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New York Times, Thursday, June 5, 2014

Author: Ed Sessa
Editor: Will Shortz
Edward Sessa
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369/10/200711/12/20170
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4957452
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.64251

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 ... more
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 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 ... more
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 "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
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13
N
14
A
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15
C
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G
A
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16
L
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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
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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
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A
43
F
T
E
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S
44
O
E
D
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U
N
E
46
S
P
A
Y
S
47
S
L
E
48
P
T
I
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49
V
I
E
JO
50
O
51
M
52
I
T
53
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A
54
P
A
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K
55
MEG
E
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56
R
57
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58
E
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A
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60
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D
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62
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63
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© 2014, The New York TimesNo. 0605 ( 23,585 )
Across Down
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
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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