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New York Times, Thursday, June 19, 2008

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

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 63, Blocks: 48 Missing: {BJQVWXZ} Spans: 4, (1 triple stack) Grid is asymmetric. Featured in Will Shortz's favorite puzzles This is puzzle # 8 for Mr. Krozel. NYT links: Across Lite
Joe Krozel notes:

More than one solver has told me that this is their favorite puzzle, and they mainly have Will to thank for transforming the theme. Yet as constructors we never experience our own puzzles the way solvers do; when a puzzle runs, we already know the trick to the theme, so we rely on solver feedback to help us enjoy a vicarious experience. But, oh! The feedback to LIES was nothing short of intense dissonance: Strong like, strong hate and even a little flip-flopping of opinion! (go figure).

For my part, I enjoyed presenting the first full word as grid art ... and what a doozy of a word. I thought Will might have to run it as a diagramless, but the grid appeared with its SHOUTING letters, and no small bit of solver criticism suggested that I forced the NYT to print, well ... LIES! (Add that to the dissonance level.)

Grid construction presented its own set of problems. Spelling a word out in a grid using different sized letters in a two-line staggered arrangement means that some solvers will completely miss it; I still find people who struggle to identify the word LIES when I show them the blank grid.

Another feature common to these grids is that some of the letters can't be placed flush with a wall (or each other) and this often forces heavy concentrations of 3-letter entries ... frequently with triple- stacks of 15's. This is the main challenge to achieving lively fill.

Given my memories of some construction challenges and the intense solver reaction, it'd be hard to call this my single favorite puzzle, though I take great pleasure in showing it to people who have never seen it before. It's definitely in my top five.

Jim Horne notes:

Clues with lies, or at least errors: 1-, 14-, 19- and 24-Across; and 8-, 9-, 28-, 47-, 49- and 50-Down. In an interview with the Yale Daily News, Will Shortz called this his favorite puzzle of 2008.

1
O
2
T
3
T
4
O
5
S
6
P
7
R
8
A
9
N
10
G
11
C
12
A
13
D
14
N
E
O
N
15
H
O
A
G
I
E
16
I
R
R
17
E
R
R
S
18
E
N
F
A
N
T
19
G
T
E
20
S
E
E
P
21
L
E
A
S
E
S
22
A
U
S
23
E
S
S
E
24
E
S
A
U
25
R
R
S
26
C
A
T
C
27
H
28
A
29
G
L
I
M
P
30
S
E
O
F
31
I
C
U
32
E
T
T
O
33
L
34
E
35
A
G
U
E
36
E
37
R
38
E
C
T
O
R
39
O
U
G
H
T
S
40
R
E
P
R
E
S
S
41
G
R
A
T
E
S
42
I
L
I
E
S
C
U
43
A
A
A
44
T
M
A
C
45
S
46
E
47
E
I
N
G
48
E
49
Y
50
E
51
C
O
N
C
52
T
O
L
L
G
A
T
E
S
53
O
K
I
E
54
R
E
S
I
L
I
E
N
T
55
D
E
N
S
56
T
E
N
57
E
R
I
S
© 2008, The New York TimesNo. 0619 ( 21,408 )

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Across
1
France's ___ von Bismarck : OTTO
5
Jumped : SPRANG
11
Rogue : CAD
14
Chemical element with the symbol Fe : NEON
15
Sub : HOAGIE
16
Discounted item: Abbr. : IRR
17
Gets it wrong : ERRS
18
Terrible one? : ENFANT
19
Former pharmaceutical giant : GTE
20
Flow slowly : SEEP
21
Flat things? : LEASES
22
Out of: Ger. : AUS
23
Sum derives from it : ESSE
24
Father of Jacob : ESAU
25
Monopoly quartet: Abbr. : RRS
26
Spot : CATCHAGLIMPSEOF
31
Preemie setting: Abbr. : ICU
32
Suffix with palm : ETTO
33
Collection of teams : LEAGUE
36
Crane, e.g. : ERECTOR
39
Possible name for the first decade of the century : OUGHTS
40
Hold back : REPRESS
41
Hardly soothes : GRATES
42
Former Romanian leader Ion ___ : ILIESCU
43
One step from the majors : AAA
44
Nickname on the Houston Rockets starting in 2004 : TMAC
45
Kind of dog : SEEINGEYE
51
Solution strength: Abbr. : CONC
52
Road access regulators : TOLLGATES
53
Sooner : OKIE
54
Always bouncing back : RESILIENT
55
Places for La-Z-Boys : DENS
56
Number of clues in this puzzle that contain factual inaccuracies : TEN
57
Dwarf planet larger than Pluto : ERIS
Down
1
"I'll be with you shortly ..." : ONESEC
2
Mother of Calcutta : TERESA
3
One way to lay things : TOREST
4
Uncommissioned : ONSPEC
5
Silverstein who wrote and illustrated "The Giving Tree" : SHEL
6
Corn dish : PONE
7
San ___, Calif. : RAFAEL
8
Golf great Andre : AGASSI
9
Standard office-closing time : NINEAM
10
Arises : GETSUP
11
One who exhibits pack mentality? : CIGARETTESMOKER
12
Who quipped "God tells me how the music should sound, but you stand in the way" : ARTUROTOSCANINI
13
Job seeker's fashion advice : DRESSFORSUCCESS
27
Bolt : HIGHTAILIT
28
It's more than 90 degrees : ACUTEANGLE
29
"Nope, still not right" : GUESSAGAIN
30
Writing that's hard to read : SECRETCODE
33
Mill input : LOG
34
Part of E.E.C.: Abbr. : EUR
35
Turkish pooh-bah : AGA
36
Verdi's "___ tu" : ERI
37
Th.D. subj. : REL
38
Prefix with center : EPI
45
Narrow passage: Abbr. : STR
46
Job ad abbr. : EOE
47
Tennis champ Ernie : ELS
48
Time to lie in le soleil? : ETE
49
Currency of China : YEN
50
Summer hrs. in N.Y.C. : EST

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 3 debuted here and reused later, 4 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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