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POLITICAL PROMISES

New York Times, Sunday, January 10, 2016

Author: Patrick Merrell
Editor: Will Shortz
Patrick Merrell
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857/10/200110/10/20160
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20105113252
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1.60553
Puzzle of the Week

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 140, Blocks: 73 Missing: {QZ} Spans: 2 This is puzzle # 84 for Mr. Merrell. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Patrick Merrell notes: Puzzle and a film: After solving, try the 1972 movie 'The Candidate,' starring Robert Redford and Peter Boyle. It won an Oscar for best original screenplay and rates 95% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Some ... more
Patrick Merrell notes:

Puzzle and a film: After solving, try the 1972 movie "The Candidate," starring Robert Redford and Peter Boyle. It won an Oscar for best original screenplay and rates 95% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Some Will/Joel clues: 86A (ADOT), 123A (STRAYS), 6D (SKIBUM), 12D (SECT), 49D (NNE), 63D (WHOYOU), 67D (SANDER), 97D (DART).

Jeff Chen notes: Patrick is one of my favorite people in the puzzle business. His cartoon art is right up my alley, and there's something to his humor that reminds me of my days of reading MAD Magazine (those days being yesterday, ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Patrick is one of my favorite people in the puzzle business. His cartoon art is right up my alley, and there's something to his humor that reminds me of my days of reading MAD Magazine (those days being yesterday, today, and tomorrow). Perhaps that's because he's contributed to MAD!

What, Me Worry?

Today's puzzle has that flavor, with "what they said" followed by "what they really meant." I smiled at pols saying "No new taxes!" but thinking JUST MORE OF THE OLD ONES. My favorite was "I'll slow this country's spread of drugs!" really meaning EXPECT CUTS IN MEDICARE.

I did find the last one to be not like the others, though. As much as I'd love to see a politician with the humility to say IVE GOT A LOT TO LEARN, that sensibility doesn't fit with the other five themers, nor does it carry a humorous bent. Still, 5/6 ain't bad.

Sunday 140-words puzzles are incredibly tough to build smoothly. Even for an uber-pro like Patrick, finishing with some gluey bits like A DRAG (partial), RNAS (not really pluralized in real life), SETHS (plural names aren't very elegant), LST (tough acronym, especially for younger solvers), A BAN (partial) is par for the course.

What helped me brush those aside was some really fun cluing:

  • Who knew that Winnie the Pooh was introduced by AA MILNE as Edward Bear?
  • Ian Fleming was a fan of James BOND, the ornithologist? Another great piece of trivia.
  • I love me some bridge, so a [Bridge table foursome] being LEGS was fun.
  • STRAYS may be measured by the pound. The dog pound, that is.
  • SANDERS are used in the evening — the evening of boards.
  • [Put on a nonpolitical button, say] was perfect for this puzzle, misdirecting away from SEW.

A really fun solving experience for me, the humor in the theme and the clever cluing far outweighing the small dabs of glue here and there.

