunter : ORION
74
Let loose : FREED
75
What pop-ups do : ARC
76
Websites of interest? : EBANKS
79
First name among Mouseketeers : ANNETTE
81
I.R.S. update? : SCHEDULECHANGE
84
Soccer team : ELEVEN
88
Three-time '70s World Series champs : THEAS
89
Alpine stream : AAR
90
Milk : USE
91
Halves of zygotes : OVA
92
GPS component: Abbr. : SYST
93
Last-minute way to reduce tax for a desperate filer? : EMERGENCYSHELTER
100
Deadline time appropriate to this puzzle : APRIL
102
"Sad to say ..." : ALAS
103
Choice word? : EENY
104
C.P.A.'s masterstroke? : BRILLIANTDEDUCTION
112
"Vive ___!" : LEROI
113
South American land : TIERRA
114
Troublemakers : HELLIONS
118
Triatomic oxygen molecule : OZONE
119
Strengthen : ANNEAL
120
Certain fund-raiser : TELETHON
121
Ebbed : WANED
122
Certain tracks : SONGS
123
Foxy : SLY
124
Wail : YOWL
Down
1
When repeated, one of the Gabors : ZSA
2
Galley sight : OAR
3
Time and again : OFT
4
Modern two-wheeler : SEGWAY
5
"How now! ___?": Hamlet : ARAT
6
Alter, as a form : RESHAPE
7
Digital olio : MASHUP
8
Tour group? : BAND
9
K-12 : ELHI
10
Parade spoiler : RAIN
11
Sailor, sometimes : RIGGER
12
Waste place : ASHCAN
13
Perfume : SCENT
14
Where to land for the night : CRASHPAD
15
Break apart : RIVE
16
"___, brother!" : AMEN
17
Nudnik : PEST
19
"Aladdin" prince : ALI
20
Like some opposites : POLAR
26
Suffix with deposit : ORY
27
Choice words : ORS
28
Hypes (up) : AMPS
29
Chute opener? : PARA
30
Hip to : INON
34
Judean ruler : HEROD
35
19-Down, e.g. : ARAB
36
Wing : ELL
37
Gift for many a PBS donor : TOTE
38
Lousy "reviews" : UGHS
40
Ape : IMITATE
41
Division head? : LATRINE
42
Double-checked, e.g. : ENSURED
46
Conform (to) : HEW
48
Go with the flow : DRIFT
49
Breed of hunting dog : REDBONE
50
Like some traditions : ORAL
51
___ disease : LYME
52
Transition area from deciduous to evergreen, e.g. : ECOTONE
53
___ Plaza (hotel chain) : CROWNE
54
El ___ (cheap cigar, slangily) : ROPO
56
"Do me one favor ..." : BEAPAL
59
Important parts of Thanksgiving and Easter : REPASTS
60
"There is no greater evil than ___": "Antigone" : ANARCHY
61
They might be pulled : PUNCHES
63
Airport on a bay, for short : SFO
65
Food processor setting : PUREE
67
Classic perfume : TABU
68
Algerian port : ORAN
69
Call up : RING
74
Army base near Petersburg, Va. : FTLEE
76
S.A.S.E. recipients : EDS
77
1980s Chrysler offering : KCAR
78
Retrieve and throw back, in baseball practice : SHAG
80
Syndicated radio host John : TESH
82
What to "never" do, according to the title of a 2005 best seller : EATALONE
83
Exist : ARE
85
Raise one's hand, say : VOTE
86
Tied up : EVEN
87
___ a one : NARY
90
Co. with the longtime stock symbol "X" : USSTEEL
93
Verdi's "___ tu" : ERI
94
Alternatives to Mustangs : MIATAS
95
Pacific current event? : ELNINO
96
2008 Olympic tennis gold medalist : NADAL
97
Actor Gulager of old TV : CLU
98
Settings for "Skyfall" and "Casino Royale" : YACHTS
99
Laxness : LENITY
101
Engaged in, as a trade : PLIED
104
Sudden misfortune : BLOW
105
Shah ___ Pahlavi : REZA
106
Wood alternative : IRON
107
Where Davy Crockett was born: Abbr. : TENN
108
Last little bit : DREG
109
Memorable times : ERAS
110
In a bad way : ILLY
111
"Bravo!" : OLE
115
Cry of discovery : OHO
116
Partner of again : NOW
117
___ Digital Short : SNL

Answer summary: 8 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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