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New York Times, Thursday, June 9, 2016

Author: Damon Gulczynski
Editor: Will Shortz
Damon J. Gulczynski
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
3411/8/20045/5/20180
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
14507710
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.65320

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 36 Missing: {Q} This is puzzle # 15 for Mr. Gulczynski. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Damon J. Gulczynski notes: Silent letters: The English language's stoic warriors. Without them, a buffet would always be confused with a musician who ... more
Damon J. Gulczynski notes:

Silent letters: The English language's stoic warriors. Without them, a buffet would always be confused with a musician who sings about margaritas, and the name "The Colbert Report" just wouldn't make us chuckle. I thought it was time to properly honor these quiet, but useful characters — honor them in puzzle form. This is their story. I hope you enjoyed it.

Jeff Chen notes: There have been a lot of plays on silent letters in crosswords over the years. One of my favorite was on Christmas Eve a few years ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

There have been a lot of plays on silent letters in crosswords over the years. One of my favorite was on Christmas Eve a few years back, and a more recent one blew me away (when I finally understood everything that was going on). I thought Damon's execution today was really nice, that diagonal of S I L E N T letters perfectly spaced out.

A FANZINE for "Civil War gamers." Huh.

And did you notice right away that the shaded letters were all actually SILENT in the across answer, i.e. the first S in AISLES silent, the I in CARRIAGE, etc.? What, you did? Really? Yeah, I did too! (Not really.) Very cool — I hadn't realized that an I could actually be silent.

It would have risen to the very top of my list of favorite silent letter puzzles if the down answer also followed that principle. I'm 95% sure that'd be impossible to pull off though, given how many crossings you'd need to fix in place. Ah well, a guy can dream.

Nice to have the bonus (SILENT) PARTNERS and (SILENT) MAJORITY. I don't know that they added much to the quality of my solve, but the puzzle would likely have felt thin if they hadn't been included.

What did add a lot was the snazzy long fill. FANZINES is a beautiful answer, as are FAIR GAME, USER IDS, and LEONINE. (NON-BASIC isn't equivalent to "acidic" (I think) since the term includes neutral pH 7 solutions. Not sure if I love this answer or detest it.)

Good execution on the short entries, too. I think NITA, AKINS, and TVA are minor by themselves (there's a case to be made that each is perfectly fine), but as a whole, it's too bad that these all felt somewhat dated. Good thing the rest of Damon's grid is so smooth and clean.

Something so pretty about that S I L E N T diagonal, and it's so elegant to have each silent letter in the across answer in the perfect place.

1
T
2
A
3
L
4
C
5
U
6
M
7
D
8
E
9
F
10
K
11
N
12
O
13
B
14
I
M
P
O
S
E
15
R
D
A
16
R
A
V
E
17
A
I
S
L
E
S
18
A
N
I
19
O
P
E
D
20
O
R
C
21
P
A
R
22
T
N
E
R
S
23
C
24
A
25
R
R
I
A
26
G
E
27
G
O
O
28
L
I
E
I
D
L
E
29
B
A
R
R
30
E
31
L
32
S
33
A
K
I
N
S
34
L
35
L
A
M
A
36
M
A
P
37
W
I
N
G
38
F
A
I
R
E
39
N
I
T
A
40
A
D
E
41
M
A
T
T
E
42
C
O
L
I
C
43
T
O
R
44
T
O
N
I
45
L
46
E
O
N
I
N
E
47
B
O
Z
48
H
Y
M
N
B
O
O
K
49
M
50
A
51
J
O
R
I
52
T
Y
53
A
S
A
54
E
C
O
N
55
N
A
P
56
J
O
S
57
T
58
L
59
E
60
L
A
K
E
61
E
X
E
62
O
L
I
V
I
A
63
D
I
E
D
64
S
I
S
65
R
E
C
A
N
T
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0609 ( 24,320 )
Across Down
1. Powder used to combat moisture : TALCUM
7. Cool, in hip-hop slang : DEF
10. Opening part : KNOB
14. Obtrude : IMPOSE
15. Nutritional std. : RDA
16. Party that might start after midnight : RAVE
17. Pair of big jets? : AISLES
18. "Evolve" artist DiFranco : ANI
19. Piece designed to sway : OPED
20. Monster of fantasy : ORC
21. With the shaded letters, investors not involved in the management of their businesses : PARTNERS
23. Baby transport : CARRIAGE
27. Fake blood, e.g. : GOO
28. Go unused : LIEIDLE
29. Crude measurements? : BARRELS
33. Claude who played Sheriff Lobo : AKINS
34. Source of soft wool : LLAMA
36. Navigational aid : MAP
37. Building extension : WING
38. Renaissance ___ : FAIRE
39. 1920s silver screen star Naldi : NITA
40. Juicy ending? : ADE
41. Photo finish : MATTE
42. Woe for newborns (and thus new parents as well) : COLIC
43. Trattoria dessert : TORTONI
45. Strong and proud : LEONINE
47. Dickens pen name : BOZ
48. Singer's volume? : HYMNBOOK
49. With the shaded letters, large but not often vocal voting bloc : MAJORITY
53. ___ courtesy : ASA
54. Nobel Prize subj. : ECON
55. Preschool break : NAP
56. Elbow : JOSTLE
60. Summer camp locale : LAKE
61. Computer file suffix : EXE
62. Wilde of TV's "House" : OLIVIA
63. Didn't make it : DIED
64. Paige, to Jason, in "FoxTrot" : SIS
65. Unsay : RECANT
1. Mexican relative : TIA
2. Terse, introspective question : AMI
3. A D.J. might spin them : LPS
4. Salon job : COLORING
5. Email addresses, sometimes : USERIDS
6. Agave drink : MESCAL
7. Hang : DRAPE
8. "Downton Abbey" maid : EDNA
9. A legitimate object to attack : FAIRGAME
10. Swedish money : KRONOR
11. Mane area : NAPE
12. In the strike zone : OVER
13. Hotel reservation specification : BEDS
22. When tripled, 1970 film about the attack on Pearl Harbor : TORA
23. Try to scratch : CLAWAT
24. Modern Japanese martial art : AIKIDO
25. "Stand by Me" director, 1986 : REINER
26. Trattoria desserts : GELATI
29. Just : BARELY
30. Estevez of the Brat Pack : EMILIO
31. Many a Dream Act beneficiary : LATINO
32. Sissy of Netflix's "Bloodline" : SPACEK
35. Wasted : LIT
38. Publications for and by aficionados : FANZINES
39. 7 or below on the pH scale : NONBASIC
41. Shrubby wasteland : MOOR
42. Wii, for one : CONSOLE
44. Broadsided, informally : TBONED
46. Key with four sharps : EMAJOR
48. Creates a buzz for : HYPES
49. Blend : MELD
50. Berry advertised as healthful : ACAI
51. Ridiculously inadequate sort : JOKE
52. Curbside call : TAXI
57. F.D.R. program, for short : TVA
58. Broadway's ___-Manuel Miranda : LIN
59. Do lunch, say : EAT

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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