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New York Times, Thursday, April 28, 2016

 Author: Kurt Krauss Editor: Will Shortz
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43/23/20104/28/20160
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0030100
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.53000

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 39 Missing: {KXZ} This is puzzle # 4 for Mr. Krauss. NYT links: Across Lite PDF

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Notepad: In the print version of this puzzle, the black square in the center of the puzzle contains an image of a compass rose.
Jeff Chen notes: Whoa. Entries going seemingly every-which-way! Even after finishing my solve, I had to stare at this to figure out the logic behind ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Whoa. Entries going seemingly every-which-way! Even after finishing my solve, I had to stare at this to figure out the logic behind it. It goes like this:

• Entries in the northern half go up (reversed).
• Entries in the southern half go down, as normal.
• Entries in the left half read left to right (reversed).
• Entries in the right half read normally.
• If an entry crosses halves of the puzzle, it's categorized into the half it mostly sits in.

If you think about the puzzle in terms of quadrants, it makes more sense: answers mostly in the NW read totally messed up, while entries in the SE read totally fine. Answers in the other two quadrants are only half-messed-up, either reading normally vertically or horizontally, but not both.

Okay, that still is hard to wrap your mind around. Hatchi matchi!

There was a ton of outraged feedback on a similar puzzle a few years ago, so it'll be interesting to see what people say about this one. I personally enjoyed much of it — trying to figure out how to enter the beautiful STEGOSAUR upside-down — but overall, it was so confusing.

My biggest issue was the confusion involved with entries like ERGONOMIC stretching across the halfway mark ... but the entire entry being entered backward. Same went for STEGOSAUR and SALIVATE. I thought and thought and thought about some way of really defining the quadrants to make this not an issue? But you'd need two fairly solid lines of black squares across the middle row and center column, and that would split the puzzle into four pieces. No good.

Once I got the hang (more or less) of the logic, the puzzle did become more enjoyable. I wasn't super happy about trying to figure out if PARTAS was a real thing (and even SATRAP felt weird), along with PES and SCH in that corner, but overall, Kurt filled the grid pretty nicely given the extreme difficulty involved with the constraints.

 1T 2N 3A 4R 5G 6R 7O 8P 9E 10P 11E 12S 13C I R U A 14S E N A T 15A D E 16A B B A J 17T H E S A 18U R U S 19S A 20B U T 21A V A T A R 22C 23I 24M O N O G R 25E 26I T A L O 27S T E G O R 28O V 29A L 30S C H 31I O L E 32N A N A 33S 34D N E T 35S 36E 37W 38E A S T 39M 40A 41N 42S T F I 43S 44A I R Y 45B 46B 47E 48O T T O 49S 50A R D I S 51E U Q 52I P 53T U 54R N S T I L E 55S T U O P 56S 57T O L L S 58E L A S E T 59I H W 60O O 61M 62P 63H 64T E T 65R E V E S 66P U P A E 67S R E 68S W E Y 69E T H Y L
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0428 ( 24,278 )
 Across Down 1. 50s president : GRANT6. Rappeller's need : ROPE10. Foot, to Flavius : PES13. Goldfinger's first name : AURIC14. French assembly : SENAT15. Stand buy : ADE16. "Return of the Jedi" villain : JABBA17. See 27-Across : THESAURUS19. Big brass : TUBAS21. Online identity : AVATAR22. Like some office furniture : ERGONOMIC26. Writer Calvino : ITALO27. With 17-Across, reference book for a writer : ROGETS28. Like the heads of many hairbrushes : OVAL30. Duke, e.g.: Abbr. : SCH31. Morlock victims, in science fiction : ELOI32. Spoilers? : NANAS34. London theater district : WESTEND38. Inventor of roll film : EASTMAN42. Sorts (through) : SIFTS44. Very light : AIRY45. Go out : EBB48. Cleveland Browns great Graham : OTTO49. Manhattan eatery since 1927 : SARDIS51. Resentment : PIQUE53. Subway entrance : TURNSTILE55. Teakettle parts : SPOUTS57. Peals : TOLLS58. Annual department store event : WHITESALE60. Zip : OOMPH64. Asian holiday : TET65. Cut off : SEVER66. Ones in cocoons : PUPAE67. Oral hesitations : ERS68. Topiary trees : YEWS69. Word on an old gas pump : ETHYL 1. Perform : ACT2. Laundry container : BIN3. Hidden means of support? : BRA4. Extinct creature with armored spikes on its back : STEGOSAUR5. Bingeing : ONAJAG6. Arctic gale : NORTHER7. Brian of ambient music : ENO8. "Now!" : ASAP9. Show real eagerness : SALIVATE10. Persian ruler : SATRAP11. Artist Monet : CLAUDE12. Power measures, informally : HORSES14. Fortitude : GUTS18. Sigma follower : TAU20. Rip off : ROB22. Frisbee, e.g. : DISC23. Cry of innocence : NOTI24. He, for one: Abbr. : ELEM25. Overhang : EAVE29. Santa ___ : ANA33. Commences : STARTSOUT35. Plugs : STOPPERS36. Pond young 'un : EFT37. Katarina ___, two-time Olympic gold-medalist skater : WITT39. Skirt style : MIDI40. Seed covering : ARIL41. Inits. at 11 Wall Street : NYSE43. Contemporary of Wordsworth and Coleridge : SOUTHEY45. Attacks from all sides : BESETS46. Gable part : BUTLER47. Think of as the same : EQUATE49. TV home of "Weekend Update," in brief : SNL50. Slanting : ASLOPE52. Runner of many Apple devices : IOS54. Spats : ROWS56. Worry : STEW59. "___ got it" : IVE61. Nascar stat, for short : MPH62. Remit : PAY63. Daughter of Loki : HEL

Answer summary: 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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