Make That a Double – The New York Times

Photo

Crab poblano chile relleno, as it is served at the Mockingbird Kitchen and Bar in Connecticut.Credit Wendy Carlson for The New York Times

SUNDAY PUZZLE If there is one thing that trips me up when it comes to solving, it’s a rebus. If there’s two things that trip me up when it comes to solving, it’s a double rebus.

I’m not sore, though, because Ruth Bloomfield Margolin returns today with a fun and twisty workout that I bet kept you (and by that, I mean me) guessing for a long time.

Today’s Theme

It’s Sunday, so we have a much bigger playing field and Ms. Margolin takes advantage of that by filling her grid with fairly long entries that have not one, but two IT rebuses per theme entry. I know that many solvers grouse about “stunt” puzzles, but honestly, it took a lot to build this one, yet it successfully maintains a sense of fun. And if only I wasn’t so darned rebus-blind, perhaps I would have gotten it sooner.

My point is, not only did Ms. Margolin have to come up with a list of words and phrases that have the letters IT in them twice and are the correct letter counts, but she managed to build her grid with some of them (notably FITBITS and NITWITS) intersecting other theme entries not just once, but twice. That’s amazing.

There’s a hint at 118A that tells you what you need to do: KEEP IT TOGETHER. There are no other ITs in the puzzle, or words that contain an I immediately preceding a T. Bonus content: The phrase KEEP IT TOGETHER always reminds me of this bit from the hilarious Steve Martin/Eddie Murphy film “Bowfinger”:

And the theme entries are all really lively. A lot of work went into developing this theme, setting it in the grid and filling around it. I admire it.

We have seven debut entries today and a lot of very nice fill overall. I liked RELLENO, SWITCH POSITIONS, CREDIT OR DEBIT, MEMO PAD, INITIATION RITE, COLD-COCK, JOCULAR, LITTLE WHITE LIE, LIMOGES, PATERNITY SUIT, END GAME, KEEP IT TOGETHER, LOITERER,…

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