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New York Times, Thursday, October 26, 2017

Author: Jacob Stulberg
Editor: Will Shortz
Jacob Stulberg
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
2612/25/20135/1/20180
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2248640
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.59780

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 38 Missing: {JQZ} This is puzzle # 24 for Mr. Stulberg. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jacob Stulberg notes: Today's theme began as an attempt to create a 'meta-rebus' puzzle—i.e., a rebus puzzle in which every rebus square ... more
Jacob Stulberg notes:

Today's theme began as an attempt to create a "meta-rebus" puzzle—i.e., a rebus puzzle in which every rebus square contained the letters REBUS. While searching for potential theme answers, I happened upon MT. EREBUS and realized that it could serve as a tricky revealer in its own right. Favorite answer: GROWUP, whose original clue, "Response to a playground insult," appropriately aged into "Response to a sophomoric joke" en route to publication.

Jeff Chen notes: MT EREBUS parsed as MTE REBUS, giving a nice rationale for why M T E are squished into a square. I've long wondered why we use the ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

MT EREBUS parsed as MTE REBUS, giving a nice rationale for why M T E are squished into a square. I've long wondered why we use the term "rebus" to describe "multiple letters jammed into a square" — I'm used to "rebus" describing a picture — but it's just one of those insidery crossword things.

I knew what MT EREBUS was! Honest! What, you don't believe me? I must insist that I … okay, fine. Never heard of it. Glad to learn what it was — southernmost active volcano, that's a cool fact — but boy, was it hard to parse a weird MTEREBUS string when EREBUS sounded so unfamiliar.

Some great theme phrases, FORT SUMTER, FARM TEAM, WISDOM TEETH, ASSAM TEA, WILLIAM TELL, TIM TEBOW all beautiful. I would have liked one more pair of themers like this — just three rebus squares felt a bit miserly — but where would you stick another? I suppose Jacob could have made the revealer (MTE)REBUS with another MTE square, but that would have been plain old mean!

Generally clean gridwork, just some minor CTA, RAHS, RRS type stuff. Not easy to do when you have to work around crossing pairs of themers. But I did feel that the grid was choked-off, with so many narrow passageways. Would have been great to get more of an open feel to the puzzle, with a couple more pieces of bonus long fill. Perhaps by taking out the black square between FDA and FORE, or GMC and ASP?

This would no doubt have introduced some more crossword glue into the fill, but oddly enough, that might have made for a more pleasurable solving experience in places. For instance, I got horribly stuck in the north section, unable to determine what [Anterior] could be. Short answers like FORE and FRAT can be tough to clue in challenging ways, so in Thursday puzzles, they often end up being frustratingly and opaquely difficult, without much of an a-ha moment to reward all your head-banging. (Didn't help that I held onto WRAP party for the longest time; sigh.)

Clever concept to parse MT EREBUS into MTE REBUS. I wonder if it'll be too crossword-insidery for some solvers, though.

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H
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© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 1026 ( 24,824 )
Across Down
1. Doesn't lose : HAS
4. Klutzes : OAFS
8. Response to a sophomoric joke : GROWUP
14. Tolkien creature : ORC
15. ___ party : FRAT
16. Spot for a yacht : MARINA
17. Grp. known as the Bureau of Chemistry from 1901 to 1927 : FDA
18. Anterior : FORE
19. Holders of toys : CHESTS
20. Site of a famous opening shot : FORTSUMTER
22. Debaters take them : SIDES
23. See 60-Down : AREA
24. Answer to "Who wears a long cap on his head?," in song : SANTA
27. "You got it!" : DONE
28. Asparagus, mostly : STEM
30. Indian beverage : ASSAMTEA
32. Unfamiliar with : NEWTO
35. Be down : MOPE
36. Go down : EBB
38. Courageous and energetic sort, they say : ARIES
39. "___ my first night beneath the Sun" (Dickinson poem) : TIS
40. Featherweight champion of the world, e.g. : TITLE
42. Weekly 90-min. TV show : SNL
43. Heart : CRUX
45. Pale : ASHEN
46. "Bandstand Boogie" bandleader Larry : ELGART
48. Black ___ (voodoo and such) : ARTS
50. 17+ million square miles of the earth : ASIA
51. Certain Bach composition : SUITE
53. Biblical preposition : UNTO
57. Impress : STAMP
59. Southernmost active volcano in the world ... or a cryptic hint to certain squares in this puzzle : MTEREBUS
61. 2007 Heisman winner who went on to play for the Broncos : TIMTEBOW
63. Pointy-headed fish : PIKE
64. Windy City rail inits. : CTA
65. Squaring (with) : INLINE
66. "The great binder and loosener," per Jung : EROS
67. "For shame!" : TSK
68. 4 x 100 and others : RELAYS
69. Split : LEFT
70. Timetable word : VIA
1. Labor leader played by Jack Nicholson in a 1992 biopic : HOFFA
2. Vim : ARDOR
3. It might make you start : SCARE
4. "Takes care of" : OFFS
5. Vivify : AROUSE
6. AA group : FARMTEAM
7. Finger-wagging, say : STERN
8. Sierra and Canyon maker : GMC
9. Stadium sounds : RAHS
10. Frozen food brand : OREIDA
11. Ones down in the mouth? : WISDOMTEETH
12. Like something that can't be defended : UNTENABLE
13. Out of style : PASSE
21. Sense of style : TASTE
25. Southwestern ski resort : TAOS
26. "Cleopatra" prop : ASP
29. Opera that takes place in 1800 and premiered in 1900 : TOSCA
31. Attack : SETAT
32. "Cherry Wine" rapper, 2012 : NAS
33. Lily Tomlin's "one ringy-dingy" character on old TV : ERNESTINE
34. Apple employer, once? : WILLIAMTELL
35. Not remain aloof : MIX
37. Big thing in London? : BEN
39. Frilly garment : TUTU
41. Something to debate : ISSUE
44. Norfolk Southern and others: Abbr. : RRS
47. Its capital is an Atlantic port : GAMBIA
48. Raiment : ATTIRE
49. Smell like : REEKOF
50. Bustling : ASTIR
52. Drive : IMPEL
54. 42-Across airer : NBCTV
55. East African people : TUTSI
56. Home of Panasonic : OSAKA
58. Kind of keg : PONY
60. With 23-Across, picnic table locale : REST
62. Director Anderson : WES

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle.

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