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NOSY NONSENSE

New York Times, Sunday, March 9, 2014

Author: Brendan Emmett Quigley
Editor: Will Shortz
Brendan Emmett Quigley
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1698/7/19968/5/201613
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334141817442613
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1.635212

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 138, Blocks: 68 Missing: {JQ} This is puzzle # 160 for Mr. Quigley. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes: Beautiful puzzle today, one that straddles the line between very different two camps of solvers, the old guard who likes the good old traditions, and the new generation of rule-breakers and experimentalists. BEQ ... more
Jeff Chen notes: Beautiful puzzle today, one that straddles the line between very different two camps of solvers, the old guard who likes the good old traditions, and the new generation of rule-breakers and experimentalists. BEQ gives us a twist on a standard theme, adding a Z sound to the first word of each phrase, transforming it from a one-syllable to a two-syllable word. Talk about perfect consistency. And the results are strong: eight theme answers which almost all made me laugh or at least smile.

Beautiful layout, a great example of how to make your themers stand out without explicitly calling them out by asterisk or other means. Not only are all his themers longer than any piece of fill, but BEQ puts the shortest ones (CHOOSY TOY and ROSY HOUSE) in-line with others (DAISY TRADER and BOISE WONDER, respectively) to make them stand out. Since he has some eight-letter fill (I love EUROMART / MONEY MEN!), it could easily be confusing to a solver whether those eights are thematic or not, especially since LARYNXES carries the question mark on its clue, making it seem like it could be thematic. The fact that those shortest themers are in-line with other longer ones really help.

Great selection of base phrases, DAY TRADER and CHEW TOY are absolutely fantastic, and HEY SAILOR is of course my favorite (no surprise). And note how he selected a huge variety of transformations (AY to AISY, EW to OOSY, etc.)? Not one of them is identical — how cool is that to have eight, all different?

There were a couple of minor dings here and there — not many like to see OSO or DERR in a grid — but it's so smoothly filled, so professionally done that these entries are hardly noticeable. I wouldn't expect anything less from the master.

The audience for the NYT is so amazingly diverse, ranging from people calling for the Maleska days all the way to avant-garde indie movement eschewing any itty-bitty piece of subpar fill. Go too far toward either side and you risk rankling millions of NYT solvers. BEQ does an amazing job to give us a middle ground which I think will make both ends of the spectrum happy.

