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New York Times, Saturday, November 12, 2016

Author:
David J. Kahn
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1843/15/19948/14/20195
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
4451326571326
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.5514231
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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