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New York Times, Wednesday, November 28, 2018

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

This puzzle:

Rows: 16, Columns: 15 Words: 85, Blocks: 38 Missing: {JQXZ} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 180 for Mr. Kahn. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
David J. Kahn notes:
Often I find that when I'm vacationing somewhere, an idea for a puzzle will come to mind. My wife and I were in Paris last summer when ... read more

Often I find that when I'm vacationing somewhere, an idea for a puzzle will come to mind. My wife and I were in Paris last summer when the theme for this puzzle popped up. The goal was to find as many French things as would fit (6 here) without creating a lot of crosswordese and place them in a way that would tie into the theme.

(If solvers want to say the puzzle is "well-executed," that's okay, I won't groan.)

Jeff Chen notes:
FRENCH REVOLUTION, interpreted as 'words that can follow FRENCH, arranged in rings.' I was utterly baffled for an embarrassingly long ... read more

FRENCH REVOLUTION, interpreted as "words that can follow FRENCH, arranged in rings." I was utterly baffled for an embarrassingly long time by FRENCH TRYPAS. Even more embarrassing was the fact that I shrugged it off as something I was too uncultured to know.

These types of themes are notoriously difficult to construct around. Every time you lock a circled letter in place, it creates so much grid inflexibility, stressing the surrounding region.

David did something very smart, placing black square(s) in the middle of each revolved word, which makes the filling job ten times easier. He also allowed himself to start the theme words at any random position, which helped out even more. Given the level of difficulty, I expected a lot of glue in the fill, but I was pleased to see it kept to a passable amount, with the AREEL / FARO / ESTERS / DRT / OSSO the only region that bugged my constructor's sensibilities.

It felt odd though, to have CUFF, DOOR, POODLE, and KISS start in the same(ish) position, but not HORN and STRYPA – er, PASTRY. I'd have preferred more randomness overall, so the outliers didn't feel like such ... well, outliers.

I wonder if using French FRIES and TOAST (or BREAD) would have been better, even if they didn't produce quite circle-ish shapes. Would likely have made the construction job that much easier, too.

1
R
2
I
3
B
4
M
5
I
6
F
7
F
8
T
9
A
10
P
11
P
12
E
13
D
14
O
N
E
15
L
I
N
E
R
16
O
R
E
L
S
E
17
G
A
T
O
R
A
D
E
18
S
T
R
A
T
A
19
U
P
T
O
20
N
I
N
21
E
S
22
Y
E
N
23
E
T
E
24
H
E
N
C
E
25
A
26
P
S
E
S
27
R
28
O
O
29
H
O
30
W
T
O
31
B
32
A
D
A
C
33
T
34
O
R
35
H
A
W
36
K
37
E
38
D
39
O
L
A
F
40
U
S
E
41
R
I
D
42
I
R
E
43
A
M
Y
44
F
L
A
V
O
R
45
O
C
T
A
46
R
A
S
47
C
A
L
48
O
N
L
49
O
O
K
E
R
50
A
R
E
51
E
L
52
A
P
U
53
T
54
E
55
M
P
O
56
R
U
57
B
58
I
K
59
P
60
A
61
D
62
O
L
E
63
O
A
T
E
S
64
I
A
G
O
65
W
I
E
66
L
67
D
S
68
I
N
E
69
S
C
R
O
W
70
E
S
T
E
R
S
71
O
N
R
E
C
O
R
D
72
D
E
S
O
T
O
73
N
Y
E
T
74
W
A
Y
© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 1128 ( 25,222 )
Across
1. Roast a bit : RIB
4. Tee off : MIFF
8. Called on : TAPPED
14. Roast bit : ONELINER
16. Words in a threat : ORELSE
17. Contents of a football "shower" : GATORADE
18. Echelons : STRATA
19. As many as : UPTO
20. Last readout before an odometer rolls over : NINES
22. Kobe cash : YEN
23. Juillet's season : ETE
24. Accordingly : HENCE
25. Church recesses : APSES
27. A. A. Milne hopper : ROO
29. Self-help genre : HOWTO
31. Miscreant : BADACTOR
35. Peddled : HAWKED
39. One of Snoopy's brothers, in "Peanuts" : OLAF
40. Surfing moniker : USERID
42. Wrath : IRE
43. Actress Adams : AMY
44. Strawberry, e.g. : FLAVOR
45. Numerical prefix : OCTA
46. "Little" one of old TV : RASCAL
48. Witness : ONLOOKER
50. Staggering : AREEL
52. "The Simpsons" clerk : APU
53. Beat : TEMPO
56. Noted Hungarian puzzler : RUBIK
59. Inflate, as a bill : PAD
62. Oaxaca whoop : OLE
63. 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee John : OATES
64. "I am not what I am" speaker : IAGO
65. Exerts : WIELDS
68. How some deposits are held : INESCROW
70. Fragrant compounds : ESTERS
71. Public : ONRECORD
72. Contemporary of Pizarro : DESOTO
73. Da's opposite : NYET
74. Course of action : WAY
Down
1. Good-for-nothing : ROGUE
2. Not pertinent : INAPT
3. What things on the downslide may have "seen" : BETTERDAYS
4. Old space station : MIR
5. Ludicrous : INANE
6. Provided, as data : FEDIN
7. Historical event suggested by each of the six groups of circled letters : FRENCHREVOLUTION
8. Coin ___ : TOSS
9. "What you can get away with," according to Andy Warhol : ART
10. For each : PER
11. What Ascap counts for purposes of royalties : PLAYS
12. First name in skin care : ESTEE
13. Emory board feature? : DEANS
15. Lav, in Leeds : LOO
21. Abbr. in help-wanted ads : EEO
24. Ad ___ committee : HOC
25. Not much : ATAD
26. Punch line? : POW
28. Big lug : OAF
30. Attempt, informally : WHIRL
31. Wild pig : BOAR
32. President Coin in the "Hunger Games" series : ALMA
33. Veil material : TULLE
34. Spanish she-bear : OSA
36. Start some trouble : KICKUPAROW
37. Harper's Bazaar cover designer : ERTE
38. Pricey : DEAR
41. Darling of baseball : RON
44. Betting game popular with Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday : FARO
45. Alley-___ : OOP
47. Limit : CAP
49. Symbol of durability : OAK
51. Big time : ERA
53. Like most repos : TOWED
54. Beethoven honoree : ELISE
55. Pool competitions : MEETS
57. Andersson of Abba : BENNY
58. It merges with the Rhone near Valence : ISERE
60. Old Greek square : AGORA
61. Old-fashioned in attire : DOWDY
63. ___ buco : OSSO
64. Govt. watchdog until 1996 : ICC
66. Sign of summer : LEO
67. Richard Gere title role : DRT
69. Goal for one trying to "collect 'em all" : SET

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

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