1
F
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R
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E
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S
5
H
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E
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N
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S
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T
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E
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P
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T
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O
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E
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G
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L
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E
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A
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M
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O
I
L
H
O
L
E
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C
A
M
E
R
A
S
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E
A
R
L
Y
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O
P
H
E
L
I
A
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U
P
B
E
A
T
S
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T
R
I
T
E
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D
A
I
S
Y
T
R
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A
D
E
R
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C
H
O
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O
S
Y
T
O
Y
30
W
I
S
P
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R
A
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F
T
S
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N
O
N
U
S
E
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A
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B
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H
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O
R
S
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P
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I
E
C
E
S
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D
E
U
X
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P
L
A
Y
I
T
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E
N
D
E
D
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R
E
S
T
E
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D
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O
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N
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B
I
Z
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T
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T
A
D
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E
Y
R
E
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S
O
L
O
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S
P
Y
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E
A
S
Y
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C
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O
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M
M
E
R
C
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E
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O
S
O
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S
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U
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B
D
U
E
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S
P
I
T
S
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D
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A
Z
E
S
64
D
65
E
A
R
E
S
T
66
M
I
T
T
S
67
D
68
E
N
T
Y
N
E
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A
L
I
N
E
70
P
A
N
I
C
71
R
E
V
A
M
P
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N
I
L
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B
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R
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E
E
Z
Y
C
H
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E
E
S
E
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O
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H
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O
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T
H
O
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M
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I
T
R
Y
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M
O
I
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I
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L
I
A
D
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E
U
R
O
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M
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D
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A
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M
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I
S
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N
O
L
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C
E
R
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P
O
T
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A
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T
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B
E
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O
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G
A
N
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N
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A
S
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R
O
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Y
H
O
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U
S
E
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B
O
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I
S
E
W
O
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N
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D
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E
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R
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G
R
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M
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C
A
T
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B
I
R
D
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S
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N
C
E
R
E
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O
R
D
E
R
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S
K
I
R
A
C
E
115
O
C
E
A
N
I
A
116
T
E
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N
S
117
B
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118
P
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D
© 2014, The New York TimesNo. 23,497
Across Down
1. Top off, as someone's drink : FRESHEN
8. Isolated hill surrounded by lava : STEPTOE
15. Shine : GLEAM
20. Lubrication point : OILHOLE
21. Snapping things : CAMERAS
22. Avoiding the rush, say : EARLY
23. She "speaks things in doubt, / That carry but half sense" : OPHELIA
24. They're not accented in music : UPBEATS
25. Unimaginative : TRITE
26. One unsatisfied with a "She loves me, she loves me not" result? : DAISYTRADER
28. Picky little dog? : CHOOSYTOY
30. Faint trace : WISP
31. A lot : RAFTS
33. Neglect : NONUSE
34. Detests : ABHORS
38. Game equipment : PIECES
40. Haitian couple : DEUX
41. Bandleader's cry : PLAYIT
42. Called off : ENDED
43. Lay atop : RESTEDON
47. "L'Arlésienne" composer : BIZET
48. It's not much : TAD
49. Lake ___ (Australia's lowest point) : EYRE
50. Audition winner's part, maybe : SOLO
51. Peep : SPY
52. Business transactions free from government regulation? : EASYCOMMERCE
57. Spanish bear : OSO
58. Vanquish : SUBDUE
61. Narrow land projections into the sea : SPITS
62. Floors : DAZES
64. Billet-doux recipient : DEAREST
66. Hands, informally : MITTS
67. Orbit rival : DENTYNE
69. Coat style : ALINE
70. Bank run : PANIC
71. Change structurally : REVAMP
72. It's nothing at all : NIL
73. Carefree dairy product? : BREEZYCHEESE
77. "Really!" : OHO
80. Radiohead head Yorke : THOM
82. Modest response to a compliment : ITRY
83. French 101 pronoun : MOI
84. It covers Hector's death : ILIAD
86. Continental free trade group : EUROMART
88. Block, as a stream : DAMUP
91. Likes lots : ISINTO
92. F.S.U. player, for short : NOLE
93. Bright red : CERISE
94. One spinning one's wheels? : POTTER
95. Optimally : ATBEST
98. It's often heard at a ballpark : ORGAN
99. Reconstruction-era cartoonist : NAST
101. Optimistic theater audience? : ROSYHOUSE
103. Marvel from Idaho's largest city? : BOISEWONDER
109. Soot : GRIME
110. Kind of seat : CATBIRD
112. Straight-shooting : SINCERE
113. It's bigger than a family : ORDER
114. Slalom, for one : SKIRACE
115. Winston's home in "1984" : OCEANIA
116. Snapchat demographic : TEENS
117. Nuts : BANANAS
118. In words : PHRASED
1. Kind of pyramid : FOOD
2. TV's Kelly : RIPA
3. Educ. book category : ELHI
4. "___ Like the Wind" (song from "Dirty Dancing") : SHES
5. Sunday reading : HOLYWRIT
6. Supporter of the 1%, say : ELITIST
7. Advances on : NEARS
8. Missile name : SCUD
9. Got to the point? : TAPERED
10. Eagerly adopt : EMBRACE
11. Polish leader? : PEE
12. Developers' expanses : TRACTS
13. Profanities : OATHS
14. Canadian business often connected to a Tim Hortons : ESSO
15. Makes bail, e.g. : GETSOUT
16. Talking points? : LARYNXES
17. "Un Ballo in Maschera" aria : ERITU
18. Some chorus members : ALTOS
19. "Like hell!" : MYEYE
27. Mollify : APPEASE
29. "Hold your horses" : ONESEC
32. Boosted, as an ego : FED
34. Heat alerts, for short? : APBS
35. Tiny indicator : BLIP
36. Barely remembered seaman? : HAZYSAILOR
37. "Listen up, Lucia!" : OYE
39. Hoosier capital, informally : INDY
40. Detective writer Earl ___ Biggers : DERR
43. Some loaves : RYES
44. Sports score most likely to be on the highlight reel? : DOOZYPOINT
45. Actress Elizabeth with older twins : OLSEN
46. Fagin's end : NOOSE
48. Pulled tight : TAUT
49. Defib team : EMTS
52. Post office workers, for short? : EDS
53. CBS series that, oddly, was filmed in L.A. : CSINY
54. Lens : OPTIC
55. Sen. McConnell : MITCH
56. "Downton Abbey" maid : EDNA
59. Museum decoration : URN
60. "Sherlock" channel, affectionately, with "the" : BEEB
63. Bread box? : ATM
64. "De Monarchia" writer : DANTE
65. He discusses divine providence in Job : ELIHU
66. Labyrinthine : MAZY
67. An Arnaz : DESI
68. Busy travel day, maybe : EVE
70. Cheeky : PERT
71. Goes back into business : REOPENS
74. Venice's oldest bridge : RIALTO
75. "Fûmes" is a form of it : ETRE
76. Birds with inflatable neck sacs : EMUS
78. "I ___ Hamlet" (Paul Rudnick play) : HATE
79. Fumes may produce one : ODOR
81. Financiers : MONEYMEN
84. Brand of gloves and slippers : ISOTONER
85. Blitzed : LIT
87. Concertgoers who are into the hits? : MOSHERS
88. Rice paper?: Abbr. : DEG
89. Desert steed : ARABIAN
90. One of the Balearic Islands : MINORCA
91. County seat of Suffolk, England : IPSWICH
93. Stupid sort : CRETIN
95. Specialized talk : ARGOT
96. 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame inductee : TORRE
97. The Beatles' "P.S. I Love You," e.g. : BSIDE
98. Honshu port : OSAKA
100. "The Two Pots" storyteller : AESOP
102. College up the coast from L.A. : UCSB
104. March time : IDES
105. Certain tourney overseer : NCAA
106. TV spots : DENS
107. City near Presque Isle State Park : ERIE
108. Like some tea leaves : READ
111. Sports ___ : BRA

Answer summary: 10 unique to this puzzle, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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