ARTFUL THINKING

New York Times, Sunday, July 21, 2013

Author: Tracy Bennett
Editor: Will Shortz
Tracy Bennett
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27/21/201310/3/20140
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1.45001

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21, Words: 140, Blocks: 70 Missing: none – this is a pangram This is the debut puzzle for Ms. Bennett. NYT links: Across Lite PDF

Tracy Bennett notes: My favorite puzzles to solve are those with punny themes like those by Merl Reagle. The phrase FEET OF KLEE came to me, and though it didn't make the grid, it started the wheels turning. First I identified reasonably familiar names of artists that would lend themselves to punning. Eventually I pared the list down to only painters. The phrases played on had to be solidly in the language, especially as I'd be offering puns that were not quite sound-alikes (groaners). For a while I wanted only musical phrases, but there weren't enough for a Sunday grid.

The original cluing scheme featured a reference to the artist's period or style while giving a nod to the original sense of the underlying phrase. These clues weren't consistently clever — some were good, some were strained — and they weren't unified as a set. Will reworked the clues, making them more coherent stylistically and more accessible to solvers unfamiliar with the periods/styles of the artists.

My mentor, Vic Fleming, found a discouraging number of weak entries in the first fill I came up with; I reconfigured the entries and moved blocks until I got better fill. Will tweaked the opening NW corner, which happily provided the letters needed for a pangram. This was my debut puzzle for the Times. I studied every editorial change like it was a koan. I aim to make increasingly refined puzzles that are reliably well-conceived and well-clued. Still learning.

