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New York Times, Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Author: David C. Duncan Dekker
Editor: Will Shortz
David C. Duncan Dekker
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
43/7/20153/31/20170
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0001021
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
2.21004

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 80, Blocks: 40 Missing: none – this is a QUINTUPLE pangram Scrabble average: 2.65 This is puzzle # 3 for Mr. Dekker. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
David C. Duncan Dekker notes: 130 out of a possible 185 letters had to reach the fivefold mark; therefore, leaving me with only 55 extras letters ... more
David C. Duncan Dekker notes:
  • 130 out of a possible 185 letters had to reach the fivefold mark; therefore, leaving me with only 55 extras letters to maneuver with.
  • 80 out of those 130 letters have Scrabble values of 2 or more points.
  • 50 out of those 130 letters have Scrabble values of 4 or more points.
  • 25 out of those 130 letters have Scrabble values of 5 or more points.

The word count (80) and the number of blocks (40) may be a touch greater than the normal requirements; however, one must take into consideration that the ratio of available squares (185) to the number of letters (130) that were required to put together this quintuple pangram — along with working in both the entries QUINTUPLE + FIVEFOLD into the grid — made the overall construction of this particular puzzle even that much more difficult! And, on top of all that, none of the letters with a Scrabble value of 2 or more points went beyond the fivefold mark. [High FIVE!!!!!👏]

For those who didn't care so much for "JIVER" in my puzzle, here's another alternative.

ACCEPTED: July 22nd, 2016

Hi David,

Joel here, writing for Will.

We're happy to say yes on your QUINTUPLE pangram. Wow! What an achievement. Of course, there are some compromises here ... but really not so many. Overall, a stunt that's too amazing not to run.

Tentatively, slated this for a Wednesday given all of the unusual and difficult vocabulary.

Thanks for sending this to us — and congrats!

Jeff Chen notes: At XWord Info, we track a ton of records. Note that Dave's name appears three times on the pangram records list now … every ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

At XWord Info, we track a ton of records. Note that Dave's name appears three times on the pangram records list now … every one of his three NYT puzzles!

It was only a matter of time until the old record — two people with quadruple pangrams — got smashed. QUINTUPLE instances of each letter today.

I'd say roughly 1/4 of solvers/constructors tell me they love pangrams; something so cool about that full set of high-value Scrabbly letters. Another 1/2 seem to hate them with a burning passion, citing the trade-offs in gluey fill — and gritty solving experience — that they often necessitate. (The remaining 1/4 seem neutral.) I imagine today's offering will generate a lot of strong feelings, one way or the other.

I appreciate a pangram, as long as the trade-offs aren't that noticeable. Today's was amazingly smooth, given the astonishing FIVEFOLD full sets of letters. I especially liked the line of Qs across the middle, with such silky results. Okay, there's a SQFT holding the top of that section together, but that's minor. And as a lover of all things physics, I loved DOWN QUARK.

And the raft of Zs and Js in the north! ACID JAZZ is a great entry, and Dave builds around it with RAZZ, CRAZE, BAJA. RAKI was tough for me to figure out, but no doubt it's a real type of liquor.

Surprisingly, there was only one region that made me pause: the lower right. JIVER felt like a compromise in order to work in that fifth J — although it does have dictionary support, it feels contrived and/or old-timey to me — and then DXIX felt like a last-ditch attempt to shoehorn in the last two Xs. I had the same qualm about one of the quadruple pangrams, as using random Roman numerals feels like a pretty iffy method of working in extra Xs.

But overall, the puzzle was remarkably smooth — surprisingly, more so than some of the previous record holders. Whether you love or hate pangrams, whether you love or hate people breaking records for the sake of breaking records, this is undoubtedly a meticulous feat of construction.

JimH notes: This is the first ever QUINTUPLE pangram in the NYT. Double pangrams appeared occasionally even in pre-Shortz grids. The first triple was ... more
JimH notes:

This is the first ever QUINTUPLE pangram in the NYT. Double pangrams appeared occasionally even in pre-Shortz grids. The first triple was by Matt Gaffney in 1998. Then, Peter Wentz managed a quadruple in 2010 but required 16 columns. In 2013, Raymond C. Young squeezed a quadruple into a standard 15x15 grid. Today we have another milestone from David C. Duncan Dekker who had a triple pangram just last year.

Here are thumbnails of all seven Shortz Era multi-level pangrams and for a slightly different view, here are the same puzzles with the scrabble values colorized so you can more easily see the letter distributions.

This page shows pangrams organized by constructors so you can see who has been most enticed by the challenge. One pre-Shortz constructor seems to have been obsessed by them.

Amazingly, or perhaps inevitably, today's puzzle destroys another record as well. It has by far the highest scrabble average of any NYT crossword.

