"CHEE WHIZ!"

New York Times, Sunday, August 3, 2014

Author: Ian Livengood
Editor: Will Shortz
Ian Livengood
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
554/12/20109/15/20164
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
617667112
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.64371

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 140, Blocks: 78 Missing: {Q} This is puzzle # 41 for Mr. Livengood. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Ian Livengood notes: Cluing this puzzle was like watching paint dry. Quite literally, workmen were repainting my apartment as I monitored the progress. I credit some of the bouncy clues to the paint-induced buzz. I wonder why ... more
Ian Livengood notes: Cluing this puzzle was like watching paint dry. Quite literally, workmen were repainting my apartment as I monitored the progress. I credit some of the bouncy clues to the paint-induced buzz.

I wonder why BASED / DEZ (Cowboys WR Bryant) was changed to BASES / SEZ? DEZ is legit, but maybe the "Z" could be problematic crossing NIETZSCHE? I don't remember the seed entry, but ROC-A-FELLA / HOOCH / YACHT is my favorite section. Also pleased with the overall smoothness.

Hope solvers like this one!

Jeff Chen notes: Now that's the way to do a sound change puzzle. Today, the 'CHEE' sound is added onto base phrases to produce kooky results, and both the base phrases and the resulting themers are quite good. WOUNDED KNEE -> ... more
Jeff Chen notes: Now that's the way to do a sound change puzzle. Today, the "CHEE" sound is added onto base phrases to produce kooky results, and both the base phrases and the resulting themers are quite good. WOUNDED KNEE -> WOUNDED NIETZSCHE is a perfect example. Additionally, the spelling change is so crazy on this one that it's hard not to admire. Good stuff.

As always, Ian does great things with his fill. Both sparkly (COP CARS, LATECOMER, CAMEL HAIR, even BAWDY, FIVE-O and HOOCH — best of all, TACO BELL and LAST WISH make a hilarious symmetrical pair) and smooth (only the tiniest smattering of the perfectly fine EDT, STS, ADE kind of stuff).

How does he do it? First of all, he sticks to the basics, using seven themers (roughly the minimum for a Sunday) and 140 words (Will's maximum). He then folds in good theme placement, making sure to put as much space in between adjacent entries as possible, and places black squares such that there's a minimum number of downs which cross two themers. That often starts with a stairstep kind of approach, which you can see going (roughly) from SW to NE. Three pairs of cheater squares further facilitates smooth fill — not perfect to have so many in there, but well worth the (very slight, IMO) visual inelegance of extra black squares.

I'm guessing here, but I'm fairly certain the final, rare ingredient is his ability to tear out a good piece of fill and try something else. Too often, constructors stick to some entry they love, convincing themselves that a few dabs of glue is fine. In so many of those cases, an alternate piece of fill is available — maybe not as great, but still quite good — which allows for Livengoodesque silkiness.

Very well done. This is a good one to take apart and study if you're a constructor dipping your toes into the Sunday waters.

