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New York Times, Thursday, June 5, 2014

Author:
Ed Sessa
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
389/10/20077/15/20190
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41067452
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.64251
Edward Sessa

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 38 Missing: {QXZ} This is puzzle # 24 for Mr. Sessa. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Edward Sessa notes:
Only PJOROURKE would have made for a split JO but may not have been familiar enough to use and would not have allowed two theme ... read more

Only PJOROURKE would have made for a split JO but may not have been familiar enough to use and would not have allowed two theme entries to cross the central revealer. I tried to use BANJO for 49-Across but couldn't get it to fit. Will, for obvious reasons, asked me to change my entry (FLOJO) to either BANJO OR VIEJO, hence VIEJO which was new to me. I wasn't sure 32-Down with the unseparated JO would fly, but I guess it added some "blue humor" to an otherwise syrupy (by modern sensibilities) Victorian Era novel.

Jeff Chen notes:
As some of you know, I'm on my third career, trying to make it as a writer of children's books. NPR recently put out a list of their ... read more

As some of you know, I'm on my third career, trying to make it as a writer of children's books. NPR recently put out a list of their "100 Must Reads for Kids". I've read almost about 90 of them as part of my market research... wish LITTLE WOMEN had been one of those 90! I really could have used that as I struggled in the NE, trying to figure out the fourth girl's name. Blargh!

We've seen LITTLE WOMEN played upon a few times in the NYT crossword, because any grouping of four or five related items lends itself nicely to a crossword. This is the first time we've seen it as a rebus though, and I found it enjoyable to pick through the strong fill to figure out where the heck the four girls would show up. The 72-word grid gave it a themeless feel, even more enjoyable given room for such goodness as OLIVE OIL, BROMIDE, SLEPT IN, and my favorite, NEUTRINO. I appreciate that Will is spacing out his rebus puzzles quite a bit now, which has helped ameliorate the rebus fatigue I had been feeling. I thoroughly enjoyed the search to find the four boxes today, especially given the smoothness of Ed's work.

Ed did a great job choosing his themers, four long and strong ones which added zest to the solve. It took me a while to figure out what the heck was going on with GLO(BETH)EATER, but it sure gave me a smile. Crossing it with (BETH)ERE was a nice touch, although (BETH)ERE OR BE SQUARE is a nice 14 letters and it's so related to crosswords... ah, you can't always get what you want.

What I liked best (among many things about this puzzle) was the flow of the solve (except for AGUE, I see you). I find more and more that I have less and less time in a day, so if I'm going to bang my head to figure something out, I greatly appreciate a strong payoff that doesn't involve many (if any) glue-y entries. I was stuck in the NE corner for the longest time, but finally figuring out NO NEED and LIVERY and Uncle Miltie BERLE was well worth it.

Tough, perhaps highly frustrating though, if you weren't familiar with either the resort of LIDO or Gertrude EDERLE. If that happened to you, I sympathize, as before I learned EDERLE she fixed me for an error a few times. But I'd say the general population really ought to be familiar with EDERLE given her amazing feat.

A small nit to pick, especially small given the strength of Ed's other fill: UNICORN crossed with UNE, with ONE cross-referenced below... typically editors try to keep "dupes" out of a single grid, so this bugged me a little. As much as I love Harry Potter (I instantly dropped in CENTAUR at that space and then tried FIRENZE and BANE), I would have preferred not to see UNI/UNE/ONE all together.

A final note, I was really glad to see GED NOT clued as "H.S. dropout option" or something to that effect. I do think it's extremely important to try for that HS diploma, but for some kids, the GED is a better option. Last summer I worked with a guy through Treehouse for Kids who fell far behind for various reasons, and the GED was just as good for getting him into an apprenticeship program as a HS diploma.

Okay, off my high horse. Fun puzzle today, obviously constructed with care to give a smooth solve.

