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New York Times, Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Author: Paul Hunsberger
Editor: Will Shortz
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1.54120
Paul Hunsberger
Puzzle of the Week

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 74, Blocks: 40 Missing: {FJQVXZ} Spans: 2 This is puzzle # 7 for Mr. Hunsberger. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Paul Hunsberger notes: The idea for this puzzle may, just may, have evolved during a quieter day at the office. Sometimes you don't have to look too ... more
Paul Hunsberger notes:

The idea for this puzzle may, just may, have evolved during a quieter day at the office. Sometimes you don't have to look too far for inspiration, I guess.

What's hopefully fun about this one is the sense of motion it implies. I'm particularly excited though about the graphical elements introduced in 48-Across; nothing wrong with good ol' reliable circles and shaded grey squares, but I'm very happy that Will Shortz was up for something different here.

Originally KNOBANDTUBE, as in the old style of electrical wiring, was the first theme entry in this puzzle but that was deemed too obscure. Anybody overly disappointed to see it go? (If you've ever had to replace knob and tube wiring for real, you probably weren't disappointed at all to see it go).

Enjoy the puzzle, but kids, don't try this at home.

Jeff Chen notes: I had the good fortune to meet Paul at the ACPT this year; what a nice guy. When everyone was giving me dirty looks about my ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

I had the good fortune to meet Paul at the ACPT this year; what a nice guy. When everyone was giving me dirty looks about my difficult Puzzle #5 (Will said he needed a "bastard puzzle" and thought of me. Thanks … I think?), Paul smiled and said he was looking forward to it. (Then again, I didn't see him after the puzzle session ...)

I don't know much about art, but a docent once mentioned how some famous painting did an amazing job of capturing kinetic motion. Not being able to recall the painting or even the artist, I obviously wasn't paying attention, but the idea stuck with me. Paul's puzzle reminded me of it today. What a neat concept, representing an ELASTIC BAND (that's what they call rubber bands in Canada, eh?) stretching, stretching, and then SNAPping. Cool to see something actually "moving" in the puzzle.

When that perfect hand comes along, you bet and you bet big, then you take the house!

And Paul's longer fill added so much to my solving experience. BET IT ALL and SWINDLED, both colorful entries. There's a reason I've seen "Ocean's 11" 21 times. And ISOMERS ... I'm awed by at nature's persnickety behavior, like when the R-isomer of a drug is active in a molecular target, while the L-isomer is inactive or even toxic. Crazy stuff.

Totally confused by [Big prune?]? Clever clue; "prune" and "lop" being synonymous verbs. And for those of you WHIPPERSNAPPERS, "Three's Company" was one of the many sitcoms I watched as a latchkey kid. It's such an offensive show! But man oh man did I love it.

I would have preferred not to have CASITA cross ITA. Yes, ITA got disguised as IT A, but it strikes me as inelegant, since CASITA is a Spanish CASA + diminutive ITA. And REEARN by itself is passable — REEARNing someone's trust is almost as good as "earning back" trust — but adding in RESALE made it feel like too much. Finally, seeing a DRAGON in the lower left isn't quite worth getting both an AGR and ENS.

But today is a case where Jim's viewpoint won me out; a really neat theme far obscuring the little nits I had to pick. Great solve today.

