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Puzzles for April, 2017
with Jim Horne comments

Sat 4/1/2017
MCIASWARMHDTV
NOLALANAIAIRE
GUESSAGAINVSIX
SAUTEMOLES
PRIZEEERINESS
ACAITIMNNONOS
WASSONGSETTLE
GINORMOUS
SPRUNGAARPPSA
MEANTCNRRSIKH
UNSNARLSATTYS
HEXADBLURB
SPEDTWOBYFOURS
TORIEARLEPLEA
PESTDRESSHLIK
Sun 4/2/2017INITIAL DESCRIPTION
CHALKSMADEASALUTES
AERIALABOLLACLOSELY
SWIMMERWITHARCHEDNECK
SNAPPEAGAINFULERNIE
APPEARDEWIDS
MOSTLYARIDREDSPHERE
SANAAALSACESIDE
SKORDOTNUBSMIASMA
AIDTOLOCATEASTREET
SETRATEAAHAMYAYN
OLEANLGBTMETASTLEO
FIRILEAREZITHERS
THREEROLLEDINTOONE
CUERVODORAUNCSAGA
SANGNAGSATMINED
OTHERWISEKNOWNASYES
ASHDARATRIAL
STEERHEAVETOFRISSON
WINGEDANDSTINGINGPEST
ACRONYMDONNIEINCASH
SHYNESSPAGANASANAS
Mon 4/3/2017
EGOSVAPORIRIS
BERTIRATENATL
BEERBATTERECHO
SKOALERASHAT
PUMPKINCOACH
SKIROERHEAS
OILSNASAAFL
BALLPARKFIGURES
BAESALTNAPA
ALEVEACTYAP
WATERPITCHER
NTHSUMOREAMS
ITEMCEILINGFAN
NEROKALELARIA
GREWSNEAKLONG
Tue 4/4/2017
XFLGRATESTAID
ERARELAYCOSMO
NOSERVICERAYON
ODEAOBIPESO
NORSELITERATURE
TUTGEMWAX
EMBERSAGEMINI
NEUROSCIENTISTS
DARNCURDIMHOT
ORSJABVEE
NATIONALPASTIME
ONUSYIPICON
JAPESPINOCCHIO
EXERTINTROARK
TENTSAGASPTAI
Wed 4/5/2017
SPITCABSPOMP
SHINEROPAHSPUR
MAÑANAPEÑANIETO
IVANFLEXORSNOW
DETECTORSPAREME
GRATATNGORBS
ESSBASIEBASSOS
PIÑACOLADA
NONONOULTRASEP
OKEDSODPEPSI
SIESTASGASTRAPS
ENDICEWINEINAT
JALAPEÑOSELNIÑO
OWESLOOTPINSON
BASKARTSDAHL
POW Thu 4/6/2017
ESTDXMANLIVE
ACHEMEGAARIL
TERABYTESBTEAM
UNEIGAAGEE
PEELERPATTIE
XENIAMARAUDS
PSATTWEEOGRES
ATLXSANDOSNAE
REARSSEASGELS
INDEPTHLURID
STYLESMUFFED
YEASUGGUVA
VIVIDTUNASALAD
IRANAMPMALDA
PANGRACEHOES
Fri 4/7/2017
BLUFFSBUYERS
RANOUTPOTOMAC
ARMORYHEREWEGO
CRADLESONGSROT
HUDTUNETAUT
SPEAKEASYBELTS
SIXYEAROLDS
FIRESCREENS
MEDICALCARE
BADENTEAMSTERS
ERASSHADNOW
AMYSTONECIRCLE
TIEBEAMSORIOLE
ITERATEBADREP
TENORSSNEERS
Sat 4/8/2017
ANTIGONEWATT
HOUSEPETDONEE
ETCETERAQUOTAS
MAKESDODUELIST
RENDSWATCHES
ROOTBEERAERI
WWIIVETPRAT
COTNETIZENODE
ANILSPLITUP
NEMOCALLSFOR
THEODOREFOES
FOLKARTCASHBOX
AREOLEROBABANK
ISSUEADRIATIC
LESTDEADHEAD

If I told you how much I admired this puzzle, you'd probably accuse me of in-house bias, so I'll stick to factual observation. This is the third NYT puzzle using this grid pattern. The first two are also by Mr. Chen.

