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MISHMASH

New York Times, Sunday, January 22, 2017

Author:
Dan Schoenholz
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
245/5/20109/9/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
10344300
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.63220
Dan Schoenholz

This puzzle:

Rows: 21, Columns: 21 Words: 140, Blocks: 72 Missing: {QX} This is puzzle # 22 for Mr. Schoenholz. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Dan Schoenholz notes:
I hope solvers like this wordplay theme—my recollection is that I came up with it while watching the Olympics last summer and wondering if any of the divers might experience a flip ... read more

I hope solvers like this wordplay theme—my recollection is that I came up with it while watching the Olympics last summer and wondering if any of the divers might experience a flip flop. The puzzle retains more of my clues as written than most I've published—probably two-thirds of the clues are either exactly the same or very close to what I submitted. Sadly, my proposed clue for CHEN at 53-Across ("noted crossword critic Jeff") was among the minority that got the axe. Sorry, Jeff: I tried!

I am also pleased to include a shout out at 4-Down to Sandie Gitchell (the mother of two of my closest friends), better known as "Madre" to me and many others. A warm, fun-loving person, Madre has been a friend and a supportive presence in my life for almost 40 years. Coincidentally, tomorrow happens to be her birthday, so I'm glad to be able to send her this 21 x 21 card via the crossword blogs. I'm doubly pleased (as Madre will be, as well) that the puzzle includes WINE—one of her favorite words—at 54-Across.

Jeff Chen notes:
A friend of mine once told me it's incredibly easy to come up with crossword themes. When I asked him (with amusement) to come up with one so we could make it together, he listed off ... read more

A friend of mine once told me it's incredibly easy to come up with crossword themes. When I asked him (with amusement) to come up with one so we could make it together, he listed off DING-DONG, PING-PONG, SING-SONG … and then he turned red and said well, maybe it's not incredibly easy. (Just easy.)

That sort of repetition alone wouldn't make for a very good crossword, but Dan found a way to turn these types of phrases into an interesting idea. I particularly liked OF THEE I SING SONG, such an apt description of "My Country, 'Tis of Thee." And as a fan of the hapless Knicks, I enjoyed NEW YORK KNICK KNACKS, which is sadly an all-too-true description of that motley crew these days. (Remember the days of Patrick Ewing, amirite?)

Took me a while to understand JOINED AT THE HIP HOP as a three-legged race, but it made sense, eventually. See, you're tied up … sort of at the hip (more at the leg though) … and you're hopping (more like loping) … well, if you squint, this clue sort of works.

Some nice bonus fill, STRAW POLLS, RED CAVIAR, RAW DATA and PEGBOARD my favorites. (I'm a huge "American Ninja Warrior" fan and desperately want to build a hanging pegboard in my living room for training, but my wife is surprisingly not hot on that idea.) I was mixed on ONE A CAT — we, unfortunately, see OCAT or ACAT all too often in crosswords. Is seeing the full esoteric game any better? Hmm, not sure.

Dan did a nice job in giving us a smooth grid overall. I picked up a little ETAT, ATWT, SEM, SEMAINE (French for "week") but it wasn't enough to give me an AGUE. I would have welcomed a little more of the gluey short stuff to get some more snazzy longer fill.

Overall, still a bit repetitive-feeling for my taste, but I did like Dan's creativity in finding an interesting way to incorporate these TIP-TOP HIP-HOP FLIP-FLOPS into a crossword theme. Making a crossword is so (incredibly) easy!

