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New York Times, Wednesday, May 6, 2015

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

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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 ... more
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 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 ... more
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 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 )
Across Down
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
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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