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1 puzzle by Sean Biggins
with Jeff Chen comments

TotalDebutCollabs
11/21/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0100000
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.77000
Sean Biggins
POW Mon 1/21/2019
PASHAOSLOSON
FREEDCAROMUZI
FITFORAKINGPAX
TAOABELMERE
NATIONALPARKS
SCHMIDTNEAR
HEAPSSKETCHUP
URLTREADINO
TALKSHOWLOTUS
ICEDABOUTME
THEWHOLETRUTH
HEMIAMORECO
ELMCIVILRIGHTS
FLYODELLTIARA
TASDORYSLYLY

Perfect theme for MLK Day: three important CIVIL RIGHTS figures disguised at the ends of phrases. Such uplifting phrases, too! Fit for a KING fits King. Rosa PARKS is something of a NATIONAL treasure. And I have to imagine Sojourner told THE WHOLE TRUTH. Inspiring stuff.

I did wonder if Sojourner TRUTH was out of place, her life a century before those of KING and PARKS. Also, the civil rights movement is most often identified with the 1960s... but I like the idea of expanding it to any effort throughout history that worked toward equal rights for all.

Could Malcolm X have been a more apt third theme person? Maybe with SOLVE FOR X or GENERATION X? But referring to Malcolm X by "X" is odd. It's not his last name (is it?). So I like Sean's choices.

There were quite a few grid problems, including a glut of tough proper nouns that might trip up beginning solvers, and some gluey bits that felt inelegant. But the beautiful theme let me look past all of the dings and just appreciate the three folks honored in the puzzle. Digging into the technical weeds seems against the spirit of today's celebration, anyway.