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New York Times, Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Author:
Tracy Gray
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
259/8/20104/8/20196
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
6345610
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.61441
Tracy Gray

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 38 Missing: {JKQVXZ} This is puzzle # 12 for Ms. Gray. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Tracy Gray notes:
Surfing through the tv channels one summer 2013 night, I passed by an old rerun of the soap opera 'AS THE WORLD TURNS' and a crossword ... read more

Surfing through the tv channels one summer 2013 night, I passed by an old rerun of the soap opera "AS THE WORLD TURNS" and a crossword idea was hatched. I then looked for other phrases where something was rolling, spinning, rotating, revolving, or going around. I was initially surprised at the constraints I ran into when filling the grid, especially since I only had four theme entries, but that was due to the four or five letters "rolling" 360 degrees beneath each theme entry (and I use the term "rolling" in quotes as it's impossible to make a perfect circle in crossword construction). However, with the exception of a few unsavory fill words including everybody's favorite crossword washstand vessel (EWER) and coastal inlet (RIA), I am satisfied with how the puzzle turned out.

Jeff Chen notes:
Curious that this wasn't run on a Thursday! Given how hard it is to come up with new gimmicks, methinks this would have slotted in ... read more

Curious that this wasn't run on a Thursday! Given how hard it is to come up with new gimmicks, methinks this would have slotted in well.

This theme plays on "spinning" or "rolling," where part of the answer (loosely) circles around. SPINNING WHE(ELS) was really nice, evoking an image of the WHEELS actually spinning. Actually, all of them are pretty appropriate, the MERRY going round, the WORLD turning, and the STONES rolling.

I always wanted some Reuleaux triangle wheels on my bike as a kid

It's so difficult to pull something like this off. Each of those little circles causes difficulty in filling, as so many answers have to cross through those tough sections where multiple letters are fixed in stone. It's impressive that Tracy worked POWER NAP and YELLOW SEA around the SPINNING WHEELS. That did make OCH and OSTEAL and OSS necessary, but that seemed a reasonable trade-off given how difficult it is to fill around that section.

And Tracy did a nice job spreading out the esoteric bits. I struggled with IRENEE, MAISIE, YARROW — all names I hadn't heard before — but at least they were weren't concentrated into one region so that I didn't get completely stuck anywhere.

Hilarious clue for LSU. I wondered if they really shouted "Geaux Tigers!" … and apparently they do! Check out the "Geaux" button (groan) on the link.

Overall, I would have liked a more circular shape in the things that circled — the poor STONES chunk down and cut across instead of smoothly circling around, for example. Reminded me of an invention called "Shark Wheels." They look impossible and there's no way they could give a smooth ride, but they do.

1
A
2
N
3
N
4
B
5
E
6
T
7
A
8
P
9
A
10
Y
11
T
12
O
13
R
O
E
14
S
15
L
A
I
D
16
O
R
E
O
S
17
M
E
G
O
18
R
O
U
N
D
19
W
E
L
T
S
20
Y
A
R
R
O
W
21
O
S
22
T
E
A
L
23
R
O
T
O
U
24
T
25
O
R
R
26
O
27
C
28
H
29
S
P
I
30
N
N
I
N
31
G
W
H
E
32
A
33
F
34
T
35
S
36
S
T
E
37
M
A
I
S
I
E
38
T
R
E
E
39
S
40
O
H
41
S
42
P
R
E
L
L
43
T
O
A
T
E
44
E
45
R
I
46
A
47
D
A
I
S
48
A
S
T
H
E
W
49
T
U
R
N
50
S
51
R
H
O
52
D
E
O
53
S
T
A
54
L
55
A
56
G
57
W
58
A
L
R
U
59
S
60
I
R
E
N
E
61
E
62
P
63
L
E
B
E
64
R
O
65
L
L
I
N
G
S
T
66
O
G
L
E
S
67
E
S
S
O
68
A
S
T
O
69
P
A
S
T
S
70
D
O
U
G
71
T
E
N
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0610 ( 23,955 )
Across
1
Newswoman Curry : ANN
4
Un-debugged software version, perhaps : BETA
8
Words on a check : PAYTO
13
Some Eurasian deer : ROES
15
Set in place : LAID
16
Cookies in "Wonderfilled" ads : OREOS
17
Ride on which to try for a brass ring : MERRYGOROUND
19
Reminders of a lashing : WELTS
20
Peter of Peter, Paul and Mary : YARROW
21
Bone-related : OSTEAL
23
Decompose, as a stump : ROTOUT
25
The Bruins' Bobby : ORR
26
Glaswegian "Gee!" : OCH
29
Textile machinery of old : SPINNINGWHEELS
32
Siesta times: Abbr. : AFTS
36
Rue ___-Catherine (main commercial street of Montréal) : STE
37
Williams of "Game of Thrones" : MAISIE
38
Dendrologists' concerns : TREES
40
Words of surprise : OHS
42
Shampoo introduced by Procter & Gamble in 1947 : PRELL
43
Precisely : TOATEE
45
Coastal inlet : RIA
47
Head table's place : DAIS
48
Once-popular TV serial set in Oakdale, Ill. : ASTHEWORLDTURNS
51
P, on campus : RHO
52
To God, in hymns : DEO
53
"Hogan's Heroes" setting : STALAG
57
Tusker in a Beatles title : WALRUS
60
The "I" in E. I. du Pont : IRENEE
62
Academy newbie : PLEBE
64
"Gimme Shelter" band : ROLLINGSTONES
66
Checks out, in a way : OGLES
67
Classic roadside logo name with red lettering in a blue oval : ESSO
68
Referential words : ASTO
69
Histories : PASTS
70
Flutie of football : DOUG
71
Important number on Downing Street : TEN
Down
1
Ant horde : ARMY
2
Lack of musical ability : NOEAR
3
Rio ___ (Amazon feeder) : NEGRO
4
Angry outbursts : BLOWUPS
5
Île surrounder : EAU
6
Martinez of the 1996-2001 Yankees : TINO
7
Builds a wing, say : ADDSON
8
Revitalizing snooze : POWERNAP
9
___ rug : AREA
10
Waters off the Korean Peninsula : YELLOWSEA
11
Onesie wearer : TOT
12
Covert W.W. II org. : OSS
14
Word processing command : SORT
18
Bipedal Aussies, informally : ROOS
22
Skirt embellishment : TRIM
24
One of the Jackson 5 : TITO
27
Dish in many a cook-off : CHILI
28
Footwear sometimes carried to work : HEELS
30
Faddish 1960s jacket style : NEHRU
31
Encircle with a belt : GIRD
32
Oil from rose petals : ATTAR
33
Campus newbies : FROSH
34
Dish-drying cloths : TEATOWELS
35
Rogen of "The Interview" : SETH
39
Like some rye : SEEDLESS
41
McCartney and Jagger, for two : SIRS
44
Washstand vessel : EWER
46
Scientific calculator function : ANTILOG
49
Promoted a new CD, say : TOURED
50
Bollywood garment : SARI
54
Dunham of "Girls" : LENA
55
Unease, Woody Allen-style : ANGST
56
"Beau ___" : GESTE
58
Aid in a scam, e.g. : ABET
59
Not that great : SOSO
61
Regatta foe of Radley : ETON
62
A lot of Top 40 music : POP
63
Queens airport inits. : LGA
65
Sch. whose sports fans shout "Geaux Tigers!" : LSU

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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