It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker. Please consider supporting our site by purchasing an account.
This web browser is not supported. Use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge for best results.

New York Times, Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Author:
Jeremy Newton
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
176/15/20083/9/20172
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
13011200
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.81663
Jeremy Newton

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 34 Missing: {JQX} This is puzzle # 15 for Mr. Newton. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeremy Newton notes:
CLERICALHEIR was the seed of the theme. And then HORROR, ERROR, MIRROR, and TERROR came together as a nice quartet. There's something ... read more

CLERICALHEIR was the seed of the theme. And then HORROR, ERROR, MIRROR, and TERROR came together as a nice quartet. There's something reassuring as a crossword constructor when only a handful of words fit a restrictive word pattern: here, *RROR. I rest easier when not leaving out other possibilities.

I considered a reversal of the puns, where HOAR FROST becomes HORROR FROST, MERE MORTALS becomes MIRROR MORTALS, etc. But ultimately couldn't nail down a strong, consistent theme set I liked.

I found a reduction of "THREE R's" more satisfying — instead of revealing the common word pattern in every theme answer. Chopping off the last syllables of *RROR words seems closer to how most people pronounce them anyways. HOAR, HEIR, MERE, and TEAR pack more of a familiar punch when read out loud.

Being from Texas, I can assure you: these are spot-on pronunciations when spoken with a drawl. "Hold on. Gotta adjust this here rear-view mere."

Hope this was a fun solve!

Jeff Chen notes:
Sound change theme, two-syllable words ending in -RROR getting their last syllable dropped, and the first syllable replaced with a ... read more

Sound change theme, two-syllable words ending in -RROR getting their last syllable dropped, and the first syllable replaced with a real-word homonym. Complicated! I liked that all of the final words had a replacement that made me work to figure out the base phrase (ROCKY HORROR, CLERICAL ERROR, REARVIEW MIRROR, SHEER TERROR).

Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" from "Orange is the New Black"

REARVIEW MERE felt like the weakest of the bunch, as I kept on staring at the word MERE, wondering what I was missing. (The dictionary lists "a small lake or pond" as a secondary definition of MERE. Curious.) I wonder how many solvers actually looked it up vs. shrugging and moving on.

I like that Jeremy used a complete set — can you think of any other words ending in -RROR? — and all four sound changes worked in exactly the same way. Such completeness is so elegant. It would have been perfect if MERE had been a more common noun, but what can you do.

I'm mixed on THREE RS as a revealer. What about the poor O in -RROR? The THREE RS just doesn't seem to describe what's happening very well. I think I would have preferred to do without it.

Speaking of doing without, ADOLF next to SHEER (terror). Yikes.

Jeremy always does such a nice job with his long fill, and he goes big today, working in an astounding eight (!) pieces of long fill as well as some mid-length stuff. Very few constructors would tackle such a task, and cramming in CHINA SHOP, PEN NAMES and SAYS A LOT into a corner which already has a theme answer is a bold move. I don't like the long partial A HOME, but APRS and AMI are minor.

The CRAZY EYED corner is easier, with just one long piece of fill, but working in the bonus of GO AWOL makes it tricky as well. Again, Jeremy executes well on it.

And some beautiful pieces of languages in BUM A SMOKE and I SURE WILL. Jeremy is such a star at working great long fill into his puzzles.

Although some aspects of the theme execution didn't quite work for me, I still really enjoyed this one.

