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SUBSTITUTES

New York Times, Sunday, January 21, 2018

Author:
Victor Barocas and Andy Kravis
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
102/9/20111/21/20186
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
4012300
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.62022
Victor Barocas
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1311/3/20131/13/20198
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
4122112
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.64040
Andy Kravis

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 140, Blocks: 66 Missing: {X} This is puzzle # 10 for Mr. Barocas. This is puzzle # 5 for Mr. Kravis. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Constructor notes:
We enjoyed creating the puzzle and coming up with possible pairs (WATER FOR ELEPHANTS / LARGE-EARED = 'Like the water in Africa' and PAN FOR GOLD / LEPRECHAUN = 'He keeps his pan in a pot' ... read more

We enjoyed creating the puzzle and coming up with possible pairs (WATER FOR ELEPHANTS / LARGE-EARED = "Like the water in Africa" and PAN FOR GOLD / LEPRECHAUN = "He keeps his pan in a pot" didn't quite make the cut). We were really happy with how the fill came out, and we hope that people were satisfied with the difficulty level and the amount of connection provided between the substitutes and the substituted clues.

VICTOR: I think that I am at my best as a constructor when I am coming up with new ways to play with how a puzzle works. I tend to write Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday puzzles as a result, and I think that this was among my better efforts. I also seem to like ideas that are difficult to turn into a viable puzzle, which makes working with Andy, who is an amazing grid constructor/filler, really nice. I like collaborating in general because everyone has different skills, and something good almost always emerges. Now, if I could just learn to nae nae …

ANDY: Victor always has clever and ambitious theme ideas. It's a fun challenge to try to make clean, interesting grids out of them without compromising on theme content. This one needed a lot of tweaking, but eventually, everything just fell into place. I'm really happy with all the fresh non-theme fill we were able to include (ACE OF HEARTS, WALK ON WATER, CARE BEARS, GAYBORHOODS, BOYS' LIFE, PIANO TRIO, TOTE BOARD, SEAN YOUNG, PET GOAT, etc.) with very little crosswordese or junk fill.

Jeff Chen notes:
FORE! Er, four. For. No! Four FORs today! (I'm definitely not four for four.) Victor and Andy pair up theme answers, RECIPE FOR DISASTER transforming [Recipe that ... read more

FORE!

Er, four.

For. No!

Four FORs today!

(I'm definitely not four for four.)

Victor and Andy pair up theme answers, RECIPE FOR DISASTER transforming [Recipe that entails a lot of shaking] into [DISASTER that entails a lot of shaking] = EARTHQUAKE. I like that the clue reads naturally both ways, making it seem so innocent as presented. Good stuff.

The only one that made me hitch was PLAY FOR TIME modifying [Play of Shakespeare] into [TIME of Shakespeare] = ELIZABETHAN ERA. "Shakespearean play," yes. "Play written by Shakespeare," yes. "Play of Shakespeare" … not really. Even without the telltale "remember X-Across" hints, I would have known that something was up.

There are so many X FOR Y phrases out there that this theme initially felt too loosey-goosey for my taste. Yes, crossword symmetry limits the pairings, since it's tough to get everything to match up in length. But it felt too easy to come up with examples, given the dozens of X FOR Y options to work with.

After some thought though, I appreciated that they chose long X and Y words, much harder to work with than "in for it" or "free for all" or things that are less specific. Length matters! Ahem.

As Andy noted, the element today that stood out for me was the bonus fill — so much of the long bonuses sizzled, elevating my solving experience. It's not easy to incorporate eight themers into a Sunday 140-worder, and they did extremely well in grid execution. A ton of fantastic bonuses, while keeping their crossword glue to only a small smattering of minor ERE ESS etc. Very few constructors can execute on a Sunday 140-word grid with such craftsmanship.

Fantastic clues for TESLAS and CHEESE! [They're charged for rides] = people who take cabs and Ubers, right? And [It's said to cause a smile] had to be some happy thought? (It is weird that the word CHEESE forces you to smile. Bizarre.) Beautiful misdirections.

Would have been great to have a sharper a-ha moment — the "remember" hints gave away the game much too easily — but I liked the concept.

