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TWISTING ONE'S WORDS

New York Times, Sunday, January 17, 2016

Author:
Jeff Chen
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
957/5/20102/14/201957
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
2468172398
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.636202
Jeff Chen

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 140, Blocks: 78 Missing: {JQX} This is puzzle # 48 for Mr. Chen. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Notepad: The print version of this puzzle contains small arrows between certain squares, which the software cannot reproduce. We recommend using the PDF.
Jeff Chen notes:
Back before computers, the military had to employ mathematicians to calculate projectile trajectories by hand, adjusting for such obvious factors as gravity, wind, friction, etc. But one ... read more

Back before computers, the military had to employ mathematicians to calculate projectile trajectories by hand, adjusting for such obvious factors as gravity, wind, friction, etc. But one factor that initially eluded some of the best minds was how the Earth's spin affected a long-range trajectory. Must have been baffling for these uber-educated professors to miss by a mile, scrambling to figure out why the heck they had been so far off course. It's stories like this that make the CORIOLIS FORCE so fascinating to me.

Aw, who am I kidding? I just like flushing things down the toilet.

Jeff Chen notes:
This puzzle construction gave me fits. It was hard enough to identify eight themers that would work in the way I wanted — circling around a single black square like a storm, ... read more

The delicious BANH MI

This puzzle construction gave me fits. It was hard enough to identify eight themers that would work in the way I wanted — circling around a single black square like a storm, before continuing on its merry way — but working with the max 140-word constraint made things tough. Each of the eight themers took up very short slots, meaning that I had to work in more long fill than usual. And having those single letters stick out — the H and S of IS THIS THING ON, for example — constrained the grid in tough ways. Throw in CORIOLIS FORCE for a revealer and the fact that I wanted the central black squares to look like a storm ...

The bottom left corner alone took me maybe 25-30 reboots. I was hesitant to use MUTTONY, which I needed to make that corner work, but I thought of a fun clue for it: [A little sheepish?]. Sadly, it was left on the cutting room floor.

Storm visuals in the eight squares, along with some alternate fill

Will worried that BANH MI wasn't going to be familiar to many solvers, and the crossing with DEBI might feel unfair. (In Seattle, you can throw a loaf of crusty bread 100 yards in any direction and hit a BANH MI shop, but his reasoning was sound.) I tried a few other options, but in the end, Joel helped us settle on the original, given the BANH MI's rising prominence in the food world and its utterly delicious combination of roasted pork and julienned vegetables.

All of a sudden, I'm hungry.

Will also felt that the puzzle as I had it — no arrows — would be just too hard. I drew up some storm-looking things, but Will decided to use arrows instead. I still like the idea of "storms" within the puzzle, spinning in opposite directions in the Northern hemisphere vs. the Southern ... I wish my meager art skills had better conveyed that. Maybe then, my original title of "SPIN CONTROL" would have flown. Ah well.