1
L
2
A
3
G
4
C
5
A
6
S
7
I
8
T
9
A
10
A
11
S
12
T
13
I
14
A
P
E
15
R
I
O
T
E
D
16
S
W
A
N
17
N
P
R
18
U
R
B
A
N
D
19
E
S
I
G
N
20
D
E
A
21
R
M
E
22
A
L
L
A
N
23
H
A
R
E
B
R
24
A
25
I
N
E
D
I
D
26
E
27
A
28
O
L
D
E
29
M
S
T
30
L
E
N
31
A
32
N
33
G
I
O
34
S
35
A
36
G
E
L
Y
37
B
R
O
A
D
M
38
I
N
D
E
D
39
T
40
R
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Y
41
E
C
L
A
T
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O
A
T
43
B
R
O
44
U
45
R
46
D
47
U
48
W
H
I
49
P
50
P
51
E
R
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N
52
A
53
P
P
E
R
S
54
T
I
A
R
A
55
N
A
S
S
A
U
56
E
57
L
A
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T
I
C
58
B
59
A
N
D
60
A
G
R
61
L
O
L
A
62
C
E
A
S
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63
L
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K
O
L
N
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A
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H
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66
E
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S
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0512 ( 23,926 )
Across Down
1. Slow Wi-Fi woe : LAG
4. House smaller than a villa : CASITA
10. Italian wine city : ASTI
14. Big lug : APE
15. Ran amok : RIOTED
16. Word before dive or song : SWAN
17. "Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!" network : NPR
18. Layout of city streets, parks, etc. : URBANDESIGN
20. "Oh heavens!" : DEARME
22. The "A" of E. A. Poe : ALLAN
23. It's so crazy it just might work : HAREBRAINEDIDEA
28. Ye ___ Shoppe : OLDE
29. Winter hrs. in Calgary : MST
30. Cariou who played Sweeney Todd : LEN
31. Cardiologist's procedure, for short : ANGIO
34. With wisdom : SAGELY
37. Tolerant : BROADMINDED
39. In vogue : TRENDY
41. Ostentatious display : ECLAT
42. Bran source : OAT
43. Slangy pal : BRO
44. Language of Pakistan : URDU
48. Presumptuous sorts : WHIPPERSNAPPERS
54. Dress-up item for a little girl : TIARA
55. Capital of the Bahamas : NASSAU
56. Office item suggested visually by this puzzle : ELASTICBAND
60. The "A" of U.S.D.A.: Abbr. : AGR
61. Dancer in "a club down in old Soho" : LOLA
62. Desisted : CEASED
63. Big prune? : LOP
64. City NW of München : KOLN
65. ___ Wilkes, obsession of Scarlett O'Hara : ASHLEY
66. Coast Guard rank: Abbr. : ENS
1. Cry from a crow's-nest : LANDHO
2. What some losers in court do : APPEAL
3. Actor Butler or Depardieu : GERARD
4. Remnant : CRUMB
5. Broadcaster : AIRER
6. Melodramatic sound : SOB
7. "Let's call ___ day" : ITA
8. Any one of the company in "Three's Company" : TENANT
9. Mix up : ADDLE
10. Allegro ___ (very quick, in music) : ASSAI
11. Hornswoggled : SWINDLED
12. Chasing game : TAG
13. Stopover : INN
19. Ancient times, in ancient times : ELD
21. Win back : REEARN
24. In the thick of : AMID
25. Chemical cousins, in a way : ISOMERS
26. ___ eyes (potion ingredients at Hogwarts) : EEL
27. Some : ANY
32. Pitch-selecting gesture : NOD
33. Like the apparel in a certain Christmas carol : GAY
34. Pre-Letterman gig for Paul Shaffer, for short : SNL
35. Nabokov heroine : ADA
36. Costumes : GETUPS
37. Go for broke : BETITALL
38. Compass for the web browser Safari, e.g. : ICON
39. What tugboats do : TOW
40. Big cheer : RAH
43. Orthodontist's recommendation : BRACES
45. Many a flea market transaction : RESALE
46. "Game of Thrones" menace : DRAGON
47. Takes over : USURPS
49. Galileo, for one : PISAN
50. Bit of butter : PAT
51. Author Jong : ERICA
52. "Bonne ___!" (cry on le premier janvier) : ANNEE
53. Rice ___ : PADDY
56. Big bugler : ELK
57. Place to go in England? : LOO
58. Cousin of "Harrumph!" : BAH
59. What might be seen in the corner of a TV screen: Abbr. : ASL

Answer summary: 1 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?