1
B
2
I
3
R
4
D
5
C
6
R
7
A
8
W
9
S
10
R
11
A
12
S
13
A
M
A
J
14
G
R
A
P
E
15
H
A
L
T
16
J
A
K
E
17
R
A
Z
E
S
18
A
J
A
R
19
A
C
I
D
20
J
A
Z
Z
21
T
22
S
W
A
N
A
23
A
V
E
24
B
B
Q
25
H
A
W
26
S
27
H
28
A
29
G
G
Y
30
Q
U
A
F
31
F
32
F
A
V
O
R
33
Q
U
I
N
T
U
34
P
35
L
36
E
37
P
L
O
W
38
Q
U
I
C
K
39
Z
E
A
L
40
D
O
W
N
41
Q
U
A
R
K
42
C
Z
A
R
S
43
S
T
I
C
K
44
D
A
Y
S
P
A
45
B
46
O
47
X
48
I
L
K
49
J
I
G
50
E
X
E
51
M
P
T
52
F
I
V
E
53
F
54
O
55
L
56
D
57
A
E
R
O
58
I
59
H
A
V
E
60
O
R
Y
X
61
M
Y
O
B
62
N
E
V
E
R
63
H
E
M
I
64
S
E
X
Y
65
G
E
A
R
66
N
M
E
X
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0810 ( 24,382 )
Across Down
1. Frequent flier : BIRD
5. 43-Across in one's ___ : CRAW
9. Mmes., in Madrid : SRAS
13. Key of Schubert's "Trout" Quintet: Abbr. : AMAJ
14. Kool-Aid flavor : GRAPE
15. Put a stop to : HALT
16. O.K., in slang : JAKE
17. Levels : RAZES
18. Close to closed : AJAR
19. Fusion dance-music genre : ACIDJAZZ
21. South African tongue : TSWANA
23. One of 17 in Monopoly: Abbr. : AVE
24. Kind of sauce, for short : BBQ
25. See 59-Down : HAW
26. Like an Old English sheepdog : SHAGGY
30. Gulp down : QUAFF
32. Party handout : FAVOR
33. Like each letter of the alphabet in this puzzle, at minimum : QUINTUPLE
37. Work determinedly (through) : PLOW
38. Sharp-witted : QUICK
39. Enthusiasm : ZEAL
40. Part of a neutron's makeup : DOWNQUARK
42. Some presidential appointees : CZARS
43. See 5-Across : STICK
44. Beauty spot : DAYSPA
45. Go a few rounds : BOX
48. Sort : ILK
49. Foot-stomping dance : JIG
50. Free (from) : EXEMPT
52. Like 100 vis-à-vis 20 : FIVEFOLD
57. Lead-in to space : AERO
58. "Can't say as ___" : IHAVE
60. African antelope : ORYX
61. "Butt out," briefly : MYOB
62. "Out of the question!" : NEVER
63. Powerful engine, informally : HEMI
64. Like calendar firemen : SEXY
65. Transmission setting : GEAR
66. Albuquerque's home: Abbr. : NMEX
1. Tijuana's locale : BAJA
2. Apple variety : IMAC
3. Turkish brandy : RAKI
4. Spun records, say : DJED
5. Pokémon Go, e.g. : CRAZE
6. Twit : RAZZ
7. Copycat : APE
8. Place primarily populated by Palestinians : WESTBANK
9. "Arms and the Man" playwright : SHAW
10. Eastern ruler : RAJAH
11. ___ Thompson a.k.a. Honey Boo Boo : ALANA
12. Building material for one of the Three Little Pigs : STRAW
14. "Good ___!" : GRAVY
20. Jaromir ___, five-time N.H.L. scoring leader : JAGR
22. About 6.5 million for the Pentagon: Abbr. : SQFT
24. Regal automaker : BUICK
26. West Coast cop squad, for short : SFPD
27. Sign of a saint : HALO
28. Swear : AVOW
29. Evening wear : GOWNS
30. Odd behavior : QUIRK
31. Out of focus : FUZZY
33. Mock doc : QUACK
34. Some baby food : PEAS
35. Acronym for an outdoor fantasy game : LARP
36. Mrs. Einstein : ELSA
38. Kind of bee : QUILTING
41. Ear swab : QTIP
42. Place for a parakeet : CAGE
44. Reef explorer : DIVER
45. Smiles broadly : BEAMS
46. Daisy variety : OXEYE
47. Copy off another's paper? : XEROX
49. Deceptive talker : JIVER
51. "___-Dick" : MOBY
52. ___ bean : FAVA
53. Warm Alpine wind : FOHN
54. Beehive State city : OREM
55. ___ disease : LYME
56. 519, in old Rome : DXIX
59. With 25-Across, a farm call : HEE

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?

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