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New York Times, Thursday, March 6, 2014

Author:
Daniel Raymon
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
229/23/200712/16/20180
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123411010
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.61110
Daniel Raymon

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 38 Missing: {QV} This is puzzle # 11 for Mr. Raymon. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Daniel Raymon notes:
This is my first Thursday puzzle so I'm very excited for everyone to see it. It's especially exciting to have my very own creation ... read more

This is my first Thursday puzzle so I'm very excited for everyone to see it. It's especially exciting to have my very own creation join the group of NYT rebus puzzles. On that note, there have been other rebus puzzles using "box" phrases as revealers, just like this one. One thing that makes mine a little different, I think, is that each rebus box is a different word. I also like how I was able to split up both ZEST and TONE in two different ways; not so for LAVA and DIAL, but at least there's some symmetry there — two split up differently, two not.

I also like the long answers for the most part, though PASADENA, BRUSSELS, and BRATIS[LAVA] might be a bit too much geography for one puzzle. Also RA[DIAL] TIRE and PIS[TON E]NGINE are a bit bland, especially for theme answers. Oh well. Overall I'm very happy with the puzzle, and I hope you enjoy it too!

Jeff Chen notes:
Rebus with a revealer; SOAPBOX describing the four different brands of SOAP crammed into individual BOXes. In today's age of ever ... read more

Rebus with a revealer; SOAPBOX describing the four different brands of SOAP crammed into individual BOXes. In today's age of ever evolving crosswords, straight rebuses without a revealer have sort of run their course. I like that Dani has given us a reason why he's made these four rebus squares; it adds a nice touch to the puzzle.

I found it a lot of fun sussing out where the rebus squares were. Once I uncovered the central answer, it was a bit of a puzzle hunt to go seek them out (and boy, do I like puzzle hunts!). For me, the hardest one by far was TONE, because I had never heard of that brand. The others gave me a nice a-ha moment, but TONE was a bit of a head-scratcher. (And no, I wasn't scratching my head because I don't use enough soap, thank you.) It was too bad, because being a mechanical engineer at heart, I loved the PISTON ENGINE entry. I was amused to hear that it was one of Dani's least favorite themers. Funny how widely tastes differ, eh?

In general, if there are only a few rebus squares, I really appreciate when they get placed into the longest answers of the puzzle, in snazzier entries. ZEST inside SEIZES THE DAY and BRONZE STAR, that's great. Really nice moment of discovery. DIAL in DIALECT... not as much. Although I did admire the craziness of LAVA in BRATISLAVA and BAKLAVA. That was pretty cool.

With essentially nine theme answers, the fill is bound to suffer a little, and we see signs of it in the awkward I HAD A (for whatever reason, several close constructor friends and I detest the five-letter partial — go figure), A NUT, WNW, WPA, ROKS sort of stuff. It certainly wasn't that bad, and definitely worth the trade-off for me.

Some solvers will not even notice though. A very nice reader, Lois Padawer, wrote in a few weeks ago with a comment after I pooh-poohed A MOLE in a grid: "I just learned about 'Whac-a-mole' a couple of weeks ago, as it was the name of an episode of The Good Wife (the name of the episode appears when you click "Info" on Tivo). TV is not usually one of my favorite categories, but you never know where pleasure will come from in a puzzle."

So yes, partials are generally inelegant, but they can serve their purposes. And it's always good to get a dose of humility, perhaps a good reminder that I don't know everything; that I always have more to learn today than I did yesterday. And that's okay.

Ahem. Note the word "perhaps."

