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New York Times, Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Author:
Will Treece
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
22/11/201511/10/20150
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0011000
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.66001
Will Treece

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 74, Blocks: 36 Missing: none – this is a pangram. This is puzzle # 2 for Mr. Treece. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Will Treece notes:
Actors, musicians, and politicians: when I started researching famous people who shared names, those were the trends. We have John ... read more

Actors, musicians, and politicians: when I started researching famous people who shared names, those were the trends. We have John Adams (composer and US president), George Clinton (funk legend and Jefferson's VP), Paul Simon (musician and politician), Joe Jackson (musician and baseball player), and Jack Johnson (musician and boxer). The theme came together when I found four twelve-letter actors who shared names with other famous figures: ANNE HATHAWAY, GRAHAM GREENE, MATTHEW PERRY, and STEVE MCQUEEN.

At the time I made this, the pangram seemed worth the price of some weak threes (SDS, SSS, ICK, RTE), Looking back, I'm not so sure — but hopefully solvers who enjoy pangrams appreciate it. The center-left and center-right sections have the weakest fill, and I wonder if I could have avoided that by spacing out the theme entries more. One challenge in making this puzzle was limiting proper names in the fill, since the theme entries are so dependent on them.

Some things I enjoy: I really like HITIT at 1-Across to begin the puzzle. The BURLY ASSES in the bottom right are delightful (I swear that was the best fill). I lived in Abu Dhabi for two years, and accordingly there are some words from the Middle East here: HIJABS, IRANI, EUPHRATES, and AQABA. Overall, I enjoyed making this crossword — one of the first I ever made — and hope you get a kick out of seeing two famous figures juxtaposed next to each other by virtue of their name.

When I last wrote notes for a crossword, I was completing my Master's in Teaching. I'm now teaching world history at Park Slope Collegiate, a small public school in Brooklyn. Good luck out there to all the teachers out there who make crosswords part of their daily routine!

Jeff Chen notes:
My friends Megan and Dan are going to groan — they've been working on constructing a Sunday-size puzzle with this theme for ... read more

My friends Megan and Dan are going to groan — they've been working on constructing a Sunday-size puzzle with this theme for years. And it features MATTHEW PERRY! That one was my favorite, since both MATTHEW PERRYs are uber-famous. Well, the "Friends" actor hasn't done much recently, but he punched his ticket with the Chandler Bing role.

STEVE MCQUEEN of "12 Years a Slave"

ANNE HATHAWAY was interesting, as I didn't know anything about Shakespeare's wife. Fun to learn about the speculation regarding her helping Shakespeare write, or even fully writing for him.

STEVE MCQUEEN was the same way — I had no idea who the "12 Years a Slave" director was. Neat to learn that he was the first black director to win a Best Picture Academy Award.

GRAHAM GREENE … I'm sure there are a lot of "Dances with Wolves" and "The Thin Man" fans out there, but I'm neither. Made it tough to appreciate this one. It's fair game; just personal ignorance disrupting my ability to enjoy this one.

Will does a great job with his big NW corner — 5x5 regions are usually tough to fill cleanly and with sizzle. HIJABS is a colorful entry, with the J worked so smoothly into JOUST. Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) was a major ‘60s group, so that doesn't bother me at all.

I like how Will shoots for the moon in incorporating so much long fill in the lower left and upper right. ON THIN ICE and AIR INTAKE are themeless-quality answers, and EUPHRATES sings too. This arrangement forces some compromises like ATA and ECKO (is that brand of clothing popular?), but when these minor offenders allow great material, I'm all for it.

I would have liked a cleaner puzzle overall though. That ENDO / AS NO / RTE over ATH / SSS section especially made the puzzle feel glue-heavy.

I won't give away the other famous names Megan and Dan came up with (in addition to the ones Will uncovered!) in case they decide to try for another venue, but it was neat to see how many they discovered. This is a rare case where I feel like this concept might have been even better as a Sunday-size puzzle.