1
S
2
A
3
R
4
I
5
S
6
S
7
K
8
A
9
G
10
U
11
C
12
C
13
I
14
C
H
I
N
A
15
S
H
O
P
16
O
S
R
I
C
17
R
O
C
K
Y
H
O
A
R
18
A
B
A
T
E
19
A
M
I
20
S
A
W
21
S
22
O
W
23
Z
I
T
24
P
E
N
25
N
A
M
E
26
S
27
N
O
28
S
Y
29
C
L
E
R
I
30
C
A
L
H
E
31
I
32
R
33
T
34
A
35
B
O
O
36
D
U
I
37
H
Y
D
E
38
I
C
U
39
T
40
H
41
R
E
E
R
42
S
43
E
L
I
44
E
M
M
45
A
46
O
A
T
47
O
48
G
D
E
N
49
R
E
A
R
50
V
I
E
W
51
M
52
E
R
E
53
S
K
I
S
54
O
U
T
C
L
55
A
56
S
57
S
58
P
59
O
M
60
E
T
61
A
62
S
H
E
63
T
C
U
64
A
D
O
65
L
F
66
S
67
H
E
E
R
68
T
E
A
R
69
T
O
K
Y
O
70
I
S
U
R
E
W
I
L
L
71
S
N
E
E
R
72
A
T
M
73
R
A
N
D
Y
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0113 ( 24,172 )
Across
1
Wraps around the subcontinent : SARIS
6
The Rocksteady 7 genre : SKA
9
Hermès rival : GUCCI
14
Market not to be bullish in? : CHINASHOP
16
Courtier who invites Hamlet to a duel : OSRIC
17
Frost mixed with pebbles? : ROCKYHOAR
18
Ebb away : ABATE
19
Bud in Burgundy : AMI
20
Dated : SAW
21
Scatter : SOW
23
Bad spot for taking prom pictures : ZIT
24
Authors of fiction? : PENNAMES
27
Having a propensity to dig : NOSY
29
Priest getting what's coming to him? : CLERICALHEIR
33
Don't do it : TABOO
36
High on hwys. : DUI
37
Title Mr. of literature : HYDE
38
Post-operation site, for short : ICU
39
Elementary education ... or feature of the last words punned upon in 17-, 29-, 49- and 66-Across : THREERS
43
"Y" wearer : ELI
44
Poet Lazarus : EMMA
46
Equine nibble : OAT
47
City by the Wasatch Mountains : OGDEN
49
Pond admired from the back porch? : REARVIEWMERE
53
Pair for some Winter Olympians : SKIS
54
Eclipse : OUTCLASS
58
Juice drink brand : POM
60
Expected hr. at the airport : ETA
62
That ship : SHE
63
The Horned Frogs of the N.C.A.A. : TCU
64
First name in infamy : ADOLF
66
Chiffon mishap? : SHEERTEAR
69
Home of the Imperial Palace : TOKYO
70
Volunteer's affirmation : ISUREWILL
71
Villain's look : SNEER
72
Currency unit, briefly : ATM
73
Feeling sexually aroused : RANDY
Down
1
Jettison : SCRAP
2
"Oh, give me ___ ..." : AHOME
3
Poison used on TV's "Breaking Bad" : RICIN
4
Tats : INK
5
Speaks volumes : SAYSALOT
6
April weather event : SHOWER
7
Org. for R.V. lovers : KOA
8
Lenders' figs. : APRS
9
Vanish, in a way : GOAWOL
10
Type of laptop-to-printer connection : USB
11
Loony-looking : CRAZYEYED
12
New York's ___ Field : CITI
13
"Home Invasion" rapper : ICET
15
"For ___!" : SHAME
22
Studio alert : ONAIR
25
PX patron : NCO
26
"Hello Goodbye" to "All You Need Is Love" on the Beatles' "Magical Mystery Tour" album : SIDETWO
28
"Put a cork in it!" : SHH
30
Maestro's signal : CUE
31
Do nothing : IDLE
32
Jockey strap : REIN
33
Grand ___ (opera house section) : TIER
34
Tiptop : ACME
35
Pick from another's pack : BUMASMOKE
40
Give a lift : HOIST
41
Funny Charlotte : RAE
42
Enchanting sort : SORCERER
45
Couples' getaway? : ARK
48
Come together : GEL
50
Try to win : VIEFOR
51
Oil spot? : MUSEUM
52
Old anesthetic : ETHER
55
Dined at home : ATEIN
56
Burn, as milk : SCALD
57
Irritably sullen : SURLY
58
New England football team, informally : PATS
59
Use in great excess : ODON
61
It's west of the Pacific : ASIA
65
Corrosive stuff : LYE
67
D.D.E.'s predecessor : HST
68
Old "You're going to like us" sloganeer : TWA

Answer summary: 8 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?