1
J
2
A
3
M
4
B
5
S
6
P
7
A
8
R
9
T
10
R
11
A
12
F
13
T
14
A
L
E
R
T
15
A
R
I
E
16
A
C
A
I
17
R
I
G
O
R
18
S
O
B
E
19
DIAL
E
C
T
20
N
O
21
N
A
M
E
S
22
T
R
I
O
23
S
24
E
25
I
ZEST
H
E
D
A
Y
26
J
I
B
E
S
27
I
N
H
A
S
T
E
28
E
29
M
I
R
30
A
G
A
R
31
W
N
32
W
33
O
N
E
34
O
35
N
36
M
E
D
37
S
O
A
P
38
B
O
X
39
K
O
40
S
41
L
A
42
B
O
R
43
A
R
N
44
M
A
M
A
45
R
O
K
46
S
47
U
S
48
U
R
P
E
D
49
K
50
A
51
R
A
T
52
P
53
I
S
TONE
N
G
I
N
E
54
A
N
U
T
55
C
R
O
S
S
E
R
56
B
I
B
I
57
L
I
N
E
58
S
E
59
I
60
K
61
O
62
O
T
I
S
63
A
N
I
L
64
C
E
C
I
L
65
B
A
K
LAVA
66
P
T
A
S
67
O
N
E
N
D
© 2014, The New York TimesNo. 0306 ( 23,494 )
Across
1
Side pieces : JAMBS
6
Tenor in a barbershop quartet, e.g. : PART
10
Lot : RAFT
14
Quick : ALERT
15
Singer India.___ : ARIE
16
Modern yogurt flavor : ACAI
17
Strictness : RIGOR
18
Pepsi-owned beverage brand : SOBE
19
Cajun French, e.g. : DIALECT
20
Ones little-known in their fields : NONAMES
22
TLC, e.g. : TRIO
23
Doesn't waste an opportunity : SEIZESTHEDAY
26
Agrees : JIBES
27
Quickly : INHASTE
28
Qatari leader : EMIR
30
Ingredient in many Asian desserts : AGAR
31
Dallas-to-Amarillo dir. : WNW
33
Common situation near the start of an inning : ONEON
36
Many a shot in the arm, for short? : MED
37
Platform ... or something that appears four times in this puzzle? : SOAPBOX
39
Decks, in brief : KOS
41
Management's counterpart : LABOR
43
Royal son of the comics : ARN
44
First word, maybe : MAMA
45
Seoul soldiers : ROKS
47
Assumed : USURPED
49
24-___ : KARAT
52
Device that converts pressure into a rotating motion : PISTONENGINE
54
"Some Kind of ___" (Dick Van Dyke comedy) : ANUT
55
Double-___ : CROSSER
56
Actress Andersson : BIBI
57
"Come here often?," e.g. : LINE
58
Japanese watch : SEIKO
62
Redding of R&B : OTIS
63
Blue hue : ANIL
64
British poet laureate ___ Day-Lewis : CECIL
65
Honey-soaked dessert : BAKLAVA
66
Some fund-raising grps. : PTAS
67
Upright : ONEND
Down
1
Rattle : JAR
2
Athlete with the autobiography "The Soul of a Butterfly" : ALI
3
Computer storage unit, informally : MEG
4
Military decoration : BRONZESTAR
5
German beer now owned by the Pabst Brewing Company : STROHS
6
Annual parade locale : PASADENA
7
Wine feature : AROMA
8
Kind of steak : RIBEYE
9
Casual wear : TEES
10
Traction provider : RADIALTIRE
11
Sharp : ACERB
12
Prima ___ : FACIE
13
Fuentes and Puente : TITOS
21
Socialize professionally : NETWORK
23
Land name before 1939 : SIAM
24
Heavenly figure, in Hesse : ENGEL
25
"___ lovely time" : IHADA
26
Curse : JINX
29
Opalescent gems : MOONSTONES
32
New Deal inits. : WPA
34
Relative of a giraffe : OKAPI
35
"Tullius" in Marcus Tullius Cicero : NOMEN
37
Pipe buildup : SOOT
38
European city whose airport is the world's largest chocolate-selling point : BRUSSELS
40
Singer with the 1986 #1 album "Promise" : SADE
42
Capital on the Danube : BRATISLAVA
44
Character in Clue : MRGREEN
46
Nascar's ___ Cup Series : SPRINT
48
Paris-based grp. since 1945 : UNESCO
49
Item purchased at many a food cart : KABOB
50
"West Side Story" woman : ANITA
51
Cube creator : RUBIK
53
Aegean region : IONIA
55
Pat-a-cake element : CLAP
59
Cube makeup : ICE
60
It's all relatives : KIN
61
Familiar : OLD

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

Found bugs or have suggestions?