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New York Times, Thursday, February 17, 2000

Author:
Matt Gaffney and David Bianco
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
587/24/19949/6/20001
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1401615157
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.61004
Matt Gaffney
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
32/17/20004/3/20142
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0001200
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.67100
David Benkof

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 74, Blocks: 34 Missing: {FQVWZ} This is puzzle # 55 for Mr. Gaffney. This is the debut puzzle for Mr. Benkof. NYT links: Across Lite
Constructor notes:

DAVID:

The first two theme answers came easily to me when I noticed how similar JINGLEBELLS and THEJUNGLEBOOK sounded — "jingle" vs. "jungle" and with a "B" word connected to each. But it seemed to me a long shot that I would ever find a "jangle" or "jongle" or "Jengle" also with a B. And with the right lengths? Forget it.

But I brainstormed anyway (this was before I had access to good computer searches), and when I hit upon "MRBOJANGLES" I began to feverishly count letters in all three theme answers, and was thrilled when I realized I had an 11-13-11 puzzle. Matt Gaffney liked the theme and agreed to make the grid for me; this is the only collaboration he's done out of his 58 New York Times puzzles.

Would today's New York Times take a puzzle with such a small number of theme letters (35)? I doubt it. But I think the JINGLE-JANGLE-JUNGLE concept is fun, and with the extra B thrown in it exposes an unusual quirk in the English language. In my opinion, some of today's puzzles get so theme-heavy that simpler grids by newer constructors (this was my first contribution — under the name David Bianco, whereas now I contribute as David Benkof) get squeezed out.

1
H
2
A
3
H
4
A
5
S
6
G
7
A
8
B
9
O
10
N
11
C
12
A
13
R
14
A
R
O
L
E
15
O
M
E
G
A
16
O
R
E
17
J
I
N
G
L
18
E
B
E
L
L
S
19
M
E
G
20
J
A
I
A
L
A
I
21
L
E
T
22
E
Y
E
23
I
N
N
E
S
S
24
K
O
S
25
N
O
O
N
26
S
E
G
27
E
28
R
I
C
29
D
O
N
U
T
30
R
31
A
D
O
N
32
M
E
N
T
O
S
33
T
34
H
E
J
U
N
G
35
L
E
B
O
O
K
36
T
O
E
C
A
P
37
P
O
L
I
S
38
A
R
D
O
R
39
B
I
B
I
40
G
41
A
42
D
43
N
E
O
N
44
G
I
N
45
S
46
H
47
A
R
E
R
48
K
I
N
49
G
A
G
50
A
S
I
N
I
N
E
51
A
N
I
52
M
R
B
53
O
J
A
N
G
L
E
S
54
R
T
S
55
A
R
E
N
A
56
E
L
L
I
S
57
D
O
T
58
N
Y
N
E
X
59
S
E
E
D
Y
© 2000, The New York TimesNo. 0217 ( 18,363 )

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Across
1
Stand-up's payoff : HAHAS
6
Libreville's land : GABON
11
Jam ingredient? : CAR
14
Play ___ in (influence) : AROLE
15
Last in a series : OMEGA
16
Metallurgist's subject : ORE
17
Winter sounds : JINGLEBELLS
19
Computer amount, slangily : MEG
20
Court sport : JAIALAI
21
"Play it again!" : LET
22
It may be caught : EYE
23
"Delaware Water Gap" painter : INNESS
24
Big belts : KOS
25
High time? : NOON
26
Line part: Abbr. : SEG
27
Playwright Bogosian : ERIC
29
Sinker : DONUT
30
Home health hazard : RADON
32
Candy known as "The Freshmaker" : MENTOS
33
Mowgli's medium : THEJUNGLEBOOK
36
Boot tip : TOECAP
37
Ancient Greek city-state : POLIS
38
Zeal : ARDOR
39
Netanyahu, informally : BIBI
40
"Holy cow!" : GAD
43
Element in Geiger counters : NEON
44
Game winner's cry : GIN
45
Joseph Conrad's "The Secret ___" : SHARER
48
Consanguine folks : KIN
49
Kind of law or order : GAG
50
Ill-considered : ASININE
51
"Wheel of Fortune" buy : ANI
52
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band hit, 1971 : MRBOJANGLES
54
Football positions: Abbr. : RTS
55
Washington's ___ Stage : ARENA
56
Former heavyweight champ Jimmy : ELLIS
57
Address component, these days : DOT
58
Part of a 1997 telecommunications merger : NYNEX
59
Like a pomegranate : SEEDY
Down
1
Some pilgrims : HAJJIS
2
French satellite launcher : ARIANE
3
Perfecting : HONING
4
With fungi, they form lichens : ALGAE
5
Hawks : SELLS
6
Much of Mongolia : GOBI
7
Letters in many black church names : AME
8
Noted French-born English writer : BELLOC
9
Good looks? : OGLES
10
Harper's Weekly artist : NAST
11
Make a pass at : COMEONTO
12
Post-accident question : AREYOUOK
13
College board : REGENTS
18
Relaxed : EASEDUP
24
Cartel leader : KINGPIN
25
They aren't done : NONOS
28
Ex-Yankee Guidry : RON
29
Actress Mazar : DEBI
30
Satellite's job : RECON
31
Cracked open : AJAR
32
Grammy winner Manchester : MELISSA
33
Assailed : TOREINTO
34
Pleasure seeker : HEDONIST
35
Alternative to a passing shot : LOB
36
Stein relative : TANKARD
39
1856 installation : BIGBEN
40
Gate design : GRILLE
41
Tale of a journey : AENEID
42
Fancy : DRESSY
44
TV producer Marshall : GARRY
46
"Tap" star : HINES
47
Devious plan : ANGLE
49
Fed : GMAN
50
Trojan War hero : AJAX
53
It's better than nothing : ONE

Answer summary: 2 unique to this puzzle, 4 debuted here and reused later, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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