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Puzzles for May, 2013
with Jim Horne comments

View these same grids with comments from:
Constructor (1)Jim Horne (10)Hide comments
Wed 5/1/2013
HADJSCOWALOHA
ALIAUHNOLODES
ROOMBIELEVENS
PURELLFIVERS
SEESAFTER
ANOINTEDILLPAY
FELIDROANYIPE
LEELEIDAYELO
ADIASEEMAFLOW
CYCLESREALISTS
BEANANGEL
AMALIELUMMOX
SCENELEIADORM
CLAIRLEEROLGA
HULASYOREMESS
Thu 5/2/2013
SCABSEAMSHASTA
HOURAXLETOWARD
IPSOWILLBEBLOOD
NITWITSVAIOTOR
GOESNOTHINGPOPE
LURESEINEGAMES
ESETANGCRIERS
NEITHERNOR
STREAMRENUMEW
CHARDRAIDCHACO
REIDCOMESTHESUN
ERNKOFICOOLCAT
WASANOLDMANDADO
IGOTITSORETRON
TENETSTIEDOARS
Fri 5/3/2013
YIDDISHAIRMAIL
ARIANNACLEANSE
WISHFULDRINKING
ENBLOCEYETESTS
DAEKFCDAG
LAEAAHOSHA
TWITTERFOLLOWER
ONETOGOPAYDIRT
SEVENOFDIAMONDS
STENFENENG
DETAGOFUR
TRIAXIALWINONA
MIDNIGHTINPARIS
ELECTRADESPITE
NEMESESORESTES
Sat 5/4/2013
THISISTRUEASST
RACONTEURSTKOS
INARTISTICTALK
CENTERSRIATAS
ESTERHOOSIER
RIPVANWINKLE
ANIMAUVESTEAL
LAMBCLASHSYMS
ATPARCREEDSPA
NURSERATCHED
ROSSINISELMA
CAVITYRAISEUP
OLINANNEBRONTE
ELSEDEADLETTER
NYETHOWDYDOODY
Sun 5/5/2013CRUNCH TIME
SPATSGASCAPVOLALAR
AILEYOCTADSINASTATE
LEMADESTANDSREBUTTED
ORDSHUTSTATOFDAVID
ORIBISPUTTESNEINE
NONOSHOTDOGSESTATE
STEWPRUNESROOFMINOR
OYERKEPTATIT
OAHUOLDLINEONELLAMA
PLATANADINETREESAP
ELSBUDAPESTNGARYHUT
NOTSURESCHMOSSTEVE
SKEPTICSLEBLANCYSER
ASSOONASARAP
SEATOYOURBETTYFEDAN
ACCENTBEASTIECAIRO
RUERUDIPAARPABSTS
CATCHESRAINTAPAALI
ADORABLEGOESDERCOVER
SONINLAWAERIESAROSE
MRESESASAYSSODOWSE
Mon 5/6/2013
STEPYAMSADZES
CAFEUNITWRIST
IDOLMEMEMOTTO
AROOMWITHAVIEW
ESPYONE
MAFIAAGROMOLD
ATFREREADAHOY
IWONTLETYOUDOWN
DARELAGOONLEE
SRTAIRONABYSS
TSOSPAN
UCANTTOUCHTHIS
SOFIASTARAGHA
PARKSLAMEIHOP
SLOSHOHOKSTOP

Five theme answers (three of them Across and two Down) start with the words A, E, I, O and U.

Tue 5/7/2013
HARPYTHUSTHEM
OHARAHOSTHOBO
WATERWATEREMAJ
SAYNOBRAYOYO
SOSAPERP
ARTSLITHNEHRU
MAYOEXHORTOHS
ANCIENTMARINER
SCHASHCANRETD
SHOPSSAGAESTA
BATSLEWD
PERTEATARUBA
AMAHEVERYWHERE
IMHOMECHHURON
DYESECHOOHGOD

The print version of this puzzle has lines (representing chemical bonds) connecting the H-O-H squares instead of circles. See the PDF.

