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New York Times, Monday, March 12, 2018

Author:
John R. O'Brien
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
36/4/20123/12/20180
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0210000
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.65010
John R. O'Brien

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 36 Missing: {QX} This is puzzle # 3 for Mr. O'Brien. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
John R. O'Brien notes:
This is my 3rd acceptance by the NYT, with enough rejections to give me a batting average below Bob Uecker. I am grateful to Joel ... read more

This is my 3rd acceptance by the NYT, with enough rejections to give me a batting average below Bob Uecker.

I am grateful to Joel Fagliano for his patience in getting me through this. My academic background was the Classics and I always wanted to do a "one eye" theme about the cyclops. One theme answer was "sewing needle" but that was not acceptable, and I was lucky to see a deck of cards with a one eyed jack.

Jeff Chen notes:
What, no PURPLE PEOPLE EATER in this ONE-EYEd puzzle? Oh ye malevolent crossword grids and your 15-letter constraints! Both the ... read more

What, no PURPLE PEOPLE EATER in this ONE-EYEd puzzle? Oh ye malevolent crossword grids and your 15-letter constraints!

Both the JACK OF SPADES and the JACK of hearts are ONE-EYEd. True fact! Maybe that's why spades and hearts are considered "majors" in contract bridge, while diamonds and clubs are "minors"? I always did wonder why ...

I love me some Greek mythology, but POLYPHEMUS sure didn't come back easily. CYCLOPS, sure. A specific cyclops … that's a tough ask for us mere mortals.

SAMMY DAVIS JR has two eyes, doesn't he? Sure, one is glass. Although, he did refer to himself in this awesome quote: "Talk about handicap. I'm a one-eyed Negro Jew." So he seems fine to include.

BAZOOKA JOE is ONE-EYEd? He has an eye patch, but don't lots of kids wear eye patches for lazy eye or whatever?

You know what would have been awesome? To have just one (letter) I in the puzzle! Maybe dead center, like the eye of the cyclops. Creepy good!

I would have also liked a smoother product for a Monday. Using POLYPHEMUS is tough enough on newer solvers. Crossing it with SEEGER – SEAGER might look fine to some – is asking a lot. And you should be able to figure out HEMAL from HEME, but in my 125+ blood donations, I've never heard someone say or write HEMAL.

I don't mind a little toughness in a Monday puzzle. You don't want to make it TOO easy, with zero challenge. But things like HADJI crossing ESAI crossing VERSO, and RANI … that's a recipe for turning off newer solvers. No bueno!

It's a fine concept, people with ONE EYE (ish). And bonuses like SUPERMAN and I CAN HELP (nice pairing!) helped keep my attention. But the execution needed several more rounds of smoothifying — no reason not to have a better final product, given the average-ish theme density.

1
A
2
R
3
M
4
S
5
A
6
G
7
O
8
R
9
A
10
S
11
H
12
E
13
D
14
B
E
A
U
15
P
L
I
E
S
16
E
E
R
O
17
C
A
R
P
18
P
O
L
Y
P
19
H
E
M
U
S
20
S
P
E
E
21
D
E
R
S
22
A
G
A
P
E
23
R
A
N
I
24
M
25
O
D
E
L
T
S
26
S
27
A
28
M
M
Y
D
A
29
V
I
S
J
R
30
U
V
E
A
S
31
E
S
A
I
32
E
33
Y
34
E
35
M
O
R
N
36
D
37
I
R
T
Y
38
I
G
O
R
39
O
N
E
40
S
E
C
S
41
S
C
A
R
E
42
J
A
C
K
O
43
F
44
S
P
A
D
E
S
45
R
46
A
47
C
E
W
A
Y
48
A
T
E
N
49
A
B
O
R
T
50
A
N
E
W
H
51
O
52
P
53
E
54
B
A
Z
O
O
55
K
56
A
J
O
E
57
E
V
I
L
58
I
T
E
M
59
F
R
A
U
D
60
L
A
P
S
61
N
E
N
E
62
C
E
R
T
S
63
P
L
E
A
© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0312 ( 24,961 )
Across
1
Parts missing from the Venus de Milo : ARMS
5
Ancient Greek market : AGORA
10
What hairy dogs do in the spring : SHED
14
Boyfriend : BEAU
15
Toilet paper layers, e.g. : PLIES
16
Architect Saarinen : EERO
17
Complain querulously : CARP
18
*Monster outsmarted by Odysseus : POLYPHEMUS
20
Drivers doing 90, say : SPEEDERS
22
With mouth wide open : AGAPE
23
Indian queen : RANI
24
Tin lizzies : MODELTS
26
*Rat Pack member who sang and danced : SAMMYDAVISJR
30
Parts with irises : UVEAS
31
Actor Morales of "La Bamba" : ESAI
32
See 39-Across : EYE
35
Dawn, to Donne : MORN
36
Like clothes in the hamper : DIRTY
38
Servant in "Young Frankenstein" : IGOR
39
With 32-Across, what the answers to the starred clues each have : ONE
40
Brief moments, briefly : SECS
41
Frighten : SCARE
42
*Black face card whose face is seen in profile : JACKOFSPADES
45
Indy or Daytona : RACEWAY
48
What two fives are change for : ATEN
49
Cancel at Cape Canaveral : ABORT
50
"Star Wars Episode IV" subtitle : ANEWHOPE
54
*Comic character on a gum wrapper : BAZOOKAJOE
57
Satanic : EVIL
58
Part of a list with bullets : ITEM
59
Scam : FRAUD
60
Swimmers' units : LAPS
61
Hawaiian goose : NENE
62
"Two mints in one" sloganeer : CERTS
63
Nolo contendere, e.g. : PLEA
Down
1
Things learned in "The Alphabet Song" : ABCS
2
Harvest : REAP
3
Stallion's mate : MARE
4
Hero who's neither a bird nor a plane : SUPERMAN
5
Tack on : APPEND
6
Steinem who co-founded Ms. magazine : GLORIA
7
Classic paintings : OILS
8
Spanish king : REY
9
Biter of Cleopatra : ASP
10
Folk legend Pete : SEEGER
11
Blood-related : HEMAL
12
Blow, as a volcano : ERUPT
13
Amounts in a hypodermic needle : DOSES
19
Pilgrim to Mecca : HADJI
21
February has the fewest of them : DAYS
24
Aerosol spray : MIST
25
Start of "The Star-Spangled Banner" : OSAY
26
Sport originally part of a Shinto ritual : SUMO
27
Shakespeare's stream : AVON
28
Parisian mother : MERE
29
Left page in a book : VERSO
32
"Heavens to Betsy!" : EGAD
33
Bygone times : YORE
34
"___ Tú" (1974 song) : ERES
36
Ten: Prefix : DECA
37
Highly off-putting : ICKY
38
"Allow me" : ICANHELP
40
Handled, as a task : SAWTO
41
Blow, as from a volcano : SPEW
42
Saint known for translating the Bible into Latin : JEROME
43
Spread, as people in a search party : FANOUT
44
The Lone Ranger's Silver and others : STEEDS
45
Former Israeli P.M. Yitzhak : RABIN
46
Lessen : ABATE
47
Cheat : COZEN
50
"When it's ___" (answer to an old riddle) : AJAR
51
Squished circle : OVAL
52
Prop for Sherlock Holmes : PIPE
53
Two-time Oscar-nominated actress Lanchester : ELSA
55
The Colonel's restaurant : KFC
56
"I am, you ___, he is" : ARE

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

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