It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker. Please consider supporting our site by purchasing an account.
This web browser is not supported. Use Chrome, Edge, Safari, or Firefox for best results.

New York Times, Thursday, August 31, 2017

Author:
Zachary Spitz
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
511/18/20152/21/20182
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0012101
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.63200
Zachary Spitz

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 78, Blocks: 34 Missing: {JQZ} This is puzzle # 4 for Mr. Spitz. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Zachary Spitz notes:
I don't remember what sparked this, but I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out, especially around the corners. One change to the ... read more

I don't remember what sparked this, but I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out, especially around the corners. One change to the grid: in my submission, the PERCENT / NECK crossing was PERCEPT / PECK. I think the team also upped the overall difficulty a bit (probably so they could clue LIE that way).

My to-do list includes reading FUN HOME and making MAMIE's fudge. Looking over the puzzle again, I see my parents' names at 42-Across and 8-Down. See you two in a few days!

Jeff Chen notes:
Rebus, with four CORNER / OFFICEs: BOX office, POST office, OVAL office, HOME office. Zach produced a nice and clean grid, with ... read more

Rebus, with four CORNER / OFFICEs: BOX office, POST office, OVAL office, HOME office.

Zach produced a nice and clean grid, with just some minor IMET, ENO (not sure he's really crossworthy), NCO, with some great bonuses in LIONS DEN, SAFE HARBOR, YAKITORI, AMBIANCE. Made for smooth sailing all the way through the grid.

Well, except for that NRA / MACLEOD crossing. It would have been perfectly fine with a straightforward clue for NRA, but [F.D.R. created program …] = the National … Recovery Administration? Yikes. I ended up with MCCLEOD, which seemed perfectly fine, as did NRC. I'll own up when I think the mistake is my fault, but today ... no bueno!

The grid does end up pretty segmented — the SW is only connected to the rest of the puzzle by two answers, GROOMER and RED CENT — but it seems like a reasonable trade-off in order to end up with the smooth final product. It's so difficult to work with a big swath of white space like that in the SW, even more so when you have two crossing answers (FDA APPROVAL / OVALTINE) fixed into place. The segmentation is definitely understandable — sometimes, you need to compromise a bit to create a quality overall grid.

Love that DEFOE clue, the author doing work on Friday. (That's the character Friday from "Robinson Crusoe," not the day of the week.)

Given that we've seen a ton of rebuses over the years, I like when they distinguish themselves by including some additional creative layer. I enjoyed that Zach chose four different types of office, rather than just cramming the word OFFICE into four corner boxes, but I would have liked something more.

ADDED NOTE: Reader Sean MACLEOD tells me that Mac and Mc are very common Scottish last name starts, but MCC is almost always a misspelling. Thanks for expanding my world view, Sean!

1
BOX
2
C
3
A
4
R
5
P
6
A
7
D
8
S
9
G
10
O
11
A
12
L
13
POST
14
S
A
L
E
15
I
M
E
T
16
M
A
M
I
E
17
E
T
O
N
18
S
A
F
E
19
H
A
R
B
O
R
20
A
N
N
21
G
A
S
O
V
E
N
22
I
N
C
23
T
A
S
24
E
R
25
S
E
E
R
26
W
A
S
H
27
S
P
O
T
O
28
N
29
B
30
R
A
N
D
I
31
C
O
R
32
N
33
E
34
R
35
E
X
C
E
L
36
F
37
R
38
Y
39
M
A
C
L
E
40
O
D
41
E
N
D
42
D
I
A
43
N
E
44
O
F
F
I
C
45
E
46
A
N
K
A
R
47
A
48
L
E
N
49
I
50
N
51
S
52
A
S
I
S
53
P
54
A
55
A
56
R
57
N
O
N
E
T
58
P
E
T
59
P
E
R
C
E
60
N
T
61
L
I
E
62
P
O
O
63
R
E
X
C
U
S
E
64
P
I
M
A
65
R
U
R
A
L
66
E
R
I
C
67
D
E
A
L
68
OVAL
T
I
N
E
69
D
A
N
K
70
F
U
N
HOME
© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0831 ( 24,768 )
Across
1
Transporter with sliding doors : BOXCAR
5
Saddle accessories : PADS
9
Kicker's target : GOALPOST
14
Consumer's boon : SALE
15
"How ___ Your Mother" : IMET
16
First lady with a popular recipe for "million-dollar fudge" : MAMIE
17
School founded by Henry VI : ETON
18
Refuge : SAFEHARBOR
20
Mitt Romney's wife : ANN
21
Pilot's surroundings : GASOVEN
22
Business add-on? : INC
23
Alternative to a gun : TASER
25
Futurist : SEER
26
Situation with equal losses and gains : WASH
27
"Precisely!" : SPOTON
29
Soccer star Chastain with two Olympic gold medals : BRANDI
31
With 44-Across, V.I.P. area represented four times in this puzzle : CORNER
35
Microsoft offering : EXCEL
36
Fish ___ : FRY
39
Gavin of "The Love Boat" : MACLEOD
41
What a Möbius strip lacks : END
42
Rehm of public radio : DIANE
44
See 31-Across : OFFICE
46
Capital on an Asian peninsula : ANKARA
48
___ Tomb : LENINS
52
Without modification : ASIS
53
Jack who was quick with a quip : PAAR
57
Odd group of musicians? : NONET
58
Extra cost for an airline passenger : PET
59
Shift+5 on a keyboard : PERCENT
61
"This puzzle is relatively easy," say : LIE
62
Not a good example : POOREXCUSE
64
High-quality cotton : PIMA
65
Like most of Maine : RURAL
66
Holder of the Obama cabinet : ERIC
67
Bargain : DEAL
68
Popular drink : OVALTINE
69
Like some cellars : DANK
70
Alison Bechdel memoir made into a hit 2015 Broadway musical : FUNHOME
Down
1
Luxuries for theatergoers : BOXSEATS
2
Quick break : CATNAP
3
King in "The Tempest" : ALONSO
4
Kylo ___ of "The Force Awakens" : REN
5
City with a famous bell tower : PISA
6
Collect : AMASS
7
Author who did part of his work on Friday : DEFOE
8
Jobs once in California : STEVE
9
F.B.I. agent, informally : GMAN
10
Conjunction in a rebus puzzle : OAR
11
Atmosphere : AMBIANCE
12
Locale of hostile criticism, metaphorically : LIONSDEN
13
Archetype : POSTERCHILD
19
Cannabis, e.g. : HERB
21
Shelter staffer : GROOMER
24
Alternative to "..." : ETC
26
Material for Icarus' wings : WAX
28
F.D.R.-created program with the slogan "We Do Our Part" : NRA
30
Pittance : REDCENT
32
Base fig. : NCO
33
"The Lord of the Rings" figure : ELF
34
Certain whistle blower : REF
36
Need for drugs : FDAAPPROVAL
37
De-suds : RINSEOUT
38
Japanese style of chicken : YAKITORI
40
Palm ___ : OIL
43
Rapper who famously feuded with Jay-Z : NAS
45
"Music for Airports" composer : ENO
47
Tiptop : APEX
49
Taking the place (of) : INLIEU
50
Artist LeRoy : NEIMAN
51
Sneakily advance from third : STEALHOME
54
Parabolic, e.g. : ARCED
55
Automaker whose current models all end in "X" : ACURA
56
Material used in mummification : RESIN
59
"The King of Football" : PELE
60
Make out : NECK
63
Controlled : RAN
64
Common email attachment : PDF

Answer summary: 3 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later, 1 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?