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New York Times, Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Author:
Jacob Stulberg
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
3012/25/20131/2/20190
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3449640
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.597100
Jacob Stulberg

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 16 Words: 77, Blocks: 40 Missing: {JQVX} This is puzzle # 11 for Mr. Stulberg. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jacob Stulberg notes:
Today's puzzle began with the realization that 'INTO EACH LIFE SOME RAIN MUST FALL' consisted entirely of four-letter words. (Apparently, I ... read more

Today's puzzle began with the realization that "INTO EACH LIFE SOME RAIN MUST FALL" consisted entirely of four-letter words. (Apparently, I wasn't the first to notice: three-time ACPT champion Trip Payne built a cryptic crossword around the same realization several years earlier.) I had always assumed that this line was a '60s-era mantra à la "Turn on, tune in, drop out," so it was something of a shock to learn how far back it dated. My only regret: not having enough space for the symmetrical theme answers INKSPOTS/RAINYDAY.

Jeff Chen notes:
Jacob's name is rising even higher in my list of constructors whose bylines I love seeing. He has a distinctly poetic voice, and it's again ... read more

Jacob's name is rising even higher in my list of constructors whose bylines I love seeing. He has a distinctly poetic voice, and it's again seen in spades with this poem (appropriately enough). So neat that each of the seven words of INTO EACH LIFE SOME RAIN MUST FALL is exactly four letters. There's something evocative and powerful about the sentence itself, and something so elegant about the four-letter consistency.

Jill frowns upon me growing such a magnificent beard. Boo!

The grid is a 16x15, wider than normal, to accommodate the "hidden" poem and LONGFELLOW / FITZGERALD. I'm a huge jazz fan, but I wasn't aware that Ella Fitzgerald sang this tune. Beautiful; I'm glad to learn about it.

Many constructors would go over the 78-word limit when faced with a 16x15, reasoning that they should be allowed a proportionally higher limit. I like Jacob's choice to stay relatively low in word count, which lets him work in a ton of good fill like ALARM BELL, NOT REALLY, TEAR STAIN, RUMOR MILLS.

No doubt, with all the theme words stairstepping down the diagonal, plus LONGFELLOW and FITZGERALD, plus all the long bonus fill, there was bound to be some gluey fill. AOUT (pretty deep French), HOI (only one way to clue it), and ORU (do Oral Roberts students actually call it ORU?) are necessary to hold that dense middle together. But I like that Jacob kept everything minor, spreading out his GSA, RRS, AIRE short stuff throughout the grid.

One other nit: I wasn't a huge fan of "hiding" the poem's words within longer entries. EACH in PREACH is nice, as is MUST in MUSTER, but LIFE in LIFER isn't really disguising it at all. And making IN TOO and OF ALL necessary … I'd rather have seen each of the theme words simply as a normal entry in the grid.

Personal preference. Overall, this was another Stulberg winner for me. I'm not much of a poetry fan, but somehow Jacob inspires me to want to dig in.

Jim Horne notes:

Longfellow's ode to Seattle, The Rainy Day is a quick read.

