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# New York Times, Thursday, February 19, 2015

 Author: Jason Flinn Editor: Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1210/9/201312/3/20160
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0102504
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.53030

## This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 36 Missing: {JQXZ} This is puzzle # 4 for Mr. Flinn. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick NYT links: Across Lite PDF

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Jason Flinn notes: As a solver, I really enjoy the variety of Thursdays in the NYT puzzle. So, it's not a big shock to me that 'puzzles with a twist' ... more
Jason Flinn notes:

As a solver, I really enjoy the variety of Thursdays in the NYT puzzle. So, it's not a big shock to me that "puzzles with a twist" have become my favorite to construct. In the grid I submitted, I used a highlighter to mark the theme answers. I wonder: does marking the loop squares make this too easy? My feeling is that this puzzle would be a very tough solve without that extra help.

I learned a lot constructing this puzzle. It was surprisingly hard to place the theme answers. Each creates 3-5 triple-checked letters and also requires placing 1 or 2 extra blocks (black squares) in the grid. Even worse, for this type of theme, it's not possible to place the theme answers symmetrically (unless you like downward loops), so each extra block creates another somewhere else in the grid to preserve symmetry.

Despite having a few additional theme possibilities (e.g., DAREDEVIL), I couldn't see a way to get another such entry in the grid. Even with the current set, I was stumped for a while until I saw that I could pair the blocks at the start of PAPER AIRPLANE and ROLLER COASTER with the blocks symmetrically opposite the loop blocks of the other entry.

Jeff Chen notes: Very, very cool idea. I bet many solvers filled in 'APERA' as a rebus square and wondered who the heck APERANNA SUI was. (I still ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Very, very cool idea. I bet many solvers filled in "APERA" as a rebus square and wondered who the heck APERANNA SUI was. (I still think Aperanna is a nice name.) Following along the loop, especially ROLLER COASTER looping around R (O L L E R C) OASTER, was really fun. And the fact that the resulting answer looks like ROASTER in the grid, a normal word — what a bonus!

P (A P E R) AIRPLANE also is neat, some types of planes able to gracefully execute loop-de-loops. It's not quite as neat as ROLLER COASTER since "PAIRPLANE" is obviously odd in the grid, but still, PAPER AIRPLANE fits nicely with the theme.

I get that a SHOELACE gets tied in a loop, but that themer didn't work quite as well for me. SHOELACEs don't really get tied in vertical loops, do they? I brainstormed a little bit, and could only come up with two other possible themers which might fit the vertical loop motif: STUNT PILOTS, which would look like S (T U N T P I L O) TS, or STUNT MOTORCYCLE. Maybe those are too close to PAPER AIRPLANE though.

These types of puzzles where the themers bend, twist, etc. are usually tough to execute, because of all the extra real estate taken up. So I like that Jason just uses three, and spaces them out nicely. Also very cool to incorporate R CRUMB into that difficult RC???? slot. The fill isn't particularly sparkly — more CATALYTIC and ATYPICAL than the beautiful BITCOIN and FIRE AWAY — but I appreciate the relative grid cleanliness.

Finally, two great clues. I love Greek mythology, so getting ARGUS and the [100-eyed giant of myth] was pleasing. (Although I would have been equally happy with ARGUS Filch, the groundskeeper of Hogwarts.) And [Illegal motion penalty?] thankfully had nothing to do with football (still not over the Seahawks' SB XLIX loss) but cleverly hinted at TILTing a pinball machine.

 1D 2A 3U 4B 5A 6S 7W 8A 9N 10M 11F 12A 13O M N I 14P H O T O 15T I L 16T 17T A F T 18S E E Y A 19A R I A 20C R A C 21K E R 22P I 23A 24E E K 25O N I O N 26P 27A I R P 28L A N E 29M A R I E 30A N C 31P A W A T 32N E 33D 34N A 35U S E A T E 36A 37W 38W 39U 40R A L S 41Y E N 42B R E 43A 44T H E S 45E 46E 47G 48S E N N A 49S U 50R 51L O 52O 53P 54S 55C A T A L 56Y T I C 57L E C H E 58E T C 59L E A 60R 61O A S T E R 62S H O 63E 64A R 65G U S 66B A N E 67S E L F 68S E E M S 69A V O N 70D D T 71T A E B O 72D O M E
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 23,844
 Across Down 1. Put a coat on sloppily, say : DAUB5. City that supplied granite for Egyptian monuments : ASWAN10. Theater deg. : MFA13. Hyatt alternative : OMNI14. Shot : PHOTO15. Illegal motion penalty? : TILT17. Former Washington heavyweight : TAFT18. "I'm off!" : SEEYA19. "Casta diva," e.g. : ARIA20. Hors d'oeuvre staple : CRACKER22. ___ mater (brain part) : PIA24. Reaction to an exorbitant bill, maybe : EEK25. Turkey dressing ingredient : ONION26. Classroom projectile : PAPERAIRPLANE29. Lisa ___ Presley : MARIE30. Mandela's org. : ANC31. Grope clumsily : PAWAT32. "Game of Thrones" patriarch ___ Stark : NED34. Disgust : NAUSEATE36. "Isn't she cu-u-ute?!" : AWW39. European border : URALS41. Thirst : YEN42. Gets inspiration? : BREATHES45. E.R. test : EEG48. Plant used in herbal remedies : SENNA49. América del ___ : SUR51. What the paths of three answers in this puzzle include : LOOPS55. ___ converter : CATALYTIC57. Bebé's milk : LECHE58. And on and on : ETC59. Rustic expanse : LEA60. Theme park part : ROLLERCOASTER62. It may be on the tip of the tongue : SHOELACE64. 100-eyed giant of myth : ARGUS66. Plague : BANE67. ___-worth : SELF68. Looks : SEEMS69. River through Bristol : AVON70. "Silent Spring" topic, for short : DDT71. Exercise option : TAEBO72. Igloo, essentially : DOME 1. Kind of bubble : DOTCOM2. Archaeological site along the Nile : AMARNA3. Biased : UNFAIR4. Digital currency : BITCOIN5. Vaulted recess : APSE6. Worker in peak physical condition? : SHERPA7. Heartache : WOE8. Anomalous : ATYPICAL9. Asphyxiation cause : NOAIR10. N.Y.C. rail org. : MTA11. "I'll take your questions now" : FIREAWAY12. Drive off : ALIENATE16. Rest a bit : TAKETEN21. Something to make a proposal on? : KNEE23. Many games nowadays : APPS27. Chinese-American fashion icon : ANNASUI28. Pacific port from which Amelia Earhart left on her last and fatal flight : LAE33. "Ya think?!" : DUH35. Consumption : USE36. Certain infection : ABSCESS37. Encircled : WREATHED38. Disappeared, as a trail : WENTCOLD40. Place to change drivers : RESTAREA43. Santa ___, Calif. : ANA44. One way to walk : TALL46. Actress Raines of "Phantom Lady" : ELLA47. Sours : GOESBAD50. "Keep on Truckin'" cartoonist : RCRUMB52. Book size : OCTAVO53. Whiz : PHENOM54. Untroubled : SERENE56. Vintner's supply : YEAST61. ___ buco : OSSO63. Pond dweller : EFT65. "No kidding!" : GEE

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle, 2 debuted here and reused later, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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