Wed 5/8/2013
HEPSHIRKADELA
AAAAUDIODODOS
MVPSHIPPEDGIFT
SEEPSAPRFETA
ROYALELIA
MOTOMAILEDCARD
SCORPIONEELER
NAWUNSTOPSLOA
BLEARRHETORIC
CALLEDHOMEHILO
LEIAERROL
UZISARKUSERS
SENTFLOWERSDEP
CACAOLAVESUAR
GLAREDIANEPRY
Thu 5/9/2013
AJARAWALKNCAA
MONOVOICECOACH
BETWEENTHELINES
COSYALISTS
SOIRICCIEYEON
WONDERWOMANRUE
FLEAATMNTESTS
HIMOM
TESLASOBIIMAX
AMYLEADINGLADY
BINALRECTOCUZ
RAMONEETAL
HAPPYMOTHERSDAY
ITSUSELESSKATE
PEEPXAXISSMEW
Fri 5/10/2013
RESTAINCOMETS
OSCARNODSOPAQUE
STORYBOOKBAKULA
YOWZAKNOWLEAST
ANSTRIBALAS
VONMSTNATS
LITTLELEAGUETEAM
ISTHATALLTHEREIS
BASEBALLDIAMONDS
ASNOAPUNYE
WASPAMFMSKG
ASHESSOAKACOAT
ISOMERATAGLANCE
TEJANOMOVIESETS
STINGYALLEGES

I recently teased Martin Ashwood-Smith that one way to avoid overused words in his stacks of 15s would be to stack 16s instead. Derek Bowman beat him to the punch. This is the first time 16s have been stacked in any NYT crossword.

Sat 5/11/2013
DRAWERBASILICA
REMORAARCHIVAL
ELIJAHHARAKIRI
WORTMAIMVEEPS
ASSYRSAILED
LOTTSANTANA
PARAGUAYMOOCOW
OREURBANIIIVA
RIESENWINDYDAY
TAKESTOGAEA
ATONCEANDES
SASHAFORTGRAM
LOCATIONRATITE
ENIWETOKECZEMA
DESKSETSFEEDER

The print puzzle has "*taking into account its 61-Across" in italics after the clue list, referring to 4 clues with asterisks. For online, that phrase was added to the clues themselves.

Sun 5/12/2013SIMPLY PUT
POETFRANORBPASSGO
AIDARAMACIAONECAR
CLUBSODASLETTERGRADE
LANINAOATHSERGO
POTENTIALCONSEQUENCES
ALOHASOKSSWEET
LOGOKALBDELTA
OFAPLANORDECISIONONE
SOBEITFLATSPEND
ASSGEEDOONESPEEDY
CANNOTREVERSESHOULDBE
DRAINSRENEEEURSYD
CARTSUETYSKATES
HEEDEDPRIORTOTHETIME
EXITSUEYSEBAY
ACINGALESTPETE
ANACTIONISEFFECTUATED
POSEPODIAALARMS
LITTLETRAMPCOMESINTO
UNLESSTHOEPEEDIOR
STEADSHOVDELTEXPO
Mon 5/13/2013
ROBEFERNMICAH
APEXALIACRANE
HIGHROTTENEGGS
MESAARIZONAERS
UMATIEDYE
AMESBROTHERS
MULTIBOORPERP
PCBTRENTONZOO
SHAMOSTEASIAN
SAMEOLDSTORY
TOPGUNEAU
ARESEAMWELDING
BEAUTYSHOPIRON
LOCKETOMEOONA
ASHENISBNSCOW
Tue 5/14/2013
CASINOSLEBANON
THEWAVEORIGAMI
RIPOPENBASEMEN
NORNOSEEGO
MANTLEASECDAS
ICEEARNSTAR
LEIOTICLOSS
ELLENOYLDEPTH
RADSDENYPAR
ISBNROANEVE
CSARICETARRED
YAMACOWUMA
SNOOZEDARIZONA
TANLINELATERAL
SADDLESPLEDGES
Wed 5/15/2013
CATSALISTLAVA
UNUMRACKSEDEN
STRONGWEEKFONT
PINTOITSTRUE
HIDDENSCENE
NAMEDROPKAY
AVERNEINPESKY
ZITLOSTONELAS
IDAHOTOTOWANE
ECKMULLOVER
BRAKEREPAIR
NAIVETEMSNBC
OBOETHEYREHERE
METHLANAIIRAN
ESSOEBOOKPONT
Thu 5/16/2013
DINETEEMFORKS
JOELHALOANNIE
ETALECHOLLAMA
DARINCHINESE
OOHLEANTO
UALTRANSMISSION
LSATMOTOTHESE
LITPIOUSKSU
MATTERINKDRIP
AGEEXPECTATIONS
NONAMEGUV
MANOVERBOARD
ITGUYZERORUBE
QUESOMENUCRIB
SMEARAPOPEAST

This is similar in concept to a 2005 puzzle by Courtenay Crocker III where the key phrase was MAN IN OUTER SPACE. A few other puzzles required scribbling beyond the lines. Here's one from 2006 that asked you to think outside the box and more recently, there was this outsiders puzzle from 2012. For a rather different but equally clever MAN rebus, see this 2003 crossword by Dan Reichert.