1
S
2
H
3
O
4
A
5
F
6
L
7
A
8
M
9
E
10
G
11
L
12
E
13
N
14
A
O
L
15
C
O
O
G
A
N
16
L
I
D
O
17
B
R
I
18
G
H
AMY
O
U
N
G
19
O
V
E
N
20
R
A
V
E
21
K
E
Y
S
22
BETH
E
R
E
23
I
C
E
D
24
T
25
E
A
26
B
E
R
L
E
27
N
E
O
28
E
A
T
29
S
30
T
R
A
Y
E
D
31
A
S
I
32
D
E
S
33
P
E
R
O
T
34
L
I
T
T
35
L
E
W
O
M
E
36
N
37
R
H
E
A
S
38
W
I
R
E
39
U
40
P
41
R
42
A
43
F
T
E
R
S
44
O
E
D
45
U
N
E
46
S
P
A
Y
S
47
S
L
E
48
P
T
I
N
49
V
I
E
JO
50
O
51
M
52
I
T
53
O
R
C
A
54
P
A
R
K
55
MEG
E
N
E
56
R
57
A
T
I
O
N
58
E
R
I
E
59
A
L
T
A
I
R
60
N
R
C
61
D
Y
E
S
62
S
T
O
L
A
F
63
O
N
E
© 2014, The New York TimesNo. 0605 ( 23,585 )
Across
1
Presenter of "The Borgias," in brief : SHO
4
Burning : AFLAME
10
Arizona's ___ Canyon Dam : GLEN
14
Owner of Moviefone : AOL
15
Jackie who played Uncle Fester : COOGAN
16
Italian beach resort : LIDO
17
The "American Moses" : BRIGHAMYOUNG
19
Hot spot in "Hansel and Gretel" : OVEN
20
Four stars, say : RAVE
21
Critical elements : KEYS
22
"Attendance is mandatory" : BETHERE
23
Brewed refresher : ICEDTEA
26
TV great who said "I live to laugh, and I laugh to live" : BERLE
27
Modern beginning? : NEO
28
Use (up) : EAT
29
Wasn't faithful : STRAYED
31
Parenthetical remarks : ASIDES
33
1990s politico from Texas : PEROT
34
1860s novel that is the basis for this puzzle's theme : LITTLEWOMEN
37
Flightless birds : RHEAS
38
Electrify : WIREUP
41
Huck and Jim on the Mississippi, e.g. : RAFTERS
44
Work that's been punningly called a "lex icon": Abbr. : OED
45
63-Across, in France : UNE
46
Fixes : SPAYS
47
Waived the wake-up call : SLEPTIN
49
Mission ___, Calif. : VIEJO
50
Leave blank : OMIT
53
Shark eater : ORCA
54
You're not going anywhere if you're in this : PARK
55
Baby boomers, with "the" : MEGENERATION
58
Canal with 36 locks : ERIE
59
Brightest star in Aquila : ALTAIR
60
Reactor safety agcy. : NRC
61
Colors : DYES
62
College named for a Norwegian king : STOLAF
63
45-Across, in America : ONE
Down
1
Audrey Hepburn title role : SABRINA
2
"___ Odes" (classic work of poetry) : HORACES
3
Staple of Mediterranean cooking : OLIVEOIL
4
Münster "Geez!" : ACH
5
Like a freshly drawn draft : FOAMY
6
View : LOOKAT
7
Malaria symptom : AGUE
8
Lots : MANY
9
Lots of R.P.I. grads: Abbr. : ENGS
10
Shakespeare play setting : GLOBETHEATER
11
Car service : LIVERY
12
Gertrude who swam the English Channel : EDERLE
13
"You've done enough" : NONEED
18
H.S. proficiency test : GED
24
Goes through a stage of babyhood : TEETHES
25
Spring time : EASTER
26
Trite comment : BROMIDE
29
Wrap (up) : SEW
30
Tiler's tool : TROWEL
32
Ribald humor : DIRTYJOKES
33
Foot: Lat. : PES
35
___ Américas : LAS
36
Subatomic particle with no electric charge : NEUTRINO
39
Creature in Rowling's Forbidden Forest : UNICORN
40
Price for forgiveness, perhaps : PENANCE
41
Answered, quickly : RSVPED
42
Place abuzz with activity? : APIARY
43
Spenser's "The ___ Queene" : FAERIE
44
Pertaining to bone : OSTEAL
48
Big belly : POT
50
Some Swiss watches : OMEGAS
51
Tuna-and-cheese sandwich : MELT
52
Digging : INTO
56
Narrow inlet : RIA
57
Whelp's yelp : ARF

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

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