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New York Times, Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Author:
Wren Schultz
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
26/1/20164/17/20180
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0011000
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.58000
Wren Schultz

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 39 Missing: {QVZ} This is the debut puzzle for Mr. Schultz. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Wren Schultz notes:
Did you know ANO in Spanish means something very different than AÑO? Like kind of a big deal difference. When I learned that, I ... read more

Did you know ANO in Spanish means something very different than AÑO? Like kind of a big deal difference. When I learned that, I realized I'd been entering a dirty word in crossword puzzles for a long time without knowing it. Hence was born the idea for this puzzle: what if a puzzle treated letters with diacritic marks distinctly from the same letter without? What followed was an in depth dive into English words with diacritic marks and what subtleties they carry (like whether the Ä in HÄAGEN DAZS is an umlaut or a diaeresis). The result, my first NYT crossword and a life goal achieved!

Jeff Chen notes:
Debut! I really enjoyed corresponding with Wren, who wondered if his pic would be too odd for me, or if his writeup would be too ... read more

Debut! I really enjoyed corresponding with Wren, who wondered if his pic would be too odd for me, or if his writeup would be too risqué. I loved both — so fun to see a constructor's personality come through. (But don't look up ANO without the TILDE while you're at work. Ahem.)

The Blue ÖYSTER Cult

I had a feeling something with diacritical marks was going on when I hit OYSTER right off the bat. Fun way to kick off the theme, launching it with a metal umlaut. Nice assortment of diacritics, from the UMLAUT to a CIRCUMFLEX (the little hat) to the CEDILLA to the TILDE. I highlighted those four answers below so they're a little easier to pick out.

An impressive amount of theme material crammed in. It might not seem like it, but check out where the four blue words are plus everything that has to work with the four special squares marked in red. Although they're all relatively short words, there are a ton of them. That's always tough to deal with, each successive word stressing a grid more and more.

I thought Wren did a pretty nice job considering the level of difficulty. I'm not hot on Random Roman Numerals, so CMIX at the top center felt awkward. Hard to avoid though, given TILDE and CEDILLA crammed next to each other, constraining things. And the FAROE/SABU crossing … oof. Very tough if not unfair. Otherwise though, not bad to have a few minor ENE SLO ILO bits strewn about.

It's a shame that there's no crossword symmetry in the grid. It's impossible to achieve with the four themers of course, but it would have been nice to at least get the four special squares in symmetrical spots.

And the real shame? I was so hoping for Wren to cleverly work in ANO … without the TILDE. How fun would that have been, to secretly use the subversive definitions! That would never have slipped past Will. But a guy can hope.

Looking forward to more from the juggler.

Jim Horne notes:
The marks in question have been added to the four letters below although, depending on the device you're reading this on, they can be ... read more

The marks in question have been added to the four letters below although, depending on the device you're reading this on, they can be hard to see. Patrick Merrell had a similar idea in 2010 with tilde Ns and David Kahn crossed acute Es in 2012.