Jim Horne notes:
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D
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N
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E
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© 2016, The New York TimesNo. 0117 ( 24,176 )
Across
1
World champion figure skater Thomas : DEBI
5
"He did not just say that!" : OHSNAP
11
Email letters : BCC
14
Nothing but : MERE
18
"If only ..." : ALAS
19
Idahoan's pride : TATERS
20
___ Lubovitch Dance Company : LAR
21
Funnies drawing : PANEL
22
Luge or figure skating : WINTERSPORT
24
Basic : ELEMENTAL
26
Advanced degree in math? : NTH
27
___ army, group that marches across the earth in Revelation : SATANS
28
Hesitate in speech : HEM
29
Loses juice? : DRIES
30
Round of four : SEMIS
32
Mao's successor : HUA
33
Thickets : COPSES
35
Dr. J's do, once : FRO
36
Trespass : SIN
37
Big swig : BELT
38
Daily Planet photographer : OLSEN
39
Pop singer ___ Marie : TEENA
41
Solidify : GEL
43
Newspaper desk : METRO
45
Motocross racers, for short : ATVS
47
Clatter : DIN
48
Fall apart : GOTORUIN
52
The king of Egypt has a part in it : AIDA
54
Furnace work : HEATING
56
Advancing : LOANING
57
Like villains, often : BOOED
58
Blundering : ERRING
59
1.5 in a jigger: Abbr. : OZS
60
Waters who sang "Am I Blue?" : ETHEL
62
Some HDTVs : LCDS
64
Application info : SSN
65
89-Down nickname, with "the" : BEEB
67
Origin of "pooh-bah" : THEMIKADO
70
Pronoun with an apostrophe : YALL
74
Toss in : ADD
77
Suckers : SAPS
78
"Lean Forward" sloganeer : MSNBC
81
___-cow : MOO
82
Castle-breaching explosive : PETARD
85
Some bank jobs, for short : REFIS
87
Shamans, e.g. : HEALERS
89
Pepsi employee : BOTTLER
90
Bela Lugosi's role in "Son of Frankenstein" : YGOR
91
Highly rated issues : AAABONDS
92
Journalist Nellie who went around the world : BLY
93
Dutch export : EDAM
95
19 things on a classical guitar : FRETS
97
The "N" of NGO : NON
98
Accord competitor : CAMRY
100
"The food of love," per Shakespeare : MUSIC
102
Relieves (of) : RIDS
104
PC key : ESC
107
Data storage acronym : ROM
108
Snitch : TATTLE
109
Symbol of strength : OAK
110
"To repeat ..." : ISAID
112
Rush : BLITZ
114
Third X or O : TOE
115
Word with party or pail : DINNER
117
Tony-winning role for Robert Morse : TRU
118
Nickname for the only man to play in a Super Bowl and a World Series : NEONDEION
120
Wrongdoing : MALFEASANCE
122
Some family histories : SAGAS
123
Single : ONE
124
Seedlets : OVULES
125
Fictitious : TALL
126
Benzene derivative, for one : ARYL
127
Sen. Gillibrand's home: Abbr. : NYS
128
Obsolescence : DISUSE
129
Anticipatory times : EVES
Down
1
Anticipatory times : DAWNS
2
A-teamers : ELITES
3
Vietnamese sandwich : BANHMI
4
Question asked while tapping a microphone : ISTHISTHINGON
5
___ vez (again: Sp.) : OTRA
6
Experiences fame : HASTHELIMELIGHT
7
State capital in a mailing address : STPAULMN
8
New baby : NEONATE
9
Column on a flight board: Abbr. : ARRS
10
Hrs. for eBay listings : PST
11
Censors : BLEEPS
12
It makes for smooth sailing : CALMSEA
13
Drink for Hercule Poirot : CREMEDEMENTHE
14
Spreading belief? : MANIFESTDESTINY
15
Typed, as data : ENTEREDIN
16
Logician's strong point : REASONING
17
Building add-on : ELL
21
According to : PER
23
Super G shape : ESS
25
M.R.I. readers : MDS
28
"Star Trek" virtual reality room : HOLODECK
33
What causes storms to swirl in opposite directions in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres : CORIOLISFORCE
37
To the point ... or not pointed : BLUNT
39
Russian line : TSARS
40
Lee who directed "Life of Pi" : ANG
42
War of 1812 battle site : ERIE
44
Confucian doctrine : TAO
46
___ libre (poetry form) : VERS
48
Semiliquid lump : GLOB
49
Exude : OOZE
50
Shock, in a way : TASE
53
Family name of old TV : ADDAMS
57
Like eyes after an all-nighter : BLEARY
61
Expressions of doubt : EHS
63
New Left org. : SDS
66
Plus or minus thing : BATTERYTERMINAL
68
What a film may be emailed as : MPEGFILE
69
Crawling, say : ONHANDSANDKNEES
71
Last word of grace : AMEN
72
Next-to-last word of grace, often : LORD
73
Bereavement : LOSS
75
Big name in Chicago politics : DALEY
76
1856 antislavery novel : DRED
79
"You don't know ___" : BEANS
80
___ San Lucas, Mexico : CABO
82
Klondike bar symbol : POLARBEAR
83
Information often set in brackets : ETYMOLOGY
84
[This is how it might have happened] : DRAMATIZATION
86
Fury : IRE
88
Texas : LONESTARSTATE
89
Big media inits. : BBC
91
Malady caused by H2N2 : ASIANFLU
94
Tasting like lamb : MUTTONY
96
Shakespearean title role : TROILUS
101
They're the pits : STONES
105
GPS, e.g. : SATNAV
106
Group of friends : CIRCLE
108
Philosopher Lao-___ : TZE
110
Org. with a hotline : IRS
111
Lightsaber battles : DUELS
113
Some recap highlights : TDS
115
Actor Robert of "Licence to Kill" and "The Goonies" : DAVI
116
Facility : EASE
118
Intel org. officially formed by Truman : NSA
120
Up-to-date : MOD

Answer summary: 11 unique to this puzzle, 4 debuted here and reused later, 6 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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