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New York Times, Thursday, January 8, 2015

Author:
Jacob Stulberg
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
2912/25/201310/8/20180
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3448640
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1.59790
Jacob Stulberg

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 36 Missing: {JQZ} This is puzzle # 3 for Mr. Stulberg. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jacob Stulberg notes:
This is a revision of the first crossword I ever constructed. The original version's theme answers were PINTZCRYSTAL, HAROLDCUPER, ... read more

This is a revision of the first crossword I ever constructed. The original version's theme answers were PINTZCRYSTAL, HAROLDCUPER, OCGILLATION and HALFMEASURES. After polite rejection letters from several publications, it sat untouched for nearly a year until I thought to rework it into a rebus. Keeping QUARTZCRYSTAL in the new grid was a challenge, and I ended up using LIVINGQUARTERS instead ... not ideal, since QUART and QUARTERS share a root, but (I reasoned) less obviously so than something like STRINGQUARTETS.

For those who struggled with GILL, I'll confess that I had no idea the half-cup measure(ment) even had a name until I looked it up while working on this puzzle, though that triggered a dim memory of a "Simpsons" episode where a sneaky gifted student offers to trade Bart "1000 picoliters of my milk for 4 gills of yours."

Favorite answers: the sepia-toned pairing of MRTOAD and TENTSHOW. RIPINTWO was also a fun challenge to clue without using any form of the word "half" (already used in the revealer).

Jeff Chen notes:
I like new rebus ideas. To me, rebuses have been done so much that a single rebus, even one with a rationale (CRUSHED ICE explaining ... read more

I like new rebus ideas. To me, rebuses have been done so much that a single rebus, even one with a rationale (CRUSHED ICE explaining ICE in a single square, e.g.) is a bit passe. So although I struggled mightily to figure out what was going on here, I eventually cracked it and appreciated the clever idea, two pints – PINT PINT – making a QUART, CUP CUP making a PINT, GILL GILL making a CUP. Nice revealer too, HALF MEASURE hinting at the concept.

Gill measuring jugs

Let's address the elephant in the room. What the heck is a GILL? The unit has gone by the wayside (except apparently in measuring alcoholic spirits). Does that make it off-limits for crossword use?

I was stymied for the longest time, especially since MCGILL is only somewhat recognizable (sorry to all Canadians including but not limited to Jim and Jeffrey!). The more I think about it though, it feels not only reasonable but even desirable. I like a challenge in my crosswords, and figuring it out, even not knowing what a GILL was, gave me a great sense of accomplishment. So, thumbs up.

I can understand the desire to section off the difficult PINT PINT area up north. Working RIP IN TWO and TAP INTO side by side is no small task. However, creating a 6x3 section up north / down south often causes difficulty in normal circumstances – check out EEO, EFTS, AYR, ERS down south, for example – and with these added rebus-driven constraints, the need for glue becomes high. MFG isn't terrible, although it's not super familiar to me. ACR feels equally wonky though. And throw in a ONE K – I'm okay with an occasional FIVE K or TEN K, which are vastly more common in real life – and it feels like a lot of glue in just one area.

For all you pop culture idiots like me, KESHA apparently is very popular. Who knew? (Answer: everyone in America but me.) Thankfully, everything felt fair and I don't mind learning another person I really should know. (Sorry IMRE Kertesz and MOIRA Kelly, KESHA already filled up my new-person-learning brain cells for the day.)

