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DON'T SUE US!

New York Times, Sunday, March 13, 2016

Author:
Tom McCoy
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
3211/14/201310/7/20180
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
17815100
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.61362
Tom McCoy

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 140, Blocks: 76 Missing: {QZ} This is puzzle # 18 for Mr. McCoy. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Tom McCoy notes:
Initially, I thought about making this a two-way rebus that was the letters OR in one direction and the registered trademark symbol in the other, with the idea being that solvers would ... read more

Initially, I thought about making this a two-way rebus that was the letters OR in one direction and the registered trademark symbol in the other, with the idea being that solvers would have to figure out to write the R inside the O. It seemed like a bit of a stretch to have solvers figure out the writing-one-letter-inside-the-other part, though, so I changed it to the current version.

Jeff Chen notes:
Clever idea, using the 'registered trademark' sign — a circled R — inside theme answers. It was a nice a-ha moment to realize that those circled Rs in the middle of themers ... read more

Clever idea, using the "registered trademark" sign — a circled R — inside theme answers. It was a nice a-ha moment to realize that those circled Rs in the middle of themers were indeed ... circled Rs! I couldn't remember anything quite like this idea. Unique and fun.

True fact: Frisbees are not used in Ultimate Frisbee! (We use the Discraft brand disc.)

It's too bad that the grid didn't somehow reflect that the circled R symbol is always in superscript. It feels like there could have been something really cool done in the pdf, with boxes raised from their usual orderly positions? As it is, the conceit works pretty well, but it feels like it could have been really memorable if somehow the solver was forced to put those special Rs in as superscript.

I think most constructors should strive to make Sunday constructions like this one. Note that Tom doesn't push the boundaries, sticking with a 140-word puzzle (the max Will allows), giving us a little bit of bonus fill, but not so much that the grid is overly strained.

For almost any Sunday NYT puzzle, there's bound to be a little OSA, IT IS I, ATA kind of stuff, but if it's kept to pretty harmless stuff and spread throughout the grid, it doesn't really bog down the solving experience. And to get a few goodies like SUNDRIED TOMATO, LOOK WHAT I FOUND, ROMAN EMPERORS, TO BE FAIR is a nice bonus. I find that this balance makes for a pleasurable, quality solve.

That's not to say that this is the only type of fun solve — sometimes it's kind of nice to get 10+ great bonus entries, even if it means you have to slog through globs of crossword glue, sometimes it's cool to get a puzzle with ultra-high theme density, etc. — but today's puzzle is the type I think most constructors can realistically shoot for. Sometimes I get co-constructors trying to go big or go home on Sunday constructions, and too often the latter is the result.

Innovative idea that I might have absolutely loved if the superscripting had somehow been achieved.

Jim Horne notes:

Circles in grids have referred to circular things in the past. Elizabeth C. Gorski did it with champagne bubbles and with car wheels. Mr. McCoy goes a step further. As Jeff points out, today, the circles represent circles. Nice.