Jeff and I both admire XKCD. You may know that XWord Info has a Crossword Blogosphere page that pulls recent blog posts from RSS feeds on several well-known sites. About a year ago, for no reason other than our own amusement, XKCD was added to that mix.

Sun 4/9/2017HAVING NOTHING ON
ABBOTSCATCRIPROOS
CLOTHARCHRENEKENDO
HOBBITHOLEAIDEOFTEN
TORSWINEMYGALSALOON
MOVIEBUFFOONSPLEENY
BASESTENLLORAX
PRECUTSAUSAGEFESTOON
LARUSSACDTLIFEECRU
ACTATEENEGOASHEN
YESHORSEDRAWNCARTOON
BEREAASLARGOS
SMALLMOUTHBASSOONTUB
PINUPULAOHNOSUPE
ERTESERBLPSEDWARDS
WAILINGWALLOONWHYNOT
ELEGYAOLOBOIST
IMPALESFLOODLAMPOON
MAINDRAGOONRIVALGOP
ADAIRLOCIDOMINATORS
MANNYAGAROPIESELMA
SMOGDOLEASTRHADAT
Mon 4/10/2017
RAISEABODECOB
ORCASCOREDACE
SEANCONNERYLEI
HANGMEDIAPLAN
TSADISHING
TIMOTHYDALTON
ATEEASESIT
ROGERLUGMOORE
RNACADSWII
PIERCEBROSNAN
LIBERALINK
IRASMEDALINTO
FINDANIELCRAIG
ENDDICERCUTER
RAJSCHMOSNORE
POW Tue 4/11/2017
WISHLAMBSWAMI
AKIOALOEIONIC
SECLUSIONGENRE
PAKISTANZANIA
DENPHS
NICARAGUATEMALA
OKAYMONKREBAR
ENCGENTILENYE
LOTSAEIREDEEN
SWITZERLANDORRA
OEDTAM
UNITEDNATIONS
TAKENBEANANGEL
AVERTACIDOLIO
BASSOYOLOSENT
Wed 4/12/2017
MANUPRIDLOPES
ALITOAMYINEPT
ROKERCANAVERAL
GUESSTIMATES
EDSCISMATADO
HOMEINVADER
SHAPELTDCENT
WALLSTREETCRASH
ALEEHOCAEREO
MARXBROTHER
PLOIAMOTSWAC
SPLITTHEBILL
MAPLELEAFALLIE
ANTEDSROTIMER
GNAWSTARSPANK
Thu 4/13/2017
IPADSPYSIMBA
BIGOSHOOATEAM
ENIDMOODLHASA
GOTOHEOHERSIDE
SADATLOAN
OTAWAEDKOCH
GAPNALAINSUM
ONEPOATOWOPOATO
STRUTTOONYES
HITMENFLASH
PRIMLIOTA
TRIPLEOVERTIME
CAIROZBAROTOS
UPTOPZESTRECT
BEANSOYEOROS
Fri 4/14/2017
POTROASTSCAT
ABOUTTHATSOAVE
TOUGHLOVEPUTIN
HEREATERANNAS
SRSRAINDATE
BOOTHNBCAPED
BADRAPSYEAS
STEALINTALLONE
IFSOEXPEDIA
SWATAWLHEDER
PARLANCETAP
ARIASREHEMCES
SHOCKARENAROCK
MOSESBALALAIKA
SLEDTIMESLOT
Sat 4/15/2017
STATORALBLCDS
OATHMETALBLOT
CHEESECAKEJAGR
KIMMELDEAFSPA
STPETERKANSAN
IOCTOTOBOARD
HITTHEBRICKS
SPACETOURISTS
PHONESERVICE
IONICNORMMUD
TOYCARESIASON
FATPAWSTAKETO
AWAGTHEJONESES
LAIRTOXINRUDE
LYLEYAYMESPUD
Sun 4/16/2017SADDLE UP!
NAFTABIGAIDEAEGGOS
ELLENAMEXCARDSZORRO
ALISTTHEHUMANTORNADO
RAPTCHOKESBARMAGNET
HARBORAPPASSPAH
CISCOKIDEARLMALE
RIODIABLOALAFOE
PRIEDEATSLONERANGER
MANSESNAHSILVERDOME
SUBSOWSOITSEEMS
ALLOREPWIZWASLSAT
ROYROGERSGALNAG
TRIGGERINGPOWWELOST
SENIORYEARSNAPTONTO
EDYSKIGIRLSCOUT
BCCSSTEMPILEITON
ALEMDTMBADOOMED
DALEEVANSUTAHANOHOH
BUTTERMILKDONUTSTALE
EDICTPLOWSINTOPENCE
TECHSSETHSOURADDED
Mon 4/17/2017
WDSCDROMAPBIO
IRAAWARECLUCK
LULULEMONHADES
SNARLERLONGS
OKRABOOBOOBEAR
NSYNCDUALTWO
IOSRBIREST
PUPUPLATTER
PRIMREAAIL
IONETDSPALES
GOOGOOEYESPITA
SCARFAMUSERS
ETHICVUVUZELAS
DELTAOTERIODE
DRESSNERFSWED
Tue 4/18/2017
SEESETTELASS
TILTREARSARIA
AREAASSAIRATS
REALISTSTILES
ETESASEA
ALTAIRALISTER
SARISRITESLAT
STIRSELESRITA
TETSTEEREATER
RETAILSATREST
ELLSESAI
ISRAELSALTIER
RIISETATSIRAE
ELLERELEEEASE
STERLESTSSTS

