New York Times, Thursday, March 6, 2014

Author: Daniel Raymon
Editor: Will Shortz
Daniel Raymon
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179/23/20078/28/20160
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02331107
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.59110

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 38 Missing: {QV} This is puzzle # 11 for Mr. Raymon. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Daniel Raymon notes: This is my first Thursday puzzle so I'm very excited for everyone to see it. It's especially exciting to have my very own ... more
Daniel Raymon notes: This is my first Thursday puzzle so I'm very excited for everyone to see it. It's especially exciting to have my very own creation join the group of NYT rebus puzzles. On that note, there have been other rebus puzzles using "box" phrases as revealers, just like this one. One thing that makes mine a little different, I think, is that each rebus box is a different word. I also like how I was able to split up both ZEST and TONE in two different ways; not so for LAVA and DIAL, but at least there's some symmetry there — two split up differently, two not.

I also like the long answers for the most part, though PASADENA, BRUSSELS, and BRATIS[LAVA] might be a bit too much geography for one puzzle. Also RA[DIAL] TIRE and PIS[TON E]NGINE are a bit bland, especially for theme answers. Oh well. Overall I'm very happy with the puzzle, and I hope you enjoy it too!

Jeff Chen notes: Rebus with a revealer; SOAPBOX describing the four different brands of SOAP crammed into individual BOXes. In today's age of ever ... more
Jeff Chen notes: Rebus with a revealer; SOAPBOX describing the four different brands of SOAP crammed into individual BOXes. In today's age of ever evolving crosswords, straight rebuses without a revealer have sort of run their course. I like that Dani has given us a reason why he's made these four rebus squares; it adds a nice touch to the puzzle.

I found it a lot of fun sussing out where the rebus squares were. Once I uncovered the central answer, it was a bit of a puzzle hunt to go seek them out (and boy, do I like puzzle hunts!). For me, the hardest one by far was TONE, because I had never heard of that brand. The others gave me a nice a-ha moment, but TONE was a bit of a head-scratcher. (And no, I wasn't scratching my head because I don't use enough soap, thank you.) It was too bad, because being a mechanical engineer at heart, I loved the PISTON ENGINE entry. I was amused to hear that it was one of Dani's least favorite themers. Funny how widely tastes differ, eh?

In general, if there are only a few rebus squares, I really appreciate when they get placed into the longest answers of the puzzle, in snazzier entries. ZEST inside SEIZES THE DAY and BRONZE STAR, that's great. Really nice moment of discovery. DIAL in DIALECT... not as much. Although I did admire the craziness of LAVA in BRATISLAVA and BAKLAVA. That was pretty cool.

With essentially nine theme answers, the fill is bound to suffer a little, and we see signs of it in the awkward I HAD A (for whatever reason, several close constructor friends and I detest the five-letter partial — go figure), A NUT, WNW, WPA, ROKS sort of stuff. It certainly wasn't that bad, and definitely worth the trade-off for me.

Some solvers will not even notice though. A very nice reader, Lois Padawer, wrote in a few weeks ago with a comment after I pooh-poohed A MOLE in a grid: "I just learned about 'Whac-a-mole' a couple of weeks ago, as it was the name of an episode of The Good Wife (the name of the episode appears when you click "Info" on Tivo). TV is not usually one of my favorite categories, but you never know where pleasure will come from in a puzzle."

So yes, partials are generally inelegant, but they can serve their purposes. And it's always good to get a dose of humility, perhaps a good reminder that I don't know everything; that I always have more to learn today than I did yesterday. And that's okay.

Ahem. Note the word "perhaps."

