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New York Times, Thursday, November 3, 2016

Author: Mel Rosen
Editor: Will Shortz
Mel Rosen
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
3812/28/197011/3/20161
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
10663346
ScrabRebusCirclePangrampre-WS
1.5311224

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 40 Missing: {KQX} This is puzzle # 38 for Mr. Rosen. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes: AG rebus, four long entries containing two rebi apiece. I must admit, I've thought about this for a few days, and I still can't come ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

AG rebus, four long entries containing two rebi apiece. I must admit, I've thought about this for a few days, and I still can't come up with the rationale behind the theme. AG is the elemental symbol for silver, but is there a reason to put two silvers into each theme answer? Perhaps there's some clever phrase, like TWO-AG or AG PAIR that I don't know about? Most curious.

My preference for rebi is to have some raison d'etre, a revealer to explain why certain letters have been rebusized. (Rebified?) CRUSHED ICE was one that stuck out to me a while back, for example. So I would have loved to have one of the answers somehow give me an a-ha moment of "oh, THAT'S why two AG boxes are shoved into each long across answer!"

Some nice "theme answers," my favorites ON AGAIN / OFF AGAIN and AGREE TO DISAGREE. Then again, there's something oppositional about these two entries that made me so badly want the others to be equally oppositional, for consistency's sake. Ah well.

I liked some of the fill, like FLORISTS and especially HASHT(AG), the latter even better since it incorporated one of the rebus squares. I really like when rebus squares get featured, both in the across and the down directions.

Conversely, I really don't like when rebus squares are integrated into subpar answers. Any sort of variant is generally to be avoided, so (AG)ISM (usually AGEISM) is unfortunate. Every has their own preference on what type of crossword glue is the worst — for me, variants are right up there. I'll usually do anything to avoid a variant.

There will probably be questions about ARNIE as a [Noted "army" leader]: that's Arnold Palmer's legion of fans in the old days, nicknamed "Arnie's Army."

The clue for FLORISTS was mystifying, too, at least until I figured out that the "glad" of [Glad handlers?] is talking about the gladiolus flower, which it seems is sometimes called a "glad."

I'm pretty sure there isn't a rationale for why there are two AGs in each theme answer, but I'm really curious now if anyone can come up a phrase that would have made for a perfect revealer. ADDED NOTE: I really like Matt Gaffney's suggestion: "FILL" SILVERS!

1
C
2
A
3
L
4
F
5
S
6
S
7
W
8
I
9
G
10
H
11
E
12
L
13
L
14
A
D
U
L
T
15
A
E
R
O
16
A
S
I
A
17
B
AG
G
AG
E
18
C
L
A
I
M
19
S
P
A
M
20
S
E
E
21
E
A
T
22
S
A
23
T
H
O
M
E
24
A
R
N
I
25
E
26
D
O
T
27
O
N
AG
A
I
N
28
O
F
F
AG
29
A
30
I
31
N
32
D
33
A
R
T
E
34
T
R
O
U
35
D
O
E
36
O
J
A
I
37
F
38
A
R
E
R
39
H
O
N
E
40
R
A
T
41
A
L
D
A
42
T
I
R
E
D
43
AG
R
E
44
E
T
O
D
I
45
S
46
AG
R
E
E
47
D
V
R
48
N
A
I
A
D
49
J
50
A
51
M
E
S
I
52
I
53
Y
S
L
54
S
55
P
56
F
57
A
V
E
R
58
S
T
59
AG
E
M
A
60
N
AG
E
R
61
Z
E
A
L
62
T
A
U
S
63
L
E
G
G
O
64
Z
O
N
E
65
S
L
A
T
66
A
B
Y
S
M
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 1103 ( 24,467 )
Across Down
1. ___-foot jelly : CALFS
6. Draft : SWIG
10. Where to go "for the company," per Mark Twain : HELL
14. Full-price payer : ADULT
15. Prefix with -batics : AERO
16. Self-titled debut album of 1982 : ASIA
17. Carousel locale : BAGGAGECLAIM
19. E-con? : SPAM
20. "Was that so hard?!" : SEE
21. Give in to a gut feeling? : EAT
22. Didn't do anything, say : SATHOME
24. Noted "army" leader : ARNIE
26. Pixel, e.g. : DOT
27. Sporadic : ONAGAINOFFAGAIN
32. "Vissi ___" (Puccini aria) : DARTE
34. Drop ___ (moon) : TROU
35. Female rabbit : DOE
36. City whose name sounds like a surprised greeting : OJAI
37. Sea or way follower : FARER
39. Improve : HONE
40. Person not to be trusted : RAT
41. "What Women Want" actor : ALDA
42. Beat : TIRED
43. Leave a dispute unsettled : AGREETODISAGREE
47. Alternative to watching live, nowadays : DVR
48. Swimmer of myth : NAIAD
49. English king deposed in the Glorious Revolution : JAMESII
53. Fashion monogram : YSL
54. Beach lotion letters : SPF
57. State with emphasis : AVER
58. Role in "Our Town" : STAGEMANAGER
61. Fervency : ZEAL
62. Some sorority letters : TAUS
63. "Get yer hands off!" : LEGGO
64. Bit of planning board planning : ZONE
65. Blind spot? : SLAT
66. "In the dark backward and ___ of time?": Shak. : ABYSM
1. Icons of New York City : CABS
2. Saying : ADAGE
3. Olympics racer : LUGE
4. Important Stratego piece : FLAG
5. Inexpensive way to go : STEERAGE
6. Carter/Brezhnev pact : SALTII
7. "Aren't ___ pair?" : WEA
8. It's all about the pupil : IRIS
9. Really, really dig : GOMADFOR
10. Part of a tweet : HASHTAG
11. Rink star Phil, to fans : ESPO
12. Actor Hemsworth of "The Hunger Games" : LIAM
13. Hardly adequate : LAME
18. Biblical miracle town : CANA
23. Staple of a vegan diet : TOFU
24. Not a fan of : ANTI
25. Board, in a way : ENTRAIN
27. Speak like Cicero : ORATE
28. Silver ___ : ORE
29. Verb in "O Come, All Ye Faithful" : ADORE
30. Skye of film : IONE
31. Triage criterion : NEED
32. Rapper's headwear : DORAG
33. Not shut tight : AJAR
37. Glad handlers? : FLORISTS
38. Ritalin target, for short : ADD
39. Got moving : HIED
41. Off-roaders, for short : ATVS
42. Lilting syllables : TRALALA
44. Gertrude of 1926 news : EDERLE
45. Utter, old-style : SAYEST
46. Issue of concern to the AARP: Var. : AGISM
49. Meaningless talk, in slang : JAZZ
50. Chevy that debuted in 2004 : AVEO
51. Signify : MEAN
52. Typographer's abbr. : ITAL
54. Like a well-used mattress : SAGGY
55. Violin tuners : PEGS
56. Email heading : FROM
59. Golfo contents : AGUA
60. Home of Creighton U. : NEB

Answer summary: 1 unique to this puzzle, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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