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MISHMASH

New York Times, Sunday, January 22, 2017

Author: Dan Schoenholz
Editor: Will Shortz
Dan Schoenholz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
225/5/20101/22/20170
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10244200
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1.63220

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 140, Blocks: 72 Missing: {QX} This is puzzle # 22 for Mr. Schoenholz. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Dan Schoenholz notes: I hope solvers like this wordplay theme—my recollection is that I came up with it while watching the Olympics last summer and wondering if any of the divers might experience a flip flop. The puzzle ... more
Dan Schoenholz notes:

I hope solvers like this wordplay theme—my recollection is that I came up with it while watching the Olympics last summer and wondering if any of the divers might experience a flip flop. The puzzle retains more of my clues as written than most I've published—probably two-thirds of the clues are either exactly the same or very close to what I submitted. Sadly, my proposed clue for CHEN at 53-Across ("noted crossword critic Jeff") was among the minority that got the axe. Sorry, Jeff: I tried!

I am also pleased to include a shout out at 4-Down to Sandie Gitchell (the mother of two of my closest friends), better known as "Madre" to me and many others. A warm, fun-loving person, Madre has been a friend and a supportive presence in my life for almost 40 years. Coincidentally, tomorrow happens to be her birthday, so I'm glad to be able to send her this 21 x 21 card via the crossword blogs. I'm doubly pleased (as Madre will be, as well) that the puzzle includes WINE—one of her favorite words—at 54-Across.

Jeff Chen notes: A friend of mine once told me it's incredibly easy to come up with crossword themes. When I asked him (with amusement) to come up with one so we could make it together, he listed off DING-DONG, PING-PONG, ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

A friend of mine once told me it's incredibly easy to come up with crossword themes. When I asked him (with amusement) to come up with one so we could make it together, he listed off DING-DONG, PING-PONG, SING-SONG … and then he turned red and said well, maybe it's not incredibly easy. (Just easy.)

That sort of repetition alone wouldn't make for a very good crossword, but Dan found a way to turn these types of phrases into an interesting idea. I particularly liked OF THEE I SING SONG, such an apt description of "America, the Beautiful." And as a fan of the hapless Knicks, I enjoyed NEW YORK KNICK KNACKS, which is sadly an all-too-true description of that motley crew these days. (Remember the days of Patrick Ewing, amirite?)

Took me a while to understand JOINED AT THE HIP HOP as a three-legged race, but it made sense, eventually. See, you're tied up … sort of at the hip (more at the leg though) … and you're hopping (more like loping) … well, if you squint, this clue sort of works.

Some nice bonus fill, STRAW POLLS, RED CAVIAR, RAW DATA and PEGBOARD my favorites. (I'm a huge "American Ninja Warrior" fan and desperately want to build a hanging pegboard in my living room for training, but my wife is surprisingly not hot on that idea.) I was mixed on ONE A CAT — we, unfortunately, see OCAT or ACAT all too often in crosswords. Is seeing the full esoteric game any better? Hmm, not sure.

Dan did a nice job in giving us a smooth grid overall. I picked up a little ETAT, ATWT, SEM, SEMAINE (French for "week") but it wasn't enough to give me an AGUE. I would have welcomed a little more of the gluey short stuff to get some more snazzy longer fill.

Overall, still a bit repetitive-feeling for my taste, but I did like Dan's creativity in finding an interesting way to incorporate these TIP-TOP HIP-HOP FLIP-FLOPS into a crossword theme. Making a crossword is so (incredibly) easy!

