“Leave Room for Dessert!”

[.puz][PDF][Solution] 🍪🍪🍪🍪

Jessie just made her vaccination appointment. Gratitude abounds in this household. One step closer to all of us commingling in our kitschy crossword novelty clothing! Ah, I can *taste* it. Speaking of, don’t forget to register for A.C.P.T. next week!

I’m also thrilled to be able to exhort you to check out the new Juggernaut crossword feature! It’s a monthly puzzle featuring South Asian themes and subject matter from Sid Sivakumar.

Thoughts and spoilers for “Leave Room for Dessert” after the jump!

En garde, hunger!

For anyone who is first encountering a “rebus” puzzle, in which you cram more than one letter into a single box, know that your confusion and consternation is a near universal response. Yes, you “can” do that. Yes, it’s pretty common. No, it will never not be infuriating to first time rebus solvers.

This puzzle concept started when I noticed that CHAZZ PALMINTERI was a grid-spanning 15 letters. It’s rare that I try to reverse engineer a puzzle idea from the name of a public person whom I admire. The last time I can recall was seeing YAMICHE ALCINDOR (15) and thinking, okay, she’s a journalist who wears a lapel MIC! Or, or, the word HEAL is also hidden across her name… uh… dammit, how do I get YAMICHE ALCINDOR into a puzzle!? (Answer: make more themeless puzzles?)

At any rate, the MINT in Chazz’s name turned out to be crucial. My weird little brain *needs* there to be at least 4 rebus boxes in a rebus puzzle. And M-I-N-T is a *very* uncommon letter string, I now know! It was especially difficult to get rebus boxes in the north and west, since few of the options followed the string of ??MINT___, forcing the rebus box towards the middle of the grid in the first few formulations I tried.

Another weird thing about my brain and rebuses is that I’m basically never satisfied unless each rebus box shares a its longest row/column with a sister rebus box’s longest row/column. There are no rules about this stuff, but the constraints make finishing a grid like this all the more satisfying.

Happy solving, friends!

-Ross

17 thoughts on ““Leave Room for Dessert!”

  1. Proverbs 16:18! I never look below the jump before attempting the puzzle! That’ll teach me…
    But thanks, Ross! I learned: A) What a “rebus” puzzle is, even though I’ve been doing them for years, B) How to enter them in a .puz, and C) who the heck Chazz Palminteri is. One of the things I like about your puzzles is that they drag me kicking and screaming into modern culture. If you ever do one on 60’s rock and roll, I’ll be all over it! 😉

    1. The first time I tried to enter a rebus in AcrossLite I was successful…. after 20 minutes of trying. 60’s rock grid comin’ right up! Comin’ thro?

  2. Okay, I’ll bite (the Girl Guide cookie, as they are up here). How do you place more than one letter into a box? Or isn’t that possible when solving on a browser? I’m, well, puzzled. I figured out the gimmick, but I couldn’t finish the puzzle without doing a complete Reveal. (How humiliatin’!)

    1. Hi Blaine,

      Do you have the Across Lite app? If so — it’s free, btw — download the .puz file. When you want to enter more than one letter into a square, keep your cursor on that square and hit the ESC key on your computer and there you go!

    2. NICE one, Blaine 🙂 there should be a button on the browser solving applet between “check” and “print” that says “Rebus.” If you click that, you’ll be able to enter more than one letter in a box!

      1. Thanks, Ross.

        Yep, it’s there, but of course I had no idea what it meant (because, like Kathy, below, I had a different idea of what a rebus is—and I didn’t think we were getting all Scottish again).

        By the way, Girl Guide cookies in my lifetime have come in two varieties: chocolate and vanilla, equal numbers of each in every box. Now, on looking into this serious matter, I find there are also “Chocolatey mint cookies.” In Canada. I ask you.

    3. Also, with the square highlighted, you can hit the “Insert” key, which opens a teensy text box to insert the rebus. I must confess I thought a rebus was a picture puzzle, but there you go…

  3. Sweet puzzle…but gee — THIN MINTS are okay but do the Girl Scouts/Girl Guides still sell S’MORES? They’re the best, IMO. 🙂 Thanks, Ross!

    1. Kelly, everything about the accuracy of these puzzles is up for discussion *except* for the clear and obvious superiority of THIN MINTS. Only to be improved upon by frozen thin mints.

      1. I bow to your expertise, Ross o’ mine!

        Kelly <—-hurrying off to grab some S'mores and knowing she won't be caught 😉

  4. I must admit, that I had a devil of a time figuring out how to get MINT in those boxes, even though I knew right well that it had to go there. It’s easy enough in Games World of Puzzles magazine to just squeeze letters in a box. It is not possible on a Mac. I started looking above the puzzle at the stuff I never pay attention to. Settings was useless and Rebus didn’t make sense based on my above-mentioned magazine experience. So, for the first time ever, I peaked below the jump. The moment I saw Rebus, I stopped reading and went up and clicked. Very clever. And, for the record, I love crosswords that do that sort of thing. I fondly remember one that required the 4 suits of cards and the answer puzzle showed them as pictures, which would have been easier than squeezing letters as I did!
    Oh, and rather than Xanax, try prism glasses! I swear, they work.

  5. WAT?!?!

    (Yes I am one of those for whom this is the first “rebus” puzzle and you described my reaction exactly.)

Leave a Reply