New York Times, Thursday, August 1, 2013

Author: Timothy Polin
Editor: Will Shortz
Timothy Polin
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1712/11/20118/19/20151
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3022901
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.62340

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15, Words: 76, Blocks: 40 Missing: {JQ} Spans: 2 This is puzzle # 3 for Mr. Polin. NYT links: Across Lite PDF

Timothy Polin notes: Tracy Gray's clever "Infractions" puzzle was my creative inspiration here. I loved Tracy's concept of representing a third word by stacking two unrelated words, so I tried to find a new twist on that type of thematic expression.

In general, the fill in most areas of this heavily constrained grid is decent. The SE, NE and SW corners are all pretty nice. Maybe changing LODI to LOKI and re-filling the SW would be a slight upgrade. But it's hard to imagine a way to improve the SE corner, given its triple-stacked, unmovable theme answers. Nor was there anything to be done to eliminate NIC and CMI beneath DISTANCE / TIME.

I did make two indisputable mistakes:

In the NW I messed up by using SAURON at 23a, which produced the entries OBS (ungood) and ACTA (doubleplusungood). Having struggled for so long to finish the trickiness of the rest of the grid, I was slipshod in filling that section and never considered alternatives to the Dark Lord after I saw he'd fit. It evidently didn't take much for me to fall under his evil sway. I would be a terrible Ring-bearer.

The mistake at the grid's bottom (DE TROP instead of BETTOR at 64a) can be chalked up to inexperience. The reason for NOR I instead of NOT I, CDS instead of CBS and MPS instead of MRS was that I was endeavoring not to duplicate the I in DARE I / SAY. These days I wouldn't blink twice at such a repeat. DE TROP is legitimate, but BETTOR would have been a substantial improvement. The kicker to all of this, of course, was that Will ended up cluing NOR I as [Me neither] instead of [Seaweed wrapped around sushi] — creating the very duplication I had contorted the fill to avoid in the first place.

That physics-related ERG hanging out at the center of the grid? Pure happenstance. Some people liked its inclusion there as an easter egg, and others found it inelegant. Tough to say.

JimH notes: PRESSURE=FORCE/AREA, SPEED=DISTANCE/TIME, DENSITY=MASS/VOLUME
1
O
2
B
3
S
4
A
5
F
6
I
7
R
8
S
9
T
10
T
11
W
12
I
13
G
14
R
A
T
15
S
L
O
O
P
S
16
H
O
N
E
17
C
R
A
18
C
K
U
N
D
E
R
19
F
O
R
C
E
20
A
C
T
A
21
E
S
S
A
22
A
R
E
A
23
S
A
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R
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O
N
25
K
26
O
S
27
R
E
D
U
C
28
E
29
D
I
S
T
30
A
31
N
32
C
33
E
34
T
Y
R
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N
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35
T
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M
E
36
H
37
A
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Z
39
E
S
40
E
R
G
41
C
E
C
I
L
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E
G
A
D
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C
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44
E
A
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P
O
P
U
46
L
A
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M
47
A
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S
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S
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O
N
O
51
V
O
L
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M
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E
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T
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H
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U
D
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R
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A
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N
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O
L
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P
H
Y
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I
61
C
S
F
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62
M
U
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A
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63
C
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M
E
64
D
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P
65
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P
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© 2013, The New York Times
Across Down
1. Delivery specialists, for short : OBS
4. Something groundbreaking : AFIRST
10. Tiny bit of kindling : TWIG
14. Chinese calendar figure : RAT
15. Seagoing vessels : SLOOPS
16. Refine : HONE
17. With 22-Across, fail to cope with difficult circumstances : CRACKUNDERPRESSURE
20. ___ Diurna (daily Roman notices) : ACTA
21. She, in Italy : ESSA
22. See 17-Across : AREA
23. Tolkien's Dark Lord of Mordor : SAURON
25. Belts boxers don't want to receive? : KOS
27. With 35-Across, highway sign meaning "slow down" : REDUCESPEED
34. Fist-pounding sort : TYRANT
35. See 27-Across : TIME
36. Ritually torments : HAZES
40. Unit of energy : ERG
41. British poet laureate ___ Day-Lewis : CECIL
42. Whimsical outburst : EGAD
43. Ingredient in an Arnold Palmer : ICETEA
45. With 51-Across, Monaco has the world's highest : POPULATIONDENSITY
50. The Yoko of "Oh Yoko!" : ONO
51. See 45-Across : VOLUME
53. Graceless landing, say : THUD
56. Hindu noblewoman : RANI
59. World Cup chorus : OLES
60. What the three sets of shaded squares in this puzzle represent : PHYSICSFORMULAS
63. Terse invitation : COME
64. Too much : DETROP
65. Poetic preposition : ERE
66. Some Groucho Marx humor : PUNS
67. Tarnishes : STAINS
68. Greek night goddess : NYX
1. Black-and-white threats : ORCAS
2. Where people get loaded on a train : BARCAR
3. Center of a square, maybe : STATUE
4. See 29-Down : ASK
5. Language learner's goal : FLUENCY
6. Particle accelerator particles : IONS
7. Engine parts : RODS
8. Addressing : SPEAKINGTO
9. Old D&D co. : TSR
10. Sif's husband in myth : THOR
11. Eroded (away) : WORE
12. South America's ___ Trail : INCA
13. Plowman's command : GEE
18. Stitch : CARD
19. Express : FAST
24. Exposes a secret of : OUTS
26. German direction : OST
28. Old A. C. Gilbert toy : ERECTORSET
29. With 4-Down, reluctant questioner's opening : DAREI
30. Eroded (away) : ATE
31. Actor Cage, informally : NIC
32. Early 10th-century year : CMI
33. California's ___ River : EEL
36. What was cool in the '50s? : HEP
37. Gone by : AGO
38. Nuke : ZAP
39. Follower of brown. or auburn. : EDU
41. Hunting gear, informally : CAMO
43. Golfer Poulter : IAN
44. Form a ring around : ENVIRON
46. City in New Jersey or California : LODI
47. Dominican baseball family name : ALOU
48. Showing ill humor : SULLEN
49. Like wet paint : SMEARY
52. County bordering Cambridgeshire : ESSEX
53. 10 benjamins : THOU
54. Canticle : HYMN
55. Exercises : USES
57. Colgate product for men : AFTA
58. "Me neither" : NORI
60. Hallucinogenic inits. : PCP
61. Composition of many a music library : CDS
62. Brit. legislators : MPS

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