It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker. Please consider supporting our site by purchasing an account.
This web browser is not supported. Use Chrome, Edge, Safari, or Firefox for best results.

POLITICAL PROMISES

New York Times, Sunday, January 10, 2016

Author:
Patrick Merrell
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
897/10/20018/1/20191
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
21105123452
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.61554
Patrick Merrell

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 ... read more

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 ... read more

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
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
Down
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.

Found bugs or have suggestions?