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SUBSTITUTES

New York Times, Sunday, January 21, 2018

Author: Victor Barocas and Andy Kravis
Editor: Will Shortz
Victor Barocas
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
102/9/20111/21/20186
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
4012300
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.62022
Andy Kravis
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
511/3/20131/21/20183
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
3001010
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.71010

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' didn't quite make the ... more
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" 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 entails a lot of shaking] into ... more
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 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 Down
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
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
65. Quantity of garden tools : SHEDFUL
66. Like two-bed hospital rooms : SEMIPRIVATE
67. 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: 19 unique to this puzzle, 3 unique to Shortz Era but used previously.

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