1
H
2
I
3
T
4
I
5
T
6
Z
7
O
8
O
9
T
10
R
11
A
12
N
13
S
14
I
R
A
N
I
15
E
U
P
16
H
R
A
T
E
S
17
J
O
U
S
T
18
S
C
R
E
E
C
H
E
S
19
A
N
N
E
H
20
A
T
H
A
W
A
Y
21
B
E
T
T
E
R
22
H
I
S
23
T
24
A
25
R
26
S
D
S
27
I
28
C
29
K
30
N
U
31
D
I
S
T
32
G
33
R
A
H
A
34
M
G
R
E
E
N
E
35
F
36
O
I
E
37
A
P
R
38
E
N
D
O
39
M
A
T
T
H
40
E
W
P
E
41
R
R
Y
42
U
N
I
S
E
X
43
A
D
O
44
S
45
O
46
D
47
M
G
S
48
A
T
49
A
50
T
51
A
52
T
T
L
E
53
S
T
E
V
54
E
55
M
C
Q
U
E
E
N
56
O
57
N
58
T
H
I
N
I
C
E
59
A
T
E
O
N
60
A
I
R
I
N
T
A
K
E
61
B
U
R
L
Y
62
F
L
I
N
G
63
N
O
T
64
A
S
S
E
S
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 1110 ( 24,108 )

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Students & seniors
Across
1. Jazz combo's cue : HITIT
6. Place of utter chaos : ZOO
9. Like Caitlyn Jenner, for short : TRANS
14. Tehran resident : IRANI
15. River to the Tigris : EUPHRATES
17. Tilters' contest : JOUST
18. Slam-on-the-brakes sounds : SCREECHES
19. "Les Misérables" actress [or] Wife of the Bard : ANNEHATHAWAY
21. On the mend : BETTER
22. ___ nibs (self-important one) : HIS
23. Fossil preserver : TAR
26. New Left org. of the '60s : SDS
27. "Bleah!" : ICK
30. One unlikely to have tan lines : NUDIST
32. "Dances With Wolves" actor [or] "The Third Man" author : GRAHAMGREENE
35. Source of pâté : FOIE
37. Cardholder's charge, for short : APR
38. Within: Prefix : ENDO
39. "Friends" actor [or] Naval officer who sailed to Japan in 1853 : MATTHEWPERRY
42. Like the name Robin : UNISEX
43. Hubbub : ADO
44. Landscaping supply grown on farms : SOD
47. Classic British sports cars : MGS
48. "I'm ___ loss" : ATA
50. Squeal : TATTLE
53. "The Great Escape" actor [or] "12 Years a Slave" director : STEVEMCQUEEN
56. Risking calamity : ONTHINICE
59. Used as a dining surface : ATEON
60. Front part of a jet engine : AIRINTAKE
61. Built like a bouncer : BURLY
62. One-night stand, say : FLING
63. "Just kidding!" : NOT
64. Nincompoops : ASSES
Down
1. Muslims' headscarves : HIJABS
2. Pressed : IRONED
3. Talks trash to : TAUNTS
4. Photo within a photo : INSET
5. Give 10% to a church : TITHE
6. Tabasco quality : ZEST
7. Response to a bad pun : OUCH
8. O, The ___ Magazine : OPRAH
9. One keeping everything in balance? : TREASURER
10. Risqué : RACY
11. Greek capital, to airlines : ATH
12. Alumna's bio word : NEE
13. Sound of a leaky tire : SSS
16. Chopping down : HEWING
20. Diva's delivery : ARIA
23. Caught up to, in a way : TIED
24. Come ___ surprise : ASNO
25. Mail deliverer's assignment: Abbr. : RTE
28. Tobacco plug : CHAW
29. Letter before lambda : KAPPA
31. Refuse to grant : DENY
32. Beats it, in rural lingo : GITS
33. Preparing, as leftovers : REHEATING
34. Sitcom equine of the '60s : MRED
35. Venom conduit : FANG
36. Redding of R&B : OTIS
39. Tight-lipped : MUM
40. Full range : EXTENT
41. Campus org. protested by the 26-Across : ROTC
44. Some beef cattle : STEERS
45. World Cup chant : OLEOLE
46. Chain serving breakfast around the clock : DENNYS
49. Like Audubon's subjects : AVIAN
51. Jordanian seaport : AQABA
52. "Swan Lake" attire : TUTUS
53. ___ splints (jogger's woe) : SHIN
54. Clothing brand with a long vowel mark in its name : ECKO
55. Comply with : MEET
56. Klutzy sort : OAF
57. Zero, in soccer : NIL
58. ___-color pasta : TRI

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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