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New York Times, Wednesday, December 12, 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: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 38 Missing: none – this is a pangram. This is puzzle # 181 for Mr. Kahn. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
David J. Kahn notes:
I don't want to say I'm a big Queen fan but the ringtone on my cell phone is 'Radio Ga Ga.' When I saw the Queen biopic recently, I ... read more

I don't want to say I'm a big Queen fan but the ringtone on my cell phone is "Radio Ga Ga." When I saw the Queen biopic recently, I thought the time was ripe for remembering their iconic Live Aid performance but not with a straightforward puzzle. The gimmick here was to split BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY into parts of other answers. First I looked at splitting RHAPSODY into the answers PERHAPS and ODYSSEY separated by a black square. However, splitting up BOHEMIAN didn't work as easily so I decided that a symmetrical split at the top and bottom of the grid would be more elegant.

The story goes that Elton John followed Queen at Live Aid and only half-jokingly, chewed them out for stealing the show. You can see the full 20-minute set anytime on YouTube.

Jeff Chen notes:
My embarrassing first reaction: OH NO, FREDDIE MERCURY DIED! Sad, but true. (Both my stupid reaction and the fact that Mercury ... read more

My embarrassing first reaction: OH NO, FREDDIE MERCURY DIED!

Sad, but true.

(Both my stupid reaction and the fact that Mercury died. In 1991.)

I think this puzzle is a tribute for the Freddie Mercury movie, BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY?

What, you say that it came out over a month ago?

Okay, I'm confused. Why not publish it on the release date?

I'm also confused as to why BO HEMI AN and RH APSO DY were broken up. I know most of the lyrics by heart, but am I missing some hidden "breakup" that the song implies?

Speaking of confusion, why place the four 7-letter themers in FREDDIE / CONCERT / BENEFIT / MERCURY order? Why not FREDDIE / MERCURY / BENEFIT / CONCERT?

Perhaps there's some gridding-related reason, that this particular order helped smooth things out. But already with APORT LEROI ENRY ETYMA YSER just to start (not even mentioning NAZI yet), I'd much rather have accepted that pain and at least have gotten a proper set of connected themers, one half right after the other.

I'd understand the decisions more if today were a big anniversary of LIVE AID ... but it's the 28th anniversary? Huh.

I love FREDDIE MERCURY, QUEEN, and BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY — one of my favorite songs of all-time. I did enjoy being reminded of the greatness there. And I thought it was an interesting finding how BOHEMIAN / RHAPSODY could be broken up as David described. But I think the puzzle would have been more enjoyable if it had been made simpler, with a smoother grid.

1
C
2
A
3
B
4
O
5
H
6
E
7
M
8
I
9
A
10
N
11
D
12
O
13
R
14
U
P
O
N
15
A
V
O
N
16
G
U
I
D
E
17
F
O
R
A
18
B
I
B
I
19
E
N
R
O
N
20
F
R
E
D
21
D
I
E
22
C
23
O
N
C
E
R
T
24
S
T
R
A
I
T
25
L
E
R
O
I
26
R
O
S
27
S
I
28
I
R
O
29
N
30
O
31
N
32
T
33
A
34
T
E
R
35
T
V
36
M
O
M
37
A
W
E
38
A
J
A
39
Q
U
E
E
N
40
Z
I
T
41
L
A
X
42
S
U
D
A
N
43
C
44
R
I
E
S
45
C
R
I
46
M
E
A
47
I
S
48
S
U
E
49
E
A
S
50
E
D
51
T
E
A
52
S
53
E
54
T
55
B
56
E
57
N
E
F
I
T
58
M
E
R
C
U
R
Y
59
E
N
O
K
I
60
Y
61
S
E
R
62
T
R
A
P
63
A
R
I
E
S
64
M
U
T
E
65
E
L
S
E
66
M
Y
R
R
H
67
A
P
S
O
68
D
Y
E
D
© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 1212 ( 25,236 )
Across
1. Baja resort : CABO
5. Prefix with cycle or sphere : HEMI
9. Choice words : ANDOR
14. Informed about : UPON
15. Big publisher of romance novels : AVON
16. Tour leader : GUIDE
17. Debate venues : FORA
18. Nickname of an Israeli leader : BIBI
19. What Fortune magazine called "America's most innovative company" for six consecutive years : ENRON
20. With 58-Across, iconic frontman of 39-Across : FREDDIE
22. 25-Down, notably : CONCERT
24. ___ of Hormuz : STRAIT
25. Words in an old French cheer : LEROI
26. Manhattan Project physicist Bruno ___ : ROSSI
28. Many a decal : IRONON
32. Home run, in slang : TATER
35. June Cleaver or Marge Simpson : TVMOM
37. Bedazzle : AWE
38. 1977 album with a palindromic title : AJA
39. British rock band that gave an iconic performance at 25-Down : QUEEN
40. Subject of a spot check? : ZIT
41. Easygoing, and then some : LAX
42. Darfur's locale : SUDAN
43. Exclaims : CRIES
45. Sevastopol's locale : CRIMEA
47. Something to debate : ISSUE
49. Softened : EASED
51. Service, maybe : TEASET
55. 25-Down, notably : BENEFIT
58. See 20-Across : MERCURY
59. White mushroom : ENOKI
60. River in W.W. I fighting : YSER
62. Sting, e.g. : TRAP
63. April Fools' Day birth, e.g. : ARIES
64. Make silent : MUTE
65. "Where ___?" : ELSE
66. One of three biblical gifts : MYRRH
67. Part of a dog breed's name : APSO
68. Went platinum? : DYED
Down
1. Police officer's equipment : CUFFS
2. Left on a ship : APORT
3. Hole maker : BORER
4. How you might go zip-lining : ONADARE
5. Things that are kicked : HABITS
6. Wilcox daughter in "Howards End" : EVIE
7. Flash ___ : MOB
8. How fish on a fishing boat are stored : INICE
9. Benchmark figure given how old a person is : AGENORM
10. Vatican diplomat : NUNCIO
11. Urgent : DIRE
12. Fragrance : ODOR
13. Hit musical set in 1990s New York : RENT
21. Designer who said "My dream is to save women from nature" : DIOR
23. Hunter in the heavens : ORION
25. 1985 fund-raising event watched by 1.5+ billion people : LIVEAID
27. Tuxedo shirt attachment : STUD
29. "Life Is Beautiful" extra : NAZI
30. Baby's boo-boo : OWIE
31. Clears : NETS
32. Rash decision? : TALC
33. Cracked a little : AJAR
34. Lyft alternative : TAXI
36. Kind of store or chorus : MENS
39. Somewhat : QUASI
42. Haddock or hake : SEAFISH
43. One who might work in the wings of a theater : CUER
44. Flinched or blinked : REACTED
46. Not as assertive : MEEKER
48. Two-channel : STEREO
50. Root words : ETYMA
52. Bad-tempered and unfriendly : SURLY
53. Leave no trace of : ERASE
54. Entered (in) : TYPED
55. Radiant smile : BEAM
56. Professor Higgins, to Eliza : ENRY
57. "Strangers on a Train" film genre : NOIR
58. 2015 World Series team : METS
61. Bro hello : SUP

Answer summary: 1 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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