Fri 5/17/2013
CRAZIERABBOTS
AUGUSTUSBALBOA
CSIMIAMICMAJOR
ATLASBLTSMELC
OYELAIRMECCA
MAECUTETAS
POSTMODERNISM
DRSTRANGELOVE
DEATHINVENICE
OMGMPAAINK
MOMMAGLEESAC
ITASFELLSMITE
NATTEREITHEROR
OPIATEYOUOWEME
SECRETTOPLESS

This grid ties the record for most Ms in a 15x grid.

Sat 5/18/2013
AVAILABLECREDIT
PERCENTAGEERROR
ENTENTECORDIALE
STARSINONESEYES
SETNSA
JAWSAKILACKEY
ATADNACLMILNE
MRLUCKYOCANADA
BIDESEMILQUIT
SPOTTVONEDSTS
ATOAEC
AMERICANINPARIS
REGULARGASOLINE
FEEDINGONESFACE
STREETADDRESSES
Sun 5/19/2013BEFITTING
MANGEGILDSRITALPGA
AXIOMORTEAATUGURLS
TENNISSERBSGINORMOUS
TREELESSTHATSAGIBBON
FINIWAIFTEENS
BALLETPARKINGIBAR
AQUASLOANUSERFBI
NATTERBALIOFTHEDOLLS
ABEDEFAMECLEHEEP
LASAGNASHARPDADDY
LEAVEITTOBIEBER
DEALSALTOSPANARAB
ACROLAOISEEITARE
SHOWEDBALLADIDLEWDER
HODEVASMETISEINE
OLDSGETOUTTHEBOAT
SCALPEGONAARP
HOTDOGBENDERGRIMACED
ARBITRATESIBYLRIGHTS
LEASALARSCARENEATO
LATHBLTSAHOOTESTES
Mon 5/20/2013
LCDMCGRUFFESC
IOUAEROSOLTAL
MMMGRANDBAHAMA
BABYMAMAELIS
DOAMLKARIAS
FROGRADIODRAMA
DORITODUD
ATACAMADIORAMA
PEPDNALAB
MALIAOBAMAVATS
AYERSSPASEN
RENOONELLAMA
VASCODAGAMALAN
EYEPINENUTDAN
LESTOOEASYAMA

Speed solvers probably dislike Ms because they take longer to write. This grid has 16 Ms, breaking the record for most Ms in a standard puzzle. Don't be surprised if your hand is getting sore. The puzzle just three days ago had 15 Ms.

Update: This is no longer even close to the current record.

Tue 5/21/2013
ASLTRIADSPOOL
WHOSAYSSOTONTO
LONGREACHALTOS
STETWHATGIVES
SICREC
SPAWHEREAREYOU
CONSIGNEDMADD
RADONDIALAZED
ECRUONTHENOSE
WHENDOWEEATOAR
DRSWOK
WHYBOTHERITHE
ROSINALOEVERAS
ARETETHEFIVEWS
PARESSISTAENO
Wed 5/22/2013
RUMBAPREZGNAT
ALOONROLERILE
KNOXKNOCKSAXER
EARSHOTSTINKER
REEMEMANON
ARAMISALIST
DARTEDTAXTACKS
ORETIPOVERKEA
LOXLOCKSREISER
TOWITGIJOES
REAMSIXOME
ICEFLOENETLOSS
MCCLSTAXSTACKS
ANKASTYEOTHER
MYSTYARDPEARS
Thu 5/23/2013
MEYERSETHLBJ
IRENATHREEYEAR
MACYSRAILROADS
ITHASCIRCLES
LUMPTORY
ALGIERSMCSTHE
TEASAGITATOR
MAYBEYESMAYBENO
FRENZIESURDU
ENSRNSHINTSAT
ESTHFETA
UNDERITSEYES
LAUREATESCREAK
VOLLEYERSAMORY
ILEDOSERAWLS

This puzzle has a cleverly disorienting use of circles that I've never seen before. The letters in the circles themselves have no special meaning. It's only their positions relative to the squares above them that matter.

