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New York Times, Thursday, April 4, 2019

Author:
Lewis Rothlein
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
56/11/20155/9/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0000500
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.59100
Lewis Rothlein

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 38 Missing: {XZ} Spans: 2 This is puzzle # 4 for Mr. Rothlein. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Lewis Rothlein notes:
My three other NYT puzzles have also been Thursdays, as is the one in the queue, but don't pigeonhole me just yet! Regarding this ... read more

My three other NYT puzzles have also been Thursdays, as is the one in the queue, but don't pigeonhole me just yet! Regarding this puzzle, when a search showed that while BACK TO SQUARE ONE has been done as a theme before, but not like this, I was happily surprised. Will, Joel, and Sam gave terrific suggestions for improving this – what keen eyes they have!

I liked the pairs that showed up: Famous middle names (ALVA, WALDO), enclosures (PEN, CAGE), and things in locks (OAR, KEY). Some theme answers left on the cutting room floor: MOUTH TO, SEA TO SHINING, EYE FOR AN, NEVER SAY, LIVE AND LET, SUNDAY BLOODY, FOOD GLORIOUS, and an outlier that I secretly love – TORA TORA.

I thought of the theme while walking my dog, who has no idea how much he helps me come up with puzzle ideas and clues.

Jeff Chen notes:
My admiration for this puzzle grew as I studied it. (And as Jim politely nudged me.) At first, it didn't seem to have enough of ... read more

My admiration for this puzzle grew as I studied it. (And as Jim politely nudged me.)

At first, it didn't seem to have enough of a reason to be a rebus. There have been so many of them over the years that you need a great raison d'etre. Couldn't you do the same concept with single letters?

(Well, no. SQUARE ONE is a single square. So if you're going to use repeated words, not letters …)

Ah. Well then. Why those particular phrases? Granted, they are all colorful; jazzy. But there are dozens of them out there.

(Besides the ones Lewis mentioned, what other ones can you think of?)

Huh? LOTS OF THEM! Like … uh … TIME AFTER TIME! Take that, Canadia!

(Okay. What else?)

I have MANY others. I just don't feel like revealing them. What others do YOU have?

(I didn't say I had any.)

BAH, NO WONDER WE'RE BUILDING A WALL!

(You know that Canada is to the north of America, and—)

Double bah, back to the puzzle! I appreciate when rebuses introduce fresh phrases that aren't usually seen in 15x15 grids. Awesome use of a 20-letter one, YOU CANT TAKE IT WITH YOU, to match BACK TO SQUARE ONE. DO AS I SAY NOT AS I DO is something I tell newer constructors all the time. And BOND … JAMES BOND is so evocative.

And great bonuses. SNAKE OIL matching ANACONDA, plus CONEHEAD, ON SILENT, BAIL BOND, YES WE CAN, TWO TERM. I had reservations about the JAMES BOND / BAIL BOND dupe, but they're different enough meanings that I let it slide.

As for KOPF NGO ONEA SALA TRE, they collectively made for not as elegant a solve as I like, but it's a reasonable trade-off for all that sparkling long fill.

A wealth of clever wordplay clues, too. [House rules may not apply here] for the SENATE? So innocent, so wickedly smart.

It's rare that I give a POW! to a rebus puzzle, as rebuses generally feel a bit lazy to me; constructors not able to come up with good single-letter ideas. So it's high praise for Lewis. Strong idea and entertaining solve.

