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New York Times, Saturday, November 12, 2016

Author:
David J. Kahn
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1813/15/199412/12/20185
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
4451224571326
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.5514211
David J. Kahn

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 68, Blocks: 30 Missing: {JQVZ} Spans: 5 This is puzzle # 169 for Mr. Kahn. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
David J. Kahn notes:
I'm more into writing themed puzzles but occasionally I'll write a Saturday with a minitheme or special gimmick, just to surprise ... read more

I'm more into writing themed puzzles but occasionally I'll write a Saturday with a minitheme or special gimmick, just to surprise solvers. This is one of them. The fun part for me with a Saturday puzzle is to see how hard or tricky you can make the clues; hopefully, solvers will have a good workout.

Jeff Chen notes:
A rebus in a themeless! I remember the first one I saw, back when I started doing late-week puzzles. Wow, was that an unpleasantly ... read more

A rebus in a themeless! I remember the first one I saw, back when I started doing late-week puzzles. Wow, was that an unpleasantly hard surprise, making me think I ought to just give up on ever becoming a late-week solver. Glad I stuck with it, and today the single COMMA rebus came with no problem. Well, not NO problem, but at least it seemed in the realm of possibility.

Just like yesterday's puzzle, this one uses a big interconnected skeleton of long answers, and this one is even less flexible. Six grid-spanning entries locking into each other is no joke. As a mechanical engineer, I use a mechanical analogy — each time you weld answers together, the areas around those welds get imbued with more and more strain, making it harder and harder to line things up properly / skin the final product flawlessly.

I loved parts of the skeleton — SUPER BOWL CHAMPS is awesome, and NEW YORK, NEW YORK crossing SECOND (COMMA)NDMENT is fun — but since these long answers are the features of the themeless, I really wanted all of them to be beautiful. Even this recreational coder isn't all that into REPORT GENERATOR, and HOME PHONE NUMBER feels like a throwback to the old days of land lines.

Thankfully, David managed to work more bonuses than I expected, TEAR GAS / SEX SCENE (what a sex scene that would be, yikes!), and NO REASON / OPEN FIRE.

ESTATE and TESTATE … that sat so poorly with me at first. What a surprise to learn that the words don't share etymology! So it's not technically a dupe, but it still feels somehow inelegant.

And AS RED (weird partial), old-school ALEE and HET, partial RIDA, ENES Kanter, ENE, AFR, etc. = too much crossword glue for my taste. Very common problem for a grid using this sort of interconnected skeleton.

But overall, a good workout, and the rebus square a little different.

1
N
2
O
3
S
4
I
5
D
6
E
7
T
8
E
9
A
10
R
11
G
12
A
13
S
14
O
P
U
S
E
S
15
S
E
X
S
C
E
N
E
16
R
E
P
O
R
T
17
G
E
N
E
R
A
T
O
R
18
E
N
E
19
N
A
R
C
20
E
S
S
I
E
21
A
F
R
22
T
O
O
23
B
24
A
D
25
I
N
N
26
S
I
B
27
R
E
G
N
A
L
28
A
N
T
E
29
O
R
O
30
N
O
31
D
R
E
32
A
M
T
33
N
E
W
Y
O
34
R
35
K
COMMA
N
E
W
Y
O
36
R
37
K
38
L
E
S
I
O
N
39
E
S
T
E
E
40
T
41
A
C
T
42
D
O
D
43
G
44
E
D
45
R
A
Y
46
O
S
H
47
C
A
L
M
E
D
48
O
R
C
49
P
L
A
50
N
A
51
E
N
E
52
S
53
U
S
A
54
H
O
M
E
P
55
H
56
O
N
E
N
U
57
M
B
E
R
58
A
P
P
A
R
E
N
T
59
I
M
G
L
A
D
60
T
E
S
T
A
T
E
61
C
O
M
E
T
S
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 1112 ( 24,476 )
Across
1. End of a match, in rugby : NOSIDE
7. Lachrymatory agent : TEARGAS
14. Works in a conservatory? : OPUSES
15. Part of a blue book? : SEXSCENE
16. Common database system program : REPORTGENERATOR
18. Liverpool-to-Leeds dir. : ENE
19. Deal breaker? : NARC
20. ___ Miller, "Ah, Wilderness!" woman : ESSIE
21. It's west of the Indian O. : AFR
22. "That's tough" : TOOBAD
25. Overnight letter? : INN
26. Possible recipient of hand-me-downs : SIB
27. Monarch-related : REGNAL
28. It's for starters : ANTE
29. America East Conference town : ORONO
31. Conceptualized : DREAMT
33. Sinatra/Bennett duet on the 1993 album "Duets" : NEWYORK,NEWYORK
38. Wound : LESION
39. Eponymous scent : ESTEE
40. "The art of making a point without making an enemy" : TACT
42. Moved quickly aside : DODGED
45. Beam : RAY
46. Old city in Kyrgyzstan : OSH
47. Died (down) : CALMED
48. Literary terror : ORC
49. The first thing to try (and hope for the best) : PLANA
51. 6'11" Kanter of the N.B.A. : ENES
53. Moscow Olympics boycotter : USA
54. Emergency contact info : HOMEPHONENUMBER
58. Seeming : APPARENT
59. Comment upon hearing good news : IMGLAD
60. Acting willfully? : TESTATE
61. "Dirty snowballs," to some astronomers : COMETS
Down
1. "Just wondering" : NOREASON
2. Start to fight : OPENFIRE
3. Traditional White House visitors : SUPERBOWLCHAMPS
4. Prefix with -tonic : ISO
5. Dad-blamed : DERN
6. ___ car (British station wagon) : ESTATE
7. Something to take for a break : TEN
8. Application ending : EXE
9. Comparable to a strawberry : ASRED
10. Some DVRs : RCAS
11. Has a brush with the law : GETSINTOTROUBLE
12. Dub ... or rub : ANOINT
13. Pacific : SERENE
15. Precept about idol worship : SECONDCOMMANDMENT
17. Sea spirits : GROG
23. Stable environment? : BARN
24. Protected, in a way : ALEE
27. Aussie critters : ROOS
28. Grant and Adams : AMYS
30. Security Council vote : NYET
32. Knocked silly : AWED
34. Rap's Flo ___ : RIDA
35. Newport rival : KOOL
36. Back space? : REARSEAT
37. Front desk collection : KEYCARDS
40. One getting tipped at a fancy supper club? : TOPHAT
41. Not even : ASLOPE
43. Code part : GENE
44. Blissful : EDENIC
47. Director of the first film to win all five top Oscars (Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress and Screenplay) : CAPRA
50. Trim : NEAT
52. Ring sport : SUMO
55. Riled (up) : HET
56. Marine ___ (presidential helicopter) : ONE
57. ___ lion : MGM

Answer summary: 7 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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