A grid with only 7 different letters is an NYT record. The previous mark was 8, set in this 2015 puzzle, also by Mr. Haight. Here's a list of all the other low letter-count grids.

The record holder before that was yesterday's constructor Peter Gordon who used only 10 letters in this 2001 puzzle, a grid that set a different record which will never be broken.

Wed 4/19/2017
SLAWJANUSAQUA
TECHABOVERUNS
EREIKERRIMATT
MONSTERMASHKOI
SITKADAYMARE
EDGERSURFS
PLAYAREAMANGIA
RONSENEANNULS
EKEOUTLIENEE
VICUNAAPR
DRAGSHOWSHIA
NEOSAWEDINHALF
OATSRENOCILIA
TSARBARRAGLET
EELSOTISRHODE
Thu 4/20/2017
AWAYSOLIDATIT
SIZEPLUMEBONE
ONUSRADIIROVE
FORHEAVENSSAKE
IVYMIDACT
TVAMARRECTO
WHACKAMOLELIP
SHESIMBUESAVE
PINLAMEEXCUSE
ATALEARSHMS
RETAINBET
RUNFORTHEROSES
GIRDFATALTOKE
NCAAATOLLALEX
CELTTEPEELOST
POW Fri 4/21/2017
APSESPAUSEHAG
CREMAASSETUTA
TOTUPPIECHARTS
OFTSMEARTACTIC
FOLDERGNILLA
GREATSCOTTDEAN
OMIGOSHOHMS
DANRIATEAOHS
TIASAFROPOP
PIPEHELLOKITTY
ENLAIIBNLIDS
GRAMMARNAZIMAT
GOGOBOOTSALITO
EAUANNEEMISER
DDEDEALSBETSY
Sat 4/22/2017
HEBRIDESMESSES
AQUILINEAXILLA
JUICEBOXZANILY
JACKASSTHEMOVIE
ILKSAWSJEER
PREPPYMAR
CHEROKEEPAPIER
BADIDEAROXANNE
SHINEDMAKINGDO
EGOBITEME
CUFFTANSAYA
ARAISININTHESUN
PILEUPCAREWORN
ECCLESATALANTA
SHODDYREDDRESS
Sun 4/23/2017A CENTURY OF SONG
MAMMASCRUSTAMALFI
GORILLASHEREELAGOON
ATISKETATASKETENNUIS
LEOSCABERNETBEGUILE
ETSEQYEWALOOFASSET
SINUSEARPFFFDADS
DIMITRICONSUMER
ISHTUNDESOTOJAIME
NEOLITHSNINOSICSRS
JAWATAPEADOBESUTRA
ELHILADYELLAGRAY
SPITZERIESEOSZLOTY
TUGIDSTNUTCONTINUE
PHONEHOTDOGNUIGMS
TVCAMERAFOSSILS
AGHADUILUSTTEALS
CEELOTRUCEPATSCALE
ELMTREEPHASESINKTEL
TAOISTISINGLIKEIFEEL
ATONEDTENETSINSULTS
LONERSSTARSSALLYS
Mon 4/24/2017
HTMLCHEFPSALM