1
P
2
E
3
C
4
B
5
A
6
S
7
T
8
E
9
D
10
B
11
A
12
S
13
E
14
S
15
E
16
M
17
T
18
I
R
A
19
S
20
A
R
C
A
N
E
21
A
R
T
D
E
22
A
L
E
R
23
L
A
M
A
24
W
O
U
N
D
E
25
D
N
I
E
T
Z
S
C
H
E
26
A
D
E
N
27
D
A
S
28
A
D
A
M
29
S
I
T
S
30
F
I
L
T
31
H
Y
R
I
32
T
33
C
34
H
I
E
35
A
36
D
I
D
A
S
37
C
H
A
I
38
R
O
O
S
39
P
40
O
S
E
S
41
A
A
A
42
C
43
O
44
P
45
C
A
R
S
46
L
A
S
T
W
I
47
S
48
H
49
S
T
I
50
R
51
B
L
A
C
K
T
52
A
I
C
H
I
53
C
O
54
E
55
H
E
R
E
56
W
E
A
R
E
57
P
L
E
A
58
M
59
E
O
W
S
60
M
A
R
I
N
61
S
62
H
E
A
63
A
O
R
T
I
C
64
T
65
H
E
L
O
N
E
66
S
T
A
R
C
67
H
68
Y
S
T
A
T
E
69
D
R
Y
D
E
N
70
P
U
N
Y
71
O
A
S
I
S
72
J
O
E
Y
S
73
A
74
M
I
D
75
R
O
C
A
F
E
76
L
77
L
78
A
79
S
U
N
80
I
G
U
E
S
81
S
82
S
O
C
H
I
83
D
Y
A
D
84
T
A
85
C
86
O
B
E
L
L
87
T
I
G
H
T
L
88
Y
89
R
T
E
90
A
R
I
S
E
91
Z
U
L
U
92
E
93
R
I
E
94
A
95
B
96
S
U
R
D
97
T
A
B
L
E
98
F
99
O
100
R
T
U
C
C
101
I
102
R
O
E
G
103
A
104
T
O
N
105
I
V
E
106
S
P
O
T
107
A
R
C
H
108
I
109
E
R
A
T
E
110
D
111
M
112
O
V
I
E
113
T
O
M
E
114
B
A
T
T
L
E
A
X
E
115
T
E
N
E
T
S
116
S
E
E
M
117
S
T
S
118
E
L
L
I
S
119
S
N
O
O
Z
E
120
M
R
S
© 2014, The New York TimesNo. 23,644
Across Down
1. Little muscle? : PEC
4. Like some turkeys : BASTED
10. First, second and third, but not fourth : BASES
15. Rescue squad member, for short : EMT
18. Tax law subjects : IRAS
20. Like much tax law : ARCANE
21. Gallery figure : ARTDEALER
23. Former Potala Palace resident : LAMA
24. German philosopher with an injury? : WOUNDEDNIETZSCHE
26. Gulf of ___ : ADEN
27. Court V.I.P.'s : DAS
28. Driver of "Girls" : ADAM
29. Models, in a way : SITS
30. Guy who's covered in mud? : FILTHYRITCHIE
35. "Impossible is nothing" sloganeer : ADIDAS
37. Spiced tea : CHAI
38. 72-Across, e.g., informally : ROOS
39. Models : POSES
41. Motor grp. : AAA
42. Chase scene staples : COPCARS
46. Request upon leaving? : LASTWISH
49. Ruckus : STIR
51. African-American martial art? : BLACKTAICHI
53. Iowa college : COE
55. Cabby's phrase on arrival : HEREWEARE
57. S O S, e.g. : PLEA
58. Some cries for attention : MEOWS
60. County north of San Francisco : MARIN
61. Citi Field precursor : SHEA
63. ___ valve : AORTIC
64. Only form that carbohydrates take? : THELONESTARCHYSTATE
69. "Absalom and Achitophel" poet : DRYDEN
70. Piddling : PUNY
71. Break ground? : OASIS
72. Baby 38-Across : JOEYS
73. In : AMID
75. Record label co-founded by Jay-Z : ROCAFELLA
79. "That will be ere the set of ___": "Macbeth" : SUN
80. Unsure answer to "Where were the 2014 Winter Olympics held?"? : IGUESSSOCHI
83. Group of two : DYAD
84. 7-Layer Burrito seller : TACOBELL
87. How seatbelts should be fastened : TIGHTLY
89. GPS course: Abbr. : RTE
90. Get off one's chest? : ARISE
91. End of the NATO phonetic alphabet : ZULU
92. Iroquois foe in the Beaver Wars : ERIE
94. Nuts : ABSURD
97. Actor Stanley's dinner reservation? : TABLEFORTUCCI
102. Filmmaker Nicolas : ROEG
103. Loads : ATON
105. "___ got an idea!" : IVE
106. Advance : SPOT
