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New York Times, Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Author: Matthew Sewell
Editor: Will Shortz
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98/24/20163/11/20181
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2104011
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.65121
Matthew Sewell

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 74, Blocks: 39 Missing: none – this is a pangram. This is puzzle # 4 for Mr. Sewell. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Matthew Sewell notes: This became a pangram by accident: I had something different in the bottom-middle, but while writing the clues I noticed a minor ... more
Matthew Sewell notes:

This became a pangram by accident: I had something different in the bottom-middle, but while writing the clues I noticed a minor duplication with another answer in the grid. Argh! The best fix brought in a Q, and there it was.

I appreciate Will and Joel's improvements to this puzzle, as well as the contributions of the test-solvers and the others involved in producing the final product.

Jeff Chen notes: I love me some fantasy basketball, so getting a BLOCK to REBOUND to PASS to DRIBBLE to SHOOT to TAKING OFF FROM THE FREE THROW LINE, ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

I love me some fantasy basketball, so getting a BLOCK to REBOUND to PASS to DRIBBLE to SHOOT to TAKING OFF FROM THE FREE THROW LINE, LEAPING OVER THREE GUYS AND WINDMILL DUNKING TO SMASH THE BACKBOARD was a great FAST BREAK.

That's how it went in my mind, at least.

I loved DRIBBLE GLASS and SHOOT EM UPS as phrases. The former is especially good, since it's not only a hilarious product (that's my middle-grade sense of humor speaking), but it hides the basketball meaning of DRIBBLE. SHOOT EM UPS does that to a lesser extent, but the term "sharpshooters" is used in bball all the time.

BLOCK HEEL … it does appear to be a real thing, but it didn't do much for me. (Not surprising, given my disinterest in fashion.) REBOUND GUY also didn't hit my ear very well. I suppose I can imagine someone being called that. But it felt off. What other REBOUND phrase is there, though?

I did wonder why there was a REBOUND in the sequence at all, but some research shows that whoever collects the BLOCKed shot does get credit for the rebound. So it does belong in the story after all.

One of the reasons I enjoy working with Matt is his relentless drive to make his fill as colorful and smooth as possible. Six longish themers is rarely easy to work around, but Matt still managed to incorporate PALOOKAS, SIDE ORDER, ANECDOTAL, CABARETS, etc. Considering some puzzles with much less theme only have a single pair of bonus entries, this is a great achievement. I enjoyed hitting all these bonuses during my solve.

There were some ESE, NEG, RELET, ELD, RAHS kinds of crossword glue, but they were all minor for me. I thought the trade-off was well worth it, as I like how much those long bonus entries add to the quality of a solve.

I'm six months out from my Achilles tear from playing bball, so watch out for my FAST BREAK! (Not referring to the Achilles, hopefully.)

1
U
2
P
3
C
4
W
5
E
6
E
7
D
8
S
9
R
10
A
11
H
12
S
13
S
A
O
14
I
T
S
O
N
15
I
N
A
P
16
T
17
B
L
O
18
C
K
H
E
E
L
19
S
E
D
E
R
20
O
L
D
I
E
21
S
E
C
A
D
A
22
E
O
N
S
23
R
24
E
25
B
26
O
U
N
D
G
U
Y
27
X
K
E
28
L
A
H
R
29
O
O
P
S
30
P
A
S
31
S
32
J
33
U
D
G
M
E
34
N
T
35
O
S
S
I
A
N
36
T
E
A
37
C
38
U
39
P
40
D
R
I
41
B
42
B
43
L
E
G
L
A
S
S
44
A
45
C
46
M
E
47
T
A
T
A
48
B
E
A
49
S
H
O
O
50
T
E
M
U
P
51
S
52
C
A
R
T
53
H
A
R
R
I
S
54
U
55
T
U
R
N
56
E
V
A
D
E
57
F
58
A
59
S
T
B
R
E
A
60
K
61
R
E
L
E
T
62
A
K
I
R
A
63
T
M
I
64
Z
E
R
O
65
Q
A
T
A
R
66
S
E
X
© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0118 ( 24,543 )

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Students & seniors
Across Down
1. Scanned bars, for short : UPC
4. Roundup targets : WEEDS
9. Cries from bleachers : RAHS
13. Word in Brazilian city names : SAO
14. "Game time!" : ITSON
15. Not suitable : INAPT
17. Platform sandal feature : BLOCKHEEL
19. "Next year in Jerusalem" meal : SEDER
20. Blast from the past : OLDIE
21. Jon with the 1992 hit "Just Another Day" : SECADA
22. Forever and a day : EONS
23. Boyfriend after a breakup, perhaps : REBOUNDGUY
27. Classic Jaguar : XKE
28. Bert who played the Cowardly Lion : LAHR
29. Klutz's utterance : OOPS
30. Render a verdict : PASSJUDGMENT
35. Bard of Gaelic legend : OSSIAN
36. ___ Chihuahua (tiny dog) : TEACUP
40. Novelty shop buy : DRIBBLEGLASS
44. High point : ACME
47. Soho send-off : TATA
48. Actress Arthur of "Maude" : BEA
49. Space Invaders and Asteroids, for two : SHOOTEMUPS
52. Airport rental : CART
53. Neil Patrick ___ of "How I Met Your Mother" : HARRIS
54. One-eighty : UTURN
56. Dance around, as an issue : EVADE
57. Dynamic basketball sequence represented by the starts of 17-, 23-, 30-, 40- and 49-Across : FASTBREAK
61. Find new tenants for : RELET
62. "Ran" director Kurosawa : AKIRA
63. Texter's "Didn't need to know that" : TMI
64. Abysmal score : ZERO
65. Persian Gulf emirate : QATAR
66. Census datum : SEX
1. Kind of port for a flash drive : USB
2. Inept boxers, in slang : PALOOKAS
3. Hipster's quality : COOLNESS
4. Collaborative online reference : WIKI
5. Anesthetic of old : ETHER
6. Language suffix : ESE
7. Female caribou : DOE
8. TV show on which "The Chanukah Song" debuted, informally : SNL
9. Like a fully cooked soufflé : RISEN
10. Not based on fact or research : ANECDOTAL
11. Tried one's luck : HADAGO
12. Floored it : SPEDUP
16. Cafeteria stack : TRAYS
18. Components of some I.R.A.s : CDS
21. ___ du Québec (police force) : SURETE
22. Comic-Con, e.g. : EXPO
24. Ancient times, in ancient times : ELD
25. Do a job at the checkout aisle : BAG
26. Resistance unit : OHM
31. Fries or slaw, usually : SIDEORDER
32. Musician's tip collector : JAR
33. Joins forces (with) : UNITES
34. Like rarer blood types: Abbr. : NEG
37. Song-and-dance shows : CABARETS
38. POTUS in Twitter's @POTUS, e.g. : USERNAME
39. Exam with a max score of 1520 : PSAT
41. "Ka-POW!" : BAM
42. A/C measure : BTU
43. Place for a grandchild, maybe : LAP
44. One of the 12 tribes of Israel : ASHER
45. Labor organizer Cesar : CHAVEZ
46. A pep talk may boost it : MORALE
50. Connect with : TIETO
51. Kama ___ : SUTRA
52. Ill-tempered mutt : CUR
55. Rope tow alternative : TBAR
57. Website's help section, briefly : FAQ
58. Rap sheet letters : AKA
59. Gather dust : SIT
60. Cereal made with a "puffing gun" : KIX

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle.

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