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New York Times, Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Author:
David J. Kahn
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1843/15/19948/14/20195
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
4451326571326
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.5514231
David J. Kahn

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 38 Missing: {QVXZ} This is puzzle # 182 for Mr. Kahn. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
David J. Kahn notes:
I wrote this puzzle a while ago after hearing that the Broadway show had been running for 20 years. This is an especially good time to ... read more

I wrote this puzzle a while ago after hearing that the Broadway show had been running for 20 years. This is an especially good time to run the puzzle since this month marks the 25th anniversary of the original animated movie. There's also a photorealistic computer animated remake due out in July, which I'm looking forward to.

I wrote the puzzle when I saw that the long answers could be interlocked, freeing up the center of the grid for the four circles.

Jeff Chen notes:
A cut above most tribute puzzles. I appreciated many aspects of this one: The CIRCLE OF LIFE visual worked well, especially as ... read more

A cut above most tribute puzzles. I appreciated many aspects of this one:

  • The CIRCLE OF LIFE visual worked well, especially as David reinforced it using a cyclone of black squares in the center.
  • The windmill layout – themers going both horizontally and vertically – further imprinted my subconscious with a feeling of circularity.
  • Themer interlock. I usually dislike interlock, like how THE LION KING crosses HAKUNA MATATA, since this often come with fill compromises in that crossing region. Today, it did allow for a very high theme density, and a meaty-feeling solve, so kudos for that.
  • Decent fill. Although there was a good amount of crossword glue needed to hold the puzzle together, it wasn't bad given such high theme density. I wouldn't have been bold enough to stack NO WORRIES on THE CIRCLE OF LIFE – we see you, OTIC ESSES – but it works well enough.

The modest visual was a nice way to make the puzzle a little something more than your typical ho-hum tribute puzzle. The bold, go-big-or-go-back-to-PRIDE ROCK attitude mostly paid off.

1
N
2
A
3
L
4
A
5
B
6
O
7
R
8
E
9
A
10
J
11
A
12
R
13
A
D
A
M
14
U
T
E
S
15
I
R
U
L
E
16
N
O
W
O
17
R
R
I
E
S
18
S
A
L
O
N
19
C
I
R
C
L
E
20
O
F
L
I
F
E
21
I
22
N
23
T
O
T
O
24
S
F
O
25
E
T
E
26
N
A
H
27
E
S
28
S
29
O
30
F
R
31
A
T
32
D
I
E
33
T
S
34
E
L
35
L
E
36
S
A
37
L
38
T
39
I
L
L
S
40
R
E
A
I
R
41
E
Y
E
R
42
A
S
I
A
43
A
M
F
M
44
S
A
M
O
A
45
O
R
46
B
S
47
S
A
48
C
K
49
O
N
S
50
O
51
W
N
52
A
T
53
E
54
R
A
55
H
R
A
H
56
H
A
K
57
U
N
A
M
58
A
59
T
A
T
A
60
A
G
I
N
G
61
P
R
I
D
E
R
62
O
63
C
64
K
65
R
E
N
T
S
66
T
E
L
L
67
E
R
I
E
68
A
R
G
O
69
Y
A
L
E
70
S
C
A
R
© 2019, The New York TimesNo. 0611 ( 25,417 )
Across
1
Simba's mate in 23-Down : NALA
5
Snoozefest : BORE
9
Not fully open : AJAR
13
First mate? : ADAM
14
"Runnin'" college team : UTES
15
"Call me the greatest!" : IRULE
16
56-Across, roughly translated : NOWORRIES
18
Where to have your hair done : SALON
19
Song that opens and closes 23-Down and whose title is literally described in this puzzle's center : CIRCLEOFLIFE
21
Fully : INTOTO
24
West Coast air hub, for short : SFO
25
Bastille Day season : ETE
26
"Can't be" : NAH
27
"Put a tiger in your tank" gas brand : ESSO
30
Greek group that's not in Greece : FRAT
32
Tries to lose some pounds : DIETS
34
Actress Fanning : ELLE
36
Seasoning that can lead to high blood pressure : SALT
39
Misfortunes : ILLS
40
Show again : REAIR
41
One who's looking : EYER
42
Only continent larger than Africa : ASIA
43
Radio band options : AMFM
44
Repeated "Survivor" setting : SAMOA
45
Globes : ORBS
47
QB tackle : SACK
49
Slip-___ (shoes) : ONS
50
Dominate : OWN
52
Dug in, in a way : ATE
54
Enthusiastic : RAHRAH
56
Song from 23-Down : HAKUNAMATATA
60
Getting long in the tooth : AGING
61
23-Down setting : PRIDEROCK
65
Gentrification raises them : RENTS
66
Spill the beans : TELL
67
The "E" in HOMES : ERIE
68
Best Picture winner based on events of 1979-80 : ARGO
69
College that awarded the first Ph.D. in the U.S. : YALE
70
23-Down villain : SCAR
Down
1
One of the Bobbseys, in children's literature : NAN
2
Big fuss : ADO
3
Martial ___ : LAW
4
1998 BP purchase : AMOCO
5
Pack animals : BURROS
6
Suffix with hypn- : OTIC
7
List quickly, with "off" : REEL
8
Valuable Scrabble tiles : ESSES
9
___ Sea (almost dried-up body) : ARAL
10
Director of 23-Down on Broadway : JULIETAYMOR
11
Overhead : ALOFT
12
Fleming at the Met : RENEE
15
Supports : ISFOR
17
Bar mitzvahs and the like : RITES
20
Job seeker's success : OFFER
21
Neighbor of Nepal : INDIA
22
Tough as ___ : NAILS
23
Disney movie released in June 1994 : THELIONKING
28
Appear to be : SEEM
29
Five Norwegian kings : OLAFS
31
Not at the dock, say : ASEA
33
Russian Revolution target : TSAR
35
Bean type : LIMA
37
British singer Lewis with the 2008 #1 album "Spirit" : LEONA
38
It's worthless : TRASH
40
Dreaded one? : RASTA
44
Need for doing toe loops : SKATE
46
Forehead covering : BANGS
48
Baby rocker : CRADLE
50
2015 Tony winner Kelli ___ : OHARA
51
Bet : WAGER
53
Evacuate : EMPTY
55
Long-eared lagomorphs : HARES
57
"Do ___ others as ..." : UNTO
58
Word after Bay or gray : AREA
59
Part of a cash register : TILL
62
Tolkien monster : ORC
63
Org. behind the Bay of Pigs invasion : CIA
64
Lead-in to plop : KER

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle.

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