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New York Times, Thursday, August 20, 2015

Author: Jules P. Markey
Editor: Will Shortz
Jules P. Markey
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
175/10/20124/12/20180
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0145700
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.58451

This puzzle:

Rows: 16, Columns: 15 Words: 83, Blocks: 40 Missing: {JQZ} This is puzzle # 10 for Mr. Markey. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jules P. Markey notes: This is my tenth puzzle published in the NYT, a personal milestone, and if I've learned one thing at this point in my short ... more
Jules P. Markey notes:

This is my tenth puzzle published in the NYT, a personal milestone, and if I've learned one thing at this point in my short constructing career, it would be to give the solvers what they want, and for many it's a Thursday rebus.

This idea occurred to me at work, the phrase COMPRESSED AIR had rebus written all over it. When I had the chance I researched whether anyone had published this theme before, and found to my surprise they had not. I then went about finding words and phrases that included the trigram AIR, fitting as many of them as I could into the grid. A couple of the entries involve the word "air" itself which I wanted to avoid, however I thought it was not fatal to the final product.

The original puzzle had the central entry UPSTAIRSDOWNSTAIRS running east-west but I changed it to the more apropos north-south. It also had ten entries that Will asked me to replace, and I was able to switch out nine of them. The two clues of mine which I hoped would make it and did, were 27-Across, and 62-Down, as always Will and Joel livened up a lot of the others.

Hope this puzzle satisfies that Thursday rebus jones.

Jeff Chen notes: Nice idea for a rebus, AIR getting COMPRESSED into a single square. Since so many rebus puzzle have been done by now, my strong ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Nice idea for a rebus, AIR getting COMPRESSED into a single square. Since so many rebus puzzle have been done by now, my strong preference is for there to be some rationale, some interpretation which justifies it. This is a nice one. Check out our list of rebus puzzles — especially in older ones, people just chose some random string and rebused the heck out of it.

Experiencing a little gas, PR(AIR)IE DOG?

I like how Jules incorporated AIR into some of the puzzle's longest entries. AIR hidden in PR(AIR)IE DOG and CL(AIR)VOYANT and UPTON SINCL(AIR) = fun and twisty to uncover! I also like that in these three examples, the word AIR isn't explicitly part of the entry. It is nice to get some bonus AIRs through the puzzle, but CON AIR and SEA AIR (and the odd BAIRNS) I could do without. With no rationale of why eight AIRs is the appropriate number, having just five or even four, with all of them hidden so nicely in longer answers, would have been my preference.

Grid is stretched out to 16 rows in order to accommodate UPST(AIR)S DOWNST(AIR)S — fun to have a marquee answer with two rebus squares. If you stretch a grid to 16x15 or 15x16, you'd think the word limit of 78 should go up proportionally, meaning that it's okay to go up to 83 words. That's what Jules does today, but I prefer keeping close to if not under that original 78 word limit. Today, we see a whopping 39 entries with length = 3 or 4, almost half of the puzzle. That's a huge number of shorties.

UPHOLDER … for only having two pieces of long fill, I want them to sizzle.

Pretty well executed otherwise. It can be tricky to fill rebus puzzle grids, because every rebus square you put in means you have both an across answer and a down answer frozen into place. The AIR string is easy enough to work with, so Jules did have some flexibility, but he did pretty well to keep the glue to the minor stuff: TET, ESO, SCH, ATT, etc. None of those stick out enough that they affected my solving fun.