107. Film reviewed by Jughead's friend? : ARCHIERATEDMOVIE
113. Audubon's "The Birds of America," e.g. : TOME
114. Arm that's swung : BATTLEAXE
115. Parts of a party line : TENETS
116. Feel like : SEEM
117. Dr.'s relatives : STS
118. "Less Than Zero" author : ELLIS
119. Alarm clock button : SNOOZE
120. ___ Fields : MRS
1. Rice ___ : PILAF
2. Do away with : ERADICATE
3. Fine coat material : CAMELHAIR
4. Off-color : BAWDY
5. Like Super Bowl crowds : AROAR
6. "Pardon me," in Parma : SCUSI
7. Like 3-Down : TAN
8. Target of some passes : END
9. Wallace of "E.T." : DEE
10. Burglary, in police-speak : BANDE
11. Verdi's "Ernani! Ernani, involami," e.g. : ARIA
12. Flute section : STEM
13. D.C. summer setting : EDT
14. Declares, informally : SEZ
15. Rider of the war horse Babieca : ELCID
16. Celebrated Bombay-born conductor : MEHTA
17. It's a lock : TRESS
19. Seasonal cookie eater : SANTA
22. Italian town with Giotto frescoes : ASSISI
25. Roast locale : DAIS
31. Drink since 1948 : HIC
32. Trail to follow : TRACE
33. Stop on a wine tour? : CORK
34. Have over : HOST
35. Italian wine hub : ASTI
36. It disappears in the morning : DEW
39. Speed : PACE
40. Hazmat monitor : OSHA
41. Bit of fallout : ASH
43. Shakespeare character with a magic aphrodisiac : OBERON
44. Vanilla : PLAIN
45. ___ asada : CARNE
46. Whitman's dooryard flower : LILAC
47. Loser to Pierce in 1852 : SCOTT
48. Comic Mandel : HOWIE
50. Holding one's breath, for hiccups : REMEDY
52. Mimic's business : APERY
54. Emergency key : ESC
56. Home of Merlin, in Arthurian legend : WALES
58. Decorator's creation : MOTIF
59. Did away with : ERASED
61. Tuxedo accouterments : STUDS
62. Chinese dynasty preceding the Three Kingdoms : HAN
63. Go at : ASSAIL
64. Game on the line? : TROUT
65. Pack member : HYENA
66. Fast pitch : SPIEL
67. Moonshine : HOOCH
68. Sound investment? : YACHT
69. Workers in booths, maybe : DJS
73. Many moons : AGES
74. Pack carrier : MULE
75. Independent sort : ROGUE
76. Classical work accompanied by a musical instrument : LYRICPOEM
77. One jumping on the bandwagon, say : LATECOMER
78. Suffix with orange : ADE
80. Citation abbr. : IBID
81. Bump, as one's toe : STUB
82. Place for a potted plant : SILL
85. Not loose : CAUGHT
86. Boston Garden legend : ORR
88. "Having fun ___?" : YET
91. Billy of "Titanic" : ZANE
93. Displays disuse : RUSTS
94. Kaffiyeh wearers : ARABS
95. Film title character who likes to high-five : BORAT
96. Shakers and others : SECTS
97. Lugs : TOTES
98. Police, in slang : FIVEO
99. Ex-Disney chief Michael : OVITZ
100. Witherspoon of "Mud" : REESE
101. Agenda makeup : ITEMS
103. Kazakhstan's ___ Sea : ARAL
104. Meter site : TAXI
108. Basse-Terre, par exemple : ILE
109. Unagi, in a sushi bar : EEL
110. Sot's woe : DTS
111. W.C. sign : MEN
112. One half of an iconic 1981 Rolling Stone cover : ONO

Answer summary: 11 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

Found bugs or have suggestions?

Previous puzzle | Next puzzle