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New York Times, Friday, November 28, 2014

Author:
Tracy Gray
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
259/8/20104/8/20196
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
6345610
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.61441
Tracy Gray

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 34 Missing: {QXZ} This is puzzle # 10 for Ms. Gray. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Tracy Gray notes:

Happy Day-After-Thanksgiving, everybody! Who doesn't like finding a sale or two...or even four, especially on Black Friday?! Hope you enjoy it! Gone shopping!

Jeff Chen notes:
Ah, the trickery! A rebus puzzle on a Friday will throw many solvers off, but I think tossing in a monkey wrench once in a while is ... read more

Ah, the trickery! A rebus puzzle on a Friday will throw many solvers off, but I think tossing in a monkey wrench once in a while is just what the doctor ordered. Keeps everyone on their toes. And how nicely appropriate to have a BLACK FRIDAY theme on Black Friday itself. I appreciated that the theme wasn't immediately apparent even after uncovering BLACK FRIDAY — finding the special squares in a rebus puzzle is like a little Easter egg hunt, and having to figure out what the rebus actually is in the first place adds an appreciated layer of complexity.

Interesting interpretation of BLACK FRIDAY, hinting at four SALE squares. I was so sure that FRI would appear in black squares somehow, similar to a PAINT IT BLACK puzzle from earlier this year. I liked being surprised — nice to be caught off guard. It would have been nice to have a stronger connection to why the SALEs were in rebus squares (like how CRUSHED ICE logically hints at ICE rebus squares), but sometimes you just have to go with the flow.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Tracy goes big in the NE and SW corners, treating us to great stacks of long answers alongside the themers. ERIC CARLE may not be that well known outside of picture books, but he's a superstar within that arena. Him plus TEA KETTLE for just the price of a SKEE = big win. Loved that corner. The opposite corner works well too — EILAT will be a toughie for many, and I'll take it any day (with fair crossings) in order to get the awesome TESLA COIL. Beautiful work.

Things get a tiny bit rougher around the north and south, the awkward (var.) tag required for the infrequently seen SHMO, a SYST, a KAT, and RFDS. At first glance, these areas seem like they might be easier to fill than the NE / SW, as they seem like smaller chunks of white space. But 6x3 areas in the north and south make things tough — these bigger blocks are much more difficult to fill cleanly than the usual 5x3 ones. Tracy had to pay the piper — putting a column of black squares so far to the right (directly next to SPRINGS A LEAK) makes things easier in that beautiful NE triple-stack, but harder in the north section bounded by SHMO and SYST.

Still, these glue bits are small in quantity, and only SHMO is really unsightly in my opinion. Overall, I found it to be a really fun experience, enjoying the obliqueness of the BLACK FRIDAY hint as well as all the strong long fill.

1
M
2
A
3
W
4
S
5
T
6
E
7
A
8
M
9
S
10
S
11
E
12
T
13
A
D
O
14
S
15
H
A
R
L
E
Y
16
P
R
E
17
J
E
R
U
18
SALE
M
C
R
O
S
S
19
R
I
A
20
O
L
D
P
R
O
21
H
O
T
22
L
I
C
K
23
R
E
S
I
N
24
I
25
V
A
N
26
O
N
C
E
27
N
O
28
S
H
E
S
29
B
E
G
A
T
30
R
31
A
32
T
E
33
T
O
T
34
N
E
W
SALE
R
T
35
O
D
E
36
C
A
P
E
37
C
O
D
38
A
L
L
39
SALE
M
S
40
L
O
T
41
R
O
I
42
S
K
E
E
43
E
I
L
A
T
44
B
A
R
D
45
O
T
46
P
S
A
T
47
B
I
N
D
48
M
Y
49
L
50
A
51
R
52
A
S
C
E
53
T
I
C
54
R
A
M
A
D
A
55
R
I
O
56
B
L
A
57
C
58
K
F
R
I
D
A
Y
59
K
O
I
60
A
B
R
O
A
D
61
E
L
M
O
62
S
N
L
63
R
O
B
O
T
S
64
E
SALE
N
© 2014, The New York TimesNo. 1128 ( 23,761 )
Across
1
Gaping opening : MAW
4
Tees off : STEAMS
10
Salon service : SET
13
Hoo-has : ADOS
15
"Easy Rider" ride : HARLEY
16
Beginning to mature? : PRE
17
Christian symbol used during the Crusades : JERUSALEMCROSS
19
Coastal feature : RIA
20
Expert : OLDPRO
21
Bit of electric guitar play : HOTLICK
23
Epoxy, e.g. : RESIN
24
Trading insider Boesky : IVAN
26
Ages ago : ONCE
27
Results of refrigerator raids : NOSHES
29
Fathered : BEGAT
30
Prime or crime follower : RATE
33
Small amount of liquor : TOT
34
Many an informative tweet : NEWSALERT
35
Wordsworth's "___: Intimations of Immortality" : ODE
36
New England architectural style : CAPECOD
38
Best effort : ALL
39
Early Stephen King thriller : SALEMSLOT
41
Charles, for one : ROI
42
Ball opener? : SKEE
43
Gulf of Aqaba resort city : EILAT
44
"... And God Created Woman" actress : BARDOT
46
Its highest possible score is 240, for short : PSAT
47
Jam : BIND
48
Space blanket material : MYLAR
52
St. Francis of Assisi, for one : ASCETIC
54
Chain owned by Wyndham Worldwide : RAMADA
55
Hit animated film of 2011 : RIO
56
Time of annual madness ... or a hint to four squares in this puzzle : BLACKFRIDAY
59
Colorful carp : KOI
60
One way to study : ABROAD
61
Falsetto-voiced Muppet : ELMO
62
It has many famous alums : SNL
63
Some NASA designs : ROBOTS
64
Big Sur institute : ESALEN
Down
1
Epic : MAJOR
2
Singer who was awarded an M.B.E. in 2013 : ADELE
3
An argument : WORDS
4
Ordinary guy: Var. : SHMO
5
XXX part : TAC
6
Misidentify, e.g. : ERR
7
Warm greetings? : ALOHAS
8
Unstable physics particle : MESON
9
Alphabetizing, e.g.: Abbr. : SYST
10
Cracks, as piping : SPRINGSALEAK
11
"The Very Hungry Caterpillar" author : ERICCARLE
12
It whistles while it works : TEAKETTLE
14
Flat on one's back : SUPINE
18
Italian port on the Tyrrhenian Sea : SALERNO
22
Theater magnate Marcus : LOEW
24
"Come hungry. Leave happy" sloganeer : IHOP
25
Expert : VETERAN
28
Assists, e.g. : STAT
29
Sack : BED
30
Mother of the Freedom Movement, to friends : ROSALEEPARKS
31
What a ticket is good for : ADMISSION
32
Electrical transformer : TESLACOIL
34
Reason to be barred from a bar : NOID
36
Simple 29-Down : COT
37
Part of a tennis net : CORD
40
One way to be running or working : LATE
42
Stonewall, say : STYMIE
44
Tummy soother : BICARB
45
Baseball All-Star Infante : OMAR
47
Tolkien protagonist : BILBO
49
Big dipper : LADLE
50
Water : ADAMSALE
51
So-called "laboratory's first gift to the loom" : RAYON
53
Way up? : TBAR
54
Country addresses, for short : RFDS
57
Baby's sound : COO
58
"2 Broke Girls" actress Dennings : KAT

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle.

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