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New York Times, Thursday, August 23, 2018

Author:
Kyle Dolan
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
85/22/201211/16/20180
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1021112
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.55120
Kyle T. Dolan

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 72, Blocks: 37 Missing: {JQXZ} This is puzzle # 7 for Mr. Dolan. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Kyle T. Dolan notes:
I thought that CROP ROTATION would make a good revealer for a puzzle with answers going in multiple directions, and decided to use ... read more

I thought that CROP ROTATION would make a good revealer for a puzzle with answers going in multiple directions, and decided to use rebus squares for the ‘crops' so that both answers passing through the rebus square could ‘rotate'.

Grid design was of paramount importance. In fact, unlike the typical construction process, here I worked out the basic grid design first and then selected theme entries. I wanted the longest puzzle slots (not including the revealer) to contain rebus squares, while preserving good flow through the grid. After much trial and error, I finally hit on the pattern of long Acrosses in rows 4 and 12 (fixed by the 12-letter revealer) and long Downs in columns 3 and 13, which gave me a great deal of flexibility in black square placement. I breathed a sigh of relief when I confirmed that I could cross CROP ROTATION and STO{RY E}DITOR at the I, and DUCHESS OF {CORN}WALL and ELECT{RIC E}ELS at the C.

A fun etymology fact I learned during construction is that the place name ‘Cornwall' has nothing to do with maize or any other food: the 'corn' in the name derives from an ancient Celtic word meaning ‘headland'.

Jeff Chen notes:
I've had a few people tell me that I overly criticize rebus puzzles. It's true, I do. So many rebuses have been done over the years ... read more

I've had a few people tell me that I overly criticize rebus puzzles. It's true, I do. So many rebuses have been done over the years that a standard one feels uncreative and sometimes even lazy. So it's a real pleasure when I experience something new(ish) in the rebus arena, like today's CROP ROTATION idea. I enjoyed the combination of rebus + turning, with an apt revealer.

Such a tough puzzle, so hard to figure out what was going on, especially at the STO(RY E)DITOR / BETTE(R YE)T intersection. But working that hard to figure the tricksiness out made the a-ha moment super satisfying.

This is what I want out of a Thursday puzzle – the payoff to be worth the struggle.

Such strong clues, too:

ELECT(RIC E)ELS are indeed stunning, both figuratively and literally!

SCABS' work is indeed "strikingly" controversial. (groan)

Going hog wild on a Hog (slang for a Harley) is indeed what a BIKER does.

I would have loved one more CROP included, but I appreciated how snazzy and clean Kyle's grid was. I'd much prefer this end result than a puzzle with a fourth crop plus a whole lot of gloppy crossword glue.

Took me much longer than an average Thursday, but it was well worth the effort.

1
A
2
B
3
E
4
C
5
O
6
T
7
H
8
A
9
N
10
D
11
E
12
D
13
V
A
L
14
E
15
H
A
I
16
O
L
E
A
R
Y
17
I
D
E
C
18
L
A
R
E
19
T
O
U
P
E
E
20
D
U
C
H
E
S
S
O
21
F
CORN
E
R
22
T
O
T
E
23
N
O
W
24
A
25
B
26
B
27
A
28
P
RICE
E
L
S
29
T
R
A
30
I
L
E
R
S
31
B
A
R
D
O
32
P
O
U
L
T
33
T
E
T
34
I
R
A
35
O
36
I
L
37
M
L
S
38
T
A
R
39
K
I
N
40
S
C
A
41
B
S
42
A
43
R
E
S
O
44
E
A
G
45
L
E
E
Y
E
46
S
T
O
RYE
T
47
R
H
E
A
48
S
U
E
49
A
R
O
D
50
C
51
R
O
P
R
52
O
T
A
T
I
53
O
54
N
55
G
56
U
57
S
T
A
V
58
C
H
I
P
O
T
L
E
59
A
R
R
I
V
E
60
A
N
N
61
N
O
G
O
62
S
L
I
C
E
R
63
N
O
G
64
R
A
N
© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0823 ( 25,125 )
Across
1. Mount Rushmore figure, familiarly : ABE
4. Bit of camp gear : COT
7. Gave personally : HANDED
13. Setting for peak viewing? : VALE
15. "O ___" (greeting on many lolcat memes) : HAI
16. Kevin ___, one of the sharks on "Shark Tank" : OLEARY
17. "My goodness!" : IDECLARE
19. Alternative to plugs : TOUPEE
20. Title for Prince Charles's Camilla : DUCHESSOFCORNWALL
22. Lug : TOTE
23. This day and age : NOW
24. Biblical "father" : ABBA
28. General amount of money that something sells for : PRICERANGE
29. Some teasers : TRAILERS
31. "Lincoln in the ___" (2017 George Saunders best-selling novel) : BARDO
32. Young fowl : POULT
33. Winter festival : TET
34. Militant org. in a 1994 peace agreement : IRA
35. "Mona Lisa," e.g. : OIL
37. Org. for the Philadelphia Union and D.C. United : MLS
38. Sticky stuff : TAR
39. They're related : KIN
40. Ones whose work is strikingly controversial? : SCABS
42. "You ___ right!" : ARESO
44. Detective's asset : EAGLEEYE
46. Behind-the-scenes worker in TV news : STORYEDITOR
47. Large bird of the pampas : RHEA
48. Good name for a tort lawyer : SUE
49. Yank who retired with 2,086 R.B.I. : AROD
50. Common farming technique ... or a hint to solving this puzzle : CROPROTATION
55. Composer Mahler : GUSTAV
58. Chain with a pepper in its logo : CHIPOTLE
59. Make it : ARRIVE
60. Common female middle name : ANN
61. Scrubbed : NOGO
62. Piece of deli counter equipment : SLICER
63. Serving often accompanied by a cinnamon stick : NOG
64. Went for a seat : RAN
Down
1. Ardent : AVID
2. Erykah of R&B : BADU
3. Stunning creatures of the Amazon : ELECTRICEELS
4. Staples of action films : CHASES
5. Crew gear : OARS
6. Hook up with, in a way : TIEONTO
7. Third base, in baseball lingo : HOTCORNER
8. Skin cream ingredient : ALOE
9. Kind of network : NEURAL
10. Alternative greeting to a high-five : DAP
11. Poetic preposition : ERE
12. Curl Up and ___ (punny salon name) : DYE
14. Mirrored : ECHOED
18. Delivered a rant : LETLOOSE
21. Debate settings : FORUMS
25. "Or even ..." : BETTERYET
26. Fried chicken order : BREAST
27. 2017 World Series champ : ASTRO
28. Friend to none : PARIAH
30. "We've been fooled!" : ITSATRAP
31. One who goes hog wild? : BIKER
32. Emphasize : PLAYUP
36. Becomes slippery, in a way : ICESOVER
41. Bit of trash around a fraternity house : BEERCAN
43. Back vocally : ROOTON
45. Obtained from milk : LACTIC
46. Fulfilling : SATING
51. Party that might have a bouncer : RAVE
52. "That's really bad!" : OHNO
53. First wife of Pablo Picasso : OLGA
54. Superbright : NEON
55. Super time : GAS
56. Modern citation info : URL
57. Foreign title of respect : SRI

Answer summary: 5 unique to this puzzle, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?