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New York Times variety puzzle, Nov. 14

This ingeniously constructed puzzle by Patrick Merrell was part acrostic, part crossword. Comments about it on the Wordplay blog seemed to universally commend him for the concept although many (including me) felt it was a bit too easy to solve. But somehow my copy of the acrostic part failed to put a space between the words NEW and NATION. Did anyone else notice that? Or was my magazine just faulty?

I drew a line between NEW and NATION to show where there should have been a space.

I also noticed that the commas seemed to be in weird places, but Merrell explains that in the blog entry, saying it was based on a copy written by Lincoln. He also mentions that it took him five years to get it up to snuff for Will Shortz. That’s humbling and encouraging to this novice constructor.

Questions or comments? Tweet me @crosswordkathy.

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