1
J
2
A
3
M
4
B
5
S
6
P
7
A
8
R
9
T
10
R
11
A
12
F
13
T
14
A
L
E
R
T
15
A
R
I
E
16
A
C
A
I
17
R
I
G
O
R
18
S
O
B
E
19
DIAL
E
C
T
20
N
O
21
N
A
M
E
S
22
T
R
I
O
23
S
24
E
25
I
ZEST
H
E
D
A
Y
26
J
I
B
E
S
27
I
N
H
A
S
T
E
28
E
29
M
I
R
30
A
G
A
R
31
W
N
32
W
33
O
N
E
34
O
35
N
36
M
E
D
37
S
O
A
P
38
B
O
X
39
K
O
40
S
41
L
A
42
B
O
R
43
A
R
N
44
M
A
M
A
45
R
O
K
46
S
47
U
S
48
U
R
P
E
D
49
K
50
A
51
R
A
T
52
P
53
I
S
TONE
N
G
I
N
E
54
A
N
U
T
55
C
R
O
S
S
E
R
56
B
I
B
I
57
L
I
N
E
58
S
E
59
I
60
K
61
O
62
O
T
I
S
63
A
N
I
L
64
C
E
C
I
L
65
B
A
K
LAVA
66
P
T
A
S
67
O
N
E
N
D
© 2014, The New York TimesNo. 23,494
Across Down
1. Side pieces : JAMBS
6. Tenor in a barbershop quartet, e.g. : PART
10. Lot : RAFT
14. Quick : ALERT
15. Singer India.___ : ARIE
16. Modern yogurt flavor : ACAI
17. Strictness : RIGOR
18. Pepsi-owned beverage brand : SOBE
19. Cajun French, e.g. : DIALECT
20. Ones little-known in their fields : NONAMES
22. TLC, e.g. : TRIO
23. Doesn't waste an opportunity : SEIZESTHEDAY
26. Agrees : JIBES
27. Quickly : INHASTE
28. Qatari leader : EMIR
30. Ingredient in many Asian desserts : AGAR
31. Dallas-to-Amarillo dir. : WNW
33. Common situation near the start of an inning : ONEON
36. Many a shot in the arm, for short? : MED
37. Platform ... or something that appears four times in this puzzle? : SOAPBOX
39. Decks, in brief : KOS
41. Management's counterpart : LABOR
43. Royal son of the comics : ARN
44. First word, maybe : MAMA
45. Seoul soldiers : ROKS
47. Assumed : USURPED
49. 24-___ : KARAT
52. Device that converts pressure into a rotating motion : PISTONENGINE
54. "Some Kind of ___" (Dick Van Dyke comedy) : ANUT
55. Double-___ : CROSSER
56. Actress Andersson : BIBI
57. "Come here often?," e.g. : LINE
58. Japanese watch : SEIKO
62. Redding of R&B : OTIS
63. Blue hue : ANIL
64. British poet laureate ___ Day-Lewis : CECIL
65. Honey-soaked dessert : BAKLAVA
66. Some fund-raising grps. : PTAS
67. Upright : ONEND
1. Rattle : JAR
2. Athlete with the autobiography "The Soul of a Butterfly" : ALI
3. Computer storage unit, informally : MEG
4. Military decoration : BRONZESTAR
5. German beer now owned by the Pabst Brewing Company : STROHS
6. Annual parade locale : PASADENA
7. Wine feature : AROMA
8. Kind of steak : RIBEYE
9. Casual wear : TEES
10. Traction provider : RADIALTIRE
11. Sharp : ACERB
12. Prima ___ : FACIE
13. Fuentes and Puente : TITOS
21. Socialize professionally : NETWORK
23. Land name before 1939 : SIAM
24. Heavenly figure, in Hesse : ENGEL
25. "___ lovely time" : IHADA
26. Curse : JINX
29. Opalescent gems : MOONSTONES
32. New Deal inits. : WPA
34. Relative of a giraffe : OKAPI
35. "Tullius" in Marcus Tullius Cicero : NOMEN
37. Pipe buildup : SOOT
38. European city whose airport is the world's largest chocolate-selling point : BRUSSELS
40. Singer with the 1986 #1 album "Promise" : SADE
42. Capital on the Danube : BRATISLAVA
44. Character in Clue : MRGREEN
46. Nascar's ___ Cup Series : SPRINT
48. Paris-based grp. since 1945 : UNESCO
49. Item purchased at many a food cart : KABOB
50. "West Side Story" woman : ANITA
51. Cube creator : RUBIK
53. Aegean region : IONIA
55. Pat-a-cake element : CLAP
59. Cube makeup : ICE
60. It's all relatives : KIN
61. Familiar : OLD

Answer summary: 1 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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