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New York Times, Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Author:
Joe Krozel
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
877/7/20066/14/201815
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4147242621
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1.48057
Joe Krozel

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 36 Missing: {JQXZ} This is puzzle # 78 for Mr. Krozel. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Joe Krozel notes:
This puzzle theme arose naturally when I was looking back at my June 4, 2009 collaboration with Pete Collins. I pondered: What things ... read more

This puzzle theme arose naturally when I was looking back at my June 4, 2009 collaboration with Pete Collins. I pondered: What things go in cycles? The answer that immediately came to me included three of the 6-letter words featured diagonally in today's grid ... and a 4-letter word in FALL.

(Good thing I pondered it a little longer)!

Given my experience filling the aforementioned puzzle, I had a straightforward task on my hands.

Jeff Chen notes:
Cool discovery, that the four SEASONS are all of length = 6. Any time you run themers diagonally, the surrounding fill becomes much ... read more

Cool discovery, that the four SEASONS are all of length = 6.

Any time you run themers diagonally, the surrounding fill becomes much more difficult to execute on. And Joe chose a layout that made it even more difficult, using a big open corner for each season. Makes for a nice visual effect but also for quite a challenge.

I appreciated that he managed to work in a couple of nice entries. This is a tough task when a grid doesn't have many entries longer than seven letters, because it's usually the 8+ letter entries which stand out. GUN BELT, WILDCAT, RAIL CAR, and R-E-S-P-E-C-T all ENLIVEN the puzzle though.

One of the many "Four Seasons"

I expected to see some glue holding the grid together, so no surprise to get the usual ITT, A TRIP, ENE, etc. suspects. I couldn't decide if getting both EEEE and IIII was too much, or it was the mark of a constructor boldly choosing entries that will be lightning rods for discussion. EEEE I have trouble buying, but there is something pretty interesting about sundials actually using IIII.

And LADINO. Wow, what a toughie! Even though I knew [Go pfft] could not be TIE, and [Judeo-Spanish] was likely not LATINO, I saw no other possibility. Nice to add the term LADINO into my vocabulary.

Overall, I would have liked some extra element, like the SEASONS forming a smooth circle to reflect the slow passing of time, or something snazzier like Vivaldi's famous composition, THE FOUR SEASONS, to tie it together. But a nice workout nonetheless.

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© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0506 ( 23,920 )

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Across
1
Bitter conflict : STRIFE
7
Speaker ___ : PROTEM
13
More impoverished : NEEDIER
15
Processed bauxite : ALUMINA
16
Longtime "General Hospital" actress : ANNALEE
17
Place for a "Don't Mess With Texas" buckle, perhaps : GUNBELT
18
Former giant in communications, for short : ITT
19
Egocentric demand : MEFIRST
21
"Scram!" : GIT
22
Seems about to happen : LOOMS
24
Chicago-to-Toronto dir. : ENE
25
Like a smooth operator : SUAVE
27
Not send an expected invitation, say : SNUB
28
Lets out : FREES
30
Fr. ladies : MMES
31
It may be a step up : STAIR
33
Go from 30 to 35 degrees, say : STEEPEN
35
Noted quartet : SEASONS
37
"This Land Is Your Land" composer/singer : GUTHRIE
40
Competitor of Mug : AANDW
44
Horne with backup horns : LENA
45
Surrealist Max : ERNST
47
Peculiar sundial numeral : IIII
49
Take ___ down memory lane : ATRIP
51
German "Oh!" : ACH
52
Summed up : INALL
53
Go pfft : DIE
54
Register printout : RECEIPT
57
Cholesterol type, for short : LDL
58
Fit : INSHAPE
60
Word spelled out in an Aretha Franklin hit : RESPECT
62
Jots down : NOTATES
63
Hobo transporter : RAILCAR
64
Not conducted elsewhere : ONSITE
65
Difficult : KNOTTY
Down
1
Slow movers : SNAILS
2
20,000 pounds : TENTONS
3
Let : RENTOUT
4
Panhandle state: Abbr. : IDA
5
Content of some festivals : FILMS
6
Extra-wide shoe spec : EEEE
7
___ sizes : PLUS
8
Littlest ones in litters : RUNTS
9
Executive fiscal grp. : OMB
10
Reason for extra play : TIEGAME
11
Spice up : ENLIVEN
12
Unshiny finishes : MATTES
14
Send elsewhere, as a patient : REFER
15
Go along with : AGREETO
20
Fundamentally : INESSENCE
23
Manager's credential, for short : MBA
26
"Stee-rike!" caller : UMP
28
Co-owner of a French firm, maybe : FRERE
29
French legislative body : SENAT
32
Sort of: Suffix : ISH
34
That, in Madrid : ESA
36
Hero pilots : AIRACES
37
Become a part of : GETINON
38
Social disturbances : UNRESTS
39
Mai ___ : TAI
41
"Collages" author : NIN
42
Castilian vis-à-vis Spanish : DIALECT
43
Kind of strike : WILDCAT
44
Judeo-Spanish : LADINO
46
Gather in rows, as cloth : SHIRR
48
"O.K., here goes ..." : ILLTRY
50
___ & Whitney (aircraft engine manufacturer) : PRATT
52
"___ the bag" : ITSIN
55
Sports event with electronic scoring : EPEE
56
Everest, for one : PEAK
59
Yes, in Yokohama : HAI
61
Party in Mideast negotiations, for short : PLO

Answer summary: 1 unique to this puzzle.

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