It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker. Please consider supporting our site by purchasing an account.

New York Times, Thursday, May 3, 2018

Author:
Emily Carroll
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
58/22/20167/25/20180
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0112100
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.59130
Emily Carroll

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 34 Missing: {JQXZ} This is puzzle # 4 for Ms. Carroll. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Emily Carroll notes:
I love rebus puzzles. Years ago, back when I was more of a casual crossword solver, I remember doing this alien abduction themed ... read more

I love rebus puzzles. Years ago, back when I was more of a casual crossword solver, I remember doing this alien abduction themed puzzle where several squares had "ET" in the shape of a flying saucer and then there was a bonus "COW" rebus square underneath it. It completely blew my mind.

I think about that puzzle a lot when I'm hitting a writer's block and want to feel bad about how much more creative and ambitious other constructors can be.

So I've been trying to come up with a good rebus theme for a while. I was pleasantly surprised to find that there weren't any car rebuses in the XWord Info database because it seemed like every "thing in a box" idea that came to me had already been done before.

Initially I was trying to do something with"boxcars" as the revealer but I found that the 11-letter "compact cars" made for a better grid layout, plus I think is a more fun answer.

Jeff Chen notes:
Four cars rebusized today, with an apt COMPACT CARS revealer. FOR DUMMIES was fantastic, especially since I plunked in DUMMIES right ... read more

Four cars rebusized today, with an apt COMPACT CARS revealer. FOR DUMMIES was fantastic, especially since I plunked in DUMMIES right away, and then was stymied by the crossing AF? pattern. Delightful a-ha there.

ROPE LADDER was another great rebus entry. That's the way to get some juice out of your themers!

Unfortunately, OPEL stuck out to me, as I see FORDs, KIAs, AUDIs all the time, but I've only seen an OPEL in crosswords — even back when I was traveling all over the world. I would have much-preferred GMC (EGG MCMUFFIN, YOUNG MC), or even VW (ROE V WADE, UV WAVES). Probably others, too.

No doubt the GMC option would have required longer themer rebus answers, but that would have been nice. I enjoy rebuses the most when they're part of snazzy, long phrases, especially when those phrases are longer than 15 letters – it's so infrequent that you see a 16+ letter crossword entry!

In the past, Will has told me that for rebus puzzles, the longest entries in the grid ought to contain rebuses, and I'm fully on board with that now. PLAUDITS and GAUDIEST are fine words, but they're so short that they pale in comparison to the catchy OPEN AND SHUT and DANCE AROUND.

It also doesn't seem right that the so-so LIMA OHIO is the same length as GAUDIEST / PLAUDITS, and SLOVAKIA.

Fantastic misdirect on the "Casey at the Bat" clue. I struggled mightily to recall who wrote that (Ernest Thayer). Turns out I skimmed the clue too quickly – it's the autobiography of Casey STENGEL. Clever!

[Cellular carrier?] for RNA also shined.

And I appreciated Emily's effort to include bonuses in the fill. DIRT CHEAP, MANDELA, OLD SAWS helped make up for some of the ALII, SEL, ALC kind of crossword glue.

Overall, a solid rebus concept. These days though, the body of rebus work is so large, that new ones have to shine nearly perfectly or innovate to stand out.