1
B
2
O
3
A
4
R
5
D
6
S
7
A
8
B
9
A
10
S
11
E
12
S
13
H
14
E
15
L
16
S
17
E
18
W
19
U
N
C
O
R
K
20
D
R
I
L
L
21
T
E
A
M
S
22
A
D
O
23
F
O
R
M
E
I
24
F
I
A
M
E
L
E
C
T
E
D
25
I
N
K
26
F
R
O
27
A
B
A
N
28
W
I
N
T
E
R
29
R
N
A
S
30
I
M
U
S
31
S
32
C
O
O
T
33
I
34
M
I
T
35
J
36
U
S
T
M
O
37
R
E
O
F
T
H
38
E
39
O
L
D
O
N
40
E
41
S
42
B
O
N
D
43
E
T
O
44
S
M
U
45
S
T
I
L
T
46
O
S
S
O
47
A
48
A
M
I
L
49
N
50
E
51
B
S
52
S
53
A
C
E
Y
54
W
H
E
N
55
O
P
P
O
N
E
N
T
56
S
A
T
T
57
A
C
K
M
E
58
T
U
N
E
U
P
S
59
D
E
C
A
L
60
D
D
T
61
O
A
T
62
G
L
O
63
W
64
S
65
E
M
66
B
E
R
67
S
68
S
69
N
70
P
H
I
71
H
U
72
L
73
A
74
S
75
O
N
A
76
D
A
T
E
77
D
78
O
79
N
A
T
E
80
T
O
M
Y
C
A
81
M
82
P
A
I
G
N
N
O
W
83
A
N
E
W
84
D
A
Y
85
E
C
L
A
I
R
S
86
A
D
O
T
87
L
Y
O
N
88
S
89
L
O
90
S
91
I
M
P
92
L
E
G
S
93
E
X
P
E
C
94
T
C
U
T
95
S
96
I
N
M
E
97
D
98
I
99
C
A
R
E
100
H
E
I
R
101
A
P
N
E
A
102
A
D
A
B
103
J
104
O
Y
S
105
A
106
R
107
A
M
I
S
108
C
R
I
P
109
S
110
P
111
A
112
A
N
T
113
I
V
E
G
O
T
A
114
L
115
O
T
T
O
L
116
E
A
R
N
117
I
C
E
118
H
E
A
T
S
E
N
S
O
R
119
M
E
R
G
E
D
120
L
E
S
121
S
L
R
S
122
S
E
T
H
S
123
S
T
R
A
Y
S
© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0110 ( 24,169 )
Across Down
1. Advisory panels : BOARDS
7. Take down a notch : ABASE
12. Silverstein who wrote "A Boy Named Sue" : SHEL
16. Put on a nonpolitical button, say : SEW
19. Crack open, in a way : UNCORK
20. Some parade performers : DRILLTEAMS
22. Clamor : ADO
23. "Unemployment will be a thing of the past!" : FORMEIFIAMELECTED
25. Publicity, in Variety-speak : INK
26. Back : FRO
27. Impose ___ on : ABAN
28. High season in Hawaii : WINTER
29. Coding molecules : RNAS
30. "___ in the Morning" : IMUS
31. Skedaddle : SCOOT
33. "You're looking at the whole department" : IMIT
35. "No new taxes!" : JUSTMOREOFTHEOLDONES
42. Ornithologist James of whom Ian Fleming was a fan : BOND
43. W.W. II arena: Abbr. : ETO
44. Dallas sch. : SMU
45. Circus prop : STILT
46. ___ buco : OSSO
47. Author whose most famous character is introduced as Edward Bear : AAMILNE
51. Some four-year degs. : BSS
53. ___-deucey (card game) : ACEY
54. "I will maintain a strong defense!" : WHENOPPONENTSATTACKME
58. Basic car maintenance : TUNEUPS
59. Car decoration : DECAL
60. "Silent Spring" spray : DDT
61. Muffin variety : OAT
62. Gives off light, as a 65-Across : GLOWS
65. See 62-Across : EMBER
67. Bank acct. info : SSN
70. One of five rhyming Greek letters : PHI
71. Dances accompanied by gourd drums : HULAS
75. Sitting together at the movies, say : ONADATE
77. "Deficit spending must stop!" : DONATETOMYCAMPAIGNNOW
83. Another time : ANEW
84. When a vampire sleeps : DAY
85. Oblong desserts : ECLAIRS
86. "Poke-___!" (kids' book series) : ADOT
87. Film critic Jeffrey : LYONS
89. 120-Across, in Spain : LOS
91. Hellion : IMP
92. Bridge table foursome : LEGS
93. "I'll slow this country's spread of drugs!" : EXPECTCUTSINMEDICARE
100. Next in line : HEIR
101. Breathing disorder : APNEA
102. Not much at all : ADAB
103. Pleasures : JOYS
105. A Musketeer : ARAMIS
108. L.A. gang member : CRIP
