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New York Times, Thursday, August 20, 2015

Author:
Jules P. Markey
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
185/10/201210/30/20180
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0155700
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.58461
Jules P. Markey

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 ... read more

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 ... read more

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
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
Down
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.

Found bugs or have suggestions?