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# CLOTHES THAT FIT

### New York Times, Sunday, November 13, 2016

 Author: Joel Fagliano Editor: Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
5310/22/20093/16/20173
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
12810610223
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.65351

## This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 132, Blocks: 68 Missing: {JQ} Spans: 1 This is puzzle # 51 for Mr. Fagliano. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Joel Fagliano notes: One thing I often tussle with when putting together a theme is the balance between consistency and playfulness. On the one hand, it's nice for the solver who has cottoned onto the theme to have some idea of ... more
Joel Fagliano notes:

One thing I often tussle with when putting together a theme is the balance between consistency and playfulness. On the one hand, it's nice for the solver who has cottoned onto the theme to have some idea of what the following theme answers will look like. On the other hand, curveballs and surprising theme answers can add extra aha moments to the solve and more satisfaction.

With this theme, I originally had thrown some extraneous words on like SWEATER AND LOUD PANTS for a marathoner, TWO SOCKS AND A BELT for the boxer, and so on. My thinking was the ___ AND ___ format would get too repetitive. But in the end, it felt like it was going to be inconsistent for the solver to encounter some theme answers with extraneous words and others without. My compromise was to put a trio (TURTLENECK, BOA AND CROCS) across the middle, which does break the pattern but in a more constrained way. That was my way of adding an extra "aha".

I'm not sure solvers care about any of this that much, but these are the things constructors agonize over!

Hope everyone enjoys the puzzle.

Jeff Chen notes: I have to admit I didn't understand this one at all after uncovering PANTS AND A SNEAKER. Of course an aerobics instructor would wear pants! And a sneaker! But why not two? I felt silly when I realized that ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

I have to admit I didn't understand this one at all after uncovering PANTS AND A SNEAKER. Of course an aerobics instructor would wear pants! And a sneaker! But why not two?

I felt silly when I realized that 1.) it was PANTS AND A SWEATER and 2.) how much fun, that you hear PANTS in an aerobics class, and everyone is a SWEATER (one who sweats). Amusing play on double-meanings of words.

I liked most all the themers, but I loved SLACKS AND LOAFERS for an unemployed person — slacking and loafing are two of my favorite hobbies. And some of the themers also gave me amusing visuals. A gardener wearing BLOOMERS AND HOSE, love it!

I wasn't as much a fan of the central answer because 1.) it was the only one with three items, so I had a hard time figuring out that I needed implied commas in TURTLENECK, BOA, AND CROCS and 2.) TURTLENECK is associated with the turtle (to some extent), as is BOA / feather boa, and CROCS even have a crocodile for a logo — no real wordplay for me here.

Incredibly well-constructed. Plenty of constructors have tried to go down to 132 words, but very few have been successful in creating a both snazzy and smooth product. Joel uses four big corners and a diagonal swath of white in the middle of the puzzle, both of which should result in at least a few dabs of crossword glue, or at least some bleh/neutral answers. I love that lower left, with TRIBUTE BANDS, TAPENADE, WEB APP, (we were) ON A BREAK! ("Friends," anyone?), TEMPEST, with such clean results. Great stuff.

There were a few tiny HICCUPs here and there — as good as L'ETAT, C'EST MOI / DRONE BEE / the ICE MAN are in the upper right, TOOTER feels contrived. And in the lower right, PISTES is a bit esoteric. But to get so much jazzy fill like CHAKRA, KRONOS, CHIPPER, even CANNIBAL with a jokey clue, that's great stuff.

A playful theme plus top-notch execution is a rare feat on a Sunday 21x.

 1C 2H 3I 4P 5P 6E 7R 8C 9O 10N 11G 12A 13S 14A 15L 16D 17A 18M A I N L A N D 19O N R A M P 20P E R M 21P A N T S A N D A 22S W E A T E R 23O T O H 24A N N 25T I E 26H M O 27E X I 28T L A N E 29S U I 30T A N D 31B 32R I E F 33S 34T O O T E R 35S A B O T S 36R E I N 37A 38M 39A Z E 40C B S 41G L A D E 42A I D S 43K L I N E 44B E E T 45O S L O 46B L O O M 47E R S A N D 48H O S E 49S 50O U L 51N O O S E 52I N T 53P 54O 55T 56B R I 57G 58S A N D M 59I C E M 60A 61N 62T U R 63T L E N E 64C K B O A A 65N D C R O C S 66S T I R I N 67T A I L S 68S U L U 69I T A 70B I G 71D O N N E 72D E P 73P 74T U B E 75T O P A N D 76C 77L 78O G S 79C 80L 81A 82P 83L A T E 84E V E R Y 85H O L E 86B L I N I 87A P E 88A M E N D 89N A I L 90C R A F T S 91W E B 92A P P 93S 94O C K S A 95N D A B E L T 96O N A B R E 97A 98K 99A I R 100O R S 101V E E 102M A N Y 103S L A 104C K S A 105N 106D L O A 107F E R S 108A D D S 109T U N N E L 110S E A M L E S S 111N E S S 112S I E N N A 113C O N S E N T
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 24,477