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New York Times, Thursday, December 27, 2018

Author:
Mary Lou Guizzo and Jeff Chen
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
244/17/20143/6/201913
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
31153641
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.61440
Mary Lou Guizzo
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
987/5/20105/16/201959
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
2578172498
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.636212
Jeff Chen

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 40 Missing: {QUXZ} Grid has diagonal symmetry. This is puzzle # 23 for Ms. Guizzo. This is puzzle # 92 for Mr. Chen. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Constructor notes:
MARY LOU: This CONtrail puzzle with the visual element in the black boxes of the grid, five rebus squares and 66 squares devoted to ... read more

MARY LOU: This CONtrail puzzle with the visual element in the black boxes of the grid, five rebus squares and 66 squares devoted to theme answers seemed like a good idea initially. However, it became one of the more labor-intensive 15x grids I've constructed.

Looking back through my email correspondence with Jeff, Will, and Sam, I found six chains with numerous back and forths. Trying to fill the grid cleanly with all these constraints was a challenge. So, I really hope you enjoyed the solve!

Thanks to Jeff for accepting the challenge of working on this puzzle and to Will and Sam on their acceptance and patience in finessing it into its final form.

Jeff Chen notes:
Day 4 of WTF? Week at XWI! I love having the chance to tell people What I'm Thankful For. Today I'm thankful for ML's perseverance. ... read more

Day 4 of WTF? Week at XWI! I love having the chance to tell people What I'm Thankful For.

Today I'm thankful for ML's perseverance. She comes up with some of the toughest concepts of any collaborator, and she doesn't give up when they prove to require dozens of hours to iterate. Never say die!

This grid was one of the top ten hardest 15x15s I've ever worked on — maybe even top five — and I nearly threw in the towel on four separate occasions. Rebus squares are easy to work with, but two in close proximity is asking for trouble.

Five?

FIVE?

I almost said no right from the get-go after I heard that number!

It's so satisfying to have worked through the grinding process and come out with a grid that we're both happy with. I'm so glad that ML included me in this concept – it's a great feeling to have all that hard work lead to a publication.

1
C
2
A
3
R
4
O
5
M
6
E
7
T
8
N
9
A
10
J
11
A
12
W
13
A
L
O
N
G
14
A
L
O
O
F
15
E
P
A
16
T
O
T
E
M
17
S
K
Y
W
R
18
I
T
E
R
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A
H
A
B
20
S
E
S
S
I
O
N
S
21
W
A
T
C
22
H
T
V
23
T
T
24
O
25
P
26
B
O
O
27
E
Y
E
28
D
29
E
R
M
A
30
A
E
R
31
I
A
L
R
E
32
CON
33
R
E
E
L
34
H
R
E
35
CON
E
36
S
37
I
A
G
O
38
E
39
M
O
T
I
40
CON
41
Y
O
42
Y
O
M
A
43
S
L
O
P
44
CON
T
45
A
I
N
E
R
46
T
E
L
E
47
CON
48
R
O
S
E
S
49
B
50
A
51
M
52
A
G
E
53
T
54
O
A
L
L
55
I
56
T
A
L
O
57
G
I
R
58
A
R
D
I
59
A
60
R
T
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S
A
N
61
G
E
A
R
O
I
L
62
N
A
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63
S
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64
D
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© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 1227 ( 25,251 )
Across
1
___ billiards, game on a pocketless table : CAROM
6
Mount whose name means, literally, "I burn" : ETNA
10
Something with teeth : JAW
13
In the course of : ALONG
14
Detached : ALOOF
15
Fed. science org. : EPA
16
Family symbol : TOTEM
17
Flier with a message : SKYWRITER
19
Monomaniac of fiction : AHAB
20
Divisions in the Congressional Record : SESSIONS
21
View remotely? : WATCHTV
23
Sunroof alternative : TTOP
26
"You sti-i-i-ink!" : BOO
27
Follower of clear or cross : EYED
29
"Forever, ___" (1996 humor book) : ERMA
30
Drone's job : AERIALRECON
33
Rod's partner : REEL
34
Realm with an Imperial Diet: Abbr. : HRE
35
Rods' partners : CONES
37
Rival of Cassio : IAGO
38
One might have a wink or a smile : EMOTICON
41
Foreign-born musician with a Presidential Medal of Freedom : YOYOMA
43
Trough filler : SLOP
44
Tin or glass : CONTAINER
46
Business meeting that participants dial into, informally : TELECON
48
Bunch of lovers? : ROSES
49
"Just like that!" : BAM
52
Gray : AGE
53
Words before "a good night" : TOALL
55
Author Calvino : ITALO
57
Former Yankees manager Joe : GIRARDI
59
Crafty person? : ARTISAN
61
It helps keep the machinery running : GEAROIL
62
Does something to a T : NAILSIT
63
Clichéd : STALE
64
"A tyrant's authority for crime and a fool's excuse for failure," per Ambrose Bierce : DESTINY
Down
1
Carolina tribe that allied with the colonists in the American Revolution : CATAWBA
2
Song sung by Elvis in "Blue Hawaii" : ALOHAOE
3
Muscle with a palindromic name : ROTATOR
4
End of an era? : ONEBC
5
Company that released "2001: A Space Odyssey" : MGM
6
___ Club : ELKS
7
Department store department : TOYS
8
"___ get it" : NOWI
9
It was once big for Aretha Franklin : AFRO
10
It's indicated by arrows on a map : JETSTREAM
11
Parody, in a way : APE
12
Newspaper headline of 12/8/1941 : WAR
14
Alternative to "Sincerely" : ASEVER
18
Department with a buffalo on its seal : INTERIOR
20
One frequently pictured in GQ or Vogue : STYLEICON
22
Symbol on many a bumper sticker : HEART
24
Rolex rival : OMEGA
25
Texas' ___ Duro Canyon : PALO
28
Radiation cleanup, briefly : DECON
31
"Fingers crossed!" : IHOPE
32
Brooklyn attraction : CONEYISLAND
36
Acoustic measure : SONE
38
Sad songs : ELEGIES
39
Burrowing rodent : MOLERAT
40
Follower of a plane ... or a hint to this puzzle's theme : CONTRAIL
42
"Most definitely!" : YESITIS
43
Amos Alonzo ___, coach in the College Football Hall of Fame : STAGG
45
I.S.P. option : AOL
47
Dominate : CONTROL
49
Lowest parts : BASSI
50
Author Locke of the Harlem Renaissance, the first African-American Rhodes scholar (1907) : ALAIN
51
Hall of fame : MONTY
54
Comic strip canine : ODIE
56
Bias : TILT
58
Celestial altar : ARA
60
Norma ___ (Oscar-winning role of 1979) : RAE

Answer summary: 6 unique to this puzzle, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?