1
A
2
C
3
C
4
L
5
A
6
I
7
M
8
A
9
I
10
L
11
O
12
A
13
R
14
F
R
A
I
L
T
Y
15
R
N
A
16
P
R
OPEL
17
FORD
U
M
M
I
E
S
18
M
A
N
19
D
E
L
A
20
A
I
M
E
21
D
22
W
E
A
N
E
D
23
D
24
I
25
D
O
26
S
L
I
27
C
E
28
L
A
D
D
29
I
C
A
H
30
N
31
F
R
O
32
D
I
N
G
E
33
G
E
N
I
U
34
S
35
T
I
36
E
R
37
D
E
R
38
C
O
M
P
39
A
C
T
C
A
40
R
S
41
O
42
R
E
43
B
A
T
H
44
O
M
A
H
45
A
46
N
47
L
E
A
48
R
S
49
O
E
50
D
51
A
D
U
L
T
52
D
A
R
E
53
S
M
A
U
54
G
55
I
T
C
H
56
S
L
O
V
57
A
KIA
58
P
L
AUDI
59
T
S
60
A
B
U
S
E
R
61
S
62
L
E
A
S
63
H
64
E
65
S
66
W
O
N
67
R
E
P
68
E
S
P
O
U
S
E
69
S
Y
D
70
O
A
F
71
S
T
E
N
G
E
L
© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0503 ( 25,013 )
Across
1. Praise : ACCLAIM
8. Have a bug, say : AIL
11. Boathouse item : OAR
14. Weakness : FRAILTY
15. Cellular carrier? : RNA
16. Move along : PROPEL
17. Self-deprecatingly titled instructional book series : FORDUMMIES
18. He shared a Nobel Prize with de Klerk : MANDELA
20. Used a scope : AIMED
22. Got off the bottle : WEANED
23. "White Flag" singer, 2003 : DIDO
26. Golfer's goof : SLICE
28. Actress Cheryl or Diane : LADD
29. Financial mogul Carl : ICAHN
31. To's partner : FRO
32. Griminess : DINGE
33. Brilliance : GENIUS
35. Piece of cake? : TIER
37. German "the" : DER
38. Easy-to-park vehicles ... or what can be found four times in this puzzle : COMPACTCARS
41. It can be hard to process : ORE
43. Big loss, figuratively : BATH
44. Warren Buffett, notably : OMAHAN
47. Some corporate jets : LEARS
49. It ends with "zyzzyva," in brief : OED
51. Certain ticket category : ADULT
52. "... if you ___!" : DARE
53. Tolkien dragon : SMAUG
55. Calamine target : ITCH
56. European nation since 1993 : SLOVAKIA
58. Praise : PLAUDITS
60. Vituperative sorts : ABUSERS
62. Reins cats and dogs? : LEASHES
66. Took first : WON
67. Gym unit : REP
68. Support, as a cause : ESPOUSE
69. Qantas hub, on tickets : SYD
70. Dolt : OAF
71. "Casey at the Bat" autobiographer : STENGEL
Down
1. Meet the expense of : AFFORD
2. Word on a magnum : CRU
3. 2015 N.F.L. M.V.P. Newton : CAM
4. City in which "Glee" is set : LIMAOHIO
5. Listed "others" : ALII
6. Gossip column fodder : ITEMS
7. Walt Whitman's "Song of ___" : MYSELF
8. The Adriatic vis-à-vis the Mediterranean : ARM
9. Gobsmacked : INAWE
10. Bowling reservation : LANE
11. Easily decided : OPENANDSHUT
12. Longtime TV exec Roone : ARLEDGE
13. Access to a treehouse, maybe : ROPELADDER
19. "Lobster Telephone" artist : DALI
21. Bargain-priced : DIRTCHEAP
23. Archaeological site : DIG
24. Some bling : ICE
25. Evade, as a sensitive topic : DANCEAROUND
27. San Francisco's ___ Tower : COIT
30. Puts to sleep, say : NUMBS
32. Histrionics : DRAMA
34. Facial spot : SPA
36. Start to terrorism or tourism : ECO
39. Tiny power source : ATOM
40. Hilton alternative : RADISSON
41. Proverbs : OLDSAWS
42. Pinocchio, by the film's conclusion : REALBOY
45. Liquor: Abbr. : ALC
46. Last in a math series : NTH
48. Intensifies, with "up" : REVS
50. Airport whose main terminal was designed by Eero Saarinen : DULLES
53. Winter vacation destination : SKIAREA
54. Most over the top : GAUDIEST
57. Bubble-filled Nestlé chocolate bar : AERO
59. Tailor's aid : TAPE
61. 50 is a very high one, in brief : SPF
63. Warm greeting : HUG
64. Common linguistic suffix : ESE
65. Pommes frites seasoning : SEL

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle, 4 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?