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New York Times, Friday, July 22, 2016

Author: Martin Ashwood-Smith and George Barany
Editor: Will Shortz
Martin Ashwood-Smith
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
856/5/19914/29/201710
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
000246316
ScrabRebusCirclePangrampre-WS
1.520017
George Barany
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
101/22/200611/11/201710
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
2010322
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.55120

This puzzle:

Rows: 16, Columns: 15 Words: 73, Blocks: 34 Missing: {QVXZ} Spans: 7, (1 quad stack) This is puzzle # 82 for Mr. Ashwood-Smith. This is puzzle # 6 for Mr. Barany. NYT links: Across Lite PDF

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Constructor notes: We are delighted with the publication of our second collaborative quad stack crossword for the New York Times [two others have ... more
Constructor notes:

We are delighted with the publication of our second collaborative quad stack crossword for the New York Times [two others have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, and others may be found at this site, including the just posted "Eight Across." Reviewing our files, we find no less than fifteen separate versions, all generated, modified, and optimized over an intense week-long period in July 2014 that in turn followed a painstaking multi-month process to identify several potential seed quads.

To the best of our knowledge, this is the first published quad stack that contains three grid-spanning vertical entries of length 16 that are symmetrically situated and cross the central quad. To discover GREAT_BARRIER_REEF, MAKING_AN_ENTRANCE, and TEN_THOUSAND_YEARS required much tenacity, intuition, and no small modicum of good luck. Note that the adjective TEN in the third of these 16-letter entries could just as well have been ONE, TWO or SIX, and we did indeed debate their relative merits and completed appropriate alternative grids. We settled on TEN because it was tied to a specific definition [Banzai], whereas the others seemed somewhat more arbitrary ("green-paintish," in constructor parlance).

As for the four 15-letter horizontal entries comprising the quad, AMASSED_A_FORTUNE and HURRICANE_SEASON are also New York Times debuts, whereas AFRICAN_ELEPHANT previously appeared in themeless puzzles by Byron White and Patrick Berry and the only Shortz-era mention of STICKS_AND_STONES was in a Monday (themed) crossword by Peter Gordon.

Intermediate drafts of this puzzle had SANAA (Yemen's capital) in column 7 and OF_ELD (a not entirely desirable partial) in column 9; this intersected the present tense AMASSES_A_FORTUNE. Not satisfied, we changed to past tense (S to D), and then stumbled across DANAIDES, which had been used twice by Farrar and once by Maleska, but not during the Shortz era. Nevertheless, as the link amply demonstrates, we convinced ourselves that this entry derived from Greek mythology would still be an apt late-week puzzle word, and were thrilled to note that SEINFELD could now be placed symmetrically.

Jeff Chen notes: Quad-stack featuring some great central entries. AMASSED A FORTUNE seems more neutral to me than an asset, but wow, HURRCANE SEASON, ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Quad-stack featuring some great central entries. AMASSED A FORTUNE seems more neutral to me than an asset, but wow, HURRCANE SEASON, AFRICAN ELEPHANT, and STICKS AND STONES in one stack is quite a treat. HURRICANE SEASON is particularly nice given its clue, [Depression era?] — as in a "tropical depression" worsening into a HURRICANE. I've come to appreciate entries that are not only colorful in themselves, but are amenable to being clued in a clever way.

Very nice crossings in that quad-stack, too. Usually we see all sorts of gluey bits barely holding the precarious thing together. Today we get treated to some awesome crossing answers — GREAT BARRIER REEF, MAKING AN ENTRANCE, TEN THOUSAND YEARS with interesting trivia about the word "Banzai" — along with generally solid shorter entries. I didn't care for A HASH or IN ONE, both awkward partials, and LENTS is a strange plural, but if that's the only glue in a quad-stack, that's a success.

I've come to appreciate MAS's efforts to open up his stacked grids, striving for good grid flow. Today's didn't resonate well with me in that regard though, the NW and SE corners having only one entry possible. The other corners are segmented off too, with only two entries apiece allowing the solver access.

That made the entire puzzle feel choked. I got stuck in the lower right; a frustrating experience to be dead-ended in a mini-puzzle that wasn't integrated into the rest of the grid. To finish by guessing at ESTE didn't make for a very positive finish, either. (JOE College wasn't familiar — apparently, it's kind of a "Joe Six-pack" for the university crowd.)

It was odd to get all the usual gluey bits one would see in a quad-stack … in the non-quad-stack regions. ADM / ELENI / ADAMA make for a tough trio up top, and EA POE A PEAR / ERY down below felt equally inelegant. I can see what happened — at 73 words in an expanded 16x15 grid, MAS and George are already near the maximum for a themeless. Trying to work around MAKING AN ENTRANCE / SEINFELD / INKSTAINED makes that north region very tough.

