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New York Times, Tuesday, May 7, 2013

With 42-Across, subject of the poem that contains the line 17-/65-Across

Author:
Jeff Chen
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1217/5/20103/7/202178
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
30712243099
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.639302
Jeff Chen

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 39 Missing: {FKQZ} This is puzzle # 14 for Mr. Chen.
Jeff Chen notes:

My favorite subject in high school was chemistry. It's an unusual person who gets goose bumps reading about s and p orbitals, but as my wife knows oh too well, I'm an unusual fellow.

The idea for this one popped into my head during a long run where my mp3 player had run out of batteries and I was desperately casting about for something to occupy my brain. I loved the idea of having slightly tilted lines in the puzzle to represent the 104.5 degree bonding angle within the H-O-H molecule. The lines ended up straight for what I assume is layout purposes, but that's okay. In my head they're slightly bent. =]

Easier said than done, however. My first attempt I ended up using top-down symmetry. Will said he liked the concept but rightfully said the layout looked strange. So I redid the puzzle using regular symmetry and am much happier with this version. I wasn't sure if it was going to be possible given the fact that I really wanted at least nine instances of the H-O-H molecule (to reflect the EVERYWHERE statement) but as with most things, if you work long enough at it, you often break through the finish tape.

A final point of interest is the inclusion of TYCHO BRAHE. To me, he's such a fascinating man (he lost the tip of his nose in a duel and wore a metal prosthetic) that I wanted to include him when I realized he could fit at 29-down. I had a few other options, but nothing else came close in terms of personal interest. It forced some less than stellar fill in the SW region, but in the end, I felt SO I, SCH, and AMAH were reasonable prices to pay. Every constructor has his/her set of internal values and criteria, so I'm sure some would say they'd prefer a cleaner, less snazzy section. But this very variety is one of the best aspects of crosswords!

Jim Horne notes:

The print version of this puzzle has lines (representing chemical bonds) connecting the H-O-H squares instead of circles. See the PDF.

1
H
2
A
3
R
4
P
5
Y
6
T
7
H
8
U
9
S
10
T
11
H
12
E
13
M
14
O
H
A
R
A
15
H
O
S
T
16
H
O
B
O
17
W
A
T
E
R
18
W
A
T
E
R
19
E
M
A
J
20
S
A
Y
N
O
21
B
R
A
22
Y
O
Y
O
23
S
O
24
S
A
25
P
26
E
R
P
27
A
28
R
29
T
30
S
31
L
I
T
32
H
33
N
E
H
34
R
35
U
36
M
A
Y
O
37
E
X
H
O
38
R
T
39
O
H
S
40
A
N
C
I
41
E
N
T
42
M
A
R
43
I
N
E
R
44
S
C
H
45
A
S
H
46
C
A
N
47
R
E
T
D
48
S
H
O
49
P
S
50
S
A
G
A
51
E
S
T
A
52
B
A
T
53
S
54
L
E
W
55
D
56
P
57
E
R
T
58
E
59
A
T
60
A
R
61
U
62
B
63
A
64
A
M
A
H
65
E
V
E
66
R
Y
W
H
E
R
67
E
68
I
M
H
O
69
M
E
C
H
70
H
U
R
O
N
71
D
Y
E
S
72
E
C
H
O
73
O
H
G
O
D
© 2013, The New York Times5/7/13 ( No. 23,191 )

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Across
1
Scolding, nagging sort : HARPY
6
Hence : THUS
10
The opposition : THEM
14
John who wrote "Appointment in Samarra" : OHARA
15
Invitation sender : HOST
16
Vagrant : HOBO
17
See 40-/42-Across : WATERWATER
19
Key of Haydn's Symphony No. 12 or 29 : EMAJ
20
Refuse : SAYNO
21
Word after sports or training : BRA
22
Dummy : YOYO
23
Seven-time All-Star Sammy : SOSA
25
Cop's target : PERP
27
The "A" of B.A. : ARTS
31
Latvia neighbor: Abbr. : LITH
33
Contemporary of Gandhi : NEHRU
36
Hellmann's product, informally : MAYO
37
Urge strongly : EXHORT
39
Quaker cereal brand : OHS
40
With 42-Across, subject of the poem that contains the line 17-/65-Across : ANCIENT
42
See 40-Across : MARINER
44
N.E.A. concern : SCH
45
Depth charge, in slang : ASHCAN
47
Collecting a pension: Abbr. : RETD
48
Bakery and pharmacy : SHOPS
50
Story that goes on and on : SAGA
51
It is, in Ibiza : ESTA
52
Flutters, as eyelashes : BATS
54
Indecent : LEWD
56
Smart-mouthed : PERT
58
Down a sub, e.g. : EAT
60
One of the ABC islands : ARUBA
64
Eastern nurse : AMAH
65
See 40-/42-Across : EVERYWHERE
68
Texter's disclaimer : IMHO
69
Branch of engineering: Abbr. : MECH
70
Tribe with a lake named after it : HURON
71
Colors : DYES
72
Long hallway effect : ECHO
73
"This looks bad!" : OHGOD
Down
1
First word of "Blowin' in the Wind" : HOW
2
Cries of discovery : AHAS
3
Pro ___ : RATA
4
Mice, to cats : PREY
5
Elaborate stories : YARNS
6
"___ Crossroads" (1996 Grammy-winning rap song) : THA
7
Relaxing conclusion to a long, hard day : HOTBATH
8
Manipulator : USER
9
Rein, e.g. : STRAP
10
"And ___ off!" : THEYRE
11
Read and blew, for red and blue : HOMOPHONES
12
Fortune 500 company founded in 1995 : EBAY
13
Austin Powers's power : MOJO
18
Some winter garments : WOOLENS
24
Trivial Pursuit wedges, e.g. : SIXTHS
26
___'acte : ENTR
27
Gather over time : AMASS
28
Dressing choice : RANCH
29
Astronomer who coined the word "nova" : TYCHOBRAHE
30
"___ hear" : SOI
32
Show of respect : HOMAGE
34
Butler of "Gone With the Wind" : RHETT
35
Nutritional fig. : USRDA
38
Fled : RANAWAY
41
Bridge position : EAST
43
Tick off : IRE
46
West Coast engineering institution, informally : CALTECH
49
Pity : PATHOS
53
Note accompanying an F, maybe : SEEME
55
BBC sci-fi show : DRWHO
56
Invoice stamp : PAID
57
Cousin of a Golden Globe : EMMY
59
With: Fr. : AVEC
61
"Ain't gonna happen!" : UHUH
62
Arctic Ocean sighting : BERG
63
Suffix with buck : AROO
66
Sigma preceder : RHO
67
Conclusion : END

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle.

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