It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker. Please consider supporting our site by purchasing an account.
This web browser is not supported. Use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge for best results.

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.

Found bugs or have suggestions?