1
D
2
S
3
T
4
D
5
E
6
P
7
T
8
S
9
O
10
R
11
E
12
O
13
A
14
S
15
K
16
S
17
T
18
O
19
R
N
A
20
A
P
A
R
T
21
P
E
T
A
22
S
C
O
U
R
S
23
P
O
P
24
S
I
C
L
E
R
25
S
T
I
C
K
26
N
A
R
N
I
A
27
H
O
P
E
S
O
28
S
I
E
29
T
30
H
E
R
E
D
S
31
I
T
E
M
32
T
33
U
P
P
E
34
R
35
W
36
A
R
E
R
P
A
R
T
37
Y
38
L
Y
R
I
39
C
40
T
A
E
41
O
H
Y
E
S
42
I
A
M
43
O
44
P
U
S
45
M
I
N
E
46
P
47
E
48
S
E
T
A
49
V
50
E
51
L
52
C
R
O
R
S
53
T
54
R
A
P
55
D
E
C
O
D
E
56
A
S
O
F
T
E
N
57
R
U
N
58
C
59
H
E
R
O
O
T
60
S
T
O
L
E
61
H
E
H
E
62
Y
O
L
O
63
T
O
64
E
65
E
E
K
66
X
67
E
68
R
O
X
R
M
69
A
C
H
I
N
70
E
71
M
A
72
N
73
E
W
74
S
75
L
O
N
E
76
P
O
L
O
77
C
78
E
A
S
E
79
H
I
80
J
I
N
K
S
81
E
K
E
82
S
83
T
A
R
T
E
R
84
T
A
B
O
O
S
85
F
R
I
S
86
B
E
E
R
G
O
L
F
87
G
O
T
S
E
T
88
T
89
O
R
O
90
I
D
E
D
91
U
B
I
92
B
O
R
E
R
93
A
T
A
94
S
95
P
96
A
97
S
98
M
99
T
E
F
100
L
101
O
102
N
R
P
R
E
S
103
I
D
E
N
104
T
105
A
L
T
O
106
F
O
O
T
E
R
S
107
M
R
I
108
E
109
S
P
I
E
D
110
G
A
U
C
H
E
111
P
112
I
113
N
114
G
P
O
N
115
G
R
T
A
B
L
E
116
O
I
N
K
E
D
117
I
D
E
A
118
I
T
I
S
I
119
I
L
L
120
O
R
D
E
R
S
121
N
O
O
B
122
T
O
N
E
R
123
S
A
T
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0313 ( 24,232 )
Across
1
It returns just before spring: Abbr. : DST
4
Univ. parts : DEPTS
9
Black-and-white treat : OREO
13
Sends an invitation for : ASKSTO
19
Cell material : RNA
20
Independently : APART
21
Fur fighters? : PETA
22
Combs : SCOURS
23
Wooden arts-and-crafts piece : POPSICLESTICK
26
Fantasy land : NARNIA
27
"Fingers crossed!" : HOPESO
28
"Sprechen ___ Deutsch?" : SIE
29
Great American Ball Park team : THEREDS
31
Collector's ___ : ITEM
32
Quaint social occasion : TUPPERWAREPARTY
38
Kind of poem : LYRIC
40
___ Bo : TAE
41
"I almost forgot ..." : OHYES
42
Positive response : IAM
43
Work : OPUS
45
"Hands off!" : MINE
46
Pre-euro coin : PESETA
49
Shoelace alternative : VELCROSTRAP
55
Get the message, say : DECODE
56
With equal frequency : ASOFTEN
57
Streak : RUN
58
Cigar type : CHEROOT
60
"Borrowed" : STOLE
61
Titter : HEHE
62
Modern "Carpe diem" : YOLO
63
Locale for phalanges : TOE
65
Cry that's a homophone of 81-Across : EEK
66
Tool for reproduction : XEROXMACHINE
71
"Heaven and earth in miniature," per a Chinese proverb : MAN
73
Expressions of disgust : EWS
75
Sole : LONE
76
Marco ___ (shirt sold on Rubio's website) : POLO
77
Come to an end : CEASE
79
Shenanigans : HIJINKS
81
Barely make, with "out" : EKE
82
Appetizer : STARTER
84
Section of a foreign travel guide, maybe : TABOOS
85
Hybrid outdoor game : FRISBEEGOLF
87
Prepared : GOTSET
88
Fatty cut of fish at a sushi bar : TORO
90
Named, informally : IDED
91
Where, to Cato : UBI
92
Burrowing insect : BORER
93
___ glance : ATA
94
Convulsion : SPASM
99
Reagan, with "the" : TEFLONPRESIDENT
105
Prefix with cumulus : ALTO
106
Identifying lines at the bottoms of pages : FOOTERS
107
Certain hosp. exam : MRI
108
Caught sight of : ESPIED
110
Ungraceful : GAUCHE
111
Fixture in many a basement : PINGPONGTABLE
116
Emulated one of Old MacDonald's animals : OINKED
117
One that's out of one's head? : IDEA
118
Response to "Who goes there?" : ITISI
119
Poorly : ILL
120
Brotherhood and sisterhood : ORDERS
121
Neophyte, in modern slang : NOOB
122
Cartridge filler : TONER
123
Convened : SAT
Down
1
Self-help guru who wrote "Life Code" : DRPHIL
2
Hoity-toity : SNOOTY
3
Jake of CNN : TAPPER
4
Place for a throne : DAIS
5
World Showcase site : EPCOT
6
Hang (around) : PAL
7
Take unwanted steps? : TRESPASS
8
Line at the zoo : STRIPE
9
Elect : OPT
10
King, in Portugal : REI
11
Series finale? : ETC
12
Image on the Connecticut state quarter : OAKTREE
13
Grant portrayer on TV : ASNER
14
Line of cliffs : SCARP
15
Land in two pieces? : KOREA
16
Ingredient that's been left out? : SUNDRIEDTOMATO
17
Pertaining to Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, e.g. : TRISTATE
18
Spanish she-bear : OSA
24
One for two of four : SEMI
25
Show (out) : SEE
30
"___ a real nowhere man ..." : HES
33
Complete reversal : UTURN
34
Source of the names of two months : ROMANEMPERORS
35
Trounce : WHIP
36
"Atlas Shrugged" author Rand : AYN
37
Soprano Sumac : YMA
39
Think piece? : CORTEX
44
Writer of the line "Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December" : POE
46
Leader elected in 1946 : PERON
47
Prefix with tourism : ECO
48
Fossil fuel residue : SOOT
49
Still-life object : VASE
50
First name in cosmetics : ESTEE
51
Discoverer's cry : LOOKWHATIFOUND
52
Org. of the Argonauts and the Alouettes : CFL
53
Some natural history museum displays, for short : TREXES
54
Tributary of the Rhine : RUHR
55
Substation? : DELI
58
The four seasons and others : CYCLES
59
Brown-and-white treat : HOHO
61
Start of many a bumper sticker : HONK
64
Backing at a business meeting? : EASEL
67
"Four Quartets" poet : ELIOT
68
Two 1980s White House personages : RONS
69
Isao of the P.G.A. : AOKI
70
Online greetings : ECARDS
72
Toy brand with soft sales? : NERF
74
Genealogical grouping, informally : SIBS
78
Bit of a joule : ERG
80
Average guy : JOE
82
French city said to have given its name to a car : SEDAN
83
Bit of gymwear : TEE
84
Start of a concession : TOBEFAIR
85
Unoccupied : FREE
86
Start eating : BITEINTO
87
Inner feeling : GUT
88
Court technique : TOPSPIN
89
Bobby in skates : ORR
92
"It's f-f-freezing!" : BRR
93
Artful : ADROIT
95
Daddy : PAPA
96
Crime stories? : ALIBIS
97
"Streetcar" call : STELLA
98
You could have it in any color you wanted, as long as it was black : MODELT
100
"Two Treatises of Government" philosopher : LOCKE
101
Smallest slice of a pie chart, maybe : OTHER
102
Must have : NEEDS
103
Scapegrace : IMP
104
Facetious response to "Describe yourself in three adjectives" : TERSE
109
Recipe instruction : STIR
110
Sticky stuff : GOO
112
Line at a wedding : IDO
113
Role for Keanu Reeves : NEO
114
Chatter : GAB
115
Ingredient in a white lady : GIN

Answer summary: 11 unique to this puzzle, 3 debuted here and reused later, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?