1
I
2
M
3
R
4
E
5
M
6
R
7
T
8
O
9
A
10
D
11
C
12
A
13
W
14
S
O
A
R
15
F
I
A
N
C
E
16
A
D
O
17
L
I
V
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18
N
G
PINT
PINT
E
R
S
19
R
O
W
20
A
R
E
T
E
21
W
O
K
22
C
23
H
O
R
E
24
S
A
N
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E
25
M
O
26
V
E
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D
27
E
R
A
28
B
29
L
A
N
C
30
C
31
O
32
M
A
33
H
34
A
R
O
L
D
CUP
35
CUP
36
E
37
R
38
A
R
C
39
T
A
H
I
N
I
S
40
I
L
L
41
R
E
GILL
42
GILL
E
R
A
T
E
D
43
P
D
F
S
44
I
N
I
T
S
45
L
46
U
I
47
K
48
A
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R
A
T
S
50
C
Y
C
L
51
O
52
P
53
S
54
E
X
A
M
S
55
E
56
E
O
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L
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V
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L
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S
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H
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A
L
F
M
61
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A
S
U
R
E
62
H
O
P
63
O
Y
S
T
E
R
64
U
L
E
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65
A
M
Y
66
W
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67
P
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S
T
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0108 ( 23,802 )
Across
1. Nobel-winning novelist ___ Kertész : IMRE
5. "The Wind in the Willows" squire : MRTOAD
11. 3-Down sound : CAW
14. Take off : SOAR
15. Engagement party? : FIANCE
16. Kerfuffle : ADO
17. Place for a bed and dresser : LIVINGQUARTERS
19. Kerfuffle : ROW
20. Excellence, to ancient Greeks : ARETE
21. What may have quite a stir? : WOK
22. It's no fun : CHORE
24. City on the Italian Riviera : SANREMO
26. Not overt : VEILED
27. Time past : ERA
28. Like some vin : BLANC
30. Bad state to be in : COMA
33. 2005 Nobel-winning playwright : HAROLDPINTER
38. Ski jumper's path : ARC
39. Sesame seed pastes : TAHINIS
40. Sick : ILL
41. Got well : RECUPERATED
43. Acrobat displays? : PDFS
44. A., B. and others: Abbr. : INITS
45. Parisian pronoun : LUI
47. Word in many Bugs Bunny puns : KARATS
50. One outsmarted by Odysseus : CYCLOPS
54. They're marked : EXAMS
55. Job listing abbr. : EEO
57. Honest, informally : LEVEL
58. Family moniker : SIS
59. Inadequate effort ... or the contents of six squares in this puzzle? : HALFMEASURE
62. Pogo, e.g. : HOP
63. Word with bar or bed : OYSTER
64. 1997 Peter Fonda title role : ULEE
65. Adams of "Big Eyes" : AMY
66. Forcibly removes : WRESTS
67. Nag, e.g. : PEST
Down
1. ___ Marías (Mexican penal colony) : ISLAS
2. Actress Kelly : MOIRA
3. 11-Across maker : RAVEN
4. African nation with a much-disputed border : ERITREA
5. Econ. sector : MFG
6. Tear asunder : RIPINTWO
7. Use as a resource : TAPINTO
8. Short race, informally : ONEK
9. Horizontally: Abbr. : ACR
10. Sinks : DESCENDS
11. "Here We Come a-Wassailing," for one : CAROL
12. Treasure : ADORE
13. Blew away : WOWED
18. "A fuller blast ___ shook our battlements": "Othello" : NEER
23. Minor problem : HICCUP
25. George of "Route 66" : MAHARIS
26. On good grounds : VALIDLY
28. One side in the Boer Wars, informally : BRITS
29. Unaided : LONE
30. Roller coaster unit : CAR
31. Part of a krone : ORE
32. Montreal university : MCGILL
34. "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for ___" (1985 book) : AHAT
35. Winged god : CUPID
36. Middle-earth inhabitant : ELF
37. Literary monogram : RLS
39. Traveling circus, often : TENTSHOW
42. Funny Terry : GILLIAM
43. Accumulates : PILESUP
46. Winningest N.C.A.A. Basketball Championship sch. : UCLA
47. Singer with the #1 debut album "Animal," 2010 : KESHA
48. Start of a mathematical proof : AXIOM
49. Not smooth : RASPY
50. Brand once pitched by Josephine the Plumber : COMET
51. Small egg : OVULE
52. Tel Aviv's ___ Center for Peace : PERES
53. Wintry mix : SLEET
55. As well : ELSE
56. Tiny amphibians : EFTS
60. Site of the first Parliament of Scotland : AYR
61. R.N. locales : ERS

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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