Fri 5/24/2013
ASBIGHSTTOPUP
STOREOOHHYENA
HASANINTERESTIN
IRTELKSOSROD
PROCRASTINATING
NEAOZSHEF
GASOLINESTATION
MATEKETARERA
CARELESSABANDON
ATEHITDEF
RANACLOSESECOND
ENGTORMASROO
TOLERANCELEVELS
ALEXIARNROSIE
PERECTOTTATER

The twelve 15-letter answers (six Across and six Down) and the 44 three-letter ones both tie the record set by David Levinson Wilk back in 2009. In fact, the shapes of the two grids are identical.

Interestingly, there are two other NYT grids with the same 29 blocks, 72 words, 68 open squares, and an average word length of 5.44, and they're both by Paula Gamache. Her beautiful grids in 2010 and 2011 only have eight 15s but they're also evenly split four Across and four Down.

All four of these grids have the rare property of supersymmetry, that is, they are symmetric about horizontal, vertical, and diagonal axes

Sat 5/25/2013
PURPLEHAZEHSIA
UNDECLAREDATOP
STANDALONEBANS
HOSSTODHORSE
IDEECHAOS
DAVIDSTEINBERG
LINEAWELDAAR
INGLACOSTERNA
EELSLITDECAF
DROPOUTOFSIGHT
SHAMELUNG
SHARPSIRRBIS
HEXAPOWERPOINT
EROSIMAREALBOY
DONEPATSYCLINE
Sun 5/26/2013MADE-FOR-TV MOVIES
MATESSNEERATGAVOTTE
AWAREHOTBATHOLEMISS
TAXISTANDBYMESERIOUS
TIRESOMEOSMOTIC
ETEOUTHOUSEOFAFRICA
TROTUPSTARTIOTAS
TRUTVMCGEELENGTH
THREECHEERSAMIGOSITT
YENRAZORNODATARLO
LESTERSTAIRARLEN
SAYANYTHINGMONK
ARGOTGOUGEPASTAS
ROISMERCISTRIPAGO
AMOBREAKFASTGLEECLUB
BARGESSLAVSSIKES
INNIEASOCIALPTAS
COOLHANDSOAPLUKEDEM
MIMOSASNICOTINE
IMMOVEDGETLOSTSHORTY
CAIRENEELMTREEMITRE
CROESUSSLIDERSSLYER
Mon 5/27/2013
DIDSAWINGEENA
EDUORATEORSON
PARWELLGROOMED
THATSALLEDSELS
HONESADFYI
DELWOKGODOT
BTUOFANEONOIR
OARURLOROULE
SPATIALCADBYE
CANWEASKYUL
ELMAKAREDO
ODDLOTUNTENDED
PERFUNCTORYOLE
AMATIRECUEWHO
LITHETSKEDNIN
Tue 5/28/2013
MAORISKILESTS
ARRIDEINEZOOT
SPACEBARGEROPE
CHARLIECHANGE
BRUISESHEYUL
ROLEWHETPLINY
ABATSARICE
BREAKINGBADGE
WIISALTADD
AZTECSTYEERGO
DUHHIEWANDER
ORIGINALSINGE
RICOEVILTWINGE
ECKOPESOANIMA
SHEDTRAPREACT
Wed 5/29/2013
WHOSAWYERRICH
HATCREOLEESAU
ENOHANDELJUST
EDSELTACOORES
BESTTAPIR
METAPHORDECEIT
OPRYOPUSLENNY
VOATWOBALLDIN
EDIFYTITISEGA
SELECTNINEIRON
BROODNEXT
AVIVSOLDCHOWS
TAKESNOOZEGAP
LIENEAGLESLIE
INSTSTYLESETC
Thu 5/30/2013
BAHSSCARFBADE
OLEOTIMORILER
WOLFDNABBEGITA
LEDTOLOSLOBOS
WEIVRETNITIXE
JEANNIESOAR
ALTNAPNYLON
CHEWORCTAEIVE
KIRBYSECFEW
ELANNEUTERS
WONTISEODYSAE
OMAREPPSDIVAS
VEGAEASTTOWEST
EGGYCLIOSANKA
NAYSTIETONTSB

17-, 23-, 37- and 51-Across not only have to be read EAST TO WEST, they each start with E and end with W. Or is it the other way around?

Fri 5/31/2013
AMIWRONGJULIE
GAMEOVERSONATA
EXHIBITAONAPAR
NOUSDIVINGBELL
DURSTZITIALIG
ATTACETENSPAR
EPONYMTHINE
AMEXESTEENSY
DAVIDMEOWED
ARESCANNONMAT
PINTONITSLUSH
TAKEFLIGHTARCO
SCENEIMERRYMEN
THECANAQUALUNG
OILERSTEWARDS