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© 2013, The New York Times
Across Down
1. Whammy : JINX
5. Where les enfants might play : PARC
9. Rendered speechless : AGHAST
15. Female lobsters : HENS
19. Every which way : AMOK
20. Subject for a mariachi band : AMOR
21. Insubstantial : MEAGER
22. Like Voldemort : EVIL
23. Artist's favorite spiritual? : WADEINTHEWATTEAU
26. Ablution, e.g. : RITE
27. Firefighter's need, maybe : AXE
28. Summer Olympics host after London : RIO
29. ___ vu : DEJA
30. Food item a cook might flip : OMELETTE
32. Prescription pain medication : PERCOCET
35. Nos. in a directory : TELS
37. Look for : AWAIT
38. Several, in Seville : UNOS
40. Cool with what others are doing : ONBOARD
42. Go (for) : VIE
43. Christmas song line from an artist? : TISTHECEZANNE
47. Batman villain : PENGUIN
51. What Mississippi cheerleaders ask for a lot : ANI
52. How you might do something gross : ONADARE
53. Cagney or Lacey: Abbr. : DET
54. Daughter of James II : ANNE
55. Where there's Wi-Fi availability : HOTSPOTS
57. Get ready to drive : TEEUP
60. Former six-term senator from Indiana : LUGAR
61. More yang than yin: Abbr. : MASC
62. Monetary bribes, in slang : BOODLES
64. What a star probably has : AGENT
65. N.R.A. piece?: Abbr. : ASSOC
68. Artist's favorite Broadway musical? : HELLODALI
70. Revival meeting miracles : CURES
71. ___ Zulu (warrior dubbed Africa's Napoleon) : SHAKA
72. Atlantean superhero of DC Comics : AQUAMAN
73. ___ Field : CITI
75. Defrocked villain on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" : CALEB
76. Vista opener? : BUENA
77. Roman of film : POLANSKI
81. Michigan college : ALMA
82. ___ generis : SUI
83. Part of an umpire's count : NOBALLS
86. Put in writing : PEN
87. Parts of an orrery : PLANETS
89. Artist's expression for "Such is life"? : QUESERASEURAT
92. Easter purchase : DYE
93. Worth all the hype, as a film : MUSTSEE
94. Snorkeling aids : FINS
95. "Tsk!" : SHAME
98. Finger : NAME
99. Cuts some slack : ISEASYON
103. "Zero Dark Thirty" locale : PAKISTAN
105. Castaway's construction : RAFT
107. Rough position? : LIE
108. Sedona maker : KIA
111. The Roman way : ITER
112. How the expert artist passed her exam? : WITHFLYINGKAHLOS
116. "The Cosby Show" boy : THEO
117. Last word in the Torah : ISRAEL
118. Rain man? : NOAH
119. Inclination : BENT
120. ___ Club : SAMS
121. River that "sweats oil and tar" in T. S. Eliot's "The Waste Land" : THAMES
122. Predoctoral tests, for short : GRES
123. Approximately : ORSO
1. Tatooine race in the "Star Wars" saga : JAWA
2. What's big at the movies? : IMAX
3. Like old unrecyclable bottles : NODEPOSIT
4. Certain Jaguar : XKE
5. Pre-exam feeling, maybe : PANIC
6. Playground retort : AMTOO
7. South Korea's ___ Tae Woo : ROH
8. Buffet cabinet : CREDENZA
9. Key of Schubert's "Trout" Quintet: Abbr. : AMAJ
10. Bronze : GETATAN
11. Topper : HAT
12. Ancient : AGEOLD
13. Patchwork quilts have lots of them : SEAMS
14. "Good point" : TRUE
15. Artist's line of weary resignation? : HEREWEGAUGUIN
16. "On This Night of a Thousand Stars" musical : EVITA
17. Capone's top henchman : NITTI
18. Wintry mix : SLEET
24. Flawed, as mdse. : IRR
25. Party host's convenience : WETBAR
31. Reposed : LAIN
33. "Laborare ___ orare" (Freemasons' motto) : EST
34. What Morehouse College lacks : COEDS
36. Before, poetically : ERE
38. Home of Kings Peak : UTAH
39. Little muchacho : NINO
41. What the tipsy artist had at the bar? : ONETOOMANET
42. Liz of "Garfield," e.g. : VET
44. Pay to cross town, maybe : HOPACAB
45. First chimp to orbit Earth : ENOS
46. Pay to cross town, maybe : CATCHABUS
47. Pop icon? : PEPSICOLA
48. "The Odd Couple" role : UNGER
49. Daft : INANE
50. "Phooey!" : NERTS
53. Gauntlet thrower's challenge : DUEL
56. What the artist confused people with? : SMOKEANDMIROS
58. Norse source for Loki lore : EDDA
59. Dash : ELAN
60. Dairy consumer's enzyme : LACTASE
62. Erotic : BLUE
63. Good wife in "The Good Earth" : OLAN
65. Org. protecting music copyrights : ASCAP
66. "Congress ___ make no law ..." : SHALL
67. Actress Hayek : SALMA
69. Prefix with poise : EQUI
74. Pain and suffering : ILLS
77. "Gay" capital : PAREE
78. Summer lawn sight : SPRINKLER
79. New Jersey's ___ University : KEAN
80. QB mistakes: Abbr. : INTS
82. Holy mlle. : STE
84. Turn to bone : OSSIFY
85. Apiarist's woe : BEESTING
88. Watchful ones? : EYES
89. Holy city of Iran : QUM
90. Access charge, of a sort : USERFEE
91. Debatable sighting : UFO
93. Words to live by : MANTRA
95. Blurts (out) : SPITS
96. ___ yoga : HATHA
97. Arabic name meaning "wise" : AKEEM
98. J. Carrol ___, Oscar nominee for "Sahara" : NAISH
100. Phycologist's study : ALGAE
101. Some templegoers : SIKHS
102. Pro vote : YEA
104. Birdbrain : TWIT
106. "___ fair ..." : ALLS
109. Discoveries of Michael Faraday : IONS
110. Regarding : ASTO
113. Easter purchase : HAM
114. ___'easter : NOR
115. "Boardwalk Empire" network : HBO

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