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New York Times, Thursday, June 2, 2016

Author:
Susan Gelfand
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1711/3/20088/27/20180
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0952100
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.69102
Susan Gelfand

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 36 Missing: {Q} This is puzzle # 14 for Ms. Gelfand. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
A few months ago, Amy Reynaldo asked me for suggestions of women they might add to their Celebrity Crossword team. Susie was in my ... read more

A few months ago, Amy Reynaldo asked me for suggestions of women they might add to their Celebrity Crossword team. Susie was in my list. I've really enjoyed her offerings, generally well-constructed with a lot of care and effort.

Poor MAHALIA (JACK)SON didn't get her full name in today

We get a rebus today, with a descriptive revealer, JACK IN / THE BOX. I like it when there's some reason to squeeze a few letters into a single box, and this is a good one. A couple of nice longer theme entries, LUMBERJACK, JACK FROST, and FLAPJACK my favorite. All sparkly answers.

I tend to like rebuses more when the special squares are incorporated into the puzzle's longest answers. Not only have I come to expect a puzzle's longest answers (at least, across answers) to be the themers, but rebuses are great for this in that make it possible to introduce really long (>15 letter) answers into the crossworld. It would have been fun to get (JACK) RUSSELL TERRIER, (JACK)SONVILLE JAGUARS, SHOELESS JOE (JACK)SON, etc.

I also would have liked the JACK in JACK IN to be rebusized. It felt strange to see the full word written out, when it could have been so meta, that JACK also placed into a single box. Ah well.

Fun bonus entries in LEONINE, derived from "lion-like," RAVE MUSIC, RUNS SHORT, SEA TURTLE. Even NUTELLA (yum) and MAHALIA added to the quality of my solve. I did feel like it was a real loss not to have MAHALIA (JACK)SON's full name not incorporated into the grid, though.

I wondered if (JACK) CHEESE was in the language? I buy a lot of PEPPER JACK CHEESE and MONTEREY JACK, but (JACK) CHEESE felt not as strong. Turns out it's perfectly fine, referenced that way in many food and cooking websites.

And BRAINO … that didn't sit well with me at first, but it's kind of a fun play on "typo." Not sure I'd ever use it; jury's still out.

Fun to search out those rebus squares, and a generally well executed puzzle.

1
JACK
2
A
3
S
4
S
5
A
6
M
7
A
8
J
9
JACK
10
P
11
O
12
T
13
S
14
F
R
A
T
15
T
A
R
A
16
C
O
M
B
O
17
R
A
V
E
18
M
U
S
I
C
19
H
O
G
A
N
20
O
B
I
W
A
N
21
K
22
E
E
L
23
S
L
O
24
L
E
25
O
26
N
I
N
E
27
D
28
I
29
E
30
T
E
R
31
S
E
32
R
U
N
S
S
33
H
O
R
T
34
A
S
35
S
E
T
36
L
E
A
D
O
N
37
S
38
P
39
O
T
40
P
L
E
41
B
E
42
R
O
N
A
43
A
L
K
A
44
L
I
45
L
I
R
46
A
S
47
S
E
A
T
U
R
48
T
L
E
49
W
H
50
E
51
L
52
P
53
S
A
Y
54
M
A
H
A
L
55
I
A
56
R
A
H
57
A
B
L
E
58
B
R
59
A
I
N
O
60
O
61
V
62
A
T
E
63
B
64
E
65
L
I
E
V
E
I
N
66
F
A
V
O
R
67
O
Y
E
Z
68
E
P
E
E
69
F
L
A
P
JACK
70
X
E
N
A
71
C
A
R
JACK
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0602 ( 24,313 )
Across
1
Fool : JACKASS
5
Key of Beethoven's Symphony No. 7: Abbr. : AMAJ
9
Top prizes : JACKPOTS
14
Brother's place, informally : FRAT
15
Fictional home that was won in an all-night poker game : TARA
16
Band : COMBO
17
Electro house or dubstep : RAVEMUSIC
19
Navajo dwelling : HOGAN
20
Luke's mentor : OBIWAN
21
Something often described as "even" : KEEL
23
Caution to drivers : SLO
24
Strong and majestic : LEONINE
27
Something that may be loaded : DIE
30
To the point : TERSE
32
Doesn't have enough : RUNSSHORT
34
Plus : ASSET
36
Play the siren to : LEADON
37
TV or radio ad : SPOT
40
Academy newbie : PLEBE
42
Literary Jaffe : RONA
43
Any element in the first column of the periodic table, except hydrogen : ALKALI
45
Turkish moolah : LIRAS
47
Creature that comes ashore to lay eggs : SEATURTLE
49
Whippersnapper : WHELP
53
For instance : SAY
54
First name in gospel : MAHALIA
56
Sound from a fan : RAH
57
Proficient : ABLE
58
Mental flub : BRAINO
60
Roundish : OVATE
63
Trust : BELIEVEIN
66
Party souvenir : FAVOR
67
Court call : OYEZ
68
Jabber? : EPEE
69
Pancake : FLAPJACK
70
"Hercules" spinoff, informally : XENA
71
Hold up in traffic? : CARJACK
Down
1
Nose nipper : JACKFROST
2
Suitable for farming : ARABLE
3
Redeemer : SAVIOR
4
Contents of a slow cooker : STEW
5
Carrying ___ : ATUNE
6
More, to Manuel : MAS
7
Radio journalist Shapiro : ARI
8
With 48-Down, children's toy ... or a hint to this puzzle's theme : JACKIN
9
Common quesadilla filler : JACKCHEESE
10
Summer Olympics venue : POOL
11
Texter's "Holy cow!" : OMG
12
Sched. uncertainty : TBA
13
Delivery outcome, sometimes : SON
18
13-Downs, e.g. : MALES
22
Playwright Eve : ENSLER
25
Cy Young winner Hershiser : OREL
26
Chocolaty spread : NUTELLA
27
Knucklehead : DODO
28
De-crease : IRON
29
European erupter : ETNA
31
Used, as a desk : SATAT
33
Like arctic winters : HARSH
35
Rotini shape : SPIRAL
37
Freshness : SASS
38
Court stance : PLEA
39
"Sounds good to me" : OKAY
41
Jessica of "7th Heaven" : BIEL
44
Strong feller? : LUMBERJACK
46
Enlightened : AWARE
48
See 8-Down : THEBOX
50
Home of Gannon Univ. : ERIEPA
51
N.B.A. Hall-of-Famer Bob : LANIER
52
Communication connection : PHONEJACK
55
Neighbor of Majorca : IBIZA
57
On : ATOP
59
Opposite of sans : AVEC
60
Not on : OFF
61
___ d'Or, Quebec : VAL
62
Sinatra's wife between Nancy and Mia : AVA
64
Spy satellite, so to speak : EYE
65
Writer Deighton : LEN

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?