1
B
2
A
3
U
4
B
5
L
6
E
7
S
8
C
9
H
10
E
11
N
12
E
13
I
M
P
AIR
E
D
14
U
P
H
O
15
L
D
E
R
16
N
O
T
N
O
W
17
P
R
AIR
I
E
D
O
G
18
E
R
O
S
19
I
20
T
S
Y
21
S
P
A
N
S
22
T
E
N
23
S
N
I
T
24
A
T
T
25
S
26
I
N
27
P
AIR
28
O
F
S
O
29
C
30
K
31
S
32
O
33
V
I
N
E
34
S
A
O
35
N
O
N
E
36
N
I
N
E
R
37
S
38
D
R
O
39
P
40
M
E
X
41
E
T
C
42
D
A
43
D
O
44
T
E
45
M
P
L
E
46
B
A
L
47
E
48
T
O
W
49
T
O
R
T
S
50
C
L
AIR
V
51
O
Y
A
N
52
T
53
H
O
E
54
E
U
R
55
S
E
56
A
AIR
57
S
58
D
59
S
60
S
61
C
62
E
N
T
63
O
T
T
O
64
A
S
I
A
65
H
O
M
E
R
66
E
P
AIR
67
R
68
O
B
E
R
T
69
E
N
T
R
U
S
T
S
70
T
R
U
D
G
E
71
L
AIR
S
72
N
O
S
73
A
S
T
AIR
E
S
© 2015, The New York TimesNo. 0820 ( 24,026 )
Across Down
1. Bagatelle : BAUBLE
7. It often starts in Sept. : SCH
10. Buffalo-to-Burlington dir. : ENE
13. Intoxicated, say : IMPAIRED
14. Sustainer : UPHOLDER
16. "It can wait" : NOTNOW
17. Great Plains tunneler : PRAIRIEDOG
18. Boy taking a bow : EROS
19. Teeny : ITSY
21. Bridges : SPANS
22. X : TEN
23. Red state? : SNIT
24. QB stat: Abbr. : ATT
25. It's a no-no : SIN
27. They rarely cover more than two feet in one day : PAIROFSOCKS
32. Like the breeds Kerry Hill and English Leicester : OVINE
34. ___ Tomé : SAO
35. Last option on some survey questions : NONE
36. San Fran team : NINERS
38. One-third of a fire safety instruction : DROP
40. Party to Nafta: Abbr. : MEX
41. What "..." may mean: Abbr. : ETC
42. Woodworker's groove : DADO
44. Philadelphia university : TEMPLE
46. Roll in the hay? : BALE
48. Job for a repo man : TOW
49. First-year law course : TORTS
50. Visionary : CLAIRVOYANT
53. It can make a row : HOE
54. Alternative to the USD : EUR
55. What sailors breathe : SEAAIR
57. '60s antiwar grp. : SDS
60. Bouquet : SCENT
63. German boy's name meaning "wealthy" : OTTO
64. One of a geographical septet : ASIA
65. Do-it-yourselfer's activity : HOMEREPAIR
67. One of the Kennedys : ROBERT
69. Charges, as with a responsibility : ENTRUSTS
70. Walk laboriously : TRUDGE
71. Retreats : LAIRS
72. Vetoes : NOS
73. Sibling duo in "Lady, Be Good!," 1924 : ASTAIRES
1. I.Q. test pioneer : BINET
2. Andrea Bocelli's 2006 platinum-selling album : AMORE
3. 1943 Pulitzer-winning novelist for "Dragon's Teeth" : UPTONSINCLAIR
4. Wee 'uns in Scotland : BAIRNS
5. "Seinfeld" uncle : LEO
6. Astronomer Hubble : EDWIN
7. Complimentary adjective for a grandpa : SPRY
8. Easy ___ : CHAIR
9. Raises : HOISTS
10. Ancient Norse work : EDDA
11. 10 on a table : NEON
12. Physics units : ERGS
14. 1970s TV series set at 165 Eaton Place : UPSTAIRSDOWNSTAIRS
15. Subatomic particle : LEPTON
20. Line on a restaurant check : TIP
23. Edgar Bergen's dummy of old radio : SNERD
24. In progress : AFOOT
26. Elephant's tail? : INE
28. Sculler's implement : OAR
29. Gas station supply ... or what can be found eight times in this puzzle? : COMPRESSEDAIR
30. Prepared to engage? : KNELT
31. Classifies in one of two groups, in a way : SEXES
32. End of an era? : ONEBC
33. Essential : VITAL
37. Mythical hybrid : SATYR
39. Common allergen : PETHAIR
43. 1950 film noir starring Edmond O'Brien : DOA
45. Repeated word finishing "Everywhere a ..." : MOO
47. Leveling tool : EVENER
51. Best in a race : OUTRUN
52. Vietnamese New Year : TET
56. Main line : AORTA
58. Tune you're unlikely to dance to : DIRGE
59. Fills : SATES
60. Silverstein who wrote "A Boy Named Sue" : SHEL
61. 1997 Nicolas Cage film : CONAIR
62. Producers of many revivals, for short : EMTS
63. Decides (to) : OPTS
64. Be contiguous : ABUT
66. That: Sp. : ESO
68. Hosp. areas : ORS

Answer summary: 1 unique to this puzzle, 4 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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