109. Place with expensive mud : SPA
112. Tiny tunneler : ANT
113. "Education will be my top priority!" : IVEGOTALOTTOLEARN
117. It's found in sheets or, in softer form, blankets : ICE
118. Thermometer, e.g. : HEATSENSOR
119. Consolidated : MERGED
120. 89-Across, in France : LES
121. Some 35mm cameras : SLRS
122. Rogen and Meyers : SETHS
123. They may be measured by the pound : STRAYS
1. Shine up : BUFF
2. Words before "before" : ONOR
3. Common prefix with phobia : ACRO
4. ___-com : ROM
5. Thought (up) : DREAMT
6. One who's always getting a pass? : SKIBUM
7. Certain game point : ADIN
8. One piece of a two-piece : BRA
9. Archery asset : AIM
10. Whole lotta : SLEWOF
11. "Billy ___," 2000 film : ELLIOT
12. Abbr. on a stadium ticket : SECT
13. Give zero stars, say : HATE
14. First name among celebrity chefs : EMERIL
15. Acid : LSD
16. Present day figure : SAINTNICK
17. Ned's bride on "The Simpsons" in 2012 : EDNA
18. They're handled in Asian restaurants : WOKS
21. Tithing amounts : TENTHS
24. Burkina ___ (Niger neighbor) : FASO
29. What a rabble-rouser might be read : RIOTACT
30. Needs no further cooking : ISDONE
31. Take root : SETIN
32. Air-conditioned : COOLED
34. H.M.O. figures : MDS
35. Israelites' leader after Moses : JOSHUA
36. Still in the outbox : UNSENT
37. San ___, Italy : REMO
38. Prepare for the afterlife : EMBALM
39. Boot : OUST
40. Low-grade?: Abbr. : ELEM
41. Eye inflammation : STYE
42. Greet respectfully : BOWTO
47. Not just theoretical : APPLIED
48. Lhasa ___ (dog breed) : APSO
49. Upstream on the Mississippi River, along Miss. : NNE
50. Abbr. for those not mentioned : ETC
52. Seine-___, department bordering Paris : STDENIS
55. Need (to) : OUGHT
56. Coll. fraternity : SAE
57. "What ___!" ("Bummer!") : ADRAG
63. Question of surprise to a volunteer : WHOYOU
64. Total : SUM
66. Object of a hunt in "Lord of the Flies" : BOAR
67. Tool used in the evening? : SANDER
68. Lackey : STOOGE
69. Some witches like their eyes : NEWTS
70. Great Plains Indians : PAWNEES
72. Oven cleaner ingredient : LYE
73. Org. for Duke : ACC
74. Like the ocean : SALINE
76. Forensic facility : DNALAB
77. Hill's partner : DALE
78. First gemstone mentioned in the Bible : ONYX
79. Novices : NEOPHYTES
80. It might be patted on the back : TALC
81. Bambino's first word : MAMMA
82. Prop for Popeye or Santa : PIPE
88. Fi preceder : SCI
90. John of Fox's "Grandfathered" : STAMOS
94. Hit the road : TRAVEL
95. Treats vengefully : SPITES
96. Wild : INSANE
97. What eyes and pedestrians may do : DART
98. Blue-collar and pink-slip : IDIOMS
99. Pill type : CAPLET
103. One corner of a Monopoly board : JAIL
104. Start of a reminiscence : ONCE
106. Raise : REAR
107. Operatives: Abbr. : AGTS
108. Some med. facilities : CTRS
109. Story with many chapters : SAGA
110. Sparrow, to a sparrow hawk : PREY
111. Common connectors : ANDS
113. Monogram on Christian crosses : IHS
114. Amphibious W.W. II vessel : LST
115. "Wonderful!" : OOH
116. Go wrong : ERR

Answer summary: 7 unique to this puzzle.

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