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© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 24,547
Across Down
1. Inconceivably vast : COSMIC
7. Hard looks : STARES
13. Stream, as of revenue : INFLOW
19. Baseball-like game : ONEACAT
21. Flowery : ORNATE
22. Et ___ : CETERA
23. Witty British judge? : POWDEREDWIGWAG
25. Conquistador Cortés : HERNAN
26. Copies, informally : REPROS
27. It shows who's who or what's what : IDTAG
29. Perform a full-body scan? : OGLE
30. Pizza, e.g. : PIE
32. Quest of 25-Across : ORO
33. Ortiz of "Ugly Betty" : ANA
34. Site of Spaceship Earth : EPCOT
37. Language akin to Thai : LAO
38. Three-legged race, e.g.? : JOINEDATTHEHIPHOP
44. School chum, say : OLDPAL
46. "Mr. Blue Sky" band, for short : ELO
47. World's most voluminous river : AMAZON
48. Chapter in early 20th-century history: Abbr. : WWI
49. Property inheritor, legally speaking : ALIENEE
51. On point : APT
53. Julie of TV's "Big Brother" : CHEN
54. "One of the most civilized things in the world," per Hemingway : WINE
55. Nail? : FINGERTIPTOP
58. Consider anew, as a decision : REVISIT
60. Girl with a ball : DEB
61. Sound investments, in more ways than one : CDS
62. ___ Minor : ASIA
65. A- : NINETY
66. "America"? : OFTHEEISINGSONG
71. Hindi word for "spice mix" : MASALA
74. Brief second? : ASST
75. ___ generis : SUI
76. Theological inst. : SEM
79. What Cubs fans get carried away by? : ELTRAIN
81. Grant a girl permission to dis Drake? : LETHERRIPRAP
86. Fortify : GIRD
87. Page (through) : LEAF
90. 1990s Indian P.M. : RAO
91. Week, on Martinique : SEMAINE
92. Alias inits. : AKA
93. Game for the goal-oriented? : SOCCER
95. Keeps in the loop, in a way : CCS
97. Worn out : DONEIN
98. Ability to score at Madison Square Garden, e.g.? : NEWYORKKNICKKNACK
102. Mouse's resting place : PAD
103. Take a timeout : PAUSE
104. French ___ : FRY
105. Title at Topkapi Palace : AGA
106. Egg container : SAC
107. Religious image : ICON
109. Piano dueler with Donald in 1988's "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" : DAFFY
112. Quiz bowl fodder : TRIVIA
114. Like Serbia and Croatia : BALKAN
117. Diving disaster? : TRIPLEFLIPFLOP
122. Maintain : ALLEGE
123. Bawdy : WANTON
124. Gently show the door : EASEOUT
125. Give a new tournament ranking : RESEED
126. Pulls on, as heartstrings : TUGSAT
127. Speakers' spots : ROSTRA
1. Bluecoat : COP
2. Only woman to sing lead vocals on a Beatles song : ONO
3. Darn things : SEW
4. Sierra ___ : MADRE
5. Drink commonly served with a spoon-straw : ICEE
6. H.O.V. lane user : CARPOOLER
7. Farm females : SOWS
8. Lateral opening? : TRI
9. Chest pain : ANGINA
10. Grist for analysts : RAWDATA
11. Californie, e.g. : ETAT
12. Gaming giant : SEGA
13. I, to Izaak : ICH
14. Word for a name-dropper? : NEE
15. 1960s sitcom set in the 1860s : FTROOP
16. From one side to the other : LENGTHWISE
17. Kind of history : ORAL
18. Ebb : WANE
20. Grammy-winning drummer ___ Lyne Carrington : TERRI
24. Lorna of literature : DOONE
28. Codger : GEEZER
30. Opposite of ruddy : PALLID
31. Thyroid need : IODINE
33. Embrace : ADOPT
35. Bus. card info : PHONENO
36. N.L. Central squad, on scorecards : CIN
37. Don't work too hard : LOAF
38. Half of a swinging couple? : JANE
39. Goes by : ELAPSES
40. Alternative to Cinemax : TMC
41. "That'll be the day!" : HAH
42. Take responsibility for something : OWNIT
43. Atheist's lack : PIETY
45. Place to hang tools : PEGBOARD
50. Leave a good impression? : ETCH
52. One lifting spirits? : TOASTER
54. Jet measure : WINGSPAN
56. Think tank product : IDEA
57. Chi follower : PSI
59. Diesel in movies : VIN
63. Reeling : INSHOCK
64. Shivering fit : AGUE
67. Key locale: Abbr. : FLA
68. They'll take your measure : TAILORS
69. Manhattan, e.g.: Abbr. : ISL
70. They're dubbed : SIRS
71. Mullally of "Will & Grace" : MEGAN
72. Hard to tell apart : ALIKE
73. Informal measures of popularity : STRAWPOLLS
77. It lies between Cleveland, O., and Buffalo, N.Y. : ERIEPA
78. Nut : MANIAC
80. Made out : NECKED
82. Showy in a cheap way : TACKY
83. Salmon roe, by another name : REDCAVIAR
84. "Don't worry about me!" : IMOK
85. Await resolution : PEND
88. Relative of "Aargh!" : ACK
89. Wetland : FEN
93. Measly amount : SOU
94. Guitar Hero activity : RIFFING
96. Wolf (down) : SNARF
99. Mantle, e.g. : YANKEE
100. Some vaults : CRYPTS
101. Like cats, typically : AGILE
106. Secure spots : SAFES
107. Certain steel beam : IBAR
108. Racer Yarborough : CALE
110. Fig. on a periodic table : ATWT
111. Mrs., abroad : FRAU
112. Bedouin shelter : TENT
113. ___ facto : IPSO
115. Common thing to lie about : AGE
116. ___ Yost, 2015 World Series-winning manager : NED
118. Mauna ___ : LOA
119. Poland's main airline : LOT
120. Start of the Lord's Prayer : OUR
121. Education support grp. : PTA

Answer summary: 16 unique to this puzzle, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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