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New York Times, Thursday, November 29, 2018

Author:
Herre Schouwerwou
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
81/15/201511/29/20180
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0113300
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.62100
Herre Schouwerwou

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 65, Blocks: 41 Missing: {JQVX} Grid has super symmetry. This is puzzle # 8 for Mr. Schouwerwou. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Herre Schouwerwou notes:
I was happy when I got the green light from Joel on behalf of Will for this one. I had been playing with the reverse answer idea and ... read more

I was happy when I got the green light from Joel on behalf of Will for this one. I had been playing with the reverse answer idea and was inspired by my drive into town. The crossword gods were cooperating when my revealer turned out to be 16 letters. Perfect for the center area with room for a decorative planter!

Finding answers that fit the intersections was not so easy. I wanted theme entries that were either car/traffic related or could be clued that way. Fortunately I found a few that fit and clued them two ways — auto-related and standard. Will and his team chose the standard route.

Hopefully you did not encounter any gridlock while solving, and the roundabout made for a smooth crossword journey.

Jeff Chen notes:
This thing is utterly crazy. I think some people are going to hate it, but I loved it. I enjoy when constructors do something bizarre ... read more

This thing is utterly crazy. I think some people are going to hate it, but I loved it. I enjoy when constructors do something bizarre to break the rules. We've had a lot of turning puzzles – a couple of years ago Will said he was seeing too many of them – but I can't remember one quite like this.

We often have to fix up the puzzles that the NYT sends us so that they present properly on the site. Darned constructors and their rule-breaking! But for this one, we ended up starting from scratch, recreating the entire thing based off the PDF. A lot of work, but it was worth it.

(Easy for me to say — Jim did all the work!)

Oh right, I should explain what's going on. IN A ROUNDABOUT WAY hints that there's an actual roundabout in the center of the puzzle. The .pdf (subscription required) is neat, a big white dot representing said roundabout. There are also arrows pointing in the directions that the answers follow, to help solvers out.

Not that all that helped me! I usually solve Thursday puzzles in under ten minutes, but not today. Struggled mightily to figure out what was going on, even given all the visual hints within the grid.

But this is the kind of struggle that's worth it to me. Such great phrases in RALLYING CRY, POWER OUTAGE, I NEED A BREAK, SPROUT WINGS – all intersecting that central IN A ROUNDABOUT WAY. Very cool.

Normally I'd grumble about gluey fill like TOLE. That sure ain't great, but I can ignore it in service of a memorably kooky theme.

I'd love for the NYT team to survey their solvers to figure out what the ratio of lovers to haters was. Count me as a lover.

Jim Horne notes:

Clues and grid numbering here match how this crossword appears in print. Some electronic versions will differ.

1
A
2
T
3
M
4
O
5
S
6
T
7
A
8
S
9
T
10
R
11
O
12
S
13
R
E
A
C
T
O
14
R
15
S
C
H
N
O
O
K
16
M
A
N
D
E
L
A
17
G
R
A
N
O
L
A
18
A
L
L
19
W
E
L
20
L
N
O
W
21
F
I
T
22
N
A
I
23
L
S
24
L
E
I
25
L
26
A
T
T
E
27
I
D
E
A
28
I
Y
A
W
T
29
B
O
E
R
Y
R
C
30
G
N
U
31
O
R
P
32
S
33
K
E
A
34
O
R
E
35
P
36
O
W
E
R
B
R
E
37
A
38
K
39
S
I
M
I
O
U
40
N
D
A
41
Z
U
N
42
I
43
A
N
I
T
44
A
45
T
Y
E
46
B
E
G
I
N
47
L
E
T
48
B
49
R
A
C
E
50
R
O
51
U
S
C
52
A
N
T
53
I
F
O
G
54
N
A
T
55
A
S
H
A
56
D
U
E
D
A
T
E
57
I
N
C
I
T
E
S
58
S
T
R
O
B
E
59
T
H
R
A
S
H
© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 1129 ( 25,223 )
Across
1
Maximally : ATMOST
7
Team that moved to the American League in 2013 : ASTROS
13
Nuclear energy source : REACTOR
15
Patsy : SCHNOOK
16
President in the 2009 film “Invictus” : MANDELA
17
Trail mix alternative : GRANOLA
18
“___ rise” : ALL
19
“Huh, interesting …” : WELLNOW
21
Tailor : FIT
22
They might be painted in a bathroom : NAILS
24
Gift from Hawaii : LEI
25
Frothy beverage : LATTE
27
Start of creation? : IDEA
29
Afrikaans “farmer” : BOER
32
*Become angelic, figuratively : SPROUTWINGS
33
Mauna ___ Observatory : KEA
34
Something found in a rush : ORE
35
*Reason for resetting a digital clock : POWEROUTAGE
39
California’s ___ Valley : SIMI
41
Native of New Mexico : ZUNI
43
___ Hand (name used for some prank calls) : ANITA
45
Actor Sheridan of “X-Men: Apocalypse” : TYE
46
Command following a countdown : BEGIN
47
Court do-over : LET
48
Seasonal migrant worker from Mexico : BRACERO
51
25-time Rose Bowl winner, for short : USC
52
Kind of spray used for goggles and windshields : ANTIFOG
54
Actress Lyonne of “Orange Is the New Black” : NATASHA
56
Deadline info : DUEDATE
57
Goads : INCITES
58
Light at a dance party : STROBE
59
Beat badly : THRASH
Down
1
First living designer exhibited at the Guggenheim : ARMANI
2
Beverage server in Britain : TEALADY
3
More virile : MANLIER
4
Condition for some germophobes, briefly : OCD
5
Some slow-cooked meals : STEWS
6
Painted tinware : TOLE
7
Prefix with -polis : ACRO
8
Serape, e.g. : SHAWL
9
Old channel that showed “Hee Haw” : TNN
10
Setting for an urban garden : ROOFTOP
11
Minerals also known as egg stones : OOLITES
12
Figure eight figure : SKATER
14
*“Vive la France!” or “Free Tibet!” : RALLYINGCRY
20
Place for a cowherd : LEA
23
Blockhead : LACKWIT
26
Something simple : ABREEZE
28
Indirectly … or how some of this puzzle’s answers should be entered? : INAROUNDABOUTWAY
30
“Never thought of that!” : GEE
31
N.H.L. great Bobby : ORR
35
Pesto ingredient : PINENUT
36
One leaving something out : OMITTER
37
Fourth U.S. state capital alphabetically : AUGUSTA
38
Deli turnovers : KNISHES
39
Some light bites : SALADS
40
Home of the F.D.R. Drive and J.F.K. Airport : NYC
42
Direct way to be paid : INCASH
44
Britcom made into a 2016 film, informally : ABFAB
46
Mess up : BOTCH
49
Going over something again and again and again : ROTE
50
Go on a tirade : RANT
53
“Who wants one?” response : IDO
55
Melody : AIR
57
*“Whew, that’s enough for now!” : INEEDABREAK

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?