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© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0121 ( 24,911 )
Across
1
Enjoy some rays? : SCUBA
6
Skip one's senior year, say : GOPRO
11
Off-kilter : ALOP
15
Affectedly quaint : TWEE
19
Plácido Domingo, for one : TENOR
20
Was part of a crew : OARED
21
Colorful toys with symbols on their bellies : CAREBEARS
23
Stall : PLAYFORTIME
25
They may sit next to sofas : ENDTABLES
26
"God's in his heaven - ___ right with the world" : ALLS
27
Adjudge : DEEM
28
Make out, at Hogwarts : SNOG
30
Understand : GROK
31
Sounded : TOLLED
33
At risk of being offensive : NOTSAFEFORWORK
38
Deputies : AIDES
40
A pop : EACH
41
Oil-rich nation, for short : UAE
42
Prefix with -logism : NEO
43
Subtle sign from the distressed : CRYFORHELP
47
Wasn't straight up : LEANT
49
Holiday poem starter : TWAS
50
Blade with no sharp edge : EPEE
51
The "A" in TV's ALF : ALIEN
53
Director Lee : ANG
54
In the vicinity of : NEAR
55
Tupperware feature : LID
56
Very bad plan : RECIPEFORDISASTER
61
Enjoys some rays : BASKS
62
Auction units : LOTS
63
Seat of Lewis and Clark County : HELENA
64
Positive responses : ASSENTS
67
"Vacation" band : GOGOS
69
Fake news items : CANARDS
70
It's said to cause a smile : CHEESE
71
Bash : GALA
72
Cosmic bursts : NOVAS
73
Seasonal cry (remember 43-Across) : TEMPORARYEMPLOYEE
77
TV show with the most Primetime Emmy noms : SNL
80
Per ___ : DIEM
81
Lyft alternative : CAB
82
Farm refrain : EIEIO
83
Prince Philip's spouse, for short : QEII
84
West Coast law force, for short : SFPD
85
House whose symbol is a red-and-white rose : TUDOR
87
Recipe that entails a lot of shaking (remember 56-Across) : EARTHQUAKE
90
Ben-___ : HUR
91
Stick (out) : JUT
92
Campus grp. that organizes marches : ROTC
94
Stay home for dinner : EATIN
95
Play of Shakespeare (remember 23-Across) : ELIZABETHANERA
100
Edy's onetime ice cream partner : DREYER
103
Number two : VICE
104
Pro ___ : BONO
105
Computer menu heading : EDIT
107
Color feature : TONE
108
Beethoven's "Archduke," e.g. : PIANOTRIO
111
Not safe at home (remember 33-Across) : TELECOMMUTE
114
Racetrack display : TOTEBOARD
115
Author Zola : EMILE
116
Like horses and lions : MANED
117
Takes to court : SUES
118
Achievements of Henry Kissinger and Martin Luther King Jr., in brief : PHDS
119
Links link them : SITES
120
Ticked off : ANGRY
Down
1
Patron of the Archdiocese of New York, briefly : STPAT
2
It's bowed between the legs : CELLO
3
Not calmed : UNALLAYED
4
Scout's magazine : BOYSLIFE
5
Terrier's warning : ARF
6
Horror movie stuff : GORE
7
Grainy, in a way : OATEN
8
Choice : PRIMO
9
___ sleep (a chance to dream) : REM
10
1941 siege target : ODESSA
11
Leader in a red suit : ACEOFHEARTS
12
Actress Jessica : LANGE
13
Chicago airport code : ORD
14
Nanny around the house? : PETGOAT
15
Ex-N.F.L. QB Tim : TEBOW
16
Perform a miraculous feat : WALKONWATER
17
Before, poetically : ERE
18
End of days? : ESS
22
Ballet support : BARRE
24
Less ordinary : ODDER
29
It dissolves in H2O : NACL
32
River east of Tokyo : EDO
34
Home that sounds like two letters of the alphabet : TEPEE
35
Mushrooms, e.g. : FUNGI
36
Derrière : REAREND
37
Flattens, for short : KOS
39
Sights in a Hooverville : SHACKS
43
Goofy drawing? : CEL
44
Sch. on the upper Hudson : RPI
45
Ancient land where the Olympics began : ELIS
46
Important body part for a tuba player : LIP
48
"No ifs, ___ or buts" : ANDS
49
They're charged for rides : TESLAS
52
Certain Monday night entertainment : NFLGAME
54
Hip-hop dance move : NAENAE
56
Holding charge : RANSOM
57
Chemical source of fruit flavor : ESTER
58
"Hollywood Squares" win : OOO
59
Lose one's shadow, say : SHAVE
60
Dorm V.I.P.s : RAS
61
Sounded like R2-D2 : BEEPED
64
Pretense : ACT
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Quantity of garden tools : SHEDFUL
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Like two-bed hospital rooms : SEMIPRIVATE
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The Castro in San Francisco and Chelsea in Manhattan : GAYBORHOODS
68
Stadium cheer : OLE
69
Trickster of Navajo mythology : COYOTE
71
Alum : GRAD
72
Couleur du café : NOIR
74
Below 90° : ACUTE
75
Component : PIECE
76
Pasture : LEA
77
Co-star of Harrison Ford in "Blade Runner" : SEANYOUNG
78
Ending with beat or word : NIK
79
Be flat : LIE
83
John Wayne movie set in Ireland, with "The" : QUIETMAN
84
That woman : SHE
85
Shoulderless, sleeveless garment : TUBETOP
86
Horse color : ROAN
88
Saw no alternative : HADTO
89
12 mins., in the N.B.A. : QTR
91
Marley of "A Christmas Carol" : JACOB
93
They take 2-10 yrs. to mature : TNOTES
96
Fan publications, informally : ZINES
97
Sporty car of old : TBIRD
98
Like a candle that's gone out, maybe : RELIT
99
"Send My Love (To Your New Lover)" singer, 2015 : ADELE
101
Come onstage : ENTER
102
Very thin : REEDY
106
Knocks off : ICES
108
Rewards card accumulation: Abbr. : PTS
109
Debtor's letters : IOU
110
Stadium cheer : RAH
112
Old Parlophone parent : EMI
113
U.F.C. sport : MMA

Answer summary: 18 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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