1
L
2
I
3
S
4
Z
5
T
6
A
7
N
8
I
9
T
10
A
11
S
12
A
13
N
14
I
N
T
O
O
15
L
O
N
G
F
16
E
L
L
O
17
W
18
S
T
I
R
S
19
I
N
F
I
L
T
R
A
T
E
20
P
R
E
A
C
21
H
22
S
O
F
I
A
23
R
R
S
24
S
O
S
25
A
O
26
U
T
27
C
L
28
I
M
E
29
L
I
F
E
30
R
31
K
I
T
B
A
32
G
33
T
34
A
35
M
E
36
O
R
U
37
E
A
S
E
L
S
38
P
E
L
E
39
I
S
O
M
40
E
R
41
O
L
L
A
42
B
A
T
T
43
E
N
44
I
O
S
45
O
N
L
Y
46
A
R
A
R
A
T
47
D
R
A
48
I
N
49
S
M
O
R
E
50
M
U
S
E
51
A
52
L
53
T
54
I
T
O
55
T
R
56
A
57
C
I
58
M
U
59
S
T
E
R
60
M
A
N
61
Z
A
N
I
L
L
62
A
63
P
O
L
I
O
64
F
I
T
Z
G
E
R
A
L
D
65
O
F
A
L
L
66
N
E
Z
67
T
E
N
S
E
68
N
A
S
A
L
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0504 ( 24,284 )
Across
1
"Dante Symphony" composer : LISZT
6
"West Side Story" woman : ANITA
11
___ Marino : SAN
14
___ deep : INTOO
15
Author of an 1841 poem that contains the line spelled out by the shaded squares : LONGFELLOW
18
Shows signs of waking : STIRS
19
Enter surreptitiously, as an organization : INFILTRATE
20
Speak the gospel : PREACH
22
Eastern European capital : SOFIA
23
Employers of dispatchers and brakemen: Abbr. : RRS
24
"Help!" : SOS
25
Month in l'été : AOUT
27
Region, weatherwise : CLIME
29
Big house party? : LIFER
31
Purchase at an Army-Navy store : KITBAG
33
Civilize : TAME
36
Tulsa sch. : ORU
37
Oil holders, maybe : EASELS
38
One-named athlete whose real first name is Edson : PELE
39
Chemical cousin : ISOMER
41
Ceramic jar : OLLA
42
Secure, with "down" : BATTEN
44
Hand-held platform : IOS
45
Just : ONLY
46
Old Testament peak : ARARAT
47
Free of fluid : DRAIN
49
Snack with a chewy center : SMORE
50
Become absorbed in thought : MUSE
51
Keyboard abbr. : ALT
54
Simpson's trial judge : ITO
55
Actress Lords : TRACI
58
Drum up : MUSTER
60
Variety of sherry whose name means "little apple" : MANZANILLA
63
Vaccine target : POLIO
64
Vocalist known for the 1944 song whose title (and first line) appears in the shaded squares : FITZGERALD
65
Phrase often following a superlative : OFALL
66
Pince-___ : NEZ
67
Present, e.g. : TENSE
68
Like the sounds "m" and "n" : NASAL
Down
1
Imitates Sylvester the Cat : LISPS
2
It's just for starters : INTRO
3
Dumps : STIES
4
Novelist ___ Neale Hurston : ZORA
5
Proportional : TOSCALE
6
Muhammad's successor, to Shiites : ALI
7
Like hormones synthesized from amino acids : NONSTEROID
8
Skinny : INFO
9
Happy end-of-week cry : TGIF
10
Not steady, as a light : AFLICKER
11
Canon offering, for short : SLR
12
It might stop a break-in : ALARMBELL
13
"Just kidding" : NOTREALLY
16
And others : ETALIA
17
Guitarist Borland : WES
21
___ polloi : HOI
26
Sci-fi craft : UFOS
28
"Them's fightin' words!" : ITSON
30
Where legends are born? : RUMORMILLS
32
Fed. management agency : GSA
33
Sign of a crying jag : TEARSTAIN
34
___ Springs, Fla. : ALTAMONTE
35
Subway : METRO
38
Grp. of pinheads? : PBA
39
With 53-Down, blogger's bugbear : INTERNET
40
Missing name in the tongue twister "I saw ___ sawing wood ..." : ESAU
43
Livestock attachment : EARTAG
45
Having an advantage over : ONEUPON
48
Belief system : ISM
51
Where legends appear : ATLAS
52
"The Pearl Fishers" priestess : LEILA
53
See 39-Down : TROLL
54
Org. providing loans : IMF
56
Suffix with high numbers : AIRE
57
Family : CLAN
59
Resting place : SOFA
61
[Snore] : ZZZ
62
Summer cooler : ADE

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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