OWESIOTAEERIE
WORDSALADGAPED
TAMWOEIRATE
OMAHAENOSGMT
NOTHINGBURGER
THIRDSEINE
SWIMPANSYDOSE
POSITOPENS
COUCHPOTATOES
ALPROLEBANGS
PRIEDGEEIOU
SEOULHUMBLEPIE
EASELARABMEND
TRESSTINSURGE
Tue 4/25/2017
IRAQTRIGCBGBS
MENTROSAHELOT
BODYGUARDIBIZA
URIAIDGAMEBOY
EGESTSNEVE
COMPUTERPORT
SAMESEZCARVES
PRANKZZZSIENA
AGREESLIIONER
MOVIETHEATER
PEASSAYIDO
ICELANDCOSMEX
BORATFRONTPAGE
MITZIUNUMAGUY
SLEETNAPEHOME
POW Wed 4/26/2017
VIEWAPBMENTOS
ACNECOOAVIARY
REDDFOXXNEXXUS
YESSIRSAYNO
ANGERNSFW
MEANTOAREDARE
ALPOANTIVAXXER
DIEHARDVINROSE
EXXONMOBILANNO
RIADYLANDYSON
ARMSAGGRO
LEASHAMARNA
TJMAXXDOSEQUIS
ROOMIEARPUGLI
YEASTSDRYASEA
Thu 4/27/2017
CENTRALSUDOKU
ORCHARDNAUTICAL
PRIESTSUNBEATEN
ASSETMTMNOLA
MARSHEIRE
SWIMITERATEABS
OHMYCARETDFLAT
CEASERATESATYA
KEYDIETARYNOSY
MUNIPSSST
CODEONONAPES
HAIRCUTSERASURE
IHATEYOUMEFIRST
PUZZLESQUARES
Fri 4/28/2017
DAFTCAMECHIPS
ACROPOLISRUNES
WHATADUMPALCAN
GENTLEMENSCLUB
EARNZAKBRR
BARTAFOREAAA
GODEEPENTRTIC
MUDDASNERTINE
ANICLODECHOED
ICCIONICREND
LETTMIASAP
SEXYANDIKNOWIT
MODEMLEMONLIME
SUTRAAMARYLLIS
STOOPWONTSENT
Sat 4/29/2017
ASHBBCSCRAWL
THEATEAMARABIA
MEACULPANATANT
FERNGIRDMATTE
ESTEETIEUPTEX
EHSKOALASCORE
DILLYDALLIES
SOUNDINGBOARD
GEORGESMILEY
ITSASTOVESGEE
GAPSTINESTEAM
ASONECRABONTO
TIRANAOWLSNEST
ODESSAEAUDEVIE
NESTEAYESAND
Sun 4/30/2017NEW ENGLAND CHATTER
GRIDASNAPCLOCKPDF
AIDELEONIOUNCEFRAU
SPOCKPLUGSACALLTOOMS
HALOESETALIIHATES
AYEASLOPERACEME
HOTSPECIALISTCHASSIS
INEULMSCALIATRI
TURNITUPTHEBODOFAVON
ESSENESEASTRAMONG
GARBFLEATOETOTOE
BOWLPASSINGMOCKREND
EPHEMERAADIAKENO
GEICOICKTWASAUDIS
INSTANTCOMMADROPSEAT
NIKCOOLIOMAUAGA
STEPSINASHOTINTHEDOC
DOUSESTENETSELS
SMARMCHILLSLLBEAN
LOWCOBDIETITSMYPOTTY
UTAHAROLLNEPALWORE
REYHYNDEERASESNIT