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© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0122 ( 24,547 )
Across
1
Inconceivably vast : COSMIC
7
Hard looks : STARES
13
Stream, as of revenue : INFLOW
19
Baseball-like game : ONEACAT
21
Flowery : ORNATE
22
Et ___ : CETERA
23
Witty British judge? : POWDEREDWIGWAG
25
Conquistador Cortés : HERNAN
26
Copies, informally : REPROS
27
It shows who's who or what's what : IDTAG
29
Perform a full-body scan? : OGLE
30
Pizza, e.g. : PIE
32
Quest of 25-Across : ORO
33
Ortiz of "Ugly Betty" : ANA
34
Site of Spaceship Earth : EPCOT
37
Language akin to Thai : LAO
38
Three-legged race, e.g.? : JOINEDATTHEHIPHOP
44
School chum, say : OLDPAL
46
"Mr. Blue Sky" band, for short : ELO
47
World's most voluminous river : AMAZON
48
Chapter in early 20th-century history: Abbr. : WWI
49
Property inheritor, legally speaking : ALIENEE
51
On point : APT
53
Julie of TV's "Big Brother" : CHEN
54
"One of the most civilized things in the world," per Hemingway : WINE
55
Nail? : FINGERTIPTOP
58
Consider anew, as a decision : REVISIT
60
Girl with a ball : DEB
61
Sound investments, in more ways than one : CDS
62
___ Minor : ASIA
65
A- : NINETY
66
"America"? : OFTHEEISINGSONG
71
Hindi word for "spice mix" : MASALA
74
Brief second? : ASST
75
___ generis : SUI
76
Theological inst. : SEM
79
What Cubs fans get carried away by? : ELTRAIN
81
Grant a girl permission to dis Drake? : LETHERRIPRAP
86
Fortify : GIRD
87
Page (through) : LEAF
90
1990s Indian P.M. : RAO
91
Week, on Martinique : SEMAINE
92
Alias inits. : AKA
93
Game for the goal-oriented? : SOCCER
95
Keeps in the loop, in a way : CCS
97
Worn out : DONEIN
98
Ability to score at Madison Square Garden, e.g.? : NEWYORKKNICKKNACK
102
Mouse's resting place : PAD
103
Take a timeout : PAUSE
104
French ___ : FRY
105
Title at Topkapi Palace : AGA
106
Egg container : SAC
107
Religious image : ICON
109
Piano dueler with Donald in 1988's "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" : DAFFY
112
Quiz bowl fodder : TRIVIA
114
Like Serbia and Croatia : BALKAN
117
Diving disaster? : TRIPLEFLIPFLOP
122
Maintain : ALLEGE
123
Bawdy : WANTON
124
Gently show the door : EASEOUT
125
Give a new tournament ranking : RESEED
126
Pulls on, as heartstrings : TUGSAT
127
Speakers' spots : ROSTRA
Down
1
Bluecoat : COP
2
Only woman to sing lead vocals on a Beatles song : ONO
3
Darn things : SEW
4
Sierra ___ : MADRE
5
Drink commonly served with a spoon-straw : ICEE
6
H.O.V. lane user : CARPOOLER
7
Farm females : SOWS
8
Lateral opening? : TRI
9
Chest pain : ANGINA
10
Grist for analysts : RAWDATA
11
Californie, e.g. : ETAT
12
Gaming giant : SEGA
13
I, to Izaak : ICH
14
Word for a name-dropper? : NEE
15
1960s sitcom set in the 1860s : FTROOP
16
From one side to the other : LENGTHWISE
17
Kind of history : ORAL
18
Ebb : WANE
20
Grammy-winning drummer ___ Lyne Carrington : TERRI
24
Lorna of literature : DOONE
28
Codger : GEEZER
30
Opposite of ruddy : PALLID
31
Thyroid need : IODINE
33
Embrace : ADOPT
35
Bus. card info : PHONENO
36
N.L. Central squad, on scorecards : CIN
37
Don't work too hard : LOAF
38
Half of a swinging couple? : JANE
39
Goes by : ELAPSES
40
Alternative to Cinemax : TMC
41
"That'll be the day!" : HAH
42
Take responsibility for something : OWNIT
43
Atheist's lack : PIETY
45
Place to hang tools : PEGBOARD
50
Leave a good impression? : ETCH
52
One lifting spirits? : TOASTER
54
Jet measure : WINGSPAN
56
Think tank product : IDEA
57
Chi follower : PSI
59
Diesel in movies : VIN
63
Reeling : INSHOCK
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Shivering fit : AGUE
67
Key locale: Abbr. : FLA
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They'll take your measure : TAILORS
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Manhattan, e.g.: Abbr. : ISL
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They're dubbed : SIRS
71
Mullally of "Will & Grace" : MEGAN
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Hard to tell apart : ALIKE
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Informal measures of popularity : STRAWPOLLS
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It lies between Cleveland, O., and Buffalo, N.Y. : ERIEPA
78
Nut : MANIAC
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Made out : NECKED
82
Showy in a cheap way : TACKY
83
Salmon roe, by another name : REDCAVIAR
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"Don't worry about me!" : IMOK
85
Await resolution : PEND
88
Relative of "Aargh!" : ACK
89
Wetland : FEN
93
Measly amount : SOU
94
Guitar Hero activity : RIFFING
96
Wolf (down) : SNARF
99
Mantle, e.g. : YANKEE
100
Some vaults : CRYPTS
101
Like cats, typically : AGILE
106
Secure spots : SAFES
107
Certain steel beam : IBAR
108
Racer Yarborough : CALE
110
Fig. on a periodic table : ATWT
111
Mrs., abroad : FRAU
112
Bedouin shelter : TENT
113
___ facto : IPSO
115
Common thing to lie about : AGE
116
___ Yost, 2015 World Series-winning manager : NED
118
Mauna ___ : LOA
119
Poland's main airline : LOT
120
Start of the Lord's Prayer : OUR
121
Education support grp. : PTA

Answer summary: 14 unique to this puzzle, 2 debuted here and reused later, 2 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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