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TWISTING ONE'S WORDS

New York Times, Sunday, January 17, 2016

 Author: Jeff Chen Editor: Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
667/5/20102/23/201739
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1954111665
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.633122

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 140, Blocks: 78 Missing: {JQX} This is puzzle # 48 for Mr. Chen. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Notepad: The print version of this puzzle contains small arrows between certain squares, which the software cannot reproduce. We recommend using the PDF.
Jeff Chen notes: Back before computers, the military had to employ mathematicians to calculate projectile trajectories by hand, adjusting for such obvious factors as gravity, wind, friction, etc. But one factor that initially ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Back before computers, the military had to employ mathematicians to calculate projectile trajectories by hand, adjusting for such obvious factors as gravity, wind, friction, etc. But one factor that initially eluded some of the best minds was how the Earth's spin affected a long-range trajectory. Must have been baffling for these uber-educated professors to miss by a mile, scrambling to figure out why the heck they had been so far off course. It's stories like this that make the CORIOLIS FORCE so fascinating to me.

Aw, who am I kidding? I just like flushing things down the toilet.

Jeff Chen notes: This puzzle construction gave me fits. It was hard enough to identify eight themers that would work in the way I wanted — circling around a single black square like a storm, before continuing on its ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

This puzzle construction gave me fits. It was hard enough to identify eight themers that would work in the way I wanted — circling around a single black square like a storm, before continuing on its merry way — but working with the max 140-word constraint made things tough. Each of the eight themers took up very short slots, meaning that I had to work in more long fill than usual. And having those single letters stick out — the H and S of IS THIS THING ON, for example — constrained the grid in tough ways. Throw in CORIOLIS FORCE for a revealer and the fact that I wanted the central black squares to look like a storm ...

The bottom left corner alone took me maybe 25-30 reboots. I was hesitant to use MUTTONY, which I needed to make that corner work, but I thought of a fun clue for it: [A little sheepish?]. Sadly, it was left on the cutting room floor.

Will worried that BANH MI wasn't going to be familiar to many solvers, and the crossing with DEBI might feel unfair. (In Seattle, you can throw a loaf of crusty bread 100 yards in any direction and hit a BANH MI shop, but his reasoning was sound.) I tried a few other options, but in the end, Joel helped us settle on the original, given the BANH MI's rising prominence in the food world and its utterly delicious combination of roasted pork and julienned vegetables.

All of a sudden, I'm hungry.

Will also felt that the puzzle as I had it — no arrows — would be just too hard. I drew up some storm-looking things, but Will decided to use arrows instead. I still like the idea of "storms" within the puzzle, spinning in opposite directions in the Northern hemisphere vs. the Southern ... I wish my meager art skills had better conveyed that. Maybe then, my original title of "SPIN CONTROL" would have flown. Ah well.

 1D 2E 3B 4I 5O 6H 7S 8N 9A 10P 11B 12C 13C 14M 15E 16R 17E 18A L A S 19T A T E R S 20L A R 21P A N E L 22W I N T 23E R S P O R T 24E L E 25M E N T A L 26N T H 27S A T A N S 28H E M 29D R I E S 30S E M I S 32H U A 33C O P S E S 35F R O 36S I N 37B E L T 38O L S E N 39T E E N 40A 41G 42E L 43M E 44T R O 45A T 46V S 47D I N 48G 49O 50T O R U I N 52A I D 53A 54H E A T I N G 56L O A N I N G 57B O O E D 58E R R I N G 59O Z S 60E T H 61E L 62L C D 63S 64S S N 65B E E 66B 67T H E 68M I K A D 69O 70Y 71A 72L 73L 74A 75D 76D 77S A P S 78M S N 79B 80C 81M O O 82P 83E T A R 84D 85R E F 86I S 87H E A 88L E R S 89B O T T L E R 90Y G O R 91A A A B O N D S 92B L Y 93E D A 94M 95F R E 96T S 97N O N 98C A M R Y 100M U 101S I C 102R I D S 104E 105S 106C 107R O M 108T A T T L E 109O A K 110I S A I 111D 112B L I 113T Z 114T O E 115D I N N 116E R 117T R U 118N E O N D E I O N 120M A L F E A S A N C E 122S A G A S 123O N E 124O V U L E S 125T A L L 126A R Y L 127N Y S 128D I S U S E 129E V E S
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 24,176