1
B
2
L
3
E
4
W
5
I
6
T
7
C
8
M
9
I
10
X
11
M
12
A
13
D
14
J
A
N
I
C
E
15
E
A
S
E
16
A
X
E
17
O
Y
S
T
E
R
18
D
R
E
D
19
I
L
E
20
R
B
I
21
I
N
22
T
I
M
E
23
S
T
R
24
K
A
G
25
A
N
26
I
L
O
27
F
A
R
O
28
E
29
R
N
C
30
A
L
L
T
31
H
E
B
E
S
T
32
E
S
T
33
R
A
D
A
34
E
L
U
D
E
S
35
E
N
E
36
S
L
O
37
A
38
S
39
G
40
A
R
D
41
S
P
I
N
42
A
43
C
44
H
45
C
I
R
C
U
M
46
F
L
E
X
47
D
U
O
48
U
S
A
I
N
49
R
E
N
50
S
O
R
T
51
A
52
E
N
D
53
S
A
I
D
54
A
H
55
A
S
U
56
A
N
O
57
R
A
N
G
58
G
A
59
R
C
O
N
60
L
O
L
61
I
N
C
H
62
U
M
L
A
U
T
63
I
R
A
64
M
E
E
T
65
A
E
S
O
P
S
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0601 ( 24,312 )
Across
1
Screwed up big-time : BLEWIT
7
Early 10th-century year : CMIX
11
Fit to be tied : MAD
14
Dickinson with a modeling agency : JANICE
15
Leisure : EASE
16
Fire truck accessory : AXE
17
Rock's Blue ___ Cult : OYSTER
18
Scott in 1857 news : DRED
19
___ de la Cité : ILE
20
Triple Crown stat : RBI
21
Eventually : INTIME
23
Orch. section : STR
24
Supreme Court justice who replaced Stevens : KAGAN
26
U.N. agcy. that promotes "decent work for all women and men" : ILO
27
___ Islands (autonomous part of Denmark) : FAROE
29
G.O.P. org. : RNC
30
Well-wisher's wish : ALLTHEBEST
32
Erik of "CHiPs" : ESTRADA
34
Gives the slip : ELUDES
35
Ariz.-to-Kan. direction : ENE
36
___-mo replay : SLO
37
Odin's realm : ASGARD
41
Muscle builder for Popeye : SPINACH
45
Mark in the intersection of 19-Across and 11-Down : CIRCUMFLEX
47
Coffeehouse combo, often : DUO
48
Lightning Bolt : USAIN
49
"Footloose" hero ___ McCormack : REN
50
To a degree, informally : SORTA
52
Denouement : END
53
Awaited a tongue depressor, maybe : SAIDAH
55
Tempe sch. : ASU
56
12 meses : ANO
57
"You ___?" (butler's line) : RANG
58
French waiter : GARCON
60
E-guffaw : LOL
61
Advance slowly : INCH
62
Mark in the intersection of 17-Across and 1-Down : UMLAUT
63
Part of a financial portfolio, for short : IRA
64
Greet's partner : MEET
65
"___ Fables" : AESOPS
Down
1
One-named singer from Iceland : BJORK
2
Expose for all to see : LAYBARE
3
Midshipmen, after commission : ENSIGNS
4
Jokester : WIT
5
Strand at a ski lodge, maybe : ICEIN
6
Migratory seabird : TERN
7
Mark in the intersection of 58-Across and 43-Down : CEDILLA
8
Rocky Mountains rodent : MARMOT
9
"Gotcha" : ISEE
10
Struck (out) : XED
11
Restaurant V.I.P. : MAITRED
12
Frontman of the "Welcome to the Jungle" band : AXLROSE
13
Poor grade : DEE
22
Mark in the intersection of 56-Across and 38-Down : TILDE
23
"Elephant Boy" boy : SABU
25
Don't just sit there : ACT
27
Arsonist, e.g. : FELON
28
Alf and Mork, for short : ETS
30
The N.C.A.A.'s Aggies, informally : AANDM
31
DNA strand shape : HELIX
33
Any airing of "Friends," now : RERUN
36
Pass, as time : SPEND
37
Prefix with pressure : ACU
38
Opposite of "No way, José!"? : SISENOR
39
What may be in a breakfast bar : GRANOLA
40
Pepto-Bismol target : ACID
41
Deceptive dexterity : SLEIGHT
42
Hoopla : ADO
43
Neighbor of Aruba : CURACAO
44
Steaming bowlful : HOTSOUP
46
Champagne's place : FRANCE
50
"Tsk, tsk!" : SHAME
51
Em and Polly, in literature : AUNTS
53
Mentally together : SANE
54
Contents of un lago : AGUA
56
Boxing's "Louisville Lip" : ALI
57
Backboard attachment : RIM
59
"Treasure Island" monogram : RLS

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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