1
B
2
O
3
A
4
S
5
B
6
Y
7
O
8
B
9
H
10
E
11
R
12
A
13
A
R
N
E
14
S
A
U
N
A
15
O
N
E
G
16
YOU
C
A
N
17
T
T
A
K
E
I
18
T
W
I
T
H
19
C
A
R
A
20
S
A
L
A
21
G
I
A
22
T
23
W
O
T
E
R
24
M
25
BOND
J
26
A
M
E
S
27
K
A
N
E
28
L
O
29
T
30
T
31
N
A
S
T
32
O
L
D
33
Y
E
S
W
E
34
C
35
A
N
36
DO
A
37
S
I
S
A
Y
N
O
T
A
38
S
39
I
40
O
N
S
I
L
E
N
T
41
N
A
42
P
43
K
44
O
45
P
F
46
C
A
T
E
47
C
A
G
E
48
NO
M
E
A
49
N
50
S
51
S
H
52
O
O
K
O
N
53
B
E
N
54
A
L
55
V
56
A
57
E
A
V
E
58
B
A
C
59
K
T
O
S
Q
60
U
A
R
E
O
61
N
62
E
63
E
R
I
E
64
G
O
U
R
D
65
R
I
G
A
66
D
A
L
Y
67
S
P
A
N
68
S
L
O
T
© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 0404 ( 25,349 )
Across
1
Showy accessories : BOAS
5
Invitation stipulation : BYOB
9
Goddess in a chariot pulled by peacocks : HERA
13
___ Duncan, Obama education secretary : ARNE
14
Place where beads are made : SAUNA
15
So-called universal donor type, for short : ONEG
16
Saying suggesting that worldly possessions should be enjoyed : YOUCANTTAKEITWITHYOU
19
Beloved, in Bologna : CARA
20
Division of a hacienda : SALA
21
Actress Scala : GIA
22
Like Bill Clinton's presidency : TWOTERM
25
Iconic introduction in cinema : BONDJAMESBOND
27
Batman co-creator Bob : KANE
28
Longtime Mississippi politico Trent : LOTT
31
Father of the American Cartoon : NAST
32
What one gets after many years of work : OLD
33
2008 political catchphrase : YESWECAN
36
Instructor's remark after making a mistake : DOASISAYNOTASIDO
40
Like a sleeper cell? : ONSILENT
41
Power ___ : NAP
43
Head: Ger. : KOPF
46
Actress Blanchett : CATE
47
"A forest bird never wants a ___": Ibsen : CAGE
48
Insistent refusal : NOMEANSNO
51
Agreed to, in a way : SHOOKON
53
Part of some Hebrew men's names : BEN
54
Preceder of Edison : ALVA
57
What goes above and beyond? : EAVE
58
Where you go for a fresh start ... or a hint for four answers in this puzzle : BACKTOSQUAREONE
63
It's a two-hour drive north of Pittsburgh : ERIE
64
Noggin : GOURD
65
European capital : RIGA
66
Tony and Emmy winner Tyne : DALY
67
Length : SPAN
68
Give an appointment to : SLOT
Down
1
Feature of Cajun Country : BAYOU
2
Goblinlike creature : ORC
3
Rain forest menace : ANACONDA
4
House rules may not apply here : SENATE
5
Bucolic call : BAA
6
Just for ___ : YUKS
7
___ Day (supplement) : ONEA
8
One way to get out of jail : BAILBOND
9
The way : HOW
10
Puzzle : ENIGMA
11
Adjusts, as laces : RETIES
12
Dumbstruck : AGHAST
14
Like an overcast night sky : STARLESS
17
Number of sides on a triangolo : TRE
18
___ Express (Delhi-to-Agra train) : TAJ
22
Ring finish, briefly : TKO
23
"Where's ___?" : WALDO
24
Common artwork in New York City subways : MOSAIC
26
Fashion editor Wintour : ANNA
29
First name in dance : TWYLA
30
Convictions : TENETS
33
The dark side : YIN
34
One of a 1970s TV family : CONEHEAD
35
Court V.I.P.: Abbr. : ATT
37
Sleeper that never dreams : SOFA
38
Quack remedy : SNAKEOIL
39
Literary character who says "I will wear my heart upon my sleeve" : IAGO
42
French politico Marine Le ___ : PEN
43
Gnarly, as a tree trunk : KNOBBED
44
Mark ___, 1998 P.G.A. Player of the Year : OMEARA
45
What a doodle might be in : PENCIL
47
Subs (for) : COVERS
49
Man's nickname that sounds like a pest : NAT
50
Trying tasks : SLOGS
52
Nautical propeller : OAR
55
Cognac age indicator : VSOP
56
Cool shade : AQUA
59
What makes a tumbler spin : KEY
60
Samovar : URN
61
Doctors Without Borders or Oxfam, in brief : NGO
62
"Let's ___!" : EAT

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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