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New York Times, Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Author:
Greg Johnson
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
712/16/20133/30/20190
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0311002
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.65120
Greg Johnson

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 40 Missing: {FQXZ} There are unchecked squares This is puzzle # 5 for Mr. Johnson. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Notepad: When this puzzle is done, the circled letters, reading from top to bottom, will spell something that belongs in the center square.
Greg Johnson notes:
My original submission for this puzzle included a maze drawn with black bars (see right). That did not survive, unfortunately. The ... read more

Original concept My original submission for this puzzle included a maze drawn with black bars (see right). That did not survive, unfortunately. The maze began at the top of the grid and ended at the center, spelling M-I-N-O-T-A-U-R along the correct path. Will changed the circles and the cross-referenced clues — dare I say . . .

A-MAZE-INGLY.

Jeff Chen notes:
As a kid, I spent many hours, many days, many weeks, poring over 'D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths.' I love Greek mythology. I ... read more

One of my childhood favorites As a kid, I spent many hours, many days, many weeks, poring over "D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths." I love Greek mythology. I mean, I REALLY love Greek mythology. So it was fun to see the legend of the MINOTAUR featured in today's puzzle.

I like that Greg was able to work in quite a bit about the myth. One compelling feature of this story for me was the THREAD that ARIADNE gave THESEUS, which helped him find his way back through the LABYRINTH. I still picture with fascination a hero winding his way through the world's most complicated maze, a ball of thread in one hand, a sword at the ready in the other.

And with all the constraints, I liked that Greg managed to keep everything pretty clean. There's an A DAY and an ITS AT, plus RINSERS to accompany LOADERS, but given how much theme is worked in, that's really not much at all. KING MINOS did come easily for me thankfully, since that ABIDJAN / KING MINOS crossing would be rough for someone not familiar with the legend. THESEUS or the MINOTAUR, yes, those are names I think the NYT solving population really ought to know. KING MINOS is pushing it, so I would have liked to see fair crossings on all of those letters.

Wondering about ABIDJAN, listed in Wikipedia as the second-largest French-speaking city? Will and Frank and I had a long exchange about that, deciding that the "metropolitan area" definition of city is better here than "administrative city center." Seems odd to say that Paris has only two million residents, yeah? So although some reliable sources say differently due to their implied definition of "city," the best order seemed to be 1.) Paris, 2.) Kinshasa, 3.) Abidjan.

Overall, I wish there was a better visual representation of the legend — it's too bad Greg's original was just too different from the crossword mold. And the poor MINOTAUR, penned into a single square like a cow.

Finally, great clue for LEGOS. Getting all of the Greek mythology was a treat in itself, but to get the misdirection of thinking about which kids might stick together in a playroom was another highlight.

Jim Horne notes:
This is an important myth for crossword solvers. We get our word 'clue' from the 'clew' (ball of thread or yarn) that Ariadne gave ... read more

This is an important myth for crossword solvers. We get our word "clue" from the "clew" (ball of thread or yarn) that Ariadne gave Theseus to help him find his way out of the labyrinth.

1
S
2
O
3
B
4
P
5
D
6
A
7
A
8
S
9
T
10
H
11
M
12
A
13
T
H
E
14
S
E
U
S
15
T
H
R
E
A
D
16
I
N
T
E
A
R
S
17
S
H
O
U
L
D
A
18
R
O
S
A
19
A
A
20
R
P
21
U
T
L
E
Y
22
L
23
A
B
Y
R
I
24
N
T
H
25
I
26
S
27
H
28
C
L
E
R
K
S
29
S
30
C
31
I
32
T
W
E
33
E
T
E
D
34
Y
A
35
M
36
M
E
R
S
37
S
O
A
M
I
MINOTAUR
38
A
R
I
E
L
39
A
R
R
I
V
40
A
41
L
42
A
43
R
T
I
S
T
E
44
T
D
S
45
N
E
46
W
B
I
E
47
M
E
T
48
K
49
I
N
G
M
I
N
O
50
S
51
A
52
P
53
R
O
N
54
O
D
D
S
55
O
56
O
57
P
58
S
59
L
O
A
D
E
60
R
S
61
J
E
62
T
B
L
U
E
63
E
S
C
A
P
E
64
A
R
I
A
D
N
E
65
S
E
E
K
T
O
66
N
S
C
67
S
T
P
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0107 ( 23,801 )
Across
1
Blubber : SOB
4
Smartphone relative, for short : PDA
7
Allergy sufferer's concern : ASTHMA
13
Maze runner? : THESEUS
15
Item used by 13-Across to navigate the 22-Across : THREAD
16
Visibly upset ... or happy : INTEARS
17
Slangy word of regret : SHOULDA
18
Pink-colored, to Pedro : ROSA
19
Org. for seniors : AARP
21
Late TV newsman Garrick : UTLEY
22
Home of the [circled letters] : LABYRINTH
25
-like : ISH
28
Registered workers? : CLERKS
29
Poli-___ : SCI
32
Like some breaking news, nowadays : TWEETED
34
Goes on and on : YAMMERS
37
"Me, too" : SOAMI
38
Sharon of Israel : ARIEL
39
Announcement at an airport : ARRIVAL
42
Worker with a béret, maybe : ARTISTE
44
QB's goals : TDS
45
First-timer : NEWBIE
47
Began a relationship : MET
48
Ruler of 30-Down : KINGMINOS
51
Spatter catcher : APRON
54
5:2, e.g. : ODDS
55
"My bad!" : OOPS
59
Front-___ (some washing machines) : LOADERS
61
JFK-based carrier : JETBLUE
63
Avoid, as the [circled letters] : ESCAPE
64
Daughter of 48-Across who helped 13-Across : ARIADNE
65
Plan so that maybe one can : SEEKTO
66
White House advisory grp. : NSC
67
Motor oil choice : STP
Down
1
Kool-Aid packet direction : STIR
2
"I'm in for it now!" : OHNO
3
They're placed in Vegas : BETS
4
Soup veggie : PEA
5
Resistant to wear and tear : DURABLE
6
Analyzed : ASSAYED
7
Sports dept. : ATH
8
"Give me a ___" : SHOUT
9
Tell it to the judge : TRUTH
10
Dante's "Inferno" : HELL
11
Constructed : MADE
12
Old TV's "Queen for ___" : ADAY
14
Circus balancer : SEAL
17
Like some punk rockers' hair : SPIKY
20
Basics of education, colloquially : RRR
23
End of Arthur Miller's "The Crucible," e.g. : ACTIV
24
Intel org. : NSA
25
Where ___ (a happening place) : ITSAT
26
Weapon used to slay the [circled letters] : SWORD
27
Catches word of : HEARS
29
Earthquake : SEISM
30
Home of the [circled letters] : CRETE
31
Key : ISLET
33
U.K. record label : EMI
35
San ___ : MATEO
36
Hosp. scan : MRI
40
Many a girl's middle name : ANN
41
They stick together in the playroom : LEGOS
42
Third-largest French-speaking city in the world [hint: it's in Ivory Coast] : ABIDJAN
43
Some salon workers : RINSERS
46
Iraq war subj. : WMD
48
Big name in the film industry : KODAK
49
Bumbling : INEPT
50
Japanese noodles : SOBA
51
Quaffs in pints : ALES
52
Sit (for) : POSE
53
Campaign : RACE
56
88, e.g., familiarly : OLDS
57
Give up, at least for now : PUNT
58
Ooze : SEEP
60
___ Speedwagon : REO
62
Constantly twirling a lock of hair, e.g. : TIC

Answer summary: 1 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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