Loved the quad-stack and the long crossing entries, though.

1
J
2
A
3
G
4
S
5
A
6
D
7
M
8
P
9
A
10
S
11
T
12
O
13
R
14
A
G
R
A
15
R
E
A
16
A
D
H
E
R
E
17
P
I
E
D
18
I
N
K
19
S
T
A
I
N
E
D
20
A
L
A
21
S
A
T
I
E
22
M
E
T
O
O
23
N
E
T
24
E
L
E
N
I
25
A
S
H
26
B
27
O
A
28
G
N
29
P
30
O
31
I
32
L
33
A
34
M
A
S
S
35
E
36
D
A
F
O
37
R
38
T
U
N
E
39
H
U
R
R
I
C
A
N
E
S
E
A
S
O
N
40
A
F
R
I
C
A
N
E
L
E
P
H
A
N
T
41
S
T
I
C
K
S
A
N
D
S
T
O
N
E
S
42
H
I
E
43
H
I
T
44
I
E
D
45
R
46
P
47
M
48
D
R
49
A
50
W
L
51
Y
52
E
53
P
54
P
55
A
R
E
E
56
E
A
P
O
E
57
E
G
O
58
L
E
E
K
R
59
A
S
N
E
R
60
J
A
R
S
61
A
R
E
O
L
A
62
C
A
D
63
O
R
E
S
64
N
O
F
E
E
S
65
E
R
Y
66
E
S
T
E
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0722 ( 24,363 )
Across Down
1. Sharp projections : JAGS
5. What a capt. may aspire to be : ADM
8. Service provider : PASTOR
14. Much-photographed mausoleum site : AGRA
15. 1978 Grammy nominee Chris : REA
16. Be faithful (to) : ADHERE
17. Blotchy, in a way : PIED
18. Blotchy, in a way : INKSTAINED
20. Mimicking : ALA
21. "Enfantines" composer : SATIE
22. "Join the club" : METOO
23. Lifesaver, at times : NET
24. Book and film title character surnamed Gatzoyiannis : ELENI
25. Flame proof? : ASH
26. Fancy wrap : BOA
28. Measure of econ. health : GNP
30. Gear protector : OIL
33. Got rich : AMASSEDAFORTUNE
39. Depression era? : HURRICANESEASON
40. One with a smaller Indian relative : AFRICANELEPHANT
41. Hurtful pair in a playground rhyme : STICKSANDSTONES
42. Show celerity : HIE
43. Flop's opposite : HIT
44. Mil. roadside hazard : IED
45. 78 letters : RPM
48. Dixieland sound : DRAWL
51. "10-4" : YEP
54. Cole Porter topic : PAREE
56. "To Helen" writer, in footnotes : EAPOE
57. Feedable thing : EGO
58. Abstract Expressionist who married Jackson Pollock : LEEKRASNER
60. Cannery row? : JARS
61. Iris feature : AREOLA
62. He's unrefined : CAD
63. They're unrefined : ORES
64. Brokerage come-on : NOFEES
65. Suffix with green : ERY
66. Big name in Renaissance patronage : ESTE
1. Follower of a diet system : JAPAN
2. Twinkle-toed : AGILE
3. Only living thing that can be seen from outer space : GREATBARRIERREEF
4. Blue : SAD
5. Alternative to Geneva : ARIAL
6. Al ___ : DENTE
7. Appearing with fanfare : MAKINGANENTRANCE
8. Back stroke? : PAT
9. "Battlestar Galactica" role : ADAMA
10. Starts suddenly : SHIES
11. What "Banzai!" literally means : TENTHOUSANDYEARS
12. Food brand since 1912 : OREO
13. Fresh styling : REDO
19. Who called a date "a job interview that lasts all night" : SEINFELD
21. Green around the gills, maybe : SEASICK
27. Shakespearean duel overseer : OSRIC
29. They're often struck in studios : POSES
31. Combined : INONE
32. Temporary quitting times? : LENTS
33. Make ___ of (botch) : AHASH
34. Civvies : MUFTI
35. What Google Wallet uses : ECASH
36. Eternal water-pourers in Hades : DANAIDES
37. Chameleon, e.g. : REPTILE
38. Literally, "big water" : TAHOE
46. What some caddies hold : PEKOE
47. ___ Norman (cosmetics franchise) : MERLE
49. 21-Across's "Three Pieces in the Shape of ___" : APEAR
50. Circumlocutory : WORDY
52. Target of the plume trade : EGRET
53. Western union? : POSSE
54. War room development : PLAN
55. Wind-cheating : AERO
59. Some camera cells : AAS